The key to serious sports betting and making consistent profits from your sports bets is in finding what we call value bets. A value bet is when we believe that the chances of a particular outcome are higher than what the odds suggest. It point cannot be understated. You should only bet when there is betting value.
Let us repeat ourselves to make it clear – we should only bet when we believe the chances of a particular outcome are greater than what the odds on offer reflect.
The key is to find value in lines over time that will lead to a great return on investment. The more value you find in a line, the more you should be betting on it. The less value you find, the less you should be betting on it. In this way, you can see both aspects of value as it relates to the present (the spread) and the future (increased bet size for bigger profit).
Value can come from a number of different aspects of sports betting, whether it be trends, matchups, depth and other factors. Since the betting public prefers to the favored team, I find it a lot easier finding value on underdogs. You really can find value in moneylines where it costs more to win less on the favored team, thus taking the underdog where you more by betting less.
Straight up records mean nothing in sports betting. It is all about the point spread. A team sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference can have a better ATS record than a team at the top. An NBA team may have a straight up record of 4-12 but an ATS record of 13-3. A team like this would offer great value against the spread but terrible value on the money line.
To find value, I like to set a line for myself after handicapping the game and then check my line against the actual Vegas line. If it is 3 or more points off, there is usually some value there. If it is 5-10 points off, then it is a play that I really love and will not hesitate to load up on.
One way to find value is to compare the lines from previous games to the current one. This especially works when comparing lines against similar teams that your team is playing that day. Another is to check head-to-head history and see what past lines were in comparison to today’s line. I especially like using this for NBA totals. If teams tend to play in defensive battles when they get together, then they are likely to do so again, or vice versa.
The best way to maximize the value you get on a particular game is to shop around for the best lines. One sports book can give you an extra half-point on the spread, and another may offer you more cash on the moneyline. The best way to take advantage is to be signed up at various books with your account loaded and ready to go. Thus, check out the online sportbooks reviews that are offered.