In business, everyone is looking for the next big idea that will generate untold riches – and this concept easily applies to sports betting. Is there some magical concept waiting to be discovered that will beat the point spread?

Many have tried in the past to uncover a system to predict point spread winners, and there will be plenty of others in the future who will try to find a strategy to beat the bookmaker. However, is there really a foolproof system in sports betting?

Can you predict human behavior?

There are indeed strong betting systems and strategies that have proven to be successful, but they all face on inherent problem: changing human behavior.

Most of the successful sports betting systems are deeply tied to the past outcomes of games, which are believed to be the greatest indicator of future outcomes. However, in reality, sports are constantly evolving.  For example, while the fundamental rules in baseball have essentially stayed the same in baseball in the last century, the performance of the players has dramatically changed.  The scoring in baseball during the 1980s was vastly different from the steroid era in the game that emerged in the late 1990s.

Many sports betting systems simply cannot keep up with the constant changes that occur in sports. Even subtle changes to the style of a game can have a major effect on the point spread results.

At the end of the day, sports betting involves human beings, which are inherently unpredictable. Subsequently, there is no way to develop a perfect betting system. Nonetheless, the bettor can still find strategies that are capable of turning a profit over the long run.

Streak betting

This form of betting is rather simple and doesn’t really involve any handicapping. In this form of wagering, the bettor will determine a set number that is considered a streak. Once a team reaches the predetermined number to qualify as a streak, the bettor will automatically bet on or against the team that is on a streak.

There are two major positives to this form of betting. First, the bettor can only lose once in this system, when the streak ends.  Second, he can ride the streak to win many games in a row.

However, the major flaw or problem in this system involves the timing of when the bettor jumps on the streaking team. A club that has won four straight games could just as easily lose the fifth game than win it.

In the end, the bettor using this strategy should incorporate some handicapping to identify hot and cold teams. This system should generally be used on a very limited basis.

Following the lines

There are several ways that sports bettors will try to take advantage of the various line moves that occur on a particular game.

The first concept involves trying to middle a game. In this system of betting, the player will have wagers on both teams.  Here’s an example of an opening and closing line that could result in a middle: Opening line: Team A (-6), Team B (+6), closing line: Team A (-3), Team B (+3).

To try to get a middle, the bettor would place a bet on team B at the beginning and team A at the end. If team A wins by four or five points, the bettor will have recorded a middle on the game. In other words, each of his bets on the game would win, despite the fact he placed wagers on both teams. The bettor needs to middle only 1 out of 20 games to turn a modest profit with this strategy.

Unfortunately, this system is difficult to implement. There aren’t too many games where the odds will move more than a point or two.   In addition, the bettor must anticipate how the lines will move off of the opening odds.  To use this strategy properly, the bettor needs to have a strong understanding of how lines will move from day to day.

In a slightly different strategy, bettors will simply follow line moves. In this system, the concept revolves around following the smart money that is coming in on a team. However, the flaw in this system involves the bettors that follow the original move obtaining less favorable odds than the players that placed the original wagers. Bettors that use this strategy need to closely evaluate the true value of a wager at a less desirable number.

While there may not be any magical sports betting system, there are certainly smart strategies to employ that will help you win an edge against the bookmaker.

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