Everyone gets into sports betting with the intention of winning. But over the long haul, very few are able to win consistently. With sportsbooks providing such sharp lines and the juice in their favor, it is common for the average bettor to get ground down.
That said, there are some great sports bettors out there that do consistently come out on top and beat the books. What makes a great sports bettor? Plenty of factors are involved in long term success, but just about all great sports bettors have the qualities laid out in this article. Here is a look at three things that make the best sports bettors so great at betting.
1. They Evaluate All Game Factors
Even the most casual of sports bettors handicap games to some degree. Whether it involves checking previous game box scores, reading and listening to expert advice, or looking into season stats, almost all sports bettors formulate their opinion after doing a bit of research.
But great sports bettors go much more in depth. When handicapping a football game, everyone pays attention to position players like quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. Great handicappers go further, analyzing the health and play of less flashy positions such as offensive line and fullback. A casual bettor might completely overlook the fact that an interior lineman is playing with a bad knee against a solid run stopper, a matchup that the professional is sure to notice and bet accordingly.
Looking past the stats is also key to long term success. The casual bettor sees that Team A is much better statistically than Team B, and goes with Team A. But what if Team B is coming off of their worst loss of the season, and has a personal grudge against Team A? Great bettors take in the whole picture when piecing together their wagers.
2. They Are Great With Money and Lines
No matter how good a player is at evaluating all of the game factors and picking winners, they won’t get very far without money management and line anticipation.
Setting reasonable unit sizes in relation to total bankroll and maintaining discipline in sticking to betting their allotted units allows successful bettors to stay in the game even when rough patches hit. Betting large chunks of your bankroll on single games may seem like a good idea when you are winning, but it always backfires in the long run. Great bettors have and follow strict money management guidelines.
Getting the best line and anticipating which way the line will move is also monumental to success. Since the public generally moves the line against the favorite, smart bettors usually get their money down early if they like the favorite or wait for the line to move in their favor if they like the underdog. Consistently having a line more favorable than the closing line is quite common among winning bettors.
Line shopping is also important for this same reason. The difference between +140 and +145 on an underdog you like may not seem like much, but it definitely adds up over hundreds or thousands of bets.
3. They Don’t Get Emotional
Some of the worst bets that average bettors make come when their judgment is impaired. There are so many frustrating ways to lose wagers; a blown save with two outs, a “meaningless” touchdown or three-pointer at the end of a game that covers the spread against you. It is human nature to be frustrated, and many make the mistake of making rash decisions while frustrated.
Great bettors understand that even the best bettors in the world only hit 60% against the spread, meaning they are going to lose four out of 10. They also know that even hitting just 55% long term at -110 is a profitable proposition. It isn’t worth it to get bent out of shape over the outcome of a single game, or even an 0-for-5 day or a terrible week.
These things happen; just like bounces will go your way and you’ll have 5-0 days, too. Keeping a clear head and remaining confident, even when it feels like the world is out to get you, can be the difference between winning and losing in the end.