10 Wagers Every Sports Bettor Needs to Ignore

Odds Notes on a Notepad with Moneylines Under it and a Man Holding his Hand up in Front

Sports betting offers some of the most lucrative opportunities in the world of gambling. Savvy sports bettors have created vast empires of wealth in the hundreds of millions.

These elite millionaires of sports betting are indeed a rare breed. The average sports bettor is content laying a $100 bet on occasion.

Still, there’s a lot to be learned from the lessons provided by studying the tips and tricks of professional sports bettors. Let’s start with examining these 10 wagers every sports bettor needs to ignore.

1 – Your Home Team will Break Your Bank

It’s bad enough when your home team breaks your heart. You shouldn’t add to the disappointment and heartache by betting money on them.

The biggest problem gamblers have when betting on their favorite team is their utter inability to honestly evaluate the contests. We are sports fans first, and as such, we view our favorite teams more favorably than we would other teams.

That is why it’s imperative to only wager on contests without any bias or allegiances. Sports betting needs to be approached like a business.

This means only making bets where you see the value. Value betting is one of the most basic fundamentals of sports betting.

The most sure-fire way to sink a bankroll is by betting with your heart rather than your head.

2 – The Downward Spiral

I regularly see sports bettors betting on the team on a losing streak. The prevailing logic here is that a team on a losing streak will eventually have to break the streak with a win.

The most blatant issue with this strategy is that it’s impossible to predict when the streak may end. Some poor teams will start a season 0-7, then out of nowhere catch a better opponent sleeping and squeak out a win.

If you’re dead set on chasing a losing team to a win, you may very well drain your entire bankroll before success comes.


I know what you’re thinking, don’t bet on the bad teams. If you can find a contender on the tail end of back-to-back losses, you’re betting on a sure thing.

Again, this is a slippery slope. You could watch the team make it 0-3 and part ways with your cash.

3 – Buying Points Equals Burning Money

If you’re paying a tout service for your picks, you should stop immediately. These services won’t make anyone a millionaire except for the people running the company.

Even if you’re winning, you’re cutting into your profits. Buying points is equally as disappointing.

Anytime you start spending money to place your bets or increase your odds, you’re being lazy and going against the basics of sports betting.

Instead, you should focus solely on the games where you can find the best value. If you’re unable to accurately handicap games without padding your cushion, you need to focus on improving your evaluations.

Handicapping games is one of the most essential traits of a successful sports bettor. In order to ever make a sustainable profit in the discipline, you’ll need to learn to effectively evaluate match-ups and find the best values.

Otherwise, your lack of ability will eventually catch up, and you’ll bankrupt your gambling bankroll.

4 – The Over Involving Electric Offenses

Sports bettors often fall into the trap set by the sportsbooks in games involving teams with powerhouse offenses. The sportsbooks are savvy and understand that the betting public will be inclined to believe a significant offense promotes scoring on both sides of the ball.

Unfortunately, that’s not often the case. In fact, when a potent offense hits the field or court, it’s likely that their opponent has spent all of their efforts focusing on how to slow them down.

Regardless of whether the specific bet pays off or not, you may be disappointed to learn that the over will lose more often than not.

Avoid the overs when the sportsbook inflates the overdue to a powerful offensive expectation. They rarely can live up to the tremendous hype.

5 – Underdogs Playing on the Road

Betting the underdog is an excellent strategy most of the time. This strategy allows you to spot the best values while simultaneously fading the public.

However, not all underdogs are a good play. Road underdogs are a particularly poor bet. The home team enjoys a slight advantage.

NFL Bills and Colts at Line of Scrimmage

When you give that advantage away to a stronger opponent, you’re only widening the gap between the two teams.

Once you begin to see the opportunities to bet the underdog in tight games, you’ll start seeing ways to make a profit on these bets. Until then, it will likely be in your best interest to avoid them altogether.

6 – Parlays Rarely Payoff

Parlays are attractive because of the potential for huge paydays. Novice sports bettors are sucked in by their greed and hope they win a massive wager.

However, parlays payout at such incredible rates because the house is confident they’ve landed a sucker. I’ve known sports bettors that have based their entire sports betting careers on parlays.

These are usually short-lived careers that end with the gambler swearing off sports betting entirely. Chalking the entire activity up to being an industry that’s in the business of cheating the public.

Crowd at Sportsbook, Money Falling Down

In reality, sports betting is a marathon, not a sprint. Billy Walters didn’t make his first million overnight.

Success requires hard work, determination, and some serious smarts. You’ll be much more successful long-term by betting on each game individually.

That strategy will increase your ability to make a profit while simultaneously minimizing your exposure.

7 – Contests You Haven’t Properly Vetted

Anytime you haven’t extensively researched a contest and determined the best value, you should stay away.

I am constantly amazed at the responses I get when I ask a fellow gambler why they placed a wager that ultimately cost them.

I hear everything from comments about the teams being a guaranteed lock to a tip from a buddy who knows a trainer. You get the picture of the ridiculous answers I receive.

The bottom line is that if you’re not adequately vetting the games, you’re wagering on, you’re essentially burning money.

At the best possible outcome, you’re faced with a coin flip, and oftentimes, the odds are much worse. If you’re serious about becoming a profitable sports bettor, you need to research every contest to its fullest.

Only once you’ve begun practicing this discipline on a consistent basis are you ready to call yourself a legitimate sports bettor.

8 – The Under When a Defensive Powerhouse is Playing

Similar to avoiding the over when there’s an electric offense in the mix, you should proceed with caution when a shutdown defense is involved and taking the under.

The sportsbooks know that most of the action is going to be on the under. So, the total will be set accordingly.

People Sitting at Casino Sportsbook, Three Dollar Bills Spread Out

Many sports bettors land themselves in hot water by relying on the seemingly sure thing of the under in defensive match-ups. Again, if you’re looking for the best value, you’ll ignore betting the under in defensive contests.

There are dozens to hundreds of contests per week, and there is always better value hiding around the next corner.

9 – Road Teams Giving Away Anything

One of my general sports betting rules is to always avoid the road teams when they are giving runs or goals on the line. In MLB and the NHL, you can find the run line or the puck line; some of these bets will provide a solid value, but only if you pay attention and don’t let the road team give up anything.

I typically won’t bet NBA games where the road team is giving points, either.

Much of this comes down to the most simple of factors, the home team is always going to get the slight advantage playing at home.

So, you shouldn’t further increase their advantage on the line by giving anything else up. The sportsbooks know exactly how to manipulate things in their favor.

10 – Overwhelming Favorites

The sportsbooks aren’t concerned with who wins or loses a contest. Their primary focus is to get even action on both sides.

That enables them to ensure they make a profit. Sportsbooks don’t make money by tricking the public into making losing bets.

They make money by getting the public to bet evenly on both sides and taking a piece of every losing bet. So, it’s a solid piece of advice to avoid the overwhelming favorite.

Sports Book TV Screens

The sportsbook may lay a ridiculous amount of points trying to get the public to take the underdog. This isn’t because they think the underdog can’t win with the points.

They are merely trying to hedge their bets by getting the public to bet heavily in the other direction.

You never know what can happen in sports, and you don’t want to get in the habit of betting the tremendous favorites.


Sports betting can be a wonderful hobby, and many successful gamblers have made it into a career. Skip these 10 wagers every sports bettor needs to ignore, and you’ll quickly realize that your bankroll is lasting longer than ever before.