I was recently asked, “How difficult is it to be a net positive sports bettor”? I’m not sure who asked me that question, but it got me thinking. It’s happened before where people have asked me how hard it is to make money through betting, both “friends” and strangers alike (although there are probably more people who’ve asked me the former). My answer has always been that it’s very difficult.
There are many ways to make money through sports betting, with some being easier than others. The most common way for recreational bettors (i.e., people who bet for fun and not to make a profit) to make money is by backing favorites and hoping they win more often than they lose. This can be a successful way to make a small profit in the long run, but it’s not easy; the odds of picking more winners than losers over an extended period are very slim.
If you were to blindly back all favorites (i.e., bet on the team with the shortest odds), you would, on average, lose money in the long run. So blindly backing favorites is not a wise strategy.
Another way to make money through sports betting is finding value in the odds. This can be done by analyzing matchups and identifying situations where one team is undervalued or overvalued. This is how most professional bettors and sports handicapping services make money, and it’s also a very difficult strategy to pull off consistently.
The final and easiest way to make money through sports betting is by finding value in proposition bets (also known as prop bets). Proposition bets are additional wagers available on sporting events, such as who will score the first touchdown, how many yards the top receiver will have in a game, and over/under bets on various statistics.
Proposition bets are typically offered at lower odds than win-loss wagers, making them good value if you can find an edge. With that said, proposition bets are usually not available in abundance. Things like player props are often only offered for the most popular players, making it difficult to find value if you’re looking to bet on less-known athletes (although many sportsbooks will also offer prop bets on game outcomes). It’s even harder to find an edge in proposition bets when betting on team sports.
In conclusion, it isn’t easy to be a net positive sports bettor. It would be best if you found value in the odds, and that can be done by analyzing matchups and identifying situations where one team is undervalued or overvalued. It would be best if you also were good at picking winners, which is not easy to do over an extended period. It can be done, but it takes a lot of effort and time to learn how the sports betting markets work and identify value in them.
Sports bettors who make money, in the long run, do so by finding edges (i.e., instances where you can wager on something and get better odds than you should). This can be done by analyzing matchups and identifying situations where one team is undervalued or overvalued or finding value in proposition bets. It’s not easy to do, but it’s certainly possible. Those who are successful at sports betting typically put in a lot of hard work and time to learn how the sports betting markets work and identify value in them. So if you’re looking to profit from sports betting, be prepared to do some homework!
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