Sports betting has emerged from the shadows and become a part of mainstream American sports culture, with Americans wagering more than $13 billion legally in 2019. But if you’re considering entering this new world, there are several things you should keep in mind before making your first bet.
Always bet with your head, not your heart. This might seem like an obvious piece of advice, but many casual punters are guilty of placing bets based on gut feelings, jersey colors or horoscopes. Putting too much emotion into your bets will quickly lead to bad decisions. Keeping your emotions in check will allow you to make smarter wagers and be more profitable.
Educate yourself on the sport or league you’re betting on. It’s a good idea to specialise in one sport at the start of your betting career and stick with it until you have really gotten to grips with its unique nuances and how different teams perform against each other. This will also help you to familiarize yourself with the jargon and scoring systems.
Don’t bet with money you need to pay your bills. You should only bet with money that you have set aside solely for sports gambling. This way, you won’t risk depleting your bankroll with a single bad day of betting. In addition, it’s recommended to open a separate banking account that you use only for placing bets. This way, you’ll be able to easily see how much you’ve won and lost.
Learn about props. Props, short for proposition bets, are any type of wager that isn’t a straight moneyline, point spread or total. These bets are often more volatile than traditional wagers and carry a higher house edge. However, they can be a great way to add a new element to your sports betting experience and win some extra cash.
Track lines from multiple sportsbooks. The lines for popular games are constantly changing due to handle, which means that there is a chance that you could find better prices at another site. Also, remember that each book has its own clientele, so they’re not all creating the same odds.
Bet on teams with winning records and a strong track record of covering the spread. This is a simple, straightforward strategy that has been proven to be effective in the long run. You should be able to identify winners by studying the team’s recent performance and looking at its schedule. For example, you can determine that a team is likely to cover the spread against an opponent with a good record and a weak road record. In addition, you should look at the team’s past performances in the same venue and against opponents from its division.