How to Bet Like a Pro: 5 Sports Betting Secrets Revealed
Revealing some of the secrets of the trade that should help beginners and more advanced punters understand how most professional betting strategies work.
Betting like a pro is easier said than done. We’re going to provide guidelines and recommendations to help you start out, but in the end, it will be all up to you.
Every professional punter must have these qualities to stand a chance of being successful in the long run: dedication, discipline and the ability to find value.
Sports betting for a living isn’t as easy or glamorous as many believe. It’s all about hard work and discipline. Plus, you won’t find as much excitement when you start betting full time as you did when you wagered purely for the hype.
At the end of the day, you’ll realise that it’s more about finding out if you would really like to live that kind of life and less about knowing how to become a professional punter.
Quickly navigate to your desired topic:
- Set Realistic Expectations
- Have a Stellar Money Management
- Develop an Eye for Spotting Value
- Perform Methodical Match Analysis
- Get The Best Odds
Set Realistic Expectations
Professional betting is all about taking the long-term view on finances. If you’re expecting immediate gratification, your chances of finding success are the same as for winning the lottery.
The goals you set up can help you stay focused or contribute to your downfall. Even the best pro punters would be more than happy with a 5% ROI, and so should you. Actually, if you’re well on track if you’re generating 1% profit every time you roll over the bankroll. Even though it may look painfully slow to build-up your budget, that’s the way all professional punting strategies work.
The expectations will have a serious impact on your emotions: winnings streaks can make you complacent, whereas losing streaks can damage your confidence and take you off track.
Learn to cope with good and bad runs because there’s no way you can avoid them. Everyone has them so get prepared because you will too!
The only way to work this out is to identify and diminish your emotional weaknesses. Figure out how to temper the thrills & setbacks produced by short-term results, and shape your mentality in order not to take too much notice of either a good run or a bad run.
You don’t need extra pressure in sports betting – there is a lot of it anyway – so why would you want to set high expectations to frustrate yourself even more?
Place less emphasis on finding ways to make a profit. Instead, aim to cut losses and break-even at the end of the season if this is your first attempt of becoming a professional punter. Believe it or not, this is an accomplishment in itself.
Have a Stellar Money Management
Bankroll management is a fundamental skill for every punter who dreams of becoming successful in betting. Professional bettors have a betting bankroll that they can afford, and a staking plan that allows them to aspire to secure long-term profits.
As surprising as it may be, there aren’t a lot of professional punting strategies. Most pro punters use the flat staking strategy (a fixed percentage of the initial bankroll) as their foundation. If you feel you have a keen eye for spotting value, you could try to employ the Kelly Criterion – although it can be a bit challenging for talented, yet inexperienced sports bettors.
Use either of the two gives you more satisfaction, but make sure you’ll strictly comply with the chosen money management strategy, and never chase losses.
Understandably, your initial bankroll may not be big enough for you to generate sufficient income, but that shouldn’t be a big problem if you’re successful, because in the meantime you will:
- a) shape your betting model
- b) learn to deal with emotions
- c) build your bankroll.
Basically, you'll be working towards your goal, gaining experience while doing so. And let me give you one last bit of advice: never stake more than 2% of your bankroll on any given bet!
You should soon find your way if you keep this in mind.
After all, successful betting, despite being rare, comes in various ways, in the sense that there isn’t just one sports betting strategy that works, so go ahead and experiment.
Just remember that the simpler the staking plan is, the less you’ll have to think about it, meaning that you’ll have more time to focus on other aspects.
Develop an Eye for Spotting Value
Once you sorted the financial side of things, developing a betting strategy is the next step. Every professional punter has a betting model. There's just no way around it. But that's really nothing to worry about since triumphant betting systems don’t necessarily have to be overly complicated.
On the other hand, each of them relies on value betting, so it is pivotal that you understand the concept. But before we get into that, let me share a few basic points.
Professional punter tips rely on value, so playing singles is the way to go. Why? Accumulator bets have diminished value and therefore, should be avoided at all cost.
This also means that you should get rid of the habit of placing mug bets if you want to follow this path. Let go of the need to make things interesting, e. g., placing live bets on silly predictions with big odds.
Knowing that the largest part of the betting public will customarily back the favourite, bookies often provide lower value on favourites. Consequently, it should be easier to find value backing the underdog or the less likely result in most cases; hence why Asian handicaps are so popular amongst those who bet successfully.
Assuming that you understand how important it is to bet on singles and avoid backing the favourite too often, it’s time to introduce you to value betting.Spotting value on a regular basis is the hardest thing to do in professional sports betting. Click To Tweet
It takes a lot of time to figure out how good you are at spotting value because you need samples of at least 1.000 bets before you can draw any relevant conclusions…
You find value each time you find a betting market where the probability of an outcome is greater than the odds being offered, e. g. finding 2.10 odds for backing a team that you believe will win the match 50% of the time.
In spite of everything, the value in betting is a simple concept, so it shouldn’t be at all difficult to grasp. Successfully applying it in the long run, however, is a completely different story.
Consider taking a look at our value betting guide to better understand how odds are made, why the change, and how to calculate the value.
Perform Methodical Match Analysis
Some punters will place a bet on any sport and fixture as long as they believe they have an edge, whereas others believe that specialisation is the only way to produce more accurate predictions.
Either way you want to look at it, you should never rush in to place a bet just because the odds look appealing. Although it is true that a single piece of information can determine a 180-degree perception change, pro punters remain patient and do their research thoroughly before placing any bets. Hence why it is vital that you spend enough time analysing each bet and:
- never place a bet unless you have enough information. Pro gamblers utilise many betting tools to maximise long term profit, so it is advisable that you don’t do all your research manually. Fortunately, there are several useful tools online, and some of them are free to use, so make sure you get access to the best stats and closely monitor team news.
- don’t wager unless you have an edge. It may take minutes, hours or days to get to a state of certainty, but it may never happen, so do not hesitate to skip questionable predictions, no matter how long you’ve been studying them.
- don’t blindly copy tips from other people. Although it may be okay to take a peek at someone else’s betting preview, you shouldn’t rely on other people’s knowledge. Don’t be lazy. Take responsibility. Copying betting picks is not a solution.
- always check all the relevant criteria. Ever heard about a last-minute injury that made you place a quick bet? I bet you did. After tall, it’s easy to fall for a trap like that. Solution? You should carefully weigh all the evidence before placing a bet, just like winning sports bettors do. Never be in a rush to place a bet!
Of course, to research a sporting event you'll have to dig deeper and look for the key factors, but they will differ from one sport to another; horse racing is one thing, and football betting is another. However, that shouldn’t be a problem if you know the sport in and out.
Remember: Anyone who can spot value early and is mentally strong should be able to profit from sports betting – this is what professional gamblers stories thought us.
But we know that implementing value betting in your betting model can be challenging…
A good starting point for a beginner would be to price up a betting market before looking at the odds offered by the bookmakers. This is the best way to perform an unbiased match analysis. I can guarantee that you’ll be surprised.
Another useful tip at this point would be to search valuable odds the day before kick-off. A lot can change after a good night sleep. You will find that some of the betting tips that were appealing the other day simply aren’t worth betting on.
Okay. What we’ve pointed out so far was all about predicting the outcome of a match, so let’s talk a bit about one of the secrets of sports betting, namely the Post-Game Analysis.
The only way you can improve your betting model is to analyse your performance. Unearthing things like the unproductive competitions, the odds range where you are most successful and other such trends is an easy way to improve your results.
And I’m not talking about randomly accessing your sportsbook betting history every now and then, but thoroughly inspecting stats and figuring out what’s going on.
But don’t despair. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated…
Luckily, there's an easy solution for that: You'll have to use a betting tracker app or spreadsheet in order to conduct a useful self-analysis. Just be wise and regularly look for trends.
Get The Best Odds
You are entitled to feel confident if you:
- have realistic expectations
- religiously follow a staking plan
- are able to spot value
- patiently analyse picks before placing a bet,
but this doesn’t mean that you should be resting on your laurels.
All your hard work may go down the drain if you fail to pick up top odds, even if you managed to get everything else right. Not surprisingly, most punters – who know very little about profitable sports betting – have only one funded betting account at a time (and it most cases the one available is where they last picked up a welcome bonus).
All professional sports bettors will agree that there’s no way you can have and edge if you place all your online bets with a single bookmaker. Thus, having access to multiple online betting sites is a basic requirement in any successful sports betting guide.
Great, so all you have to do is to register with a few bookies, right?
Well, sort of…
Having multiple betting accounts may be like a walk in the park for mug bettors, but not for professional sports gamblers, for the simple reason that some sports betting sites limit or ban successful bettors. We posted some tips & tricks about how to avoid restrictions while betting online, so that’s definitely something you should look into at this stage.
Long Story Short: Register with bookies that do not limit or ban winners & make use of betting exchanges such as Betfair, where you are betting against other customers, so the house (who earns commissions each time a bet between two parties is matched) has no interest to limit or ban you.
Betting on sports for a living is something incredibly-rare, that requires a lot of hard work. Remember that sports betting systems don't give you an upper hand. Nothing is guaranteed in sports betting, so it is important that you have fun placing bets and only stake what you can afford to lose.