Sports Betting Strategy

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
9 minute read
Sports Betting Strategies

Understanding different sports betting strategies is key to become a profitable bettor.

The introduction to our sports betting online hub will help you acquire knowledge of various betting strategies to consistently make profitable bets.

In this guide, you will find all the best information and resources you need to become an expert at sports betting strategies. From beginning to advanced strategies, everything is here.

Read on and happy betting!

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Intro To Sports Betting Strategies: Become A Profitable Bettor

As an advanced bettor, it’s easy to look back and laugh at your first foray into sports betting, where most of us were almost certainly one of the “bar stool pundits” that the sportsbooks profit off every single day.

It’s breaking that mold that allows bettors to prosper. In today’s age, the internet and the advancement of statistics have allowed us the ability to study sports betting like never before.

Heck, with online betting sites, you can become a profitable bettor from anywhere in the world!

That said, one of the biggest mistakes sports bettors make when they start wagering is not learning sports betting strategies.

Skipping this step not only might lead you to lose your money but it might also sour your experience.

Our goal at Safest Sports Betting is to provide bettors with an extensive knowledge base of sports betting knowledge for beginner, intermediate, and advanced sports gamblers.

We aim to be the best portal on the web and will be continually updating our content with the most up-to-date information and strategies.

We suggest you bookmark this page and explore all the content available on basic and advanced sports betting strategies, betting on popular sports, online sportsbooks basics, how to manage your bankroll and much more.

Best Sports Betting Strategies To Help You Win

Sports Betting Strategy Articles

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Best Betting Strategies For Popular Sports

It’s important to note that your betting strategy might have to be different depending on the sport you choose.

Today, the best online sportsbooks offer wagering on a wide selection of sports that will cater to every type of bettor.

From NFL football and NBA basketball to eSports and golf, the choices are numerous.

For sport-specific info, check out our pages with in-depth content about the most popular sports out there and the best betting strategies for each.

The Number 1 Lesson In Sports Betting: Find The Best Odds

I can’t put it much simpler than this: If you can manage to beat the market price (or closing line) on most of your bets, you will be profitable.

Beating the bookmakers at its core is about finding inefficient markets.

Whether that is a point spread in an NFL game, a proposition wager on in basketball or even wagering on a WNBA total, if you’re getting the best odds and beating the market, you’re ahead of the vast majority of sports bettors.

We go deeper into this subject in our line shopping strategy article, but it’s so vital to winning at sports betting that it bears mentioning here. Make it a point to find the best price available when wagering.

It can easily be the difference between a winning and losing year betting sports and it saves you money every time you place a bet.

Bankroll Strategy In Sports Betting

This is another huge pitfall that bites many sports bettors. Even the most talented handicappers and adamant line shoppers may forgo a bankroll management strategy.

If you’re a profitable bettor, the worst-case scenario is being out of action. As a sports bettor, money is your tool of the trade.

Without funds to bet with, you’re like a carpenter going to work without his hammer and nails.

Protecting bankroll and ability to make money is of the utmost importance. How do you do this? Simply, adopt a bankroll strategy.

In our bankroll management article, we will cover several options for managing your bankroll.

Some are more aggressive than others, but they all give bettors room for variance if they’re placing profitable wagers.

Sports Betting Calculators

No introduction to sports betting could skip mentioning the value in using various calculators in order to help one with wagering.

Sports betting calculators can help your betting strategies in several ways. They allow you to verify wagers that are graded by online sportsbooks.

They also let bettors dissect betting markets by gauging the vigorish and determining the value of their bets.

Our betting calculator and odds converter allows bettors to convert odds types and assess bet payouts instantly.

Odds Converter

Sports betting odds converter

The odds converter allows you to compare odds types to be sure of what odds you’re placing your bet.

Our converter is also a bet calculator and converts decimal, fractional, American, Hong Kong, and Malaysian odds types, along with implied probability.

No-Vig Calculator

No vig odds and probabilities calculator

Use this calculator to calculate no-vig odds and probabilities.

Excellent for comparing prices between sportsbooks when line shopping and the true odds without the vigorish.

Calculate the bookmaker’s vigorish on each bet and the true win probability.

NFL Calculator

NFL Calculator

Use our special NFL calculator to determine your possible winnings.

Enter the odds, the type of bet and the amount of money you want to wager and instantly get the amount of money you could make.

Why You Shouldn’t Take Betting Advice From The Sports Media

Warning about sports media

There’s certainly a place for ESPN and other media outlets when it comes to sports news and opinion, but these guys should not be relied on for betting advice.

First and foremost, their goal is to drive ratings for television or views in the case of online sites or blogs.

The more outlandish and over the top they are with their predictions or opinions, the more people will pay attention to them.

They’re also generally not making predictions based on the point spread or factoring in line movement.

Even if they are giving out their picks via the point spread, this doesn’t validate their analysis.

Some in the mainstream sports media are coming around to the fact that the oddsmakers know the game better than the pundits, (it’s about time) but realizing this fact doesn’t make them sports betting authorities.

Most of what these guys have to say is simply noise. It’s distracting and mostly useless.

That isn’t to say you shouldn’t use them for injury updates and player news (local beat writers are particularly valuable), but don’t consider them a valuable source for anything betting related or use their predictions or opinions to place wagers.

FAQ: All your Betting Strategy Questions, Answered

Not sure about your sports betting strategy? We continue our introduction to sports betting online in our FAQ section.

We have all the answers to the frequently asked questions in order to help you feel comfortable while betting on sports at online betting sites. Read on!

Should I buy points when sports betting?

It depends on the sport and the price that the oddsmakers are offering per half-point or point. There are plenty of spots in NFL betting markets where buying points are a +EV strategy worth considering.

Should I hedge my sports bets?

Bet-hedging can be an excellent strategy to lock in a profit on some markets, but we have found in many cases bettors do it too often.

Ultimately, they reduce their EV by placing a hedge bet, that is -EV, or in some situations, place two -EV bets. If you’re going to hedge a large amount, we recommend you do it with highly-rated sportsbooks with a long history.

Can I bet on both teams to win?

Yes, you can, but there’s not much value doing this at the same sportsbook unless the odds move enough that you can profit from a sports arbitrage.

However, we don’t recommend doing this at the same sportsbook. Another reason to bet on each side of a wager is if you made a mistake by wagering on the wrong side or bet too much.

What is sports betting arbitrage?

Sports arbitrage is the practice of taking advantage of prices differences in the sports betting market to lock in a profit. When players arb, also called ‘scalps’ surebets’, or for short, ‘arbs.’

Large margins can be tough to find with arbing and it’s a something some sportsbook don’t typically like players doing.

Is middling a profitable betting strategy?

Middling is a strategy that gives bettors a chance to win both sides of a market with two wagers. Hedging a bet makes a lot more sense when you make a wager with an idea of betting a middle if it becomes available.

Middles usually result in small losses but are plus +EV because you win both bets enough to make a profit.

Is fading the public a profitable betting strategy?

It can be, but blindly fading the public is a poor strategy. The strategy has more merit in nationally televised games and in situations where there is reverse line movement or a heavily public majority on side and the odds don’t move.

Fading the public across the board in all sports or contests is a poor decision and is -EV.

Are betting exchanges worth it?

Yes, in most cases, you can find the most competitive odds on betting exchanges. Unfortunately, for American residents, there are currently no betting exchanges available online. Betfair is the largest exchange in the world and regularly has the best prices online on major markets.

What is chasing steam while sports betting?

Chasing steam means following steam moves of professional bettors before the betting market can adjust.

It’s undoubtedly a +EV strategy but has become harder in recent years because the market reacts so quickly. It’s also something that can get your account limited or banned from some sportsbooks.

What is implied probability in sports bets?

Implied probability is the percentage chance of an outcome as it relates to betting odds. When we refer to the breakeven percentage on a bet, we are referring to the bet’s implied probability.

Implied probability is important in calculating vig and spotting +EV opportunities.

How should I respond to line moves when sports betting?

That depends, generally, if the market you were looking to bet don’t move in your favor, the value of that bet may be lost, but that isn’t always the case.

Monitoring and predicting line movement is something you will get better at as you progress as a sports bettor. Your goal is to beat the closing line at the top bookmakers.

Should I vary my unit size in my bets?

That’s up to you. We recommend sticking with flat betting and then possibly incorporating a variable staking plan later. We have articles both on traditional bankroll management and Kelly Criterion (variable).

Should I consider trends when placing bets?

This is a tough answer. There can be profitable “trends” in sports betting where the sportsbooks don’t adjust quick enough, but it’s tough to quantify your edge or know for sure the sportsbooks don’t have it factored into the odds.

Historical trends, such as underdogs being more profitable than favorites are +EV, but that’s more general knowledge than a trend. Now, the trends bettors shouldn’t follow or pay any attention to is stuff like, “The Dallas Cowboys are 7-3 ATS in their last ten road games.”

These are posted on ton sites with betting advice and many online sportsbooks even give out these trends for free, right next to their betting markets.

That should tell you all you need to know about their value. Sportsbooks would love to have bettors who are wagering based on these “trends” because they’re undoubtedly going to be losing players.

What outside factors should I consider such as the weather and the refs?

Aside from making finding value in the lines as your main priority, team motivation is a big factor, particularly when it comes to NFL betting markets.

What are some of the biggest mistakes sports bettors make?

There’s a few of them. We have an article about the most common sports betting mistakes.

Where can I go to learn more about being a better sports bettor?

We hope you read our content at Safest Betting Sites. Seriously, though, there are some excellent discussions and analysis out there, but there is also a lot of noise.

Sports betting forums can be an excellent resource for sportsbook feedback but are hit and miss when it comes to actual sports betting strategy.

Check Out Our Glossary Of Betting Terms And Learn The Gambling Lingo!

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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