Sports Betting: What You Need to Get Started


sports-betting-getting-startedIf you’re interested in taking sports betting seriously and not just listening to television and internet pundits, or worse paying for picks, getting started can be an intimidating process. But, have no fear, we’re here to help.

There’s a lot of advanced concepts that sports bettors need to understand to take their game to the next level, but with a few basic lessons, sports bettors who look to improve will almost instantly be better than 90 percent or more of the betting public.

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Bankroll and Bankroll Management

It’s going to be tough to start your sports betting career without any cash. You could place wagers for fun and keep track of them on your own if you’re curious about your potential edge, but depending on how long you’re going to do bet, it can tedious, and your sample size may not be large enough to draw you any meaningful conclusions.

Realistically, you can start your bankroll with as little as $100 or less. It’s going to take you a bit before you make any “real money” betting sports, but this is perfectly fine, and perhaps even a recommendation for people completely new to sports betting.

Long-Term Winner

The goal is to become a long-term winner, but remember, even breaking even at sports betting is a minor accomplishment. The vast majority of people who bet sports are long-term losers.

Even the best sports bettors go broke due to mismanagement of their bankroll. Most bettors have no concept of bankroll management and even the most experienced sports bettors, who are proven winners, still, struggle with it from time to time.

Good Picks, Bad Money Management

Growing up around gamblers of all types, I remember talking with a poker friend of mine that offered insightful analysis on NFL games each week. He also line shopped and did things the right way. I assume at the end of the NFL season – he would have been up plenty – because were on often on the same plays.

To my shock, he wasn’t. When he told me about his bankroll strategy, it became abundantly clear why that was the case. Instead of establishing betting units and a bankroll management plan, his strategy was to wager all of his profits each weekend on the Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football game.

Yeah, this guy would have easily been a winning bettor if had any sort of bankroll management. That’s why it’s so easy to see why the sportsbooks always win, even talented bettors, who can spot value in the lines still succumb to poor decisions with their bankroll.

In-Depth Strategies

We cover bankroll management extensively here at Safest Betting Sites, including Kelly Criterion. Do yourself a favor commit to bankroll management early in your betting career rather than later, when you’re betting larger amounts.

The Ability to Find Value

One of the biggest misconceptions about sports betting is that you need a tremendous knowledge of sports to succeed. Of course, you’re going to need to understand the basics, especially when it comes to betting markets, but the truth is, sports betting is centered on finding value in the lines.

If you can find inefficiencies in a sportsbook’s odds compared to the sharpest sportsbooks, well, you’ve got yourself some value. Not only is this quicker and less time consuming than handicapping for hours and trying to “pick winners”, but it’s also almost always more effective as well.

Shape Your Odds

See, when you cherry pick odds from recreational sportsbooks or simply operators that aren’t that sharp, you’re taking the lead of the biggest sharp bettors and wise guys in the business. The sharpest sportsbooks run worldwide betting markets, but the best sports bettors shape their odds.

It today’s betting market, the sharpest two sportsbooks for our money is Pinnacle Sports and

Reliable Sportsbooks

We chose the name Safest Betting Sites for a reason. Our goal is to help bettors not only succeed when it comes to betting sports but to point them in the direction of reliable operators, that treat players fairly and pay in a timely fashion.

We’re not here to paint the industry negatively, but the fact remains, that there are a lot betting sites that no one should consider depositing with, and many more that come with a lot more risk than the most reputable sportsbooks.

Our reviews are an excellent resource for bettors looking to choose a sportsbook, particularly when it comes to U.S. online betting markets. We always suggest having funds at two sportsbooks or more for line shopping purposes. Bettors should also start their careers are recreational sportsbook rather than sites that cater to more professional high stakes bettors.

Reduced Juice and Bonuses

If you’re just getting started in sports betting, you need all the help you can get. Getting the best odds is always important. The amount bettors are losing when they don’t get the best odds is going to get worse as they bet more, so it’s important to establish these habits early.

One of the best ways to increase your bottom line is by betting with reduced juice and taking advantage of bonuses offers.

Reduced Juice

Some bettors don’t understand how much betting at reduced juice sportsbooks can save them in the long and short run. We recommend that players have money at one reduced juice sportsbook. The best options for U.S. residents are Heritage and 5Dimes. Internationally, it’s Pinnacle Sports.

Better Odds Have Bigger Impact

We stress the important of choosing better odds over deposit bonuses, but the truth is, bettors can do both. If you’re new to online betting, you’re going to be able to get deposit bonuses at just about every sportsbook that doesn’t have a reduced juice option (which we recommend taking instead of the bonus).

All bonuses aren’t created equal, so it’s important to read the rollover requirements before deciding to deposit and agreeing to the bonus terms. Two sportsbooks that bettors can head to right off the bat are BetOnline and Bovada.

Use Bitcoin for Betting

Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency that exploded in popularity in recent years. Due to laws against regulating online gambling in the United States, banks cannot knowingly process gambling transactions.

Enter Bitcoin, a currency that doesn’t use the traditional banking system and is exponentially more cost-effective than fiat methods, such as debit and credit cards, checks, money transfers, and bank wires.

If you’re not betting with bitcoins, you’re making a mistake. Bitcoin withdrawals are usually free to deposit and withdraw at most betting sites and these days, they are accepted almost universally at offshore sportsbooks.

At Safest Betting Sites, we offer a step by step guide to buying bitcoins and transferring them to an online sportsbook.

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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