Some key concepts for successful sports bettors

Sports betting may seem like a simple-enough, innocent pastime for beginners and it is that indeed: if your aim is to have some fun and you’re willing to pay for it. If you’re looking to make money though, forget about the “simple” part. Being successful at sports betting involves covering a few essential aspects of the game properly.
First of all: bankroll management. You’re not going to get anywhere without proper bankroll management and here’s why: in order to let your positive Expected Value (EV+) work – assuming that you’re able to find such value and to exploit it – you need to stay in the game for the long-run. Poor bankroll management makes sure you won’t be around to see your EV+ reap any sort of results.

I know that you’re excited that team A is an overwhelming favorite over Team B, and I know you know the game well, too. You’re caught up in the excitement and you want to wager like half of your bankroll on the fav, right? Let’s put aside the fact that betting on the favorite is not the way to go to begin with and let’s see how you should go about this match-up. According to experts, you should never wager more than 3% of your bankroll on a game, even if someone tells you it’s in the bag and it’s basically a lock. 5% is the absolute maximum that you should risk on any single game, and you should post that much only on the match-ups on which you feel extremely strongly.
That way, you’ll make certain that your bankroll will last long enough to carry you over the variance and into the black. One more thing: always keep a separate bankroll for your sports betting antics. Don’t mix it with the rent money and other such essential funds. If you achieve that, all you have to do is to understand how the EV+ works in sports betting and you’re on your way.

Handicapping is one way to secure an edge in sports betting, but if you really want to go for that hidden value (the primary source of EV+ in sports betting) you’d better brush up on reverse handicapping as well. That’s right, successfully picking out the winner is by far not enough to make money in sports betting. What you need here is to take the bookmaker’s moves into account as well, because what the bookmaker does has a huge influence on the odds that you get as a bettor.
Imagine the following scenario. You’re looking to bet on a football game in which a hyped favorite plays on the road against a potent underdog. In such situations, statistically speaking, the underdog isn’t even such a bad pick SU, not to mention ATS.

Regardless of the statistics though, the squares flock onto the side of the favorite as it has been proven that squares always love the fav. The bookmaker has an overwhelming amount of money coming in on the favorite and thus he is forced to adjust his lines to balance the match-up. In an ideal case, the bookie will get an approximately equal number of bettors on both sides of a match-up, in which case he’ll make some risk-free money. If there are too many folks rushing onto one side of a bet, he’ll try to balance it by making the other side look very attractive. That’s where the hidden value seeps into the equation and that’s what you should pounce on as soon as you see it.
The hidden value will turn an otherwise negative EV proposition into a positive EV one. Professional handicappers create their picks based on such practices, and a whole bunch of other factors we’ll discuss in a different article.

In poker, rakeback acts just like the hidden value in sports betting. Though it has the capability to induce EV+ single-handedly, in poker there are several ways to create EV+ and most of the time, rakeback deals like the full tilt rakeback or the absolute rakeback serve to enhance the value skilled players have already secured by other means.