So you want to work from home but you want to break out of the ordinary.
Well, if you eat, sleep, and breath sports, are data-driven, and think spreadsheets are fun, then you might be able to make a living at betting on sports.
If you live outside of Vegas or where there are multiple brick and mortar books to choose from, you’ll need multiple accounts at the best betting sites so you can make sure you’re always getting the best lines … which brings us right into line shopping.
Each popular sportsbook will receive varying action on different events, meaning the lines will adjust according to the action received differently. For example, Book A, received a few very large bets on Team A (the favorite) to cover a -6.5 point spread. So Book A had to move their line on Team A to -7.5 to try to get some more action going the other direction. Book B took roughly an even amount of money on both Team A and Team B, so their line stayed at the opening line of -6.5.
If you like Team B, you have more of an advantage when placing your wager with Sportsbook A because your team only has to lose by 7 points or less. At Sportsbook B, they have to lose by 6 or less. If you like Team A, you should go with Sportsbook B because your team only has to win by 7, while at Book B, to cover -7.5, they’d have to win by 8.
Being an effective and profitable sports bettor is all about finding whatever advantage you can. And line shopping is one of the most overlooked advantages by casual bettors. We recommend at least five sportsbooks so that you maximize your chance at getting the most profitable line.
Prep the Spreadsheets
Let’s circle back a bit. We got into line shopping because it made sense to cover that directly after talking about physical location. But let’s get to the heart of what makes a successful sports bettor, which is really just two things: discipline and picking your spots.
Lack of discipline is what separates the average bettor from successful pros. Remember, you are trying to make a living at this, so it isn’t about winning or losing a single game. It’s about trying to be profitable over an entire season. This is where tracking your personal betting data is going to come into play. You’ll need to come up with the number of bets per day, per week, or month that you are going make. You also need to set a unit per bet amount so that you can track units. This will make it easier to see profit and loss. Set these parameters and by all means, stick to them for the entire season. Also, be sure to separate these for different sports. If you are going to bet college football and NFL, and Baseball, set numbers for each and track them separately. For that matter, track different betting markets such as spreads, totals, and money line plays separately as well.
Winning streaks are discipline killers. We see that we are on a roll, so we get greedy and place more bets than our target amount or drastically increase our unit size. Ninety-nine percent of the time the second you do this, you’ll lose. And all of that profit is gone, and you’re back at square one. This is because you broke the formula that was working for you, so stick to the plan.
Picking Your Spots
As we mentioned earlier, finding any advantage you can is critical for success. Continually review your data to see where you are strong and where you’re weaknesses lie and make adjustments.
Don’t just pick games at random to bet on, or just because you are a fan. Start by carefully going over all of the betting lines available for all of the games coming up for a particular sport, and choose a select few that seem to have weakness in betting odds. Then, investigate further to narrow it down to the plays you’ll actually make. In other words, pick your spots carefully.
You’re not going to make a living with one big win. The name of the game is consistency. You need to win around 53% of the time to maintain profitability at standard vig of -110. If you bet $100 (-110) and win, you’ll return $190.91, meaning you see a $90.91. But when you lose, you lose the full $100. So let’s look at it this way. If you win 53% of the time over the course of 200 bets (106 wins), you are going win $9,636.46, but with the 94 losses, lose $9400.00. You’re profitable, but only earned 236 dollars and some change. If you win 55% which is perfectly feasible if you are disciplined, your losses drop to $9000.00 and your wins go to $10,000.10. Now you have netted $1,000.00.
You’ll need some capital to be able to place enough bets or have a high enough unit amount to live off the profits fully, but it can be done, especially as supplemental income.