Sports betting is entertaining, for certain, but it also deals with money. If you’re looking to throw down bets, have fun, and don’t care about winning, that’s fine. But for those that take the situation more seriously there is plenty to consider. Picking a winner isn’t always as obvious as it seems. The favourite bet isn’t always wise, and likewise choosing longshots equally as questionable.
The question is; what is the right way for serious punters to pick a winner? Let’s take a closer look.
Favourites Versus Underdogs
Always betting on the favourite is a sure way to come out on top, right? Not really. There is an illusion that favourite bets are smart bets, but that isn’t the case at all. Even a little research will demonstrate that the favourite team loses far more than expected. Sports matches are a complicated affair, and top tier teams often aren’t performing at their best.
The underdog bet not only pays out significantly more, but is far more likely to succeed than is assumed. The real skill is spotting an underdog that is about to make a comeback. Or to put it another way, the real skill is spotting a so called underdog that is about to have a chance to shine.
Understand Implied Probability
Strangely many bettors don’t seem to understand implied probability. The fact of the matter is that assigned odds don’t always accurately show the full story. Many seem to assume that because a favourite has such skewed odds it demonstrates the likelihood of the outcome. This both is and isn’t true. Often sportsbooks are assigning odds due to perception rather than actual probability. Remember; a sportsbook doesn’t want to go broke that’s why you must read reviews of best sports betting sites.
Truly smart punters know that predicted outcome and implied outcome are very different things. Before putting down money serious thought should be given as to what the assumed chances of a team winning are. All bets are based on risk versus reward, so when the reward is higher than the risk there is a golden zone of value.
Keeping Track Of Circumstances
A smart punter will follow a few carefully selected teams, watch them like a hawk, and bet accordingly. A favourite team may be on its knees after losing a star player, and an underdog may show signs of blasting them out of the water. The key is seeing these signs, researching the circumstances, and knowing the game.
It isn’t necessary to know everything about every team. That would get confusing quickly, and probably demand more time than the average punter has. It is necessary to know everything about just a few teams. Keeping track of a handful of teams, reading up on them regularly, and keeping track of their statistics is manageable. It is very important to remember that bets can be put on a team to win or lose, which means that opportunity is always available.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, smart punters are keenly aware winning happens in the long term. Chasing big, short term wins is a rookie mistake.