Sports betting is an activity that involves placing a wager on the outcome of a sporting event. It is a common pastime for fans and can be an entertaining and profitable way to enjoy a game. However, becoming a successful sports bettor takes time and effort. There are a few things that every sports bettor should know before placing their first bet.
1. Do adequate research.
A good sports bettor is not only well-versed in their team and player knowledge but also has a grasp of how to read the odds. This includes understanding how the various types of bets are structured and recognizing which lines are shaded or overpriced by the media noise machine. It is also important to keep abreast of any injuries or weather issues that may affect a game.
2. Don’t be afraid to play the underdog.
When making a bet, a sports bettor must decide how much money they are willing to invest in each bet. This number is often called a “bankroll.” While many bettors are tempted to place large bets on games they feel strongly about, it is essential that they set a bankroll and stick to it. In addition, bettors should consider their level of experience and the type of sport they are betting on when determining a bankroll.
3. Ignore the media noise.
Sports pundits are notorious for spewing hot-takes and promoting biased opinions in order to generate buzz and audience attention. This can be extremely dangerous to a sports bettor because it can influence how they perceive a matchup. Instead, sports bettors should seek out information from a variety of sources including local beat reporters, which can provide in-depth coverage on little things that national media shows and talk radio hosts might overlook.
4. Understand the importance of keeping proper records.
Good sports bettors are math freaks and they understand the importance of examining statistics, especially what is known as inferential statistics. This is why they keep near-obsessive records of their bets, as no edge in sports betting lasts very long without a solid record to back it up.
5. Understand the importance of evaluating power ratings.
Power ratings are a popular way to compare teams in different sports, but they can be misleading for a sports bettor. For example, a team’s conventional win-loss record is measured by the number of wins they have, but their actual record against the spread (ATS) is more indicative of their betting value. It is vital to understand that there is some level of variance in power ratings because different pros use different formulas and methodologies. In addition, a team’s power rating can be affected by outside factors that are out of the sportsbook’s control. For example, a bad referee or an injury to a star player can have a significant impact on a team’s standing. The NHL was the first major professional league to incorporate power ratings into their betting system when it opened the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017. Taking the time to evaluate these ratings and understand the factors that influence them is key to success in sports betting.