What Is the Most Profitable Sports Betting Strategy?
April 12, 2022
Americans are projected to bet around $8 billion on this year’s Super Bowl. This is just one event, but it’s going to generate a lot of engagement, revenue, and passion. If you’re planning to wager on the big game, you’ll want a comprehensive sports betting strategy that will actually work.
Here, we’re going to talk about how you can create an action plan that works not just around this year’s Super Bowl, but also year-round. Read on to learn what the most profitable sports betting strategy is and how you can make the most out of every bet.
What Is a Sports Betting Strategy?
A betting strategy is exactly what it sounds like: a game plan for what you should do when betting on sporting events, teams, and players. You can come up with a strategy based on statistics and probability. Your goal is, of course, to win more money than you lose.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to win more bets. It means that you need to consider the amount of money you will win or lose on each bet. Your goal should be to turn a positive overall profit, which usually comes with winning more bets.
Expected Value Betting
To answer the main question of this blog post, expected value (EV) betting is widely considered the single most profitable betting strategy. The precise definition of ‘expected value’ is ‘the predicted value of any variable.’ This strategy measures the probability margin between a player’s expectation of a sporting event vs the agent’s expected outcome.
Let’s imagine that you imagine a certain outcome of a sporting event. The expected value is calculated as follows:
((Probability of winning) × (Amount won per bet)) – ((Probability of losing) × (Amount lost per bet))
The goal of EV betting is to place a percentage on the agent/player probability gap. You as the bettor can then only bet on events, players, and teams that have a positive EV. Higher percent margins are better because they are more profitable.
Expected value bettors bet on outcomes that have positive probability gaps. Since these probability gaps are referred to as “expected values,” you want to bet on a game that has a positive expected value (+EV).
Positive EV: An Example
Consider a fair coin flip where you have a 50% chance of heads and a 50% chance of tails. The coin will flip 100 times, meaning that it will probably land on heads 50 times and tails the other 50. If you bet $100 that it would land on tails every time and a $100 bet wins $90:
- You would turn a $4500 profit (50 × $90 = $4500)
- You would lose a total of $500 (50 × $100 = $5000)
This coin flip gives you a negative EV of $500. You would not want to make this bet.
Now, think about a weighted coin. You have a 40% chance of flipping heads and a 60% chance of landing on tails. Your coin, when flipped 100 times, would land on heads 40 times and tails 60. If you bet that it would land on tails every time and a $100 bet still won $90:
- You would turn a $5400 profit (60 × $90 = $5400)
- You would lose a total of $4000 (40 × $100 = 4000)
This coin gives you a positive EV of $1400. This is a bet that you definitely want to make.
Specializing in a Single Sport
Online Sportsbook Softwares offer hundreds of different betting options, so it’s tempting to try and place bets on tons of different sports and events. However, this is generally a bad idea. It can be challenging to juggle a football betting strategy with a baseball betting strategy (and then both of those with several more).
When you try to bet on multiple events, you’ll need to do a lot more EV calculations than if you focus on a single sport or event. Those who specialize learn a lot about the sport that they’re most interested in. You will develop the background knowledge to make creating a betting strategy easier.
You also won’t spread yourself too thin when trying to calculate EV. This leads to more accurate numbers and higher-quality calculations. You won’t need to research every game played across the board and put money down on many games.
Moneyline betting is a great gambling strategy for sports betting newbies. It’s extremely easy since the only thing you’ll need to do is pick a team and place a wager. No complex math is required!
Let’s say that you’re looking at a Moneyline for the upcoming Super Bowl:
Rams -200 vs Bengals +165
The Rams are the favorite, which you can tell because the favorite will always have a negative sign. The positive sign indicates an underdog, which in this case describes the Bengals.
The Rams are therefore favored to win, giving them higher odds. However, if you bet on the Bengals, the jackpot may be higher.
You likely want to go for high odds over the jackpot unless you have a lot of extra money sitting around that you don’t mind losing. So, a bet on the Rams is a great choice this Super Bowl season!
Chasing Steam (Knowing the Market)
“Steam” is a popular sports betting term that describes big betting market movements over a short timeframe. Many experts believe that professional gamblers cause these shifts by putting money down on sports and events. This makes sense since they usually wager a lot of money for very high stakes.
If you aren’t a professional gambler, you can use these market shifts to figure out where to bet. Watch these large movements and place bets on whatever team or player professional gamblers seem to favor. The goal is to mimic what these knowledgeable gamblers are doing since they make more money than others in the market.
Unfortunately, this strategy is no longer as effective as it used to be. The market moves faster and people react immediately.
It’s harder to know whether or not a shift marks a genuine decision from professional gamblers. Sometimes it’s just amateurs flocking to a sportsbook that offers high odds on something unique. Still, you may want to consider it if you’re looking for a no-frills, math-free betting strategy.
Fading the Public
Fading the public is pretty much the exact flipside of chasing steam. You look at shifts in the betting market and bet on the opposite team as the public. Since most sports bettors lose, choosing the opposite team theoretically may offer a profit.
However, like chasing steam, this is a flawed betting strategy in the modern day. Betting markets have movements because of public money. It has nothing to do with the actual chances of winning a bet, so there’s no reason to consider it in most cases.
Arbitrage is one of the most powerful betting strategies on the market. That’s because if you execute your plan properly, you can guarantee yourself some profits. However, it is difficult to carry out arbitrage betting the right way, so it’s best saved for more experienced bettors.
The point of Arbitrage is to exploit pricing discrepancies across the industry. These discrepancies come with two bookies showcasing very different lines and odds for the same outcomes on the same events.
If the discrepancy is large enough, you can bet on all possible outcomes with both online sportsbooks. This will guarantee you a profit if you bet the right way.
If Bookie 1 is offering 1.8 odds on Team A and 2.5 odds on Team B, they slightly favor Team A. Bookie 2, however, may offer 2.1 odds on Team A and 1.7 odds on Team B. They slightly favor Team B.
The discrepancy here is large enough that Arbitrage is a good strategy. Place $100 on Team A with Bookie 1 for a potential return of $205. Place another $100 bet on Team B with Bookie 2 for a potential $210 return.
You’re risking a total of $200 with a guaranteed return of at least $205. There’s no way for you to lose money. You will always make $5, but you’re likely to make more.
Start Hedging Your Bets Today
We’re not going to lie: making money while betting on sports can be a challenge. But when you have a well-researched and thorough betting strategy, you can make a lot of money as a professional or highly-skilled gambler. Now that you know some of the most profitable betting strategies out there, it’s time to get started.
You can also take things a step further and set up your own pay-per-head sportsbook. This will increase your familiarity with various betting strategies and help you to become a better player (while reeling in the cash). Create your package today to see what we can do to get your dream bookie business off the ground!