Intro To Sports Betting

Posted at 20:21 2010-02-23

Sports Betting can be both an entertaining and profitable pursuit. There is no better feeling than picking out a selection that has been “undervalued” by the bookmakers, plonking a packet on it, and collecting a crushing victory. Sports betting can also spice up a boring game, or make a contest interesting, despite not have allegiances to either team. Of course it doesn’t always go to plan, but with enough research and practice, you can be picking off a little value against the books.

So what is this “value” thing we’re talking about? Value is what all sports bettors are looking to find. Believe it or not, simply trying to pick winners in sports betting will almost certainly guarantee that you lose long term. This is because bookmakers don’t set odds at their true amounts. Bookmakers need to make a profit, so often betting options will pay less than their true probability of occurring. Hence sometimes you will see two teams both paying under the even money mark.

When bookmakers set a line they will be looking to get balanced the action they take on each option. If they can take a balanced amount of betting on each option, in relation to the amount of money they have to pay out, they will have locked in a profit on the event.

Of course the beauty of sports betting is that things are perception based. A large percentage of the betting public can place their bets on one side, based on incorrect perceptions. This means that the books will have the other team at inflated or “value” odds in order to get balanced action. This is where you get to make “value bets”.

So how does one find value?

Research. Watch, read, digest as much as you can about the teams/athletes involved in the contest. There is no substitute for good research. Put the effort in and you will reap the rewards in terms of finding undervalue selections. From there it’s a matter of getting your money in good, and holding up. Just like poker, sometimes you take bad beats when sports betting.

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