Betting on sports can require a lot of work if you want to make money. But there are some easy ways to get started and to pick games without spending too much time on handicapping. These strategies don’t always turn into long term profits, but they give you a chance to win close to half of the time.
Here’s a list of 11 simple sports betting strategies that you can use. None of them require too much time, and you can use them while you’re learning how to evaluate games. Try a couple of them out today to get started betting on sporting events.
1 – Take the Points
If you don’t know anything about betting on sports and want a quick way to make your first bet, here’s a simple bet that gives you a decent chance to win. You need to understand that this simple way to pick teams to bet on isn’t going to help you win in the long run. But it does give you a roughly 50% chance to win.
Look at all of the games on the schedule and look at the point spreads offered by the sportsbook. You’re going to see some teams have a negative number and some teams have a plus or positive number. The teams that have a plus or positive number are getting the number of points following the plus sign.
Pick one of the teams getting points and place a small bet on them. Don’t assume that getting more points is better. In football and basketball, look for a team that’s getting between three and eight points. It’s even better if they’re playing at home, but this isn’t a requirement.
2 – Moneyline Favorite Options
Another easy way to make abet without evaluating the games and teams that gives you a good chance to win is betting on a favorite with a moneyline wager. The favorite on the moneyline is the team with a negative or minus number.
The minus number is how much you have to bet to win $100. But you don’t have to bet that much. You can bet a fraction of the listed number.
If the number is – 220 you can bet $22 to win $10. If your team wins you get back your $22 plus the $10 win.
Pick a team that’s favored on the moneyline at – 250 or less. Just like taking the points in the first section, make a small wager. This strategy is also better if you pick a home team, but it’s not required. And this strategy isn’t going to be a long term winning strategy, but you should win more than half of your bets.
3 – Find the Middle
This is a simple strategy that I use all of the time. Look at the point spread numbers at several different sportsbooks for lines that don’t match. When you find two lines on the same game that have a gap between them, bet on both sides of the game. When the final score lands in the middle you win both bets.
Here’s how middle betting works:
You find a line on an NBA game with the home team favored by 2 ½ at one book and 3 ½ at another book. You bet on the home team and give 2 ½ at one book and bet on the road team and get 3 ½ at the other book.
You bet $11 to win $10 on both bets. If the home team wins by three you win both bets, getting back your $11 and a win of $10 on both sides. With any other final score you win one side and lose the other, for a total loss of $1.
When you bet on a middle, you only have to win both sides one out of 20 times to make a profit.
4 – Bet the Streak
If a team is on a winning streak, bet on them on the moneyline. When a team is on a losing streak, make a bet on their opponent on the moneyline. You’re betting on the current streak to continue when you bet this way.
Look for teams on a streak in every sport to make these bets. It’s best to find a moneyline that isn’t too high if you can, but hot teams have a better chance to win and cold teams have a strong chance to lose.
5 – Find Zero Cost Betting Opportunities
Your biggest cost making bets on sports is something called the vig. This is the difference between what you have to risk and what you can win. When you make a point spread bet you usually have to risk 10% more than you can win. In an earlier example you bet $11 to win $10.
The easiest way to make zero cost wagers is to bet with friends or family. Find someone you know willing to bet on the other side of games you want to bet on and make bets without vig.
6 – Paper Bet First
Instead of jumping right in and making real money wagers and risking your money, start making bets on paper to see how you do. Start with an imaginary bankroll of $1,000 and write down every bet you want to make.
Track your progress with your imaginary bankroll. Do this for as long as it takes to learn how to make a profit betting on paper. Then start making small real money wagers to see if you can continue winning.
7 – Make $1 Bets
Most land based sportsbooks have a minimum bet amount that’s much higher than $1. But many online sportsbooks allow bets as small as $1.
Sign up for a few online sportsbooks to get started. This way you have more than one place to get lines, and you can start making sports bets with a small bankroll. Make $1 wagers until you learn how to win consistently, and then start betting more.
8 – Use Doubling – But Be Careful
One method some gamblers use to make profits is to double their bets after they lose. They keep doing this until they win a game. If you do this the right way you make enough when you win a game to cover your losses from earlier games.
This strategy can work, but if you get unlucky and lose several games in a row you can run out of money. If you try this doubling method, try to stick with home teams when you choose your bets. They have a better chance to win in most cases.
9 – Bet on Unpopular Teams
Popular teams tend to get more bets on them from the public. This often pushes the line against the most popular teams.
The good thing about this is it often means when you bet on the team facing the popular teams you get a good line. This is a good strategy to use all of the time when you’re looking for an easy way to pick games to bet on.
Every sport has popular teams and less popular teams. Make a list of these teams in each sport to find betting opportunities.
10 – Find Different Lines
You should always check the lines at several sportsbooks before you place bets. Most of the time the lines are the same from one sportsbook to another, but sometimes you find lines that are different.
When you always find the best line for the team you want to bet on it helps you win a few more games every season or year. This helps you have a better chance to make a profit as a sports bettor.
11 – When All Else Fails Take the Home Underdog
The simplest way to make bets without evaluating games that give you a chance to win is to bet on the point spread and take home teams that are underdogs. This strategy is going to come close to breaking even over time.
Simply look at the point spread and find teams playing at home that get points and bet on them.
Now you know 11 different ways to pick games to bet on. None of these strategies is likely to make a long term profit, but they all give you a chance to come close to breaking even.
These strategies aren’t designed to be used forever. Use them while you’re learning how to properly evaluate sporting events so you can start making more on your bets than you lose. Once you learn how to win consistently, you can still use some of these strategies in combination with ones you develop on your own.