With the advent of online sportsbooks, sports betting is becoming available to more people on a daily basis. Many new bettors dive into the sports betting market with high expectations of becoming filthy rich while watching sports every day.
It is important to have realistic expectations as to what is possible sports betting.
You are not going to make millions of dollars in sports betting. If you honestly believe this, you should likely quit right now because this will not end well for you. The main reason million dollars profits are not possible is due to scalability.
Sportsbooks are not in the business of losing money. They do not take kindly to bettors who win consistently. If you get labelled as a winning player by your sportsbook, you are likely to get your action limited or even outright banned. It is not good enough to simply select winners consistently. You need a reliable place to book your action without fear of being limited.
The large majority of sports fans vastly underestimate how difficult it is to pick winners consistently. Winning is possible, but it requires discipline and fanatical research to achieve. Both of these qualities are in short supply amongst casual fans.
With self-discipline and a proven source of winners, it is possible to make a small but steady profit sports betting.
Beating your sportsbook should be considered an activity comparable to Andy Dufrense tunnelling his way out of Shawshank prison. It is possible, but it takes a lot of time and attention to detail. Truthfully, most handicappers fail at this and lose multiple bankrolls before becoming successful sports better (including myself).
However, if you are able to achieve this, there are fewer things in life sweeter or more exciting than getting free money from your sportsbook.
What does this mean for a casual bettor? It is reasonable for many to expect a doubling of your bankroll over the course of a full year. A professional gambler may even do better than that, but not drastically better.
So if you are working with a sports betting bankroll of a couple of thousand dollars, you could maybe use your annual profits on a nice vacation. If you have multiple tens of thousands for a bankroll, maybe the profits can be used for a new car.
How you chose to spend your profits is obviously up to you. But I usually recommend spending a portion on something nice while reinvesting the rest into your bankroll.
The biggest and most common mistake casual sports bettors make is betting too many games.
If you are the type of sports bettor that needs to have action on nearly every game, every night and on all TV games, you will inevitably lose your entire bankroll and perhaps much more.
I have three hard rules that I recommend for all sports bettors,
- Never bet more than 5% of your entire bankroll on a single game.
- Never bet more than 10% of your entire bankroll in a single day.
- Always know how much is in your bankroll.
If you are able to follow these three simple rules, you will be miles ahead of 95% of all sports bettors.
One game a day is a good practice for long term profitability and sustainability.
Placing just one wager per day is the easiest way to adhere to the hard rules listed above. Putting 5% of your bankroll on a single bet is still a bit high for my liking. (3-4%) is probably a better rate which gives you the option of selecting two or even three games in a day while still staying under the hard cap of 10% of your total bankroll per day.
This situation most often occurs for me on Saturdays in NCAAF when I may like as many as 6-8 games in a day. I typically limit myself to just the 3-4 matchups I like the best and split the 10% allocation amongst those. Most days you should stick to just one selection, while not betting any games on a day with a light schedule should be a common practice.
Over the course of a full calendar year, your target should be about 200 – 400 wagers. If you are making more bets than this, you would likely do better with less. Eliminating break-even or losing plays from your portfolio is the easiest way to become a winner.
Do not quit your day job. Sports betting is supposed to be part-time, profitable and most importantly, fun.
While some people will turn sports betting into a full-time profession, I would not recommend it for most people. Enjoy watching the games while challenging yourself to make good selections. If you are not having fun, you shouldn’t be doing it all.
Making selections can be very difficult and time-consuming. Most people will neither have the skill nor time required to achieve a level showing long-term success.
If you do choose to take on this task, I would recommend starting with just one team, your favourite team. Become an expert and learn everything there is to know about that one team. When you have done that, expand your expertise to one division that your one team is in. Keep expanding your expertise in this manner until you find yourself constrained by time in the day.
If you do not have the skill or required time to make your own sports betting selections, consider a tout service.
Finding a reliable sports betting handicapper can be a good source for consistent winners. This of course comes with a multitude of warnings. We are all aware of self-proclaimed experts promising to make you rich quickly, who are really just interested in making themselves rich. Shop around and find someone you are comfortable with who has a consistent winning record.
It is important not to overpay for advice. Paying more per month than the size of a typical day’s single bet is unsustainable. For example, if you have a $2,500 sports betting bankroll and typically wager $100 per game, you should never be paying more than $100 per month to your tout service.
This is why I offer my sports betting. newsletter for just $20 per month. This is meant to accommodate bettors with bankrolls as low as $500 who bet as little as $20 per game.
If you do not have at least $500 available solely dedicated to your sports betting bankroll, you likely should not be attempting this side hustle. Work your day job and save up this minimum amount before getting started. Otherwise, your deposit is sure to be a donation to your sportsbook. Consider paper trading your picks while maintaining a fake account until you are ready.
Good luck and game on.
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