Millions of sports fans watch games and think to themselves, “betting on sports must be easy.” But it is not. After accounting for the vig, which is called “juice” in betting parlance, a typical bettor needs to hit 52.4% of bets to break even. That means even the most successful “experts” will have a few cold streaks mixed in with their hot ones.
The best way to improve your chances of winning is to study the game you’re betting on in depth. That doesn’t mean reading locker room gossip or following a pundit on TV, but studying the relevant stats and math. It’s also important to understand lesser-known and smaller-market sports, because they often have lower betting limits than more popular ones like the NFL.
Another great strategy is to search out value bets, which are bets that have a higher chance of winning than implied by the odds. This is easier to do in basketball, where the number of teams and points per game are more clearly defined, but can be done in any sport with enough research. Also keep an eye out for props and futures bets, which are wagers on things that will happen in the future. That can include a team to win the World Series, a country to win soccer’s World Cup, or a golfer to win a major tournament.