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Making Money Betting on Sports with Increased Knowledge

Becoming a successful sports bettor, or even a professional, requires a substantial amount of knowledge. Since American football is one of the most wagered sporting events around the world, let’s use it as our first example. It’s important to realize this is much more than simply cheering for your favorite team or going with the “sexy” pick.

Studying the Wager

It all begins with understanding the rules of the wager. For instance, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos play Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens in week 1 of the 2015 NFL season. Taking an educated guess, by the time the line comes out, it will most likely be somewhere around 7 1/2 points (DENVER -7 1/2 Baltimore). If you are just starting out as a sports bettor, taking Denver and giving the points means, they will need to win by 8 points in order for you to win the bet.

Betting on Sports

There are several ways to bet on a professional football game like:

a. Spreads
b. Teasers
c. Parlays
d. Money Lines
e. Props

If a sports bettor doesn’t understand how each one of these work, there is a good possibility he or she will lose money. I could break down each one of these down for you, but you can read the instructions on any online betting site before you get started.

Knowing more about the Teams

The next step is learning as much as possible about the teams, heading into the first game of the season (or whatever time of year you are betting). In our example, both of these teams have had several changes during the off-season. One if not more of these changes could make the difference in the upcoming wager. For instance, John Fox is no longer the coach of the Denver Broncos.

Anytime a new head coach comes in, there are bound to be changes. Whether it’s to each game’s plan of attack, the offensive and defensive playbooks, hiring in new coaches in other areas of the team, and the list goes on and on. I hate to admit it, but about twenty years ago I wagered on the San Francisco 49ers and lost big. Why? One of the biggest reasons is because their quarterback was hurt and couldn’t play (at the time the quarterback was Steve Young, so maybe even longer than 20 years).

During this time I was in a hurry and decided to skip studying the game (I was a lot younger then though). The point is; learn all you can about each game wagered, because even the weather can make all the difference.

Two Unwritten Rules

Back in the 1970s through the 1990s, there was also an unwritten rule about giving the home team 3 additional points. This is the “home field” advantage rule. However, while this worked years ago, the league is much different today. Some gamblers still swear by it, but it really depends on the match-ups. From the example above, even though Denver is giving 7 1/2 and will have to win by 8, the thought is that Denver will have the advantage, which means they’ve already reduced the line to 4 1/2 (not literally, but for use when deciding which team you want to bet).

The other one is taking the underdog if they are playing at home and are receiving double digit points. A few years back, San Francisco went into Cleveland as 14 point favorites (at the time one of the best and worst teams in the league), but ended up winning by one point. This is an unwritten rule I personally believe in, but only when mediocre offenses are favored by double digit points, which doesn’t happen frequently.

Gamblers, who decide to invest time in learning more about the game and the teams they could potentially wager on, will end up on the winning side more frequently. After all, placing a sports wager is all about gaining an edge. Unlike insider trading within the stock market, this is completely legal and encouraged.