This question might seem a little familiar because we’ve been asked it a hundred times since the legalization of sports betting in the United States. Let’s break it down:
The And Means You’ll Always Need
When it comes to sports betting, the words “and” and “or” take on entirely new meanings. You may be familiar with the term “margin of victory” when it comes to horse racing—the difference between how much your horse actually won compared to the amount you bet on it. When applied to sports betting, this is known as the “spread.” The wider the spread, the more you’ll win when compared to your wager. Naturally, this is what you’ll always need to keep in mind if you want to make money off of sports betting: you need to bet on the sides with the best odds of winning. As with any other type of gambling, the more familiar you become with the odds, the more confident and profitable you’ll become. Below we’ll discuss the importance of reading winning vs losing trends, followed by an in-depth look at each side’s odds of winning.
The Importance of Reading Winning vs Losing Trends
It’s important to understand the difference between winning and losing trends when analyzing sports betting. When looking at a long list of games with their respective results, you’ll be presented with a situation where some teams are consistently winning and others are consistently losing. This is called a winning trend and a losing trend, respectively. Knowing which one to focus on can mean the difference between a good season and an excellent season in terms of earnings. Let’s take a closer look at each:
Won vs Lost Trend
If you look at a long list of games with their results, you’ll notice that some are predominantly winning while others are predominantly losing. Teams that are in a winning trend tend to continue winning games while those in a losing trend tend to lose more often. When you’re in a winning trend, you’ll make a substantial amount of money over the long haul; conversely, when you’re in a losing trend, the opposite is true. You’ll make a lot of money initially, but over time, your wealth will dwindle. This is why knowing which trend is which can be so beneficial: if you’re in a winning trend, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to place wagers and cash in on the action; if you’re in a losing trend, you’ll need to take more cautious approaches because you know that eventually, the losses will catch up with you. Naturally, this doesn’t mean that you should completely avoid betting on games that are in a losing trend: sometimes, there are so few options that it’s worth the gamble. In general, you’ll do better staying away from games where the results are inconsistent or unpredictable. This just means that you’ll need to be hyper-vigilant when analyzing the results of these games. Keep in mind that the most effective strategies for maximizing your sports betting wins will always remain strategies that are effective for beating the house. This requires a lot of research, lots of games, and a good bit of experience before you can start raking in the big bucks. Of course, with the right help, it’s possible for even the least experienced of sports bettors to make a killing.
The Odds Of Winning
We were already briefly introduced to the concept of odds when discussing betting strategies. As a general rule of thumb, the longer the odds, the more you’ll win when compared to your wager. When looking at long-shots or propositions where the reward is far out of proportion to what you’ve invested, the odds will often seem daunting. To give you an idea of how much you’ll win with a particular wager, let’s take a look at some examples.
For instance, if you’ve ever played the lottery, you might be familiar with the concept of a “scratch card.” These are specially marked cards that you buy at the store with the intent of using them at random to reveal a winning lottery number. If you use those same cards at a gambling establishment, you’ll trigger a bonus round where you can multiply your winnings. These types of bonuses are generally offered at online sportsbooks where the odds are often much longer because there are fewer regulations that restrain the house. If you’re lucky, you might trigger one of these bonus rounds and end up hitting the jackpot—but odds are, you’ll just end up losing a lot of money.
Another example would be a daily fantasy sports site like [Yahoo Fantasy Sports](https://my.live.fyi/index/sportsbook_login?ref=login_header) where you can take a team of five and a random team of athletes from around the globe and give them goals and have them compete against each other for your amusement. If you look at the odds of each fantasy matchup, you’ll notice that they are usually very long due to the low amounts of games that are usually played in a given day. This is where you can find longer odds than you’ll often see in standard sports betting. Naturally, this doesn’t mean that you should blindly follow these odds or make wagers based on them alone. You still need to analyze the results of previous games and use that information to inform your decision making process. Just remember that if you’re used to betting on games with short odds, you’ll need to adjust your strategy a bit to fit the longer shots.
The Importance Of Shorts vs Longs
Because we’re often told that longer odds mean you’ll win, people who are new to betting will automatically gravitate toward these types of wagers. While it’s true that longer odds usually mean you’ll win, this is far from always the case. There are instances where shorter odds can lead to bigger wins. Let’s take a look at some examples. First, we’ll examine some cases where longer odds lead to bigger wins:
If you’ve ever played the lottery, you might be familiar with the concept of “chasing tickets.” Essentially, you purchase a bunch of scratch cards in hopes of winning a large jackpot. If you play those same cards at a gambling establishment, you might hit a bonus round where you can multiply your winnings. In these cases, the tickets are often longer because there’s a higher probability that you’ll hit the jackpot if you buy a longer string of them. In mathematical terms, this is known as “chasing tickets.” Naturally, this doesn’t mean that you should play the lottery at a gambling establishment or that you should play these types of bonus rounds. This just means that in some instances, the longer odds can lead to bigger wins.
Evens vs Odds
Sometimes, you’ll see odds that are even—this is when two teams are assigned an even chance of winning (generally, a coin flip will assign each a 50% chance of winning). The spread will be zero in these instances because there’s no advantage to either side. If you look at the long list of games with their respective results, you’ll notice that even odds nearly always lead to a zero spread and a 50/50 chance of winning. This means that if you’ve ever played the lottery, you might want to consider playing the odds instead because they’ll nearly always lead to bigger wins. In some cases, it’s possible that the oddsmaker’s ineptitude might result in you profiting from the mistake. Just remember that if you are used to playing games with even odds, you’ll need to adjust your strategy to fit the more unpredictable situations that arise from playing the odds.
While it might seem like you’re shooting in the dark by blindly following the results of games without understanding the odds, this is often times the case. People who are new to sports betting almost always want to play the field—that is, pick their desired outcome and avoid risking what they’ve invested. While this might seem like a sound strategy in theory, it can often lead to bigger problem if not implemented correctly. In cases where the odds are extremely long (generally, over 100:1), it might be better to just drop the bet or take a pass because the rewards of hitting the big time are just not worth the risk. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid games with long odds altogether: sometimes, they can lead to bigger wins. It’s more of a guideline that you can use to help you make the wagers that will best serve your goals. Just keep in mind that in some cases, the longer the odds, the bigger your loss will be if you don’t understand what they mean. In terms of sports betting, there are always levels of risk that you’ll need to consider before you make a wager. Naturally, this will vary based on what type of betting market you’re in—this article is simply intended to help those who are new to the game get a leg up by explaining the various terms that they’ll likely encounter along the way.