Unless you enlist the services of a professional sports handicapper when it comes to placing your weekly bets at an online sportsbook, you will first have to rely on your own handicapping skills to formulate your top plays.
Using a professional selection service is a valid way to try and improve an overall return on investment for your sports betting dollar, but even the best handicappers in the nation are shooting for a winning rate of 60 percent or higher. If they can reach that goal, then you can still come out ahead of things even when you add in the cost for buying their picks. The problem with shelling out your hard-earned money for any sports betting selection package is that big ‘if’.
As a recreational sports bettor looking to add some action and excitement to a few games a week, part of the fun is trying to handicap a matchup on your own. When it comes to pointspreads for sports like football and basketball, you could just flip a coin since the betting lines are set to bring in an even amount of betting action on either side of a particular matchup. However, that strategy is more than likely going to eat up your entire sports betting bankroll in a relatively short amount of time.
The use of stats, facts and recent betting trends are designed to give you a slight edge over the bookmakers in terms of helping to predict a possible outcome. The betting public in general tends to lean towards favorites on the pointspread and to the OVER on the total line. This built in bias automatically adds a bit of value to the underdog and the UNDER since most online books have already taken this into consideration when it comes to their betting lines for any game.
The main goal of any sports handicapping effort is to find one team with a clear edge over the other regardless of the betting spread. If you have the NFL’s top rushing team going up against a team with a very poor rush defense, that automatically creates an edge. If you have the NBA’s best shooting team facing an opponent with very porous defense, this can be another important edge that could possibly be exploited. This is why one of the best handicapping tips for recreational bettors is to narrow the range and the scope of your overall betting strategy.
Focusing your energy on a handful of teams in any sport or any league can turn you into a subject matter expert when it comes to the level of knowledge you will ultimately have for the teams on that list. You might want to focus your NFL handicapping efforts on one or two four-team divisions. This will give you more than enough opportunities to bet on the games. When it comes to college sports such as football and basketball, confining your efforts to one or two conferences can accomplish the same goal.
Another key aspect of handicapping sports is to develop a confidence level for your actual picks. You may take a look at four or five NFL games for any given Sunday, but you should probably only bet on the one or two matchups where your confidence level for the projected outcome is the highest. It is hard enough picking just one winner in any sport you bet on, let alone two or three games in a time period of a single afternoon or evening.
Proper money management is a big part of your overall betting strategy as a means to stretch your betting bankroll. Just because you did spend quite a bit of time handicapping a particular game, does not mean you are obligated to bet on it if you cannot come up with a highly confident play.