Whether you’re just getting into sports betting or you happen to be a seasoned pro who does this religiously, the importance of having a strategy and sticking to it is important.
Having a strategy isn’t as simple as just setting a budget and hoping to win something greater than what you’ve invested, though. Having a strategy involves multiple layers of research and testing, on top of the monetary aspects of sports betting too. While the budget does set the precedent for what your tactics may be and does come first, it’s far from the only aspect to focus on.
Here’s How to Build Your Sports Betting Strategy from the Ground Up
There are a number of angles bettors can take when it comes to betting on games, their derivatives, and fantasy sports as a whole. Some like to play it conservatively, and some may see it as an opportunity to win the lottery. Neither is right or wrong, it just depends on your situation and preferences.
1. The Budget
As mentioned previously, your budget does come first in the order of things when getting your strategy together. The funds you have allocated to betting on sports may be divided up into more than one category however, with multiple sub-categories offering worthwhile chances to take.
Different types of contests and bets may have different budgets for you, depending on what you prefer. For example, say you’re looking at NFL odds this week and see some really exploitable money lines on the table just a few hours before kick-off. In this case, you may adjust your budget accordingly and allocate more dollars to what you feel is the best chance to win given the odds.
From there, you can go on to apply the remainder of your weekly budget to other contests as you see fit. Keeping a diversified “betting portfolio” is never a bad idea, especially if you’re a beginner and trying to test the waters on all your options.
2. The Goal
Knowing where you want to start is great, but it pays to know where you want to go as well. So, ask yourself, why are you betting? If you’re just playing a little NBA fantasy for fun and you won’t mind losing everything put in, maybe the contests with higher risks and higher rewards are for you. If not, and you’re looking for some realistic odds to turn a profit, consider taking the money line on a favored team or playing in some multiplier and head to head fantasy matchups.
This goes hand in hand with risk management and how much flexibility you have in your budget. The two are perpetually linked together, and establishing one of them will help fill out the other for your strategy.
3. Your Research Strategy
Quite possibly the most important aspect of fantasy sports and sports betting is the research portion. Yes, it is possible to win by just throwing out seemingly bad bets on underdogs and lineups of fantasy players who you wouldn’t think would have a good game – and sometimes it does feel that way – but the consistent winners are those who have reason behind their picks.
You’ll need to define what measurements and statistics are important to you and your bets. This should include both qualitative and quantitative date, with anecdotal evidence and intuition sometimes trumping the hard digits.
If you’re betting on the over/under of a contest, weather conditions might matter in a football game. Is the game outside or in a dome? Do they have a tendency to run or pass more? In basketball, you’ll need to take into account each team’s pace of play and offensive ratings. How many possessions do they average per game? What’s their points per 100 minutes at?
Fantasy lineups can be a different animal entirely, but statistics like these will matter in those too, with team numbers almost always having a direct effect on individual player’s statistics too.
This is just one example, but finding statistics and information in general that’s relevant to your bet placement is one of the most crucial parts of the strategizing process.
Bringing It In
By tying all of this information together, you’ll be able to put together the package that your strategy is comprised of. After a few weeks of trial and error – or maybe great success too – bettors will know whether or not to re-evaluate or if they’ve developed a winning strategy. Don’t be afraid to take risks here and there in order to develop the best strategy for you.