Most sports gamblers are familiar with basic betting strategies. They’re aware of the boom or bust potential of a parlay, the risks and rewards of playing the moneyline, and understand never to chase a loss with a bigger bet. Who would do that? Ironically, that’s a common mistake rookie sports bettors make.
While these approaches to gambling hold up over time, there are a few lesser-known moves that bettors can make to increase winnings over time if executed properly. I’ll explain five betting moves you can try out next time you need a win.
1 – Tease It
The teaser bet is a bit like the cousin of the parlay. The only difference is that you get some choice in picking the lines and the payouts. Similar to a parlay bet, you need multiple games to execute a teaser.
That sounds like it should make winning easy, but as always, there’s a catch.
As you give yourself a better chance to win (give away less points if betting a favorite, get more points if betting the underdog), your overall payout decreases accordingly. Just like a parlay, you must pick each game correctly in order to win.
Experts have conflicting opinions on the success rate of teaser bets, or whether the cushion is worth sacrificing a higher payout, but it’s a good trick to have in the bag when you’re looking to mix things up.
2 – Use a Prop Bet
I tend to think of betting on games as a marathon. You place your wager, and wait three hours to see if you’ll come away with a win. Prop bets are the remedy for those who prefer a less patient approach.
Proposition bets are made on in-game occurrences, and although they’re considered a novelty by some, they pay just as well as a bet made throughout an entire game. There are innumerable amounts of prop bets offered on various sports betting sites and offerings can vary from one book to the next.
Some examples of prop bets might be the number of points scored by LeBron James in the first quarter of a game or the total number of touchdowns that will be scored in the second half of an NFL game. Some of the bigger sporting events like the Super Bowl offer a line for the coin toss, length of the national anthem, and even what the announcers will say during the broadcast.
3 – Handicapped Sports Betting
You’ve heard of handicaps in golf, but the concept is also useful in the world of sports betting. This type of bet is known more commonly as the “spread” in sports where large point differentials can be expected.
Handicap bets become an asset to gamblers when applied to sports such as baseball or soccer where the most common type of bet is simply on the moneyline, i.e. who will win outright.
An example of a handicap at use can be seen in what is referred to as the “run line” in baseball. In baseball, the handicap is consistently set at 1.5, but can be increased or decreased in what is known as an “alternative handicap.”
The handicap can be manipulated to give yourself better odds at winning (resulting in a lower payout) or bettors can risk it by lowering the odds of winning but also giving themselves a shot at a high payout. Each sport has their own specific guidelines with handicapping, so be sure to do your research before risking your hard-earned money!
4 – Predict the Future
A futures bet is an intriguing play for bettors who feel like trying their hand at predicting the outcome of a series or season. Typically, futures bets offer high payouts for lower bets, but obviously they’re far more difficult to predict.
Most futures bets are made before the season. However, many sportsbooks will accept this type of bet, albeit with less favorable payouts, as the season progresses. Examples of futures bets include choosing the winner of the AFC East before the season begins, picking the winner of the NBA playoffs right after the regular season concludes, or even simply picking the winner of the Stanley Cup before the start of Game 1.
Another common futures bet is choosing the winner of a golf or tennis tournament prior to the event’s start. Don’t confuse futures bets with simply betting on a game in the future. For example, betting on a week 10 matchup between the Rams and Steelers doesn’t give you any better odds, as the game itself is already a guarantee.
As you would probably assume, futures bets are difficult to win. Although the payoffs for predicting, for example, the Super Champion before the season begins are pretty significant.
5 – What If?
An “if” bet is a lesser-known type of wager that can allow for some forgiveness. At first, it may feel like a parlay as you choose multiple games. However, unlike a traditional parlay, you can still take home money even if you don’t pick correctly in each game.
Whether or not you win, and how much you win, is based on the order of the games.
Let’s try out an example. When betting on three games you choose an order of Team A, Team C, and Team B to win. If Team A wins, you’ll receive your winnings, and the initial bet you made will now be rolled to Team C. If Team C loses, you’ll still keep your winnings from the first game, but the bet is over.
If Team C wins, congrats! You get your winnings from the first two games, and the same amount is now placed on Team B. If Team B wins, you take it all. If Team B loses, you’ll still keep your winnings from the first to games. It takes a little brainwork to figure it out, but this type of bet can provide some insurance if you’re in the mood for a parlay.
Much like switching from one card game to another, it’s important to keep in mind that no betting strategy guarantees better odds. These different strategies are simply options to keep in mind when it feels like your old strategies are getting stale or when you’re just looking for a new way to wager.
Next time you find yourself on a losing streak, don’t keep throwing up more money in the same way hoping to recoup your losses. Try out these methods and see if you can find one that works for you!