Professional sports are an integral part of many people’s lives but even those who don’t know a football from a baseball still join the party when the Super Bowl comes around or events such as March Madness invade our every waking moment. Buying a few squares on the NFL’s biggest game on its grandest stage or filling our brackets when the band begins to play for the Big Dance is a slice of betting Americana.
Now, how about those of you out there who religiously watch the games and have strong opinions on the outcomes? If you fall into that category then you might want to think about turning a hobby into what could be a lucrative side hustle or full-time job.
Sports betting. Yes, that’s right, using your knowledge to formulate an analysis based on the quantitative and qualitative observations you have made on each team and forming a projection on each game.
It’s not for everyone and discipline is an absolute must but if you believe you have the chops to make it work for you then read on to find out how to get up and running with your new vocation.
Set a Bankroll – The first thing any professional does is determine how much money he can afford to lose in a given season without it affecting his personal life. This amount obviously has a great deal to do with your financial situation but it also pertains to your “pain threshold”. There are wealthy people who can’t stand to lose any money, no matter how small, while there are those who live paycheck to paycheck but don’t crumble if they lose it all.
If you fall into either category then sports betting is not for you. You need discretionary income and the ability to lose a wager without losing your lunch. Whether your bankroll is $500 or $50,000 for the 17 weeks of the NFL regular season, it is important that you stick with that amount and do not go back to the well if you flame out early. However, if you know what you are doing then that’s one calamity you probably won’t have to confront.
Quality Over Quantity – Whether the sport of your choice is football, basketball, baseball, hockey, or soccer it is important to limit the number of wages and the amounts of each. On an average NFL Sunday there could be as many 16 games but making bets on two, three, or four games illustrates you are a disciplined bettor.
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Moreover, only one percent of your bankroll should be used on any given wager. However, there is another school of thought that endorses a 1-to-5-unit system with one being the weakest while five is the strongest. If you have set aside $1000 for the NFL season then your unit size is $10 (or one percent) but if you determine there is a game on the board that you feel is a can’t miss (BTW – there is any such thing as a lock) then make that a 5-unit wager or $50.
Use the betting strategy that works best for you but, again, discipline is the key to success.
Find the Right Sportsbook – How would you like to win week after week but never get paid? Of course, you wouldn’t but that is exactly what could happen to you if you don’t do your homework and research the very best online sportsbooks. There are sites out there that assign a letter grade to every sportsbook they vet which is a powerful indicator as to where you should be placing your bets.
An A+ rating is reserved only for a handful of elite books and it is earned through stellar customer service, a wide variety of betting options, an easy to navigate dashboard that works as effortlessly on your mobile device as it does on your personal computer, player reviews, and most importantly, timely payouts when requested.
Please be aware the internet is loaded with nefarious sportsbooks that will make it effortless to fund your account but when you want a payout, well, that’s when things go south. And don’t take your friend’s advice that his online book is beyond reproach. What he might not be telling you is that he has never requested a payout because he’s not very good at handicapping winners.
Once you find the sportsbooks that are right for you, make sure you have accounts at two or more books. It is of vital importance to get the best line on every game you bet and the only way you will know that is if you can compare and contrast the numbers and pick the one that’s most advantageous to you.