Sports Betting – How to Make Smart, Profitable Bets

Millions of people are glued to their TVs this Sunday to watch Super Bowl LIII, but it’s not just about the football. In fact, Americans will place billions in wagers on the game and other sports this year — and it’s changing how we watch. It’s no longer a case of watching the game, filling out your bracket and watching your friends’ brackets — it’s about predicting how many points will be scored and who will win. And while gambling on sports isn’t a new concept, the rise of legalized sports betting has blurred the lines between sports media coverage and fandom and even between covering games and making money from them.

Sports betting isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, and winning consistently requires research, knowledge and discipline. It also takes time to understand how sports betting odds work and how to interpret them. Here are some tips for making smart, profitable bets:

Learn the Fundamentals: Develop a clear understanding of how the different types of bets work, including straight bets and spread bets. Study statistics and seek professional guidance if necessary. Determine your betting budget and stick to it.

Set up a dedicated bank account that’s exclusively for sports betting. This will help you stay in control and avoid the temptation to bet with other funds that you might need. Use a calculator or software to calculate your risk and potential profits.

Use Sharp, an online tool that analyzes teams and their profitability on the moneyline, against the spread and when betting totals (over/unders). It also shows you how much vig — or juice — is charged by the bookmaker, which subtracts from your winning bets.

A profitable bet is one that wins more often than it loses. It isn’t a guarantee of riches, but if you make the right bets and don’t lose too much, you can turn a profit.

Become a Line Shopper

A popular way to increase your chances of profiting is by “line shopping.” This means placing bets on both sides of an event at different sportsbooks with slightly different odds. The goal is to make a bet that lands precisely on the edge of your margin of victory, which you can do by studying social media trends and looking at public betting percentages on individual teams and outcomes.

Another great way to boost your profit margin is by taking advantage of over/under lines that are skewed by public sentiment. When the majority of bettors are on a particular outcome, the sportsbook will adjust its odds to balance the action. This is especially true for high-profile events, such as the Super Bowl, where a significant number of bettors will back the same team or player. This public sentiment can be spotted by using social media trends, sports forums and betting sites that track public betting percentages to identify the most skewed over/under lines. The lower the number, the more favored the team or player is. For example, the 2022 World Cup soccer odds showed Brazil with a lower number than France and England, while the United States and Germany were both favored with higher numbers.