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How to bet like a professional

Published on January 26, 2024
Updated on February 7, 2024
Written by Enrique

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How to bet like a professional
  • Key points to help you get more from your betting
  • Bet smarter with
  • Advice from experienced tipsters brings you a number of points to help you get the most from your sports betting journey.

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How to bet like a professional sports bettor?

Sports betting holds a great reputation thanks to famous bettors like Billy Walters, but the truth is often more mundane. Most bettors and bookies are men and women making predictions from their bedrooms and home offices. That said, it can be a fun way to enjoy sports, and the best can even supplement their income or turn it into a full-time job. What does it take to bet like a pro? We sat down with our in-house sports betting expert, Simon Flynn, to ask what he thinks it takes to achieve this and be successful. The following words are his, and if you have any questions, you can send them to [email protected].

If you want to make the most of your sports betting, there are several principles you should stick to, which I’ve outlined for you.

1) Be emotionally neutral on teams

Most sports bettors are passionate fans, with their favorite athletes and teams. And there lies an immediate problem. If we’re too emotionally attached to a team, we can’t make impartial judgments about their chances of winning. This problem is most severe when the team we support is successful. How many fans of the Patriots/Seahawks/Cowboys bet against their teams in the final stretch of the 2023 NFL season?

Whether due to misguided loyalty or simply overestimating their team’s chances of winning, backing your favorite is NEVER a good idea. Personally, I’m lucky: I’m Scottish, and we never win, and my local team (the Aberdeen in soccer) was good 40 years ago (seriously, they were, honestly), but now they’re terrible. Do I bet against them? Absolutely, but I’ve had years of practice prioritizing profits over pleasure. Can you do it? It all depends on your personality and emotional constitution, and only you can know that.

2) Consider betting on lesser well-known sports and leagues than the obvious ones, and not the ones closest to your heart

I mainly bet on football because it’s the sport whose pace I understand best. Many of you will be in the same situation, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, did you know that the vast majority of my winning bets don’t come from the NFL, where most people bet? In fact, in some of these leagues I have a losing record over the last 3 years. Too many teams that should perform well miserably fail and lose money for me. In other leagues, bookies do a fantastic job setting the right prices for games, and it’s hard to find value there.

You probably have your own reasons for knowing lesser-known sports and leagues. Take advantage of this knowledge! Which leads me to the next tip.

3) Become a specialist

While betting on leagues others ignore, it helps enormously if you can become an expert in them. This will allow you to find obvious edges that other participants (the bookies, but also other bettors) can’t see. Here’s an example: in Portugal and Scotland, the big teams in soccer (Benfica, Porto and Sporting, and the Rangers and Celtic) have massive backing all over the country, resulting in there being no hostile away fields for these teams. However, bookies still offer higher odds of victory in away matches for these teams, despite there being no significant statistical evidence of any difference in performance.

Turkey, on the other hand, is a difficult place to bet on away teams. The long distances and passionate local crowds mean I always bet on Galatasaray at home, but away? Never! But Benfica away against Chaves on a rainy Wednesday? Sure, I’ll take those higher odds, thank you very much. Pointing this out in this blog post I hope does not mean that bookies will adjust their odds on Benfica away games :). The idea is that becoming a specialist will allow you to identify small edges, which can add up to a profitable sports betting season. And the next tips reveal the biggest source of edges of all.

4) Use sites with superior odds

This cannot be emphasized enough: if your bookie doesn’t offer the highest possible odds, you’re fighting a losing battle. Fans think sports betting is about winning or losing, but the truth is it’s about winning and losing. The best sports bettors have an edge of a few percentage points and (depending on their strategy) lose between 20% and 60% of the time. Therefore, the size of their wins is crucial for a successful long-term career as a sports bettor, whether you plan to do it full-time or dream of doing it someday.

And some of the differences in prices (odds) between sites are really huge, with a margin spread (vig, or house edge) between 3% and over 10%. Ask any poker player about such differences, and they will always choose the 3%, as it is simply not possible to win in the long run with a 10% margin.

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Enrique is very passionate about sports and soccer, dedicating himself professionally to it and analyzing every match he has in front of him. With betting and sports sites he is looking to every detail that can make him see any benefit or disadvantage for users. He has years of experience in the industry and has worked extensively in various fields of sport itself, which gives him different perspectives when it comes to his analysis. Editorial Promise