Online Betting and Bankroll Management
Nowadays, betting online on sports is becoming more and more popular. People no longer need to go to the race-track or down to the bookie's office to wager, and they no longer need to deal with shady back-alley characters either to place their wagers. On top of that, the selection of sports they can choose to wager on, is truly overwhelming.
Thus, no wonder, that betting on sports might seem like a relatively easy and straightforward way to make a living. While it does have the potential to earn a living for a skilled bettor, for the vast public, sports betting is anything but an easy way to generate dough.
Most people fail to grasp the very nature of this game. They go in there, place a few bets, than they're disappointed they lost. They take a closer look and "realize" that everything is set up in a way that leaves them with meager odds. The problem with these recreational bettors is that they are not interested enough to take an in-depth look at what's going on, and try to learn something.
By its nature, sports betting is a high-variance gambling genre. In that respect, it's a lot like online poker. Therefore, much like in poker, the primary goal of a participant should be to drag play on for as long as possible. The short-term variation will mean, that winning will only occur in the long-run, but to achieve that, a person needs to play on for a good while. If one busts his/her bankroll on the first few bets he/she makes, it's all a lost cause, because "long-run" will simply never happen.
The way to reach the "long-run" is through bankroll management. In that respect, experts advise players to clearly set aside a sports-betting bankroll (money that is not taken away from rent, or any other daily needs) in order to keep their sports betting on a "professional" level. It is also not recommended that a sports bettor bet any more than 1-5% of his/her bankroll on any single match-up. In sports betting, you'll often come face to face with the concept of "lock". Make sure you thoroughly understand and hammer it into your brain, that there is no such thing as a "lock". While some games may look more enticing than others (bet 5% on these, and only 3% on games you don't have such a good feeling about), locks simply do not exist.
Once you manage your bankroll properly, you still need to fulfill a few criteria to become a long-term winner. While playing for a long time is absolutely imperative, it is by no means enough to make you money. This takes us back to the parallel I drew up earlier on, about online poker and sports betting. Like in poker, you need to secure a few edges that you can apply and reapply time and time again, in order to get ahead of the action. While in poker you have rakeback, table selection and a whole bunch of other such things, in sports betting you can only rely on your handicapping skills, and on your ability to correctly locate hidden value.
Paying a lot of attention to details is certainly part of the game. The use of reverse handicapping (the kind that starts from the Vegas lines and draws its conclusions accordingly) is a must. You need to be able to read the shifting lines, and see things from a bookmaker's perspective as well. A sharp is far from being just a very good handicapper. He's also an expert bookmaker, as well as a handicapper, and he certainly knows how to treat his bankroll.
If you thought making money in sports betting was easy, I'd really like to know what you think now. Money never comes easy, and sports betting is a relevant proof in that respect.