Sources to Consult or Avoid When Making Sports Bets

Hand Pointing a TV Remote With a Sportsbook Background

One of the best ways to make winning bets is by seeking out information related to your bets. Every gambler, at least the good ones, has their own methods when researching bets. Whether it’s looking at trends, injury reports, or even listening to their favorite shows, gamblers love to consult different resources.

But not everything on the internet and television is correct, and several outlets can lead you astray. Sometimesm it can be tough to wade through the garbage to find valuable betting information. If you get bogged down by wrong information or cold takes, you can kiss any chance of winning goodbye.

Here are the sources to consult and avoid when doing your homework before placing bets.

Consult: Sports Media Professionals

Professional sports is a huge industry, and most major sports networks employ various media personnel to cover it. This category is broader than the previous two and is arguably the most important in this post. Every gambler has their preferred method of entertainment and accumulation of information. Some kill two birds with one stone.

All around the airwaves, television networks, and podcast networks, you can find gambling-related content. From mainstays in the sports entertainment world like ESPN and Fox Sports to newer media outlets, it seems like everyone has a show that you can benefit from as a gambler. Some of these shows feature what I refer to as gambling media professionals.

Sports Reporter Scott Van Pelt

Typically, these types of people are avid gamblers who have made a career out of sharing betting advice. Some of them are the best in the business and offer sports betting tips and tricks each week relating to whichever sport is most relevant at the time. Deciding which of these professionals to pay attention to comes down to personal preference.

Avoid: Sports Personalities

Once again, a challenge some gamblers face is figuring out the difference between entertainment and fact-based information. The problem with some television networks is how quickly they rotate through different types of shows. One minute, you can be watching a program with valuable gambling information. But you blink, and you can find yourself staring at a famous talking head. It’s tough to comb through the garbage.

These talking heads, or sports media personalities, are some of the industry’s highest-paid on-air talents. I’m not naming names here, but you know the type I’m referring to. They are well known to have a shtick and offer hot take after hot take to get eyeballs on the TV.

Seemingly every day, they offer some absurd take to stir social media into a frenzy and increase ratings. Some people love this form of sports media entertainment, while others despise it. Wherever you stand on this type of personality, do not take their advice. There are a few of these types who occasionally offer gambling opinions, and it might be smarter to fade them than take them seriously.

Consult: Local Beat Writers

Newspapers might be on the decline, but some of the information contained in them is still worth reading. Most professional teams in each major sports league have at least a handful of beat writers. These writers work for competing newspapers, blogs, websites, or other media outlets. Unlike prominent national media members, these journalists typically know more about the teams than anyone.

The best way to aggregate information as a sports bettor is to use social media. Whether it’s Twitter or even Facebook, that’s the best way to get the most up-to-date intel. While most of these beat writers write long-form news stories for their paper or website of choice, social media is still essential.

When deciding on bets, a team’s local beat writer is a fantastic resource for professional sports betting advice. They are typically ahead of the curve when it comes to injury news, local room drama, or any information related to personnel. All of this information can help you decide which teams are worth betting on and which teams are in disarray. Beat writers might not tailor their news for a gambling audience, but their reporting is still crucial to success.

Avoid: Message Board or Comment Sections

Die-hard sports fans are some of the most outspoken people on the internet. What they lack in correct information, they make up for in conviction. One of the most popular websites for these types of communal posts is Reddit. Reddit is an excellent tool for sports gamblers if it’s used correctly. However, if you consider yourself a gullible person, you might be duped by an anonymous fan of the team.

Message boards can be a great way to interact with other fans and gamblers. Specific subreddits and other websites create a sense of community with gamblers to share tips and tricks. However, everything coming from these types of sites should be fact-checked and verified.

Man Using a Laptop

On a related note, avoid comment sections. Never trust the disillusioned sports fans in comment sections that think a team will cut a certain player or sign a different player. If you’re looking to gain an edge, message boards and comment sections are two of the worst places to go looking.

Avoid: Bloggers Pretending to Be Handicappers

This is where it gets tricky if you lack certain media knowledge. It can be challenging to figure out which sources of information are reputable. Even if you do consult a well-regarded media outlet, certain employees should be ignored. One of the more challenging areas of media to navigate are blogs.

While bloggers used to not be a highly regarded source, sports blogging is now mainstream. Popular brands that started as meager blogs have blossomed over the last few decades. Some bloggers are even regarded as consummate professionals in the industry.

However, there’s a sect of “gambling bloggers” whose opinions should be disregarded by anyone who wants to win money. These bloggers commonly make a brand for themselves or lie about their wagers or amounts. Their entire motivation is to get clicks and grow their brand. They might be entertaining to some, but their gambling advice leaves a lot to be desired.

Consult: National Reporters

National reporters are those media members you see every Sunday morning before popular NFL pregame shows, or on ESPN breaking down colossal news stories. They typically have an in with several teams and sports agencies. Additionally, they can be found texting on all six of their cell phones simultaneously.

Sports Reporter Kaitlin Sharkey

All joking aside, these national reporters, like beat reporters, are a great source of information. While the news they are reporting on doesn’t directly relate to the gambling world, it certainly impacts it. These sources are especially important for fans of daily fantasy. Individual roster decisions can come down to the wire about who’s playing and who’s sitting out. Typically, these reporters are at your service.

Once again, locating information from these reporters can be challenging if you aren’t on a form of social media. You can occasionally catch them on TV, but most of their information is disseminated through Twitter.

Avoid: Your Buddy Who’s a Gambling “Expert”

If you’ve been gambling long, there’s a good chance you’ve interacted with this kind of “source” before. They usually bring up gambling inorganically in conversations and claim to have a ridiculous winning percentage. They offer advice and gambling tips while making you feel foolish if you opted to ignore it.

You might know someone like this who introduced you to sports gambling in the first place. Knowing other sports gamblers can be a valuable resource, but their information should always be verified before you end up making any sports betting mistakes. Exchanging picks with someone who fits this description is fine. But like other sources I’ve discussed, don’t mistake them for an actual expert on gambling.


Figuring out where to find the best information related to gambling can be a struggle. In the age where everyone seems to have a platform, quality intel is hard to come by. Before you pull the trigger on your bets, make sure you’re consulting the right sources for information.

Always pay attention to teams’ beat reporters. They know the personnel better than anyone and typically have the best information available. Stay away from message boards and comment sections. It might seem inviting to buy into a faceless fan’s conspiracy theory, but at the end of the day, you should stick to reputable pros.

Sports gambling media professionals are some of the best sources of information when it comes to potential picks. Not only is there information easy to understand, but it’s also entertaining most of the time. Make sure to avoid lending an ear to bloggers masquerading as professional handicappers and prominent media personalities. It’s easy to get caught up in their hot takes. But remember, their sole purpose in life is to get clicks and drive ratings.