Sports betting has its charm and followers as they make their own luck. They may use and even financially capitalize on their knowledge, information preparation and intuition. Despite the sports betting is not a classic gambling game of chance, it certainly deserves its place on this website. The match against professional bookmakers may be very tense, therefore it is good to respect some specifics to increase one's winning chances.
Information is the most precious commodity at the present time. It is clear that if you are not an insider, who sees behind the scenes, you will never get all the information. However the development of information technologies, particularly the Internet, shrinks the bookmakers' information superiority constantly.
If the sports betting is not just a low amount relax for you, you had better find out as much information as possible. If you e.g. bet on football (soccer) then the minimum thing to do is to browse the teams' websites, check the "sickroom" and other absence, yellow and red cards that can prevent a key player from playing etc. Internet discussions may be kind of useful as well.
In some teams the absence of one key player may be very perceptible. Although the top-class teams can dispose of (almost) equal substitutions, on the other side the result depends on every single detail.
You should also take broader circumstances into consideration, e.g. is it the beginning or the end of season? A bit of precaution pays off.
I remember my uncle winning almost $4,000 with a $5 ticket. He bet on the last round of the 1st and 2nd Italian football league and he figured out possible results. One of the teams needed to win, another team could have lost with no impact on the ranking and some other team could have been satisfied with a draw... Guess what? The ticket was winning!
This example shall not point at some kind of luck only (however in this case it was a great calculus), but it shall also warn against some unfair practices that can occur even at the top levels. Once I could not believe the odds 1.3 (!) for a draw between two teams from Italian Serie A, which speaks for itself.
The sports betting companies benefit from several circumstances. They hire leading bookmakers who work full time. However they are not infallible either. You can fight them with careful information preparation and searching for promising betting opportunities. You can choose from a plentiful number of sport events.
Imagine there is a tennis match between two players whose winning chances are evaluated as equal. What are the odds offered by a betting company? Most likely 1.8–1.8, so the odds are completely even. If you bet e.g. $10 on any of the players and you succeeded, the win would be $10 times 1.8 = $18.
What are the fair odds (those that do not include the profit of the betting company)? You are right, if you guess 2.0–2.0. The odds offered (1.8–1.8) give the edge to the sports betting company right from the start and it can be calculated as follows:
1.8 / 2.0 = 0.9 = 90% i.e. you get paid only 90% of the fair odds, which makes the betting company's edge
100% – 90% = 10%. This sort of calculation is related to the concept of expected value.
Therefore it might be worth looking at some other sports betting opportunities with the odds greater than 2. Of course, if you feel in your bones that you know the winner of the above-mentioned tennis match or you think that e.g. the winning chance of the 1st player is greater and thus the odds could be 1.6 only (not 1.8), bet on it!
In my personal experience some of the lower English football leagues such as the 5th league or so called Conference offer good betting opportunities. Shortly after the start of the season it is quite possible to distinguish the teams with great superiority. These teams are able to win several matches in a row both as home or visitor team. When such team plays as a visitor, the odds are particularly promising – around 2.5.
The English football is very open with fighting spirit and there are more goals scored in the lower competitions. There is no shortage of excitement. Moreover many goals are scored at the extra time. The good teams are often able to change the course of events at the extra time in case the match has not been going according to the expectations. I remember my own ticket where my team was losing 0:1 in the 90th minute and managed to turn the match upside down 2:1 at the extra time!
The good strategy in sportsbook was proposed at the chapter above. One should beware of improving the odds with "sure" matches with low odds such as 1.1, the motive is to increase potential win. However this way of betting cannot be recommended. Even the favorite may stumble and the risk is too big in relation to the potential "improvement".
Such "sure" matches may spoil the whole ticket. If you still feel like betting on such match, then the odds should be at least 1.25. If you wanted your win to be a double of your bet, you would need 8 matches with the odds 1.1:
1.18 = 2.14. And it is needless to say that getting the 8 matches right is very hard (improbable).
It is good to realize the nature of exponential function: the multiplication of numbers slightly greater than 1 (such as 1.1) grows very slowly from the beginning. To compare: if we bet on eight matches with the same odds 2.0 for each match, the resultant odds would be
28 = 256!