Sports betting is an industry defined by uncertainty. However, if it's done right, there are a few easy steps or things to consider so that you can maximize your chances of winning.
Know your sport of choice inside out
There's no use only knowing Manchester United's last 6 results if you're going to bet on a Manchester United game when they're playing away at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Do your research on the home team's record, Man United's away record and everything else pertinent to that fixture.
The favourite doesn't always win
We all love sports because of their unpredictability. Underdogs are given long odds in sports betting and that can either be a temptation or a complete deterrent when it comes to placing a wager on them causing an upset Again, do your research and find out if a certain underdog has a good past record against their more famous opponent.
Shop around and look for the best odds
There's an understandable level of loyalty in sports betting, especially if your bookmaker of choice is offering the best odds. So if you're a beginner, make sure to compare a variety of odds from a variety of bookies and then base your selection on the odds available for specific sports fixtures and your budget. Comparing the best odds in your region or online is easy to do and a sensible decision.
Consider the less obvious markets
Sports betting is mostly about knowing your sport and doing the research. There are hundreds of markets available on English Premier League matches, so if you're not comfortable backing Tottenham to beat Man City away from home, why not put some money on Harry Kane as an anytime goalscorer instead?
Keep your selections down to a minimum
This sounds obvious, but try and keep your bets to a healthy minimum and that will minimize risk and potential losses. Think small and try to keep your accumulators down to a manageable amount of fixtures, say 3 or 4. The temptation to rack up a 10-match accumulator and win huge sums of money is undeniable, but always measure that against the risk.
Don't bet with your heart
It happens so often with sports fans - they'll get their hopes up and have genuine faith in their team pulling off a shock result against a much stronger opponent. While surprises do happen, bookies will generally win in a situation where the underdog fans back their team with a wager. Derby games are often ones to avoid because of their totally unpredictable nature, evidence that 'form goes out the window' at times in sport. If you want to back your team or a derby game between city rivals, consider some of the other markets on offer aside from outright results.
Take a chance on less obvious sports
When bookmakers expand their betting offerings, it's logical that with some sports they will be less knowledgeable and you'll therefore have a higher chance of winning. Sports like MMA fall into this category; emerging and popular but still relatively unknown.