Patented in 1971 by Japanese salesman Goro Hasegawa, the board game Othello bears the slogan “A minute to learn… a lifetime to master.” The sports gambling industry operates in much the same way, as it’s easier than ever for new users to download an app and get started betting on their favorite teams and sports.
Despite that unparalleled ease of access, though, sports betting is notoriously fickle, and even the most experienced bettors still lose bets. The mantra that “the house always wins” exists for a reason, but that’s not to say that one can’t net money by betting on sports if they’re savvy about it. Here are some of the strategies used by seasoned bettors in order to secure a profit.
The basic premise behind hedging bets is to reduce the potential for loss as much as possible, and it’s one of the best strategies for securing a betting win. It’s one of the oldest betting strategies known to man, as the phrase “to hedge your bets” dates back to the seventeenth century.
Let’s say that at the start of this past NFL season, you placed a $100 bet on the Baltimore Ravens to win this year’s Super Bowl at +1200 odds. Fast forward to the end of January, and the Ravens have, indeed, managed to win the AFC Championship and are headed for Super Bowl LVIII in Paradise, Nevada. You might be pretty excited about the chance to win $1300 off that initial bet if the Ravens win, but you shouldn’t sell out and root hard for the Ravens in the game.
Continuing the hypothetical, let’s say they’re set to face the San Francisco 49ers, who are listed as slight favorites in the matchup at -110, place $330 on the Niners to win it all. It might seem counterintuitive to bet against yourself, but what you’re really doing is guaranteeing a win no matter what. If the Ravens win, you walk away with $970: the $1300 you win from your initial bet, minus the hedge you placed on San Francisco. If the Niners win, you walk away with $530: the $630 you win from the bet you hedged, minus the $100 you placed on the Ravens to start the year.
It takes a bit of luck to start out with, as this scenario assumes you pick correctly on one of the conference champions, but there are few things so heartbreaking as coming within reach of victory and falling just short: bet hedging helps negate that possibility.
This is a newer strategy, but with the wealth of betting platforms operating today, it’s an excellent way to get your feet wet in the world of sports gambling… and win some money too. Almost every sportsbook offers a lofty bonus for creating an account and making your first deposit with their platform, whether it’s a deposit match (often up to $500 or $1,000) or a risk-free bet of the same amount.
Betting operators want you to use their platform, and so they’re prepared to pay handsomely to get you to do so with things like these Fanatics Sportsbook Promo Codes. Once again, these strategies are far from foolproof — you still have to win a bet with that deposit match in order to withdraw the funds from your account, and you can lose a second-chance bet just as easily as you can lose your first chance — but they’re a nice shot in the arm to help you get started.
Even if you’re already an experienced sports bettor, there are still plenty of new sportsbooks opening, each of them offering these types of sign on bonuses. Much like with bet hedging, it’s a good way to increase your chances of winning, even if you can’t guarantee them.
Last but not least, I’ll leave you with some final thoughts to keep in mind. One of the best ways to ensure success as a sports bettor is to make sure you don’t get in over your head. They say that you should never bet any money you can’t afford to lose entirely, and those are words to live by. You’re never guaranteed to win a bet, no matter how good the odds may seem. Any number of freak accidents could occur, like a star player tearing their Achilles’ tendon on the first drive of the game like Aaron Rodgers did back in September.
Similarly, they say that you should quit while you’re ahead… but it’s equally important to quit while you’re behind and get out with a level head intact. Rather than continuing to sink money in an attempt to make back what you lost, step away and give yourself a break so that things don’t spiral out of control.