The world of sports betting is exciting, rewarding, and potentially profitable – as long as you make the right choices a majority of the time. Consider these four pieces of advice that can help you grow your bankroll.

1. Money management is the key

Never overlook the importance of your bankroll!  The entire goal of sports betting is growing your bankroll, and your strategy must take you towards this goal.

The best way to manage your bankroll is by developing consistent betting amounts for each wager; this helps to eliminate the dangers of emotion in betting.  It would be unwise to bet 1% of a bankroll on one game and then turn around and wager 40% of the bankroll on a different game because it «feels» right.

You should bet the same amount on every game or have a basic rating system to slightly raise the wager amount for stronger plays. A structured money management system is vital to the long-term success of the sports bettor.

2. Have an open mind

When a bettor first glances at a point spread, he will notice that one team is the favorite, while the other is the underdog. Most novice sports bettors will lean towards the favored team. The logic assumes that the favored team is the better team. It is true that favored teams will win games more often than underdogs. However, it is also a general fact that favorites will only cover the spread about as much as favorites.

In turn, some bettors will fall into the trap of riding underdogs. In this concept, there is a perceived advantage due to the plus points that are given to an underdog. While there are many instances where underdogs fare better than expected, there are just as many examples of underdogs getting crushed.

What’s the moral of the story? The bettor should approach each game with an open mind without any preconceived notions about the favorite or underdog.

3. Don’t be afraid to pass

In the NFL, 32 teams play a schedule of 16 games over a 17-week period. In college football, 120 teams at the FBS level play 12 games over a 3-month season. In the NBA, 30 teams play 82 regular season games. In college hoops, there are over 300 division-one schools that play a schedule of 30 games during the winter. Major league baseball teams compete on almost a daily basis to play a slate of 162 games in a period of 180 days.

Clearly, there are boundless games for the bettor to choose from in a typical year. However, there are some instances when a bettor could be trapped into a betting a game he should probably pass on.  How can you identify these «trap» games?

Television is the main culprit for many of these «trap» games, with football being the largest trap of all. In the NFL, Sunday and Monday night games are usually some of the better matchups of the year. While there are several games being played on a typical NFL Sunday afternoon, the night games stand alone. Many novice bettors feel that they have to bet on these night games, but in reality, these games may not yield any real edge to the bettor.

There are also many hyped college football games that can also tempt the bettor to force a bet. In addition, this concept can apply to basketball and baseball, but to a lesser degree.

Remember, the bookmaker is obligated to set odds for all of these games, but the bettor isn’t required to follow this lead to wager on every contest. The bettor should ignore the hype and televised aspects of a game when it comes to the handicapping process. It is perfectly acceptable to take a pass on a Monday night game or any other hyped contest.

4. Shopping for lines

Many novice sports bettors will use only one sports book, but this can cut into the profits of the bettor in the long run. Despite all the casino corporation mergers in Nevada, there are still a variety of sports books to choose from in the state.

There are even more options for sports books online, and you can easily visit different sites to find the best available line on a particular game.  Most often, a game will not fall too close to the point spread, but there will be a solid amount of games that will fall near the point spread over a large volume of wagers.

In a profession where just a 55% success rate is considered outstanding, the ability to get the best odds is vital in building a long-term bankroll. Proper shopping of lines can turn close losses into narrow victories for the sports bettor.

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