10 COMMANDMENTS OF SPORTS BETTING
by Badger of Predictem.com
So you want to become a full-fledged member of the billion-dollar-a-year sports gambling industry, only you think you have what it takes
to beat the masses? Youre think you’re the next Jimmy the Greek?
There are ways to help even the odds in your favor.
The truth is there is only one proven way to win consistently
(although having lady-luck on your side is also a major plus). You
MUST know the sport you are betting on, and you have to pick out the
games where the oddsmakers erred in setting the odds.
Theres no magic formula, no computer simulating system, theres no
insider secrets. But there are ways to increase your chances so you
win more than you lose.
I like to call these the 10 Commandments of Sports Gambling.
1. Do not bet on sports if it affects your health. If you are a hard loser, if you have high blood pressure, a bad ticker, or just cant
let those bad beats go, then this isnt the game for you because
losing is inevitable. Betting on sports is like the stock market …
youre going to win sometimes, and you WILL lose sometimes. The goal
is consistency and longevity. Think marathon; not sprint!
2. If you pass the first commandment, and you really want to win
money, then you must approach sports gambling as a job. It cannot be
a hobby, and you cannot go about your business half-assed. Each
spread (or game) is a business deal that youll either do, or youll
pass on. A knowledgeable businessman should research each deal on it’s
merits, then decide. Going into a business deal without knowing
anything about the teams, terms or circumstances usually results in
bad business. Which means you go outta business real quick.
3. Bet the same amount of money on every game you bet. This one will
cause a few arguments amongst some bettors, but its a common mistake
among social or weekend betters. Even if you really like that one
game, but only kind of like two other games, bet all three the same.
When you put $500 on one, but only $100 on the others youre only
setting yourself up to fall hard. Sure the $500 game might cash in,
but how many times has the $500 missed, dropping you into a hole you
never recover from. There is no 5-star, 3-star, 1-star … there is
no system … anyone that tells you these things is not a
successful gambler unless they have extremely deep pockets to eat a 5-
star loss every now and then.
4. Stay away from parlays,
teasers, props and other exotic bets like first half/second half bets and
the first 5 innings bets unless you are willing to just hand over cash.
They are all a bookies (or sportsbooks) wet dream. Sure you get paid 10-to-1
if you hit a 4-teamer, but the chances of it happening, consistently, are
about the same as your odds of sleeping with Heidi Klum. Instead of one
bet on four teams, put your money on the four teams separately. That way
when 3-out-of-4 win, you walk away a winner instead of cussing that damn
fourth team! Theres a reason sportsbooks
offer these bets and its not because they like to pay you 10-times your
bet when they lose. Its because they ALL put more money in their own pockets.
The lure of fast money is too enticing for some people to not realize theyre
walking into a trap.
5. Know when to walk away and dont chase! This is obviously the biggest problem for most gamblers. How many times have you lost on a
noon NFL game, dropped into a hole, then made it worse by betting a
couple of afternoon games to try and make it up only to take it
deeper without lube. Likewise, you win a noon game, then try and
double it by betting an afternoon game only to lose and break even.
DONT FALL INTO THIS TRAP. Pick the games youre going to bet on
ahead of time, bet them, then walk away. Dont compound your problems
by trying to double it or win it back by betting on a game you didnt
want to bet on in the first place. Dont chase by betting on the
second half because you already lost the original bet in the first
half. This is the hardest rule to follow sometimes because it goes
against every gambling fiber in your body. But if you want to win,
win consistently, you have to follow it.
6. The walk away rule also applies before the games as well. If you
look at the point spreads in the morning and nothing appeals to you,
dont bet. Lets face it, oddsmakers are good at what they do.
Sometimes too good. You must remember that youre looking for an
oddsmakers mistakes, but if you have a hard time finding a game you
like, take a day off and start fresh tomorrow.
7. Dont bet on games if the odds have changed too much for your taste. If you like a game that has a spread of 3, only to get to your bookie and find out the odds changed to 4 1/2 … stay away. Its no
longer the bet you thought it was, and therefore its no longer worth
betting on. Different betters will give you a different level of
variance, but I recommend using a point to point-and-half guideline.
But you can determine your own comfort level about how far youll let
the line move before it becomes a bad bet.
8. This one is called the Bull Durham rule after a line in the
movie. Dont mess with a streak. If youre winning, dont brag
aloud to everyone, gloat or do anything to piss off the Betting Gods.
Likewise, when youre losing, dont cry in your beer or piss and
moan. Be like the athletes youre betting on and try and stay on an
even keel. When you win, act like youve been there before. When you
lose, be mad but determined to do better next time.
9. Since youre treating this like a job, do what every self-respecting human does whenever possible and take a vacation from betting. Take a week off every now and then to recharge the
batteries. If youre winning, this may go against the previous
commandment, but pick and choose the best times of the year to step
aside and take a break.
10. The last commandment pisses a lot of bettors off and takes some of the fun out of sports gambling for most, but its something you
MUST DO to win constantly. DO NOT BET on your favorite team. If
youre honestly going to try and make money, you have to remain
unbiased in every way. When you bet on your team, a large percentage
of the time your judgment is clouded. Sit back and enjoy their games
while looking at the scroll for other scores. If you must, betting on
an over/under with said favorite team is a much smarter bet anyway,
and easier on the heart and mind.
Following all of these rules will increase your chances at beating the house. If you are an action junkie and cant stay away from
parlays and teasers and all of the other traps discussed in this
piece, then you will have a hard time following these rules and will
find yourself reloading your bankroll more often then you cash out.
The bottom line is that you have to be smart about the plays you
make. Be smart, do your homework and have fun and remember that you
will not become a millionaire in one night betting on sports. Those
are the exact kind of egomaniacs that sportsbooks are hoping to attract.
Best of luck to you!