While sports betting outcomes are sometimes due to chance (and guesswork), success depends heavily on the knowledge of the punter. An understanding of how various bet types work, intimate knowledge of the sport and access to statistics can go a long way in guiding your decisions. With these insights in mind, random gambling gives way to informed betting.
Things to check before placing your bet:
1) Type of Bet
The world of sports betting can be overwhelming due to its multitude of markets and betting options. It is important for punters to understand the various bet types, the implications of each and their relevant payout.
Pre-match bets are placed before the game starts, while in-play betting can take place during the game. Thus, in-play betting allows gamblers to benefit from knowledge on how the team or player is performing on that specific day. Punters can also choose from a range of betting markets, such as the first team to score, the winner of a particular half or the exact final score. Bets can also be combined into multi-bets or parlays, where gamblers have to win a series of bets but with a bigger payout.
2) Odds & Favourites
Almost every sports betting website displays odds and favourites, which sometimes vary in accuracy. It is important for punters to understand what the odds actually mean and to verify them through multiple sources.
While betting on teams, players and events that have a greater chance of winning is safer, it also results in a greatly reduced payout. It is often wise to place multiple bets; some on the favourites and others across the board, betting on “dark horses” and those with recent successful performances. Sometimes betting on ‘second best’ can have a greater return on investment.
3) Scoreboards & Statistics (recent)
Every sportsbook fan should have a deep knowledge of their particular sport. Besides knowing the history of events, teams and players, punters should access recent scores and statistics in order to inform their bets. It is this current information that is most relevant and indicative of what might happen in the next game.
Most sport betting websites provide this information in varying detail and accuracy. Hence, it is important to not only verify the information but to analyse it. Do not take it at face value, but compare it to similar runs in the past and the effect it had on the outcome.
4) Past performance in context
As highlighted above, it is not good enough to base your bets on mere statistics. One also needs understand what current performance means in context. Do some players flail under the pressure of a winning streak, while others tend to make late recoveries? Do some teams play particularly well or badly when pitched against their arch-rivals?
Performance in context is even more important when applied to in-play betting. As wagers take place on the day and during the game, bets can be influenced by a whole range of additional factors, such as weather conditions. It is here that an intimate knowledge of the sport is most important.
5) Best payouts
Finally, it is imperative that punters understand what bets offer the best payouts. While bets with better odds provide greater certainty, they result in a reduced payout. As wagers become more specific, they also become more valuable. So, predicting detailed information, such as a final score, is more profitable than merely predicting which team will win. Multi-bets offer even more opportunities for gamblers to increase their income.
Whether through payouts, statistics or past performance, it is most important for punters to balance safety and certainty with potential return on investment.