Guest post written by Paul Micelli
While sports betting can, at times, be a truly enthralling experience, there will inevitably be other occasions where frustration, angst and disappointment prevail. To be a genuinely successful gambler, bettors need to adopt a philosophical approach to the emotional involvement that sports betting can bring.
Whether your preference is for horse racing, football or any one of the myriad other available betting markets, there are a number of ground rules which can be applied to all events that consistently maximise the chances of gleaning a profit.
1 – Stand Out from the Crowd
Always be your own man. Talk to any bettor who has made regular profits over a sustained period of time and most will be more than happy to tell you that following the advice of other punters is a fast and foolish way of losing your money. The truly successful sports betting enthusiast will never make hasty assessments based on the opinions of others. Take a look at most sports books and it’s relatively easy to find areas where bookmakers are likely to make healthy profits.
In effect, bookmakers rely on large numbers of bettors falling into the trap of backing selections at tight odds because this stereotypical behaviour is conducive to gaining an edge over their customers. By thinking outside the box and basing selections on form, consistency and probability, bettors stand a much better chance of avoiding unhealthy pack behaviour. Opportunity is a beast that only raises his head on rare occasions and a self-developed attitude toward betting activity is vital to long-term success.
2 – Study Selections
In the world of sports betting, form is one of the biggest allies a gambler will have. Forget luck as a long-term suitor because only disappointment will prevail. Always take time to study your selections with care. In effect, bettors must be striving to build a mental picture of the potential performance of an individual selection as well as the potential performance of other competitors in the same event. To ignore the competition is to tread the path of fools.
Form doesn’t necessarily need to be the domain of sports publications and newspapers. Devise your own system to keep a track of performances from competitors within your preferred sporting field and always aim to make data as easily accessible and simple to understand as possible.
3 – Ignoring the Odds
Never use bookmaker odds as a means of establishing the credentials of a selection. Odds are derived purely for the benefit of bookmakers and provide very little in terms of probability. In many cases, larger profits can actually be gained from placing smaller wagers at longer odds than simply lumping heavily onto a heavily-backed favourite.
Over the longer-term, profits will almost certainly centre on exposing opportunities and most gaps in the betting market will usually be found when the odds are a little longer. Never assume that a favourite is the obvious choice. In many cases the best-value selection is the one that has a genuine chance of springing a surprise on bookmakers and sports betting enthusiasts alike.