Hey guys. I’m going to teach you how to bet in a good way in order to minimize your losses and maximize your profits. I just started taking this seriously at the beginning of this year and have seen a lot of success to the tune of +40 units on the year so far. Before I started looking at games and choosing my spots, I’d lose a lot of money trying to recover from my losses for the day. I’ve learned a lot over the past few months and I hope I can help you guys out as well.
I’m going to break down some common betting terms I’ll be using throughout this blog as well as other blogs.
A “unit” is the amount that you bet. +40 units for a $100 bettor would net them $4,000. Their unit in this case would be $100.
“Against the spread” means the number a team is expected to win or lose by. Villanova -11.5 means if you bet on them, they have to win by 12 or more for the bet to win. Ohio State +2.5 means OSU has to lose by 2 or less for the bet to win.
“Moneyline” is betting on a team to just win the game. Cubs -120 means they just have to win the game for your bet to win and you’d net .83 units.
“Sharp lines” means that professional handicappers are hammering one side of a particular bet and moving the line with their money. (Usually want to follow the money).
“Reverse line movement” – a favored team loses points against the spread. Nuggets open at -5.5 and before the game starts they end up at -4.5. This likely means that more money was placed on their opponent, causing the line to move in favor of the opponent.
Don’t bet on every game
This is the biggest mistake that recreational bettors make. No matter how much you think you know about a sport, you will not guess every game right. There is no way to make a lot of money if you bet every game, unless you have a crystal ball and know the outcomes of games. Limit your games by picking your spots (will explain later). Betting every game is the quickest way to get your bookie account to $0. So if you have an extremely gross amount of money to spend, go ahead and bet every game. I’m assuming that if you’re reading this you don’t have a lot of money so take my advice.
Pick your spots
This is a lot harder than what most people think. You need to set a limit to yourself on the maximum amount of games you take each day. I usually try to keep it within 3-5. You have to pick games that you really like and then start to do your research. Teams that are large favorites are not usually the best games to bet on, so try and find yourself a game you like with better odds for the team you want to choose.
For example, the Cubs were -120 against the Brewers last night with Jon Lester on the mound. Lester is undefeated against the Brewers in his career and the Cubs were coming off an extended off day. This would be a good spot to get the Cubs at because if they win, they would give you +.88 units and if you lose you lose 1 unit. The margin you’re working with here is -.12 units. If you like a game and the margin is less that -.25 units, you’re in a good spot.
Another example from yesterday would be the Yankees. The Yankees were -185 against the Orioles who were +160 by the time the game started. This is not a great spot to get the Yankees in. If they win, you only get +.54 units, but if they lose, like they did, you lose a full unit. The margin here is -.46 units. This is not a good spot to get the Yankees in because of the high margin.
Bet what you can afford to bet
I make my bets in very small increments for two reasons. 1. I want to be able to make a lot of bets to but out there for you guys to follow along with and 2. I don’t have a lot of money to be throwing around on something that is completely out of my control. Betting is not a way to get rich quick and you often lose more than what you put in. There are a select few people that make money every year when they bet and they do this professionally. I am not a professional and neither are you, so we have to be smart about where we are throwing our money as well as how much money we are putting out. I use the rule of thumb that you make your unit (amount you bet) about 1/20th of your total bookie account when you first load it up.
For example, if you put $100 in your account to start out, make your bets in $5 increments so that even if you do lose all your bets, you have 20 chances to get one right.
Don’t double dip on a game
I try not to do this because if a team you are expecting to perform well decides not to show up to their full potential that day, you’re in trouble. If you choose the Rockies to win a game and the over and the Rockies come out and lay a goose egg in the runs column, you’re losing two units on one game. This is not a good way to make money if that is your main goal. Try and limit yourself to one play per game.
Don’t blindly ride a hot streak
Teams on hot streaks can make you money, but it will not be very much. Most of them time when a team wins 5 or more games in a row, their moneyline bets will start to creep up towards and possibly even over -200. This is not a good value play for you. If they win another game, you only make a small profit, but if they lose, you lose a full unit. There are many teams that get on hot streaks across all major sports, but picking those teams moneyline every game will not yield much return on your investment. It is best to choose teams on a hot streak against the spread if you think they will cover, or fade a hot team and be the underdog ATS.
Getting too happy or too upset will make betting miserable
At this point, I’m assuming no one is wagering upwards of $100 at a time. If that’s the case, then you can’t get too down on yourself for having a losing day or too happy if you have a winning day. Winning is nice, but if you have a $5 ticket that wins you $4.55, there’s no reason to be jumping to high heavens. If you get too happy when you win, you’re likely going to be very upset when you lose. This all comes back to my point of betting what you can afford to be. If you follow that rule, you won’t get too down on yourself if you lose or too high if you win. Betting and placing wagers is supposed to be about having fun so don’t put too much emotion into it.
Don’t bet on your favorite team all the time
I know everyone wants to see their team win every game of the season, but not only is this unlikely to happen, it’s also not profitable. Teams that are good are usually larger favorites throughout the course of a season. The Cubs started out the season against the Marlins and were as high as -235 favorites and as low as -130 in their first series. They went 2-2 in that series and would have lost you money if you decided to bet on them for every game. If you truly do not think that your team is going to win a game or just are unsure, it’s best to stay away from that game entirely. You’re already invested in the game because it’s your team playing, so you don’t also need to invest money and sign yourself up for a double heartbreak.
Fade the public (in some sports)
The NFL is the best sport to do this because a lot of recreational gamblers will pick the favorite, which is why you have to pay attention to sharp money. MLB is another good sport to do this in. There are a ton of people that choose to bet on baseball because they think the better team will win every game. Baseball is one of the more unpredictable sports because the starting pitchers in a given matchup can go all 9 innings or fail to make it out of the 3rd, you just never know. This also makes baseball one of the harder sports to bet on, but you can still fail often and be profitable.
Track your bets
I know you may be thinking, “wtf does this kid know about betting?” Well, a decent amount and enough to win 40+ units in 4 months, but there’s still a lot I need to learn.
These are stats from January 1st, 2018 to April 8th, 2018:
As you can see my best sports are College Basketball and MLB, the two that I know the most about and watch the most. Like I said before, I used to throw money all over the place at any sport that I could just because I know about sports. I became more selective and started picking my spots and now I’m doing well.