It is something millions and millions of Americans love to do but how many truly understand what it takes to figure out the art and strategy of getting a return on investment when one bets on sports.
The first – and most important factor – is managing a bankroll. Whatever you do, do not sink yourself by planning on wagering more than you can afford to lose.
Everyone wants to win – and that is the goal – but you have to have a strategy and a plan. Scott Kellen is a professional bettor and an expert. His advice is to go with 1 percent of your bankroll for starters. “From a professional standpoint … this is not going to be sexy. One percent of your bankroll is probably the ideal amount, especially if you are beginning.”
The adage of something being a marathon and not a sprint applies to sports betting, in any sport in any given season. Pace makes the race, not diving into the deep end to watch your bankroll sink in the first week or quarter of a campaign.
There is a difference between whether you are in this to win or are you in this to gamble. “One percent will keep you in it to win as opposed to being in it to gamble,” Kellen advises.
There is a blueprint for success, and that is to focus on a sport or two you know. If you wager on another sport that you aren’t as comfortable with, find someone who is succeeding at that sport and follow them.
BetUS college football guru Gary Segars mentioned it can be easier to focus on one conference. Expertise is much easier to attain on one league than trying to win by mastering 130 teams. It simply isn’t possible.
Kellen says you need to track value and key numbers. There was a huge difference in Super Bowl 56 when it came to bettors getting the Bengals with 3½ or 4½ points. The difference is one point but when it came to that spread the single point stood for far more than that.
Do not underestimate what the meaning of a single point, run, goal or basket in any sport can be. It can determine whether you win or … lose.
Value comes into deciding what game to play. Do not think you have to bet on a game simply because it is a big game, a feature attraction. The strategy is to find the game that offers you the most value and best chance to come away with a profit.
A lower-level college game can present far more value and a better chance to win than the game that the whole sports nation is focusing on in prime time. Pick the game that you think gives you the best chance to win, and that allows you to watch and enjoy the one in the spotlight. It is a win-win situation.
Another critical lesson says Kellen is to maintain structure. Stick to your plan. Don’t let emotions take over and lead you down a path of seeing your bankroll crumble. There will be hot streaks and cold ones but if you maintain structure you will ride things out in the long run.
Do not – repeat NOT – bet with emotion. Just because you are a fan of a team or despise another squad is not wise thinking. Leave the emotional factor to enjoying the game. Don’t add in the component of a wager to heighten your interest or excitement. It is a recipe for trouble.
So, if you follow the advice of Kellen and Segars, it is a start on the path to understanding how you can give yourself the best chance to succeed. Nothing, of course, is guaranteed, but you can control what happens and never lose sight of that picture.