Do you know a good sport bet when you see one? The truth is that even the best sports bettors in the world don’t know a good bet from a bad one until they evaluate the teams and players involved in the game.
Good sports bettors know what to look for and what to avoid, but they still have to evaluate all of the games before making a bet. And you need to learn how to do the same thing.
To help you get started, here are eight sports bets that you need to avoid.
1 – Always Betting on Favorites
When sportsbooks set the lines, in most games one team is a favorite and the other is the underdog. Favorites are favored to win for a reason. They’re usually better than the team that’s the underdog.
But on most bets, like point spreads, the underdog get points and the favorite gives points. The problem with this is that the favorite only has a single way to win the bet for you. The favorite has to win the game, and they have to win by more points than they give on the line.
On the other side, the underdog wins the bet for you if they win the game, or if they lose the game by fewer points than they receive on the line.
Once again, favorites are favored for a reason, so you have to be careful. But you should always look at the underdogs to see which ones have the best chance to win the bet for you. When you always bet on the favorites, you only have one way to win your bets.
2 – Betting on Your Favorite Teams
Betting on your favorite teams isn’t the same as betting on favorites like I covered in the last section. When you bet on your favorite team or teams, it’s exactly like it sounds. Instead of evaluating the games, you simply bet on your favorite team no matter what.
The problem with betting this way is that in the long run you’re going to be lucky to win half of your bets. And when you’re paying vig, you still lose more than you win when you lose half your wagers. You can learn more about how vig hurts you when you bet on sports on the final section on this page.
Instead of always betting on your favorite team or teams, stop betting on any game when your favorite team is playing in it. You can always find other games on the schedule, and your judgment won’t be clouded because of the teams you root for.
3 – Betting on Too Many Road Teams
Road teams in every sport face challenges that home teams don’t. This is one reason why more road teams are listed as underdogs than favorites most weeks.
I know I recommended that you don’t bet on too many favorites in an earlier section, but you also need to be careful about betting on too many road teams. I didn’t say that being a winning sports bettor was going to be easy.
One thing that I never do is bet on a road favorite. Most of the bets I make are on home teams, and I tend to bet on underdogs more than favorites. But road favorites have to overcome too many obstacles to make them good value in most cases.
4 – Betting Without Evaluating Games Properly
I mentioned this in the last section briefly, but the fact is that you should never bet on any game without doing a deep evaluation of both teams, including where the game is played, travel distances, weather of it’s being played outdoors, rest for each team and player, and everything else you can find that might influence the game.
Most sports bettors make the mistake of not evaluating games at all. And the ones that do usually just spend five or 10 minutes looking at a few things and end up hoping to win or to get lucky. This is why most sports bettors are losing money.
If you’re not spending at least 30 minutes on a game evaluating everything that might influence it, you’re not doing a proper job. Not only do you need to put in the time and work, but you also need to learn what evaluation techniques work and which ones don’t. Start learning more about evaluating teams and games today to improve your chances of winning.
5 – Betting on Teams Traveling Long Distances
I already covered the reason why it can be dangerous to bet on road teams in an earlier section. But you also need to understand that the distance teams have to travel directly influences their performance in games as well.
Pay special attention to teams traveling from one coast to the other. This is true for all of the major sports, including NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, college basketball, and college football.
The sportsbooks know this is true as well, so they often adjust their lines to take it into account. But you need to be very careful of betting on a road team that has traveled across the country, no matter how good the line looks. In my experience, these teams are simply bad bets.
6 – Expecting Too Much from Rookies
Every sport has new players enter the league each season, and many of them get a great deal of coverage in the press. All of this coverage can make these rookies appear to be better than they are, and if you’re not careful you’re going to fall into a trap.
No matter what you read or see about young players in any sport, be careful not to give them too much credit. May times, the value is on the team facing a team with a rookie in an important position. Look for value on the teams facing a team with a rookie quarterback or pitcher starting.
7 – Putting Too Much Value on Coaching
Coaching is important in every sport, but you also need to remember the old saying about coaches not playing the game. The players have to play and perform, and the coaches only have a limited influence in games.
The coaches need to be able to prepare their teams and players to perform at their best, and coaches do have in game responsibilities. But the best coach still isn’t going to have much success when he or she is working with a bad team.
All of this means that you do need to evaluate the coaches in every game. This includes the assistant coaches. But you also need to make sure that you’re not giving the coaches too much credit in your evaluations. Find the proper medium for each sport. Coaches have different influence levels in each sport, and there’s a big difference between college sports and professional sports when it comes to the influence of coaching.
8 – Paying Too Much Vig
How do you bet when you bet on sports? Do you stop at the local sportsbook or call the local bookie? Do you bet with a friend or family member or someone you work with?
While it might seem like it’s the same thing, the truth is that there’s a big difference between betting with a sportsbook or bookie and betting with someone else.
The big difference is how much it costs you when you lose. When you bet with a friend or someone you work with and lose you lose the same amount you could win. But when you bet with a bookie or sportsbook and lose, you lose more than you could win. Often the extra charge is 10%.
If you look at this like a 10% fee when you lose, and you win half your games, it means you’re paying roughly 5% on every bet you make in the way of a fee.
Stop making too many bets where you’re charged vig. These bets make it harder to make a long term profit.
If you noticed a theme running through many of the topics on this page, you know that always doing anything when it comes to betting on sports is usually bad. Always betting on favorites or on your favorite team or on road teams is a bad idea.
You need to learn how to evaluate games and teams so you have a chance to make more winning bets than losing ones. Evaluate very game before you make a bet, and make sure you’re doing enough work and using enough time to do a proper job.