Betting on sports is a popular pastime because people feel that they can beat the odds with their own knowledge and by what they see on TV, something that is nearly impossible in games such as slots, roulette and other casino games. The problem, however, is that most sports betting systems are fallible and even a bettor who gets half the games right will lose because of the juice or vig that the sports book gets for taking the bet. The only way to beat that five or ten percent juice is to win consistently. The only way to win on a regular basis that is to figure out which teams are more likely to win and using other handicapping techniques.
Injuries in Sports
One of the most important things a sports bettor needs to know is what the injury situations are. If a team’s star hitter has a groin pull, or the quarterback had a thumb sprain early in the week, it could seriously affect the team’s performance. Bettors who make their wager without knowing the full injury report are putting themselves at an extreme disadvantage, and those who understand the nature and extent of injuries well may be able to give themselves a bit of an edge.
Following the Line in Sports
Sports books make their money by trying to get an even amount of money on both sides, thus canceling the bets out and leaving only the five or ten percent juice (or vigorish) that they collect for handling the bet. In order to keep the money even, sports books need to move the line. This means giving one team a larger or smaller advantage depending on how heavily that team is being bet. Following how the line moves over the course of the week will tell the bettor who people seem to be putting their money on.
Home Field (or Court) Advantage
Being able to play at home is a big advantage in many sports. In addition to the fact that the team does not have to expend valuable energy traveling, the home crowd often energizes the home team. When determining whether you are getting good odds or a good line to take a certain team, be sure to take home field (court, ice, etc.) into account. You may still decide to go with the visitor, but the home field must at least be a factor into your calculations.