Sports betting has exploded in the past few years. What used to be a secret, under-the-radar hobby is now as mainstream as anything in the world of sports. Just about everyone, from your older brother to your best friend from high school, has probably placed a sports bet in recent memory.
The unfortunate side of this shift is that most people aren’t winning
Although the entertainment value alone might be worth the losses. In this article, I’ll share some sports betting opinions that might not follow what everyone else is saying. Feel free to decide for yourself whether or not you agree.
- The NFL Is Wildly Overrated for Bettors
Let me start out by saying I’m not trying to argue that the NFL is overrated as a sports league.
In fact, I think the parity between the teams, combined with the undeniable excitement that comes from a mere 16-game season, makes for a sports watching experience unlike any other.
I’ve never once considered giving up as an NFL fan, but I do think there’s an argument to be made about giving up on being an NFL bettor.
If you’re the type of person who is betting $10 a game and your goal is simply to add a little excitement to your Sunday, perhaps you can ignore this. However, if you’re looking to turn your sports betting into a profitable side hustle, you might consider wagering your money elsewhere.
The reason is simple:
The NFL is just too important to the online sportsbooks, there are never going to be holes in the odds or a way to get a leg up on the competition.
When you think to yourself after an NFL Sunday, “Wow, how do the oddsmakers get these games so accurate this often?” Just know that you’re getting their best effort in the NFL.
I recognize that most people aren’t going to stop betting the NFL. At the end of the day, it’s just too much fun. Just know that it’s undeniably the hardest sport to be profitable over the course of an entire season.
- The Heavy Moneyline Favorite Is Okay (in some cases)
If you searched for a list that told you which sports bets are the worst, betting on a huge moneyline favorite is probably at the top of the list.
It sounds like a good idea to risk money on what seems like a sure thing.
If a team is -500 or less, there’s a pretty good chance that they aren’t going to lose. With that being said, this is sports, and sports are unpredictable. I haven’t run the numbers, but I would guess that there are multiple +500 moneyline underdog winners on a weekly basis.
If you bet with the concept of value in mind—and you should—most of the time, you’re going to stay away from the huge favorites. The risk and the reward simply do not match up when you’re only winning back 20% of your initial bet.
With all of this being said, there is one scenario where I think it can be okay to incorporate huge moneyline favorites: when it’s part of a parlay.
You’re betting on the spread of a college basketball game and the odds are at -110. That’s standard, but you might want something better. By tacking on a -500 (or comparable) moneyline favorite to your bet as a parlay, you can get those odds close to even.
Obviously, you’re still taking on some degree of risk as there’s always a chance that the heavy favorite loses, but even if they do, it’s not like you’re losing an exorbitant amount of money, just your initial bet on the spread at -110.
Some might consider this cheap and risky way to boost your odds on games you’re already betting on, but as someone who doesn’t like risking more than I stand to gain, I’ve found this tactic to be effective.
- Fading the Public Isn’t As Reliable as You Might Think
Every sports bettor has seen those games where the odds just don’t look quite right. I observe this most often in college sports where a team ranked in the top 20 is an underdog against an unranked team.
What do they know that you don’t?
This is a classic case where conventional betting wisdom would suggest it’s best to fade the public. The logic behind it is that the sportsbooks aren’t just giving out easy wins. iI it looks too good to be true, it probably is… Or is it?
Plenty of research has been done on the effectiveness this strategy, and the data does suggest that the public is wrong more than they’re right, so it’s a good idea to go against them at all times. The only problem is that in order to consider the data reliable, you’d have to bet on an amount of games that probably isn’t realistic.
This is similar logic to the underdog model in baseball. Yes, if you took the underdog in every single game throughout the long MLB season you would end up winning (at least when you look at games over the past five years). The only problem is that you’re more than likely not betting on every game, every day.
All of this isn’t to say that fading the public is bad. It’s simply pointing out the fact that the models used to suggest fading the public is the most profitable strategy aren’t realistic in practice.
- Parlays Can Be a Good Part of Your Strategy
It’s hard enough to win one bet, let alone multiple bets, without losing a single game. For this reason, many gambling experts have shunned the parlay as part of their overall strategy.
Although most bettors know how difficult they are to win, the odds presented by parlays can make it hard to stay away on a consistent basis. If used sparingly, I believe they can be a part of profitable strategy.
The key to using, not abusing, parlays is to bet small amounts of money. Consider it a lottery ticket where you’re probably not going to win, but you definitely aren’t going to win if you don’t play.
Each week, I pick out a five or six-leg parlay and wager around $10 depending on how successful or unsuccessful I’ve been with my other plays in the recent days. Most of the time, it doesn’t hit, but when it does, it makes all the losses worth it.
I think there are three types of bettors out there: those who do it for the money, those who do it for the thrill, and those who do it for a combination of both reasons. Incorporating a low-risk parlay to your strategy should satisfy all three.
- Expert Advice Is Valuable (But Not for the Reasons You Think)
Nowadays, it seems like every network TV sports show has a segment dedicated to helping viewers make better bets. While some of these shows do have a tracker that shows whether or not the experts have been successful or not, all of these segments can be used to help you make better decisions.
Even if they’re wrong, and they often are, they present information that you might not have previously considered.
Components of the game such as:
And so much more, are all laid out on the table.
Essentially, these shows are doing the research for you. You might, and often will, come to a different conclusion in the end, but it’s worthwhile to get take in as much information as possible to use during the evaluation process.
It can be challenging to go against someone who’s on national TV giving out betting advice, but it’s a good reminder that everyone is just giving their best guess. Save yourself some time on the research end by getting critical insights, even if you end up going a different direction when it’s time to place your wager.
Betting on sports is an art and a science. In fact, even those who are at the absolute top of the gambling industry still have bad weeks, months, and years. All you can hope for is to manage your money well enough to see things turn in your favor.
If you’re struggling to win, try keeping these five opinions in mind. You might find that, at the very least, you’re thinking evaluating the games differently than in the past. Besides, what do you have to lose?