Compared to a casual sports bettor, a sharp sports bettor is willing to put in more time and effort into sports betting. This include spending a majority of available time learning how different sports work, how the sports betting market functions, analyzing and studying games, and finding ways where profits can be made. However, casual bettors may look at a few statistics or read one or two articles before coming to a conclusion about which team they like better. As with many things in life, the time and effort put into perfecting a craft is often more important than sheer talent alone. Here are three keys to becoming a sharper sports bettor.
Value, Value, Value
The outlook of a team to win a game rarely matters for sharp bettors. Instead, sharp bettors are more concerned with regards to value – what the actual line is in the markets compared to their expectation and perspective. Whether it comes to the moneyline, spreads, or over/under game totals, sharp bettors will have a general idea of what those figures and payouts should be in their opinion. They will then compare their take on the game to what the market’s figures and payouts. When a significant difference exists, therein lies value. One example can be highlighted using the moneyline – the Golden State Warriors are playing against the San Antonio Spurs and the moneyline payout for the Spurs is +200 or 3.00. If a sharp bettor determines that the Spurs should only be +100 or 2.00 underdogs, there is value for betting on the Spurs. Another example could make use of the spread to determine if value exists. Similar to the previous example, the Warriors are pegged as 8.0-point favourites against the Spurs but if a sharp bettor thinks that the Warriors should only be 3.0-point favourites, value exists to bet on the Spurs to cover.
Final Score Almost Never Matters
When it comes to the final score of a game, sharp bettors are more concerned as to how the result came to be rather than the actual final score – a game’s final outcome could be arrived at in countless different ways. As a result, it’s important to a sharp bettor to determine what factors contributed to the end result of the game. Was it due to a key injury during the game that had an impact, too many costly turnovers, or the ineffectiveness of the losing team’s offense? On the other hand, casual bettors will look at the final score of a game and simply assume that a team’s performance will likely be repeated in the team’s next game without diving into why this was the outcome.
Avoid Parlays and Teasers
Sharp bettors will very rarely place wagers on parlays and teasers, especially when they involve a point spread rather than the moneyline. Since the payout for a parlay is less than the actual risk involved, over the long run, you will likely lose more than you win from these bets. When betting on a single game, there are only two possible outcomes for the bettor – whether the bettor wins or loses. However, when betting on two games in a parlay card, the number of outcomes increases exponentially by a power of three – there are now eight possible outcomes. Of these eight potential outcomes, only one outcome will win the parlay bet. As a result, sportsbooks tend to advertise and entice casual bettors to placing parlays and teasers.