Betting generates billions of dollars globally every year. According to Statista, in 2020, the US sports betting industry raked in up to $1.55 billion. That figure is expected to climb to around $8 billion by 2025. Is it possible to get a slice of the pie? Yes! But it’s not just about luck.
Luck will only get you so far. Having a strategy will tremendously heighten your chances of winning. Betting is an art, unlike gambling which is primarily guesswork. Betting is sort of like playing chess. Your move has to be thought out carefully. And yes, sometimes you may lose. But, if you have a solid strategy, the chances are that you’ll win way more than you’ll lose.
There are numerous betting strategies to pick from. Every pro has a strategy. Here are five time-tested strategies that will transform how you bet and hopefully help you win more.
1. Fading the Public
This is one of the most popular and most rewarding betting strategies, especially for newbies. Fading the public means betting on the team that the majority of people are betting against. While this strategy can significantly increase your chances of winning big, it could also backfire if you don’t take the time to do your research and ensure putting your money on the underdog is a sound decision.
Fading the public is an excellent strategy because people tend to automatically bet on the team that the odds favor. When the odds favor a team, it is a safe bet, but it is not necessarily a smart bet.
Before you fade the public, it is extremely important to do your homework and check out the history of previous encounters between both teams. Consider their recent performances too. Sometimes, bigger teams are regarded as favorites although they may not be in the best form. Likewise, smaller teams are usually seen as the underdogs regardless of their recent performances. If you find that the underdog has a history of bringing the fight to the favorites or has been getting spectacular results in recent months, that’s your cue to fade the public.
Another equally important thing to consider when you want to fade the public is betting splits. This is the cash and bet percentages on each team. You will find numerous websites that provide info on betting splits. Sportsbooks also release this information on Twitter and other social media platforms. If you find that a large percentage of the money in a bet is put on the underdog, this is an ideal condition to fade the public. It means that although a majority of people are betting against the underdogs, the pros are staking their bets on them.
You can fade the public in just about every game, but this strategy works best for big games that usually attract a lot of attention – especially if you want a sizable cash-out.
2. Moneyline vs Point Spread Betting
Moneyline and point spread are the two most common betting options, and understanding them can help you formulate a good betting strategy.
Moneyline bets simply involve picking the winner of a game. Your bet isn’t affected by other factors like the scoreline. A lot of beginners to betting usually opt for moneyline bets. Moneyline bets are a great choice when there’s a clear favorite to win.
Although moneyline bets seem like a guaranteed way to win, that’s not always the case. It is important to assess the recent performance of the team tagged as favorites. Also, keep an eye on the line movement. If you see any reverse line movement (for example, from -130, the odds fall to -100), it’s a sign that some pros are betting against the favorites. This may be an indication to reconsider your bet because pros usually know what they’re doing.
Point spread bets are inherently more risky than moneyline bets. With point spread bets, you pick how many points a team will win or lose a game. Understandably, this is a more difficult bet. Point spread bets are usually reserved for pros who spend a lot of time analyzing the performance of each team, assessing their past scorelines, and then making a pick. The advantage of point spread bets is that they usually pay more than moneyline bets.
As you’d imagine, it can be nearly impossible to accurately determine the exact scoreline of a game. However, you can wait to see what a majority of people are betting on and follow the crowd if it matches your expectations. The opening line of a bet continues to change until a few minutes before the game starts. If you wait until the game is almost starting to put in your bet, you’ll have a more accurate picture of the line, and will most likely be able to pick the right scoreline for your bet.
3. Always Look at ATS Records Before Making a Bet
If you only look at the lines that sportsbooks provide along with the team’s win/loss record before making a bet, you may not get the full picture. ATS stands for against the spread. ATS records represent how well a team has performed against the spread, i.e. against the expectations of sportsbooks.
A team’s ATS record shows their win/loss record based on the spread. This may be completely different from their actual win/loss record in competitions. For example, a team may have a 10 – 8 regular win/loss record. However, you may find that their ATS record is 7 – 11. Without looking at the ATS record, you may be tempted to bet on that team, but the ATS record shows that may not be a smart bet.
ATS records are a good indicator to consider, especially when you want to put your money on the underdog. Sportsbooks try to make both teams seem attractive in the spread, and you may not get the real picture of their potential just by looking at the lines.
When you have a team’s ATS record, you can confidently decide whether to bet against the spread or with the spread. While a team’s ATS record is not the only thing you should consider before making a bet, it is certainly one of the key metrics to look at.
4. Handicap Betting
In the world of sports betting, the term handicapping refers to the mental gymnastics involved in assessing the capabilities of both teams and picking a winner. Handicap betting involves researching in-depth and analyzing both teams to ensure you make the right pick. The goal of handicapping is to eliminate the guesswork in betting so you make decisions based on insight, not your feeling or gut.
Everyone involved in sports betting dabbles a bit in handicap betting. However, to truly maximize your chances of making a winning bet each time, it is essential to make handicapping a central part of your overall strategy. The research into your team must continue through the offseason and preseason. You need to analyze every move the team makes and understand how incoming players or outgoing players will affect the overall structure of the team.
Apart from the team’s lineup and recent performance, some other things to consider in handicap betting include home advantage, head-to-head record, the team’s overall strength, key players, injuries, the coach’s tendencies, and other factors. You must understand the strengths of each team to determine the chances of each side coming out victorious.
Thankfully, there are a lot of great resources online today that make handicap betting easier than ever. You’ll find websites and social media pages dedicated to providing much-needed information about each team.
5. Use a Betting Software
Betting software are becoming more popular and more sophisticated. Today, there are betting programs that can sort through a large database of information to provide insight that will allow you to make an informed bet.
Using a betting software can save you a tremendous amount of time and money. The program usually analyzes way more data than you may be willing to do manually. Some betting programs also track line movement and give you insight into betting splits which can be invaluable.
A betting software eliminates the chances of making an emotional decision while providing you with key data to make a winning bet. The downside of using betting software is that you usually have to overcome a learning curve to figure out how to use them. Also, some of these programs can be pretty expensive. But there are so many of them to choose from, and not all of them will break the bank. We recommend reading about the pros and cons of each program before settling on one.
It is important to note that while a betting software can calculate the chances of a team winning, the result is never guaranteed.
Strategy is at the core of betting. It is what separates the pros from the joes. The betting strategies above can make betting more exciting and rewarding. We encourage you to use your head with every decision when making a bet. The more you invest time into analyzing each team, the higher your chances of winning.