Sports Betting Guide for Beginners- Make the Odds Work in Your Favor
Ways to Improve Sports Betting Odds
Sports betting is a tempting proposition but sportsbooks tend to be canny and finding value can be hard. However, there are some techniques that can turn the odds to your advantage, as we explain below.
Doubling Up on Welcome Free Bets
Often, newcomers to sports betting browse the markets (which is wise) and pick one good sportsbook at which they then register. And that’s a good way to approach things, except that online sportsbooks are not something where you need to only pick one. There are big advantages to picking two or more (and not just because of differing odds, as elaborated upon below).
A great benefit for players registering for the first time is getting multiple bonuses. Now, this might seem advantageous just because a bonus is a good thing and more of a good thing is better. But it is fundamentally superior to have two or more bonuses at a sportsbook and can be a great way to start your betting life with profits.
Suppose you have a soccer final in a tournament (so a draw is impossible and one side or the other will claim the cup). This is a binary market. In order to qualify for free bet welcome bonuses, it’s commonly the case (although not universal) that a certain amount must be wagered first, often around the $10 mark or so. But if you have two new accounts and need to wager that amount, simply back both teams (one per sportsbook, of course).
If the odds are identical you will perhaps incur a very small loss, or make a very small profit, and in so doing unlock far more in free bets. If the odds differ slightly (which is not uncommon) you might even have a chance of making a tiny guaranteed profit. And for this small price, likely under $1, you have unlocked the free bets.
But suppose you have either already qualified for the free bets or no such condition is imposed, and you are gifted free bets just for signing up. Well, this is even better. Use the free bets at the different sites to back both teams in the final. That way, you are literally guaranteed to finish ahead because the free bets mean no risk of any kind of loss and the profits are yours to keep.
This can also apply to recurring free bet bonuses, so if you have these on a regular basis simply match them up in a binary market (a common one is a draw no bet market in soccer, meaning if a draw occurs then the bet is void and the stake returned to the player, so only the two teams can be backed).
Sports Betting: Using Free Online Casino Codes
Bonuses can also be used to great effect at the leading online casinos. These can come in the form of free spins that are mostly for one specific slot or free cash that can be used on almost everything within a given casino. Try these free codes from top online casinos for a great chance of winning cash with no deposit (and therefore no risk) required. While many such promos are strictly for newcomers many sites do offer recurring (weekly or monthly) free cash/spins bonuses to help encourage players to stick around.
Another Way to Turn Free Bets into Guaranteed Profit
You may not always get free bets as a welcome bonus, and free bets for existing players might be offered on an intermittent rather than regular basis. So what do you do if you have one free bet? Well, you can try and back something at short odds that’s likely to come off, although most promotions do come with certain odds limitations. And, by definition, a bet like this will offer only a modest level of profit.
It is possible, even with a single free bet, to guarantee to turn this into a profit. However, you will probably need an account with a betting exchange. These are not dissimilar to sportsbooks but function by allowing individual bettors to back and lay (bet against) any particular outcome. This means that the odds tend to be slightly longer and the exchange makes money by taking a small commission from winning bets.
In the context of a free bet at a sportsbook, find a market that has odds you like for backing with the sportsbook and laying with the exchange. You should be able to lay with the right stake to ensure that you finish ahead regardless of what the outcome is (because a loss only occurs if the exchange bet loses, so make certain the sportsbook profits would exceed this loss). If the exchange bet wins then all that profit is yours, as there’s no loss as the sportsbook side is a free bet. This sort of matching may be possible with a second sportsbook but the nature of exchanges make them a natural fit for this approach.
Sports Betting: Making Twitter Useful
It might sound impossible, but there is a way to make Twitter useful. While renowned as a cantankerous den of discord, Twitter can be very good for getting breaking news, and this has huge implications for betting on sports. Sportsbooks are rapid to react, but it will still usually take 5-10 minutes for them to do so when news breaks. This presents a small but wonderful window of opportunity for bettors.
Two examples involving Lewis Hamilton suffice to show how this can work. In 2012 he qualified on pole for the Spanish Grand Prix. He was just ahead of Pastor Maldonado and Fernando Alonso, and obviously a short odds favorite to lead lap 1. However, Hamilton got disqualified which made the front row Maldonado and Alonso, and it was possible to back them at around 5/1 to lead the first lap (individually). Backing both saw a pleasant profit, as Alonso led the first lap.
In 2020 Hamilton was having a dominant year but he caught COVID-19 and had to miss the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. This made his teammate Botta’s good value and replacement Russell likewise (and both were very Hedgeable).
More importantly, the eventual winner ended up being the 60/1 Sergio Perez. When the top dog is suddenly removed, everyone else’s odds suddenly look good, and even if they do not end up winning (like Bottas and Russell) laying them during live betting or when the odds settle down remains eminently possible to lock in profits.
Keep your eye on trusted sports journalists and official accounts for your preferred sport(s) and Twitter can help you make some very good bets.
Sports Betting: Browse for the Best Odds
This is the most straightforward advice, but something that should not be overlooked. Having accounts with multiple sportsbooks and exchanges is not good only for the bonuses, but because the odds can vary. Differences will usually not be huge, but 5% more value stacks up over time. And occasionally you will find arbitrage (or ‘arb’) which means when you can back two different outcomes at separate sportsbooks and guarantee a profit because the odds differ (slightly longer than evens in a binary market, for example).
Shop around for the best value, and pay attention to any top tipsters you can find to make money on everything from US politics to European soccer.
Watching sports is a lot of fun, and it’s great when long-shot bets come off. Take the advice above and it’ll be a lot easier to finish in the black.