16 Jul

How to Bet on Sports Over the Internet

How to Bet on Sports - Handbook to Sports Betting Online in Canada

Sports betting, online or otherwise, is the world’s most popular form of wagering. Unlike most gambling genres, it is not dominated by luck or chance. Skill is by far the dominant factor, which is why we call is “sports betting”, as opposed to “sports gambling”. Now, thanks to the global iGaming industry, Canadians can partake like never before.

6-Step Handbook to Sports Betting Online

The act of betting on sports online is the easy part. It’s all the details and resources leading up to it that make up the majority of this document, followed by strategic advice for winning more bets; or at the least, not losing your shirt. You’ll learn how to bet on sports over the internet, the right way.

  • The Legal Stuff: Don’t worry, it’s all good news. Not only are Canadians free to gamble online with international sportsbooks, we have legal access to so many more types of bets.
  • Evaluating the Odds: There are three types of sports betting odds formats you may come across – EU, UK and US. Learn what they mean, and how much you can expect to win.
  • Straight Up Betting: There’s nothing simpler than a straight up bet. Pick a team, place a bet, cross your fingers. If your team wins, you win the bet. So simple! But not as interesting as some…
  • Other Betting Options: Overs and unders, spreads, parlays, propositions, futures – so many ways to pick a winner! This section details all these ‘other’ unique and interesting sports bets.
  • Place Your Bets: Following a brief discussion on picking a safe sportsbook, we’ll cover all the necessary actions and steps to place your first online sports bet.
  • Strategic Tips & Tools: A collection of proven strategies, tips on bankroll management, and more…
DisclaimerNot all forms of gambling are legal in all provinces of Canada. The legal age to gamble also varies by province. Breaking the law is a serious matter. The information provided on this website is meant for educational purposes only, and we will not be held liable for any irresponsible / illegal activity on your part. Know the gambling laws in your province and follow them. The following pages provide more information on Canadian gambling laws:


When people talk about online gambling in Canada, they immediately go into all the loopholes. They state that it’s not illegal, therefore it’s legal; that it falls into a “grey area” of the law, so to speak. That is true of many online gambling activities, including casino games, poker games, lotteries. If the bet is being placed with an international website, it’s not illegal, because the federal government does not expressly criminalize it. But these statements do not apply to sports gambling.

Betting on sports is one activity the federal government chose to weigh in on directly, rather than leaving it up to the provinces. The government scripted very specific laws as to what Canadian punters can and cannot do. We are restricted to parlay-style wagers (multiple picks) through provincial sports lotteries. The legal books are very clear on this.

But here’s the kicker. The Canadian government has no jurisdiction outside of Canada. As we already know, gambling with offshore websites is ‘not illegal’ for Canadians. International laws do not limit the types of bets that can be placed on sports. Therefore, we are well within our rights to place everything from straight up bets to totals, spreads and props with offshore bookmakers.

That’s the short version. For further reading on Canadian iGaming laws, refer to the links below.

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How to Read Sports Betting Odds – EU, UK, US

One of the biggest deterrents for amateur sports bettors is the inability to read the odds presented by so many sportsbooks. The way they are written is determined largely by the country in which the operator is headquartered. Since there are no sports betting websites operating from within Canada, you really don’t know what you’re going to get until you try signing up an account.

There are three different ways to display sports betting odds. Some of the biggest sportsbooks will let you choose which format you’d like to view. This is great if you only want to commit one method to memory. However, if you intend to become an avid, strategically driven punter – especially one who scours the web for arbitrage betting opportunities – you’re going to need to know them all by heart.

The three odds depictions and their respective formats are:

EU – European Decimal Odds

This is the format most often recognized in Canada. Almost all European jurisdictions (outside of Great Britain) give preference to these odds as well. The decimal format displays the amount you will receive for a win, including the return of your original wager.

If the odds are listed as 2.00, betting $10 will award an even money, $10 win, plus the return of your $10 wager – a total return of $20. At odds of 1.5, a $10 bet would award $5 in winnings, or a total return of $15. The easy way to calculate this is to multiply the amount you want to bet by the odds. This is how much money you’ll get back, including the original wager, if you win. From that number, subtract the bet amount to see the profit only.

The formula looks like this:

  • Bet x Odds = Return

  • Return – Bet = Win (Profit)

So, at EU odds of 3.5

  • $10 x 3.5 = $35 Return

  • $35 – $10 = $25 Win

If the odds are set at 1.8

  • $10 x 1.8 = $18 Return

  • $18 – $10 = $8 Win

UK – British Fractional Odds

The majority of international online sportsbooks are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, and frequented by players of British residence. For this reason, UK odds are the most common in the global iGaming industry. If you intend to advanced beyond beginner status, you’ll need to learn them.

The good news is that UK odds are, quite frankly, the easiest odds to understand. They are displayed as a fraction. The first number depicts the amount of money you can win, while the second number refers to the bet you’ll need to make to win it. To see the total return (initial bet + win), simply add both of the fraction’s digits together.

Let’s look at a quick set of examples.

5/3: At odds of 5/3, you’ll need to bet $3 to win $5. The total return for a win would be $8.

3/5: If we reverse the odds to 3/5, you would need to bet $5 to win $3. Again, the total return would be $8.

1/5: Bet $5 to win just $1 (total return $6).

5/1: Bet just $1 to win $5 (total return $6).

1/1: A fair, even-money wager, paying $1 for $1 (total return $2).

You can quickly see if you’re making a bet on the favorite or underdog in a match by simply evaluating which number is higher in the fraction – the first or second. If the first number is higher, it’s a bet on the underdog, awarding a higher win for a smaller bet. If the second number is higher, you’re betting the favorite, wherein you must bet more to win less.

US – American Moneyline Odds

In the United States, the odds are displayed in whats known as a moneyline. They are most often three-digit affairs with either a positive or negative integer (e.g. +140). Moneyline odds are generally only found in the US, and Canadians are not accepted at any US-licensed online sportsbooks, so chances are you won’t come across them. Still, it’s a good idea to know how to read them.

Moneylines are some of the hardest to acclimate to because their formula changes based whether it depicts a positive or negative integer.

Positive Moneyline, +140: If the moneyline is positive, it shows how much you will win for placing a $100 bet. In this case, +140 odds require a $100 bet to win $140. The total return would be $240 ($140 win + $100 bet).

Negative Moneyline, -140: When US odds are displayed as a negative, it means you will need to bet the amount displayed to win $100. In this case, a $140 bet would win $100, with a total return of $240 ($100 win + $140 bet).

Remember, when the moneyline is positive, you are betting on an underdog, and stand to win more than you bet. When the moneyline is negative, you are betting the favorite, and will need to bet more to win less. To summarize:

  • Positive = Win more than you bet
  • Negative = Bet more than you win

Also note that you are not required to bet in $100 increments. If you wish to bet more or less, simply divide the moneyline accordingly.

For example, if you want to bet $20 on a +140 moneyline, the formula would be:

140 x 0.2 = 28

Thus, a $20 bet would win $28 (total return $48).

At -140 odds, the formula would be the same, but the bet/win roles will reverse. You would need to bet $28 to win $20.

Comparison of Regional Odds

The following chart shows a random list of bet-to-win odds, and how they would appear in EU, UK and US formats. Combined with the lessons above, your ability to read this table will help you determine whether you’ve learned anything of value, or if you need to keep practicing.

Bet $ to Win $
EU Odds
UK Odds
US Odds
Bet $100 to win $50
Bet $100 to win $75
Bet $100 to win $100
Bet $100 to win $150
Bet $100 to win $250
Bet $50 to win $100
Bet $75 to win $100
Bet $150 to win $100
Bet $250 to win $100

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Straight Up Bets on Single Sports Events

One thing Canadians have long been forbidden to do on home soil is place a bet on a single sporting event. Sure, we can bet our neighbor $5 that the Maple Leaves will best the Senators, and the authorities won’t come knocking. But serious sports betting – big and/or frequent wagers between punters and underground bookies – are strictly prohibited. Unauthorized gambling of this nature can get you up to two years imprisonment (Criminal Code R.S.C. Part VII, Section 202) per offence.

Fortunately for us, the world wide web washes away the criminal nature of single-event betting – the most popular form of sports wagering in the world among recreational gamblers.

What are Straight Bets?

A straight bet is a wager on a single event. You pick an athlete or team that you think will win, and place a wager on the odds presented. If you pick correctly, you win the bet. If not, you lose. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

The simplicity of straight up bets is why so many beginners and recreational gamblers prefer them. You don’t need any additional knowledge, beyond an understanding of the odds format in use, and once the event is over, you’ll know instantly whether you’ve won or lost.

If, however, you get bored with single-event wagering, or want to try something a little more interesting, check out some of the betting options in our next section.

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Other Types of Online Sports Bets to Consider

The greatest thing about online sports betting is that the wagering options are virtually unlimited. You’ll find every bet type imaginable, on every athletic contest on the planet. Some sites focus only on big sports, but others cover everything from Canadian ice hockey to Mongolian ping pong. If it’s happening on planet earth, you can wager on it, and in a multitude of ways.

Below we’ll take a look at some of the most common, and some less common, types of sports bets, and what you can expect when placing them. The types of bets covered below include:

Point Spreads

Point spread betting is universally popular, and offered across most types of score-based sports. The purpose is to take two teams that are not so evenly matched, and give just enough points to the underdog to even things up. So, instead of betting on a team to win, you’re picking a team to “cover the spread”.

Unlike straight bets, spread bets pay closer to even money on either side of the outcome. If you pick the favorite to win, you’re giving the other team extra points. Your pick doesn’t just have to win. It has to win by enough points to cover the spread, or the number of points given to the other team. Likewise, choose the underdog, and you can still win if your pick loses, so long as adding the point spread to the score gives them enough points to win.

The spreads are set by professional odds makers. They are the people responsible for computing all the relevant statistics and determining what the most probable outcome will be, and therefore what the spread should be. Sportsbooks accept the odds makers data and post their odds accordingly.

Let’s go over a couple examples…

Example 1: Point Spread 6

Let’s say there’s a basketball game where Team A is the favorite, projected to win by 6 points. The spread would be set at 6. This means that Team B is being given 6 points. If the score ends 88-82 in favor of Team A, then in reality, Team A has won the game. However, in the eyes of sports bettors, the game has ended in a tie, since giving Team B 6 points increases the final score to 88-88.

If anyone has bet on Team A or Team B in this match, the bet ends in a draw. All wagers are returned. Draw bets are rarely offered on these games, since that is considered the most probable outcome. The odds display might look like this.

Pick Spread Odds Pick Spread Odds
Team A -6 1.90 Team B +6 1.90

In order to win a bet on Team A, your pick would have to win by at least 7 points (i.e. cover the 6 point spread). Winning a bet on Team B would require your team to either win, or to lose by no less than 5 points. Thus, a final score of 88-81 would be a win for Team A, and 88-83 a win for Team B.

You’ll also notice that the odds are both below even-money payouts. Each win pays only 90% back on the spread ($90 profit on $100 bet). This is so that the sportsbook always has an advantage, similar to casino games and their ever-present house edge.

Example 2: Point Spread 3.5

Sometimes you will see a point spread with a half-point on it. The purpose of the .5 spread is to ensure there are no ties, because let’s face it, if the odds makers were exceptionally good at their job, most spread bets would end in a draw. But their statisticians, not prophets, so it doesn’t usually go that way.

When betting on half-point spreads, the odds are not equal for each participant or team. Someone – either the favorite or the underdog – is being given that half-point advantage. Thus the odds might look like this:

Pick Spread Odds Pick Spread Odds
Team A -3.5 1.85 Team B +3.5 1.95

In this case, the advantage has been given to Team A, the favorite, who is projected to win by 4 points. However, bettors are only getting paid 85% profit ($85 win on a $100 bet). If Team B holds on to lose by no less than 3 points (or pull off an unexpected victory), bets on this team will pay at 95% profit ($95 win for $100 bet). Again, the real advantage is going to the bookmaker, but that’s the norm in spread betting.

Over/Under Totals

These are unique wagers in the sense that you’re not picking any contestant to win. You’re betting on how much the two teams will score in combined points. The odds makers decide what the probable combined score will be, and bettors choose whether the total will be over (higher) or under (lower) that total.

Example: Over/Under 8

Let’s say the Toronto Blue Jays are playing the Seattle Mariners. The projected score is 5-3, favoring Toronto, thus the combined total is set at 8. The Over/Under odds would be:

Pick Total Odds Pick Total Odds
Over 8 1.90 Under 8 1.90

Again, we see a situation where betting either side pays the same. And, if the total is exactly 8, no one wins. All bets are returned. More often, you’ll see something like our next example.

Example: Over/Under 35.5

In other situations, you’ll see half-point totals, similar to half-point spreads; the purpose being the same – to prevent ties. If the NFL’s New York Giants and New England Patriots are projected to score a combined 35 points, the Over/Under would either be set at 34.5 or 35.5.

If set at 35.5, a slight advantage would be given to betting the Under. The odds might look something like this.

Pick Total Odds Pick Total Odds
Over 35.5 2.00 Under 35.5 1.80

Betting the Over would present an even money payout, but the probability of success is lower. This suggests that the bookmaker is confident that the Under bet is the more likely outcome, therefore sets the payout at 80%, or $80 win for a $100 bet.

Parlay Bets

Any Canadian sports bettor should be familiar with parlays. They are the only type of wager we’re legally offered by our provincial sports lotteries. A parlay is nothing more than a series of straight bets on multiple picks. The more picks you make, the higher the payout will be. However, all of your picks must win in order to get paid. If you pick 5 teams to win, and only 4 are correct, you lose the bet.

Parlays can be made on straight bets, point spreads, over/under totals, or a combination thereof.

Handicap Betting

This is a special type of wager in which the punter can either choose the odds, or the spread. Whichever you choose, the bookmaker sets the other accordingly. For example, if you choose to take extra points, the bookmaker will set the odds further against you. Or, you can choose to give more points in exchange for better odds.

To better explain, we’ll go back to our straight bet example between Manchester United and Liverpool. The initial odds were as follows.

Pick Odds Pick Odds Pick Odds
Manchester 1.75 Draw 3.50 Liverpool 2.75

Let’s say you want to bet on Manchester, but you want to get paid more for it. You think Man-U is going to win by a large enough margin of points to give up one. In handicap betting, you can set the spread to Manchester -1, and in exchange, the bookmaker might increase the odds to 2.25. Or, maybe you want to go the other way, betting on Liverpool with a +1 spread. The odds might drop to 2.25.

With the 1-point handicap, the new odds would look like this.

Pick Handicap Pick Pick Handicap Odds
Manchester -1 2.25 Liverpool +1 2.25

Maybe you think Man-U is going to destroy Liverpool, and are willing to give up 2 points. The odds could be set much further in your favor if you’re willing to give 2 points.

Pick Handicap Odds Pick Handicap Odds
Manchester -2 4.5 Liverpool +2 1.40

Teasers are a combination of parlay bets and handicaps. Like parlays, you’ll pick multiple outcomes, but you can adjust the lines, point spreads or totals – in exchange for diminished odds – just as you would in handicap betting. These bets do look a lot more appealing then traditional parlays, but the sacrifice can be pretty steep.

For example, a standard 3-pick parlay should carry odds of 7.00 (or 6 to 1). A 6-point teaser would allow the bettor to adjust the point spreads or totals by 6 points. You can add those points however you wish. Throw 2 more points to the underdog in match 1, increase the over/under by 3 points in another, and subtract 1 from the takeaway of the favorite in the third. Or, if you’re confident in your first two picks, you could throw all six points to the third pick. It doesn’t matter how you use the points, so long as you win all three picks. Unfortunately, the payoff will only be 2 to 1 as the odds drop from 7.00 to 3.00.

2-pick teasers are quite a bit easier to win, but the odds fall from 3.60 to just 1.90, or $90 win for a $100 bet.

A head-to-head bet is one where the bettor is picking one team, athlete, race car driver, etc. to place higher than another in a given tournament series or season. They are largely popular in sports like golf, NASCAR and tennis. The sportsbooks will decide which head-to-head competitions are fair enough to set odds for. You will never see odds on the PGA Tour’s worst-ranked golfer versus the top-rated golfer. Head to head bets are inherently designed to pair competitors of similar rank.

Proposition Bets (a.k.a. Props)

These are the most versatile of all sports wagers. You can expect to find a wider variety of proposition bets than any other type. A prop bet is simply a proposition that something will or won’t occur, or that one thing will occur before another. Depending on the type of sporting event your betting on, the range of props can be incredible.

I’m going to list a few examples, but that’s all. You’ll get the idea soon enough.

  • First team to score a point / goal / touchdown, etc.
  • First player to score a point / goal / touchdown, etc.
  • Time first score will be made (within first minute, first quarter, first period, etc).
  • Which team will take first offensive possession / win coin toss.
  • First team to be penalized.
  • Team to score first will win the game.
  • Quarterback will be intercepted.
  • Penalty kick will occur.
  • Player scores hat-trick.
  • Game goes to overtime.
  • Specified player scores more points than another specified player.

This list really could go on and on. Prop bets, by nature, tend to be more risky than other wagers, so you can expect to get a nice payout for winning one. The more difficult the prop, the high the odds. For example, the coin toss in football games is a 50/50 chance, so you’ll get paid just under even money for that one. The probability that a soccer player – even the best in the league – achieving a hat trick (3 goals in a single game) are 3% at best. You should get fantastic odds on that one, but good luck actually winning it!

Futures (a.k.a. Outrights)

Futures are, as the name implies, bets on the impending future of a player or team. These bets are especially popular with championship league sports, such as the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL; any league in which teams compete for a championship. Futures bets can only be placed before a league season begins, and are not settled until the season is over.

Here are some basic examples of prop bets:

  • Montreal Canadiens to win the Stanley Cup.
  • Seattle Seahawks to make the Playoffs.
  • A specific player to be named league MVP.
  • Tennis player to win Wimbledon.
  • Golfer to win the PGA Tour.
  • Driver to win the NASCAR Cup.

These are long-shot bets, and can have astronomical payouts. For example, Superbowl LIV, held February 3, 2020, saw the Kansas City Chiefs go on to beat the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 31-20. Anyone who bet Futures on KC prior to the start of the season pulled in a nice 10 to 1 profit. Those betting SF would have been paid 7 to 1, if they had won.

Other teams were considered insanely unlikely to win, like the New York Jets, New York Giants, and Miami Dolphins, who were all set to pay 10,000 to 1 for a proverbial Bad News Bears season.

Futures get a lot of attention, not because they’re easy to win, but because one unimaginable comeback season can be worth so much. Who wouldn’t be willing to post a $1 bet on an unlikely outcome for a potential $10k payoff?

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How to Bet on Sports Over the Internet

The internet has blown the doors wide open in terms of sports betting opportunities for Canadian punters. What was once a highly restrictive and largely unappealing market is now every avid sports gamblers dream. Every wager, on every sport, can be placed anytime, from anywhere. But with the good comes the bad – in this case, the risk of joining a rogue sportsbook. As gambling enthusiasts, we are used to taking risks, but this is one risk you should never have to take. Fortunately, it’s an easy one to avoid, too.

While your safety and security should be the number one priority, there are other qualities you should be looking for when choosing an internet sportsbook.

Choosing the Right Online Sportsbook for You

Starting with the security side of the spectrum – safety first! – the absolute most important thing to look for is a site licensed and regulated in a reputable jurisdiction. The short and sweet version – Malta or the UK. They are home to the two strictest remote gambling regulatory bodies in the world. Anything else may or may not be safe – may or may not enforce the same level of player protections – may or may not demand unwavering compliance with the law.

You can find the licensing jurisdiction for any online gambling website by scrolling to the bottom of its main page. If you see a logo for the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) or Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), click it. If it takes you to the operator’s license status page, and that status is ‘Active‘, you know you’re in good hands.

For further information and more detailed explanations as to why these jurisdictions are so favorable (and why some others are not), visit the following link. It is geared towards online casinos, rather than sportsbooks, but the information provided is relevant to all iGaming markets.

Once you’ve established the safety of an operator, it’s time to get to the finer details. Obviously, Canadian players must be accepted. There should be viable deposit and withdrawal methods provided. All the types of sports and wagers you’re looking for should be presented. When everything you desire aligns, you know you’ve found the right website for your sports betting needs.

Signing Up and Funding Your Account

Account registration is a simple process, but one you should never rush through. Make sure to enter all of the required fields, and double check everything for accuracy. If the info you provide does not match your true name, address, date of birth, etc., it will come back to bite you in the proverbial behind. Operators are legally obligated to verify the identity of all customers. If your info doesn’t check out, you can forget about cashing out any winnings. At best, your wagers will be void, your initial deposits returned, and your account closed. At worst, you get nothing back and your account closed. So again, make sure your fill out the form accurately during sign up.

Next, you’ll need to make a deposit to fund your account. You can do this by visiting the banking page, choosing your preferred deposit option from the list provided, and following the instructions. My advice would be to choose a payment method you’re already familiar with. Not only will this alleviate any undue anxiety, it will expedite the process. Once you submit the payment, your account balance should reflect it within just a few seconds.

First-Timers: How to Bet at an Online Sportsbook

Now comes the moment you’ve been waiting for – placing that very first wager. There’s no rush. Take your time navigating the sports menu. Look at the different bets available, examine the odds, note whether they’re displayed in EU, UK, and/or US format. If it’s not shown in your preferred format, see if you can adjust it.

If you aren’t able to navigate the site easily enough on your own, or if you have any questions at all, reference the FAQ page. There’s always a FAQ page there to guide you, and odds are you’ll find everything you need on it. don’t hesitate to open a Live Chat either. Support reps should be available 24/7 to assist.

Once you’ve become familiar with site navigation, then move on to placing your bet(s). Here’s a quick step-by-step tutorial of what you can expect.

  1. Choose the sport you want to bet on.

  2. Browse all upcoming matches for that sport.

  3. Select the contest you want to bet on.

  4. Choose the type of bet you want to place.

  5. Enter the amount you want to wager.

  6. Examine the Bet Slip thoroughly, making edits if needed.

  7. Submit the bet.

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Sports Betting Strategy, Tips and Tools of the Trade

How much strategy you apply to your sports betting activities should depend entirely on your goal. Yes, of course you want to win. Everyone wants to win. But are you betting for entertainment purposes, or are you seriously trying to make some extra cash?

The truth is, most of us are recreational bettors who do it for fun. We bet because it makes the experience of watching the game more interesting. Which brings me to my first piece of advice…

Do not bet on your favorites.

If you are genuinely passionate about a team, or athlete, or who/whatever it is that competes in your preferred sport, do not bet on them. It’s very likely that you are too emotionally invested to make smart decisions. And besides, you are already interested in watching this contest, because of your emotional investment. As a recreational bettor, you should focus on betting the games that you wouldn’t find as interesting without putting action on them, thus amplifying your enthusiasm to watch.

Don’t get carried away (lessons in bankroll management).

Some of the most common mistakes made by novice punters are:

  1. Win the first bet, get overly excited, then bet/lose too much thereafter.

  2. Bet more than you can afford, thinking you’ve got a sure thing.

  3. Chase losses by betting more than you can afford.

The best way to avoid the pitfalls of problem gambling – and make no mistake, these are all signs of problem gambling – is to understand what you’re getting into, and employ smart bankroll management before you ever get started. Set aside an amount of cash you can afford to wager, and never exceed it. If all of your bets lose, take a break. You’ll have to save up more to restock your bankroll, then get back to it when you can.

When you do win, make sure to enjoy it to the fullest. Instead of reinvesting every dime back into wagers, withdrawal the profit and use it to treat yourself. This way you’re gaining something tangible from the experience.

Do your homework.

If you’re really committed to winning your bets – or at least winning more than you lose – take the time to study the contests you want to bet on. Luck has very little to do with sports betting. It’s 90% skill. The only thing luck effects is outlying elements, like weather and injuries. An average player might have the best game of his life, just as a star player might have a terrible day. These things can and do happen. But for the most part, statistics and past performances will help you determine where to place your bets.

For this reason, I strongly suggest only betting on the sports you’re genuinely interested in. If you hate golf, you’re not going to enjoy researching golfers and fairway conditions. If you love basketball, learning more about the players and teams will come easy to you. At the very least, tune your television to TSN and watch SportsCentre now and again.

Don’t follow the pack.

Early on, it’s easy to follow along with what everyone else is doing. But if you place all your wagers on the same contests that the majority of punters are betting on, guess what? You’re long-term results will be negative. Bookmakers thrive on the majority of bettors. It’s where they make most of their money. If the majority were making correct picks the majority of the time, sportsbooks would be out of business.

That’s not to say that you should bet the opposite of the pack on every wager. What it means is that you need to find your individuality as a sports bettor. Those who are able to separate the usual wagers from the exceptional ones – they are the pros who go on to make careers out of it.

Seek arbitrage betting opportunities.

Arbitrage betting – similar to hedge betting, but eliminating all risk – is the process of betting both sides of the same contest in such a way that you’re guaranteed a profit. These are incredibly rare, and the profit margin is always small, but if you know what to look for, and have the time to put into it, there’s nothing more satisfying.

The process is too involved to discuss here, so we’ve devoted an entire ‘How To’ page to it.

Employ the Kelly Criterion Betting Strategy

The Kelly Criterion is mathematical formula that can be applied to many different types of wagering, including sports betting. It has its flaws, as do all sports betting strategies, but it isn’t called the “scientific gambling method” for nothing. Use of this system will tell you whether a bet has a positive or negative expected value, and if positive, exactly what fraction of your bankroll to bet on it for maximum value.

How to Use the Kelly Criterion in Sports Betting

Take sports handicappers with a grain of salt.

Spend just a little time scouring the web for sports betting strategies and you’ll soon discover an endless line of professional handicappers peddling their picks. Every single one will tell you how good they are, how successful they are, and how often their picks win. Most will display win rates of incredible sizes; as high as 80%!

If 80% of their picks were always right, they would be retired, sipping fruity beverages on an exotic island somewhere. When a handicapper says 80% accuracy, it means that one time, somewhere in the past, they had an 80% day or week. If they’re not up front and honest about that, you should think twice about buying their picks.

I’m not saying all handicappers or bad, or that you should never pay for a pick list. A lot of people do it, and some have great luck with it. But that’s just it – you’re exchanging the skill factor for luck; not your luck, but someone else’s. If you do want to go that way, be sure to read the entire website, and research what other people are saying about it. These guys are not required to follow any regulatory guidelines the way sportsbook operations are. And if you’re truly impressed with what handicapping can theoretically do for your ROI, maybe you should consider learning how to handicap your own sports bets.

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