While it’s true that chance plays a big part in sports betting, it takes a lot of ability and planning to come out on top in the long run. To help you make money betting on sports consistently, we’ve put together this guide that lays out the finest tactics for doing so.

Many individuals get a kick out of betting on their favorite team or player, or taking risks on bets with high odds in the hopes of striking it rich. Those kinds of bets might be fun if you’re simply wanting to pass the time, but they almost never end up paying off.

Even though we haven’t met, we’re going to presume you’re a competitive person who values success the same way we do.

In this piece, I will outline the most widely-used and effective sports betting tactics and systems and teach you how to put them to use for yourself.

Here, you’ll find our finest advice on how to bet on the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball, as well as an explanation of such terms as hedging, betting the middle, betting against the public, and the zig zag theory.

Think of this as a high-level guide to the most effective sports betting strategies. Our in-depth instructions to every betting technique will help you continue your research at a deeper level.

Strategies for Quick Wins in Sports Betting

In this short and easy guide, we’ve compiled the best advice our experts have to offer. Don’t forget to use these tips if you’re eager to get started betting right away:

  • Get familiar with the fundamentals of odds, since they will serve you well whether you wager online or in person. Take a look at our quick primer on betting odds if you need to brush up on the subject.
  • Set aside money specifically for gambling. We can’t overstate the importance of keeping your betting money distinct from the rest of your money.
  • Spread your bets around to mitigate the effects of poor luck and minimize the overall amount you have to wager.
  • Stay away from parlays and long shots until you have a larger bankroll, at which point they may be worthwhile.
  • Bet for the underdog if you’re looking for an advantage, since this often occurs when a popular team is overhyped. Bet on the underdog to increase your return on investment.

Critical Primary Ideas

When you’re just starting out, it’s important to master the fundamentals. You may go on to more advanced wagers after you’ve mastered the basics.

Here are some straightforward, short, and fundamental sports betting methods to imprint in your memory.

Stick to Your Team

You shouldn’t underestimate the strength of this seemingly basic principle. Expertise in one area is worth much more than a general understanding of numerous fields. Knowing more about a club can help you determine whether the current betting odds represent good value.

You’ll be the first to hear about any breaking news affecting your team, giving you an advantage if you can notice it before the oddsmakers adjust their lines. This holds truer in lower-profile leagues than in the major ones.

If betting on just one team is too limiting, narrow your focus to one competitive arena.

Performance Against the Spread in Academic Studies

The term “against the spread” (ATS) refers to an often-appearing statistic.

Knowing how a team does against the point spread established by casinos and sportsbooks is just as significant as knowing how they perform in the win/loss column. When betting on a game, the point spread may be seen as an additional battle between the two teams.

Teams naturally want to rack up as many clean victories as possible, but it’s crucial to know how they fared according to the oddsmakers’ predictions as well as their opponents when betting on a game. The difference between a team’s actual score and the total number of points scored is known as their ATS mark.

You should consider betting on a team if they are covering the spread more often than not.

Be Wise With Your Money

You may see returns from this idea in any endeavor that requires you to make financial choices. The quantity and frequency of your wagers are just as important as the teams you choose to back.

Successful bankroll management is all about minimizing the impact of the occasional losing streaks that are part and parcel to any kind of gambling. First, you should set aside a certain amount of money to use only for gambling purposes (your “betting bankroll”).

The general rule of thumb is that for sports bettors with a bankroll of more than $200, the optimal size of any given wager is 2% of that bankroll. You should not wager more than $5 on a roll of less than $200. Making more bets with a smaller portion of your bankroll on each is the optimal strategy.

The figures may seem low, but if you want to build your bankroll gradually without losing everything, this is the method to accomplish it.

You should start listening to the Wise Kracks podcast immediately. Good bankroll management is something that Bill Krackomberger strongly believes in. For his monthly advice on sports betting, subscribe now.

Examine Multiple Bookmakers to Find the Best Odds and Lines

It’s clear that you should do this, yet many individuals don’t bother since it requires effort on their part. To use a non-gambling analogy, if one grocery store charges more than another for the same loaf of bread, you’d be silly to go anywhere else. One caveat is that you’ll need to do some comparison shopping to discover the best prices.

All the more so for wagers on sporting events. Better odds and payouts might be found in your wagers if you take the time to compare different lines.

In addition, taking advantage of the various sign-up bonuses and first deposit discounts available at various sportsbooks is made possible by your need to open several accounts at those establishments. In addition, learn about the top applications for mobile sports betting.

Continue Your Win-Streak

Results in sports, both for teams and individuals, may be very erratic. In certain games, players are hot from the get-go, unable to miss the net, while in others, they are ice cold. Betting on hot or cold streaks may be profitable, especially if you can see them before the oddsmakers do.

Make sure the odds are fair and that you’re giving each aspect the consideration it deserves. For example, if a club has recently won at home against lower-quality opponents, it may not be the best moment to hop on the bandwagon if they have a tough away game coming up against a strong opponent.

The schedule and other things that might assist sustain a streak should be noted and tracked. It’s also important to look at their performance against the spread in previous games if you’re considering betting on them instead of the moneyline.

Successful Betting Methods in Sports

Let’s have a look at some concrete instances of wagering tactics that have been proved to work when correctly used now that we’ve covered some of the fundamental building blocks of what is necessary for a solid sports betting strategy.

Paring Down Risks

Bettors in the world of sports might take advantage of situations when they are given the chance to wager against their initial wager. Although it may seem counterintuitive, betting against your initial wager may ensure a profit if executed properly.

If you have a huge parlay and have won many of your bets but still have one or more wagers remaining to play, or if the odds on your futures bet move considerably in your favor as the season proceeds, you may want to consider hedging your bet.
In either case, you may make a risk-free profit by betting against your first wager.
With hedging, you may forego a higher possible return in exchange for lower volatility and a guaranteed reward. Adjust the level of risk and potential profit by increasing or decreasing the size of your hedge bet.
In order to better understand hedge betting, let’s examine a well-known case from the 2011 Major League Baseball season.

A Cardinals fan from St. Louis wagered $250 at a Las Vegas bookmaker on his team’s World Series victory. The Cardinals had 15 games left to play and were five games out of a postseason berth at the time. To even get into the playoffs would be a huge accomplishment.

In the World Series, he wagered $250 on the Cardinals

The payout for this wager was 1,000 to 1, or $250,000 at the very least.
Fortunately, his predictions came true, as the Cardinals not only advanced to the postseason, but also won the NLCS and advanced to face the Texas Rangers in the World Series.

Now, the gambler was staring at the prospect of a huge payout. However, suppose the Cardinals ended up losing the World Series. Nothing at all, in fact. An ideal time to hedge has presented itself. He may guarantee a profit if he places a bet in the opposite direction of the initial one. Let’s check out how it works.

For the sake of argument, let’s say a wager on the Texas Rangers winning the World Series returned a rate of 1:1. With a $125,000 wager on the Rangers, the gambler would gain $125,000 regardless of the outcome of the game.

With his $125,000 wager on the Rangers now gone, if the Cardinals win the World Series, his first ticket would be worth $250,000.
He has $125,000 riding on the Rangers winning, and if the Cardinals do lose, he will collect.
The same logic applies to hedging after a successful multi-bet parlay. If one bet in a parlay fails, the whole parlay is a loss. If there is just one game left in the parlay, it may be wise to hedge your bet by placing a wager opposite to the initial parlay bet in order to guarantee a profit.

Gambling on the Odds

Middling refers to the process by which a bettor places a wager on a point spread at an early stage in the game, only to have the line shift later on. When line shopping, you may come across mediocre options, such as a widely varying point spread for the same game.

By taking advantage of the shift in the line, you may occasionally win both of your bets if you make them in opposition to one another. Don’t worry if you find that statement puzzling. To further illustrate this point, please continue reading the following example.

In this scenario, you wager the -7 point spread on the road side in a weekday NFL game.

The point spread changes to -10 after you’ve placed your wager. Several variables, such as public betting that favors the underdog, player injuries, or other outside influences, might lead to this.
In this case, you may wager the middle of the road by taking the underdog at +10.
You’ll win both bets if the favorite wins by precisely 8 or 9 points. You are aiming for a result that is about in the center of the two possible outcomes.


Moreover, you are protected because if the ultimate winning margin is not in the “middle” of your bets, then one bet will win and the other will lose, thus canceling each other out.
The drawback is that the sportsbook’s commission (vig) will result in a minor loss in this case.
For more information on the middle bet, see our comprehensive guide.

Taking a Risk Against the Crowd

Fading the public refers to the practice of betting against the consensus among bettors. This is also often referred to as “betting against the public underdog” since most people wager on the favorite.

  • To understand this, keep in mind that oddsmakers do not establish lines and odds based only on their predictions for the result of games. To prevent a catastrophic loss, sportsbooks like to see nearly equal movement on both sides of a bet.
  • The public usually wagers on the favorite, or the squad that has received the greatest media attention. Since most bettors will back the odds-on favorite, the sportsbook will adjust the spread to encourage wagering on the underdog.
  • In situations when the public is pushing a line, savvy bettors have an advantage since the line is shifting in response to the money pouring in rather than the expected final score of the game. Thus, you may wager against the spread or moneyline and profit from the odds being shifted in your favor.


If you want to fade the audience out of view, you have to watch the lines very carefully. Changes in the betting line in favor of the underdog indicate that the public is increasingly leaning toward betting on the favorite. You may find free web tools that detail the volume of activity on various wagers.

Method of Zigzags

Betting on series involving the NHL and NBA is best done using the zig zag betting idea. This is due to the fact that the postseason home-and-away game distribution in those leagues follows a 2-2-1-1-1 pattern.

The higher seed hosts the first two games and, if required, the fifth and seventh as well.

Two primary ideas are at the heart of the zig zag approach. To begin, there is a significant benefit for home teams. Second, there is a statistical advantage for the team coming off a defeat since they tend to perform better. In order for the zig zag strategy to be successful, both the home team and the team coming off a defeat must be in a favorable position.

I think the greatest time to employ the zig zag principle is when:

  • In the NBA, no team has ever come back from a 0-3 hole, therefore the reasoning goes, the drive to win game 3 at home will be enough to push them to victory if the road team loses the first two games.
  • When the home team in the NBA playoffs loses game 1, they have a 75 percent chance of winning game two.
  • In the NHL, the lower seed comes back to win game 2 on the road one third of the time, even if the home team wins game 1. At times like these, when most people are wagering that the home side will repeat its success from game 1, the away team may be a wonderful value. You’re looking at a good betting opportunity if the value is more than 33%.
  • Crucial as well is the opportunity to capitalize on the desperation of a club that is down to its last game in an elimination situation. Even if the leading team’s victories have been decided by slim margins, the public may still place too much significance on their position in the series standings, rather than on a more accurate assessment of how the games really went.

Avoid these futile methods of sports betting.

It’s true that several betting systems claim to have discovered a certain way to make money. In all seriousness, if they did what they claimed, nobody would need to work and gambling establishments and sports bookies would go out of business. Let’s take a look at some time-honored betting strategies that fall short of their hype.

After a loss, a bettor using the Martingale technique just doubles his or her wager in an attempt to recover his or her initial investment and make a modest profit. The apparent issue here is that if you hit a losing run, you’ll need a lot of money to come back to even.
Furthermore, not many sportsbooks would accept the amount of bets needed to beat such a betting strategy. Because sportsbooks often take a 5% to 10% fee on all wagers, even-money bets are very impossible to get using this method.

The d’Alambert System, often known as the Negative Progression System – Like the Martingale technique, this one has you increasing your wagers by the same amount after each loss and reverting to the starting stake after a victory.
Instead of doubling your wager after a loss, as in the classic Martingale, you increase it by only one unit.

Unlike the Martingale strategy, which just requires you to win your final bet, this one requires your winning percentage to exceed your losing % throughout the course of your whole betting session.

Labouchere’s system (also known as the Cancellation System) The name “split Martingale” describes another name for this method. In the first place, you need to establish a betting unit. A typical Labouchere sequence might look something like 1-1-2-2-1-1, so jot it down. Take the first and last numbers in the sequence and use them as your wager. Here, you would place a wager equal to two units (1+1).
In the event of a loss, the total amount of units wagered is added to the total. If you win, you get to erase the beginning and end of the sequence. If you want to cross out every number in the series, keep going.

Despite their claims to the contrary, none of these methods can ensure success every time. The greatest hurdles are that most sportsbooks don’t provide genuine even-money bets, you probably don’t have an endless bankroll, and even if you had, the sportsbook probably has maximum bet amounts that would prevent you from doubling indefinitely.

The finest sports betting techniques, as we show in other sections of this book, are based on thorough study and analysis, rather than “guaranteed winning” approaches.

Finding Patterns in Sports Through Analysis of Data
Professional oddsmakers and astute gamblers alike rely heavily on data and trend analysis programs. Several websites now provide similar capabilities for free or for a little cost. When properly used, these tools may completely transform your output, but only after some initial investment in learning how to use them.

To identify advantages that the sportsbooks and other bettors have missed, it is important to understand how the most popular trends are computed and applied.

What you uncover might surprise you. If an NHL team is an underdog and they start their backup goalkeeper in the first game of a back-to-back set, that team may have a far better chance of covering the puckline than a favorite coming off a lengthy homestand. Although it seems to be random, true patterns may be discovered using data analysis tools, which can then be used to influence your bets.

Methods and Tactics for Advanced Sports Betting

okbet own the win


Let’s go further into more complex betting strategies for certain sports now that we’ve covered some of the fundamentals for sports betting strategy and looked at some of the dos and don’ts.

Betting Tactics for the NFL
The oddsmakers’ success in the long run is quite remarkable when seen through the lens of betting records.

In fact, underdogs have covered the spread more often than favorites over the previous 13 seasons, at a rate of 50.3%. In sports, this statistic is known as “against the spread” (ATS). The results are evaluated not just against the other team, but also against the point spread. Learn how to beat the bookmakers with our top NFL selections against the spread.

What a mind-boggling number. It gives the impression that betting the point spread is like gambling with a coin. When the data is combined with point totals, however, underdogs cover at a rate of 53% when the total is 34 points or fewer. Increasing your profits by only 3 percent may have a significant impact on your bottom line, so keep an eye out for promising chances.

The Pythagorean wins technique is one of the most sophisticated methods used by NFL punters at the beginning of each new season. Rather of finding the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle, this approach uses the previous season’s results.

It’s ingenious since it takes into account more than simply the victory tally. It compares how many points a team has scored against how many points the other team has scored against them. Incredibly, from 1988 through 2004, the Super Bowl was won 11 times by the team with the best Pythagorean wins stat, not merely the most overall victories.

Statistics for every team are available online before the start of the season, saving you the trouble of calculating them yourself. Free internet calculators are now available for all your mathematical needs.

This is one kind of sophisticated wagering method utilized on NFL games. Read our in-depth breakdown of NFL betting for additional information, and be sure to check out our roundup of the top NFL betting bonuses for even more free money. Check whether NFL betting is allowed in your state if you are unsure of where you may place such wagers.

NBA Gambling Tactics
One of our favorite cutting-edge basketball betting strategies is the opposite of what most people do: betting against the spread.

This is a good strategy for point spreads and for betting on teams who tend to score a lot of points at home. A typical gambler will recall a team’s home performance, tempo of play, and point differential, and will wager accordingly the next time that club plays at home.

There’s bad news for them, though: oddsmakers are raising the line since they know most bettors will choose the favorite. Therefore, the underdog or the under on totals is a good bet in these situations since the odds are in the underdog’s favor.

This is particularly effective when both sides are exhausted after a full schedule or towards the conclusion of a back-to-back.

Read our comprehensive guide on how to bet on the NBA for additional in-depth information on the subject. Use our resource to find out whether NBA betting is sanctioned in your state.

Methods for Baseball Gambling
Baseball is a stat-obsessed sport, so savvy gamblers may find a wealth of information to analyze.

Note how the underdog’s payout relates to the over/under line. The underdog is statistically more valuable and has a better chance of pulling off the upset when the total is large (8.5 or more) and there is a greater probability of points being scored in the game. However, this is often reserved for underdogs with a fighting chance of pulling off a slight upset, those with odds of +150 or below.

After an underdog’s loss, when the public is influenced by a single game and the odds have risen, this strategy may still be profitable.

We have a comprehensive tutorial on how to bet on Major League Baseball if you want to learn more about baseball betting. See whether MLB betting is authorized in your own state.

Check out our daily features for the finest free MLB picks:

Today’s best MLB wagers
Top daily MLB prop bets
Today’s best non-revenue-generating-institution wagers

Gambling Tactics for the NHL
Hockey is ideal for more complex betting techniques for several reasons. There are a ton of games available, and you may choose from a wide variety of teams. Many advantages may be gained by players who are prepared to put in the effort.

The general hockey betting public, for instance, places too much emphasis on home ice advantage. This means that, despite the fact that home teams have won roughly 55% of games since 2005, betting on the away side has resulted in a higher return on investment (ROI) due to the odds.

When the public bets heavily on the home team, driving up the moneyline odds, the away team’s value increases. Bettors who are ready to back the underdog on the road might benefit greatly from this. When looking for a road underdog, the best ones to find historically have been those paying +185 or less since they have the best chance of winning on the road and the best ROI.

Read our comprehensive guide on how to bet on the NHL for additional hockey betting advice and ideas.

The Kelly criterion…what is it?
When the odds are in your favor, you may use a technique called the Kelly Criterion to determine how much money to wager. We understand that you may have used a free online calculator to get your Kelly Criterion value, since the mathematics behind it may be quite confusing.

(BP – Q)/B
Probability of success (P) = B (odds in decimal form minus one)
Failed attempts have a probability, denoted by Q =. (1 – p)
It’s obvious that pinpointing the exact likelihood of a win or loss in sports betting is challenging. Yet, with study and sound reasoning, we may hazard some educated assumptions, and then use the Kelly Criterion to determine how much of our capital to risk.

Assume you believe Rafael Nadal has a 65 percent probability of defeating Roger Federer on clay, and the 1.70 decimal odds offered by your bookmaker.

Use the calculation to calculate the proportion of your bankroll you should bet.

The first formula was (BP-Q)/B.
(0.7 * 0.65 – 0.35) / 0.7 = 0.15 is our example.
Because of this method, a 15% wager on Rafael Nadal is suggested.

Which Is the Most Effective Tactic? Get Organized and Stay on Track
Sports bettors may find a wealth of resources online detailing a variety of methods for placing wagers. Some are of very high quality, while others may cause you to stray far from your objective. Simply said, you’ll be better equipped to win bets when you increase your knowledge of the sport, the teams, the players, and the many wagering options available.

In the end, the most valuable asset is the knowledge you acquire along the road. A mastery in one area is preferable than a mediocrity in several, as we discussed previously. When you zero down on a certain sport and club or individual, you may tailor your approach to maximize success. Spreading oneself too thin across many sports or even multiple teams in the same league is not a good idea.

Check out our in-depth guide to the finest sites for betting, along with the greatest bonuses and promotions to get you started, if you’re lucky enough to live in one of the states in the United States where gambling is allowed.

Don’t fret if sports betting is still illegal in your own state. There’s a good chance it’ll happen shortly. In the interim, you may prepare for the arrival of legal betting possibilities by immersing yourself in the lore of your favorite sports and teams.

When selecting on a sportsbook to register an account with, risk-free betting offers should be a major factor. Guaranteed bets might increase your betting potential with a first wager by as much as 100%. Check out our risk-free betting offer guide to see why it pays to educate yourself on this topic.

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