The first thing you have to realize is that this isn’t a gamble if you do it right. People who say it’s a gamble either haven’t bet sports very long or aren’t good at it.
1- Change your perspective on the game. Sports is one of the rare types of betting where you can gather information, use market value, and feed off of human emotion to gain an edge. Video poker and slot machines are gambling, sports betting is a sport. You become better at sports betting by watching more teams, knowing their patterns, reading up on news, and picking the right spots. It’s not easy and that’s why a lot of guys fail.
2- Be aware of your habits. If you ride a team often and lose more than you win, that team is your weakness. If you hit 55+% for a year but lost money, you risked too much on the wrong games. What percentage of your plays are teasers? Parlays? Heavy vig? You need to answer these yourself. Some guys win betting volume, others win picking a few games a week. Syracuse plays a 2-3 zone, some teams press, and some teams play man. There’s more than one way to win.
3 – Discipline yourself. Once you view this as a sport that’s when you need to understand that the guys who win at sports discipline themselves. Unless you’re exclusively tailing a successful capper, if you’re out drinking 5 nights/week your chances of winning long-term are not the same as the guy sitting at the book or at home dialed in to the games. I have a strong belief that if a sportsbook hypothetically had a top handicapper give out 1 pick/day to the public for a year and won 65%+, the sportsbooks would still come out on top. Because most guys want to bet multiple games every day regardless of if they have an edge or not. They’re not disciplined. And it’s their fault if they’re losing not the coach or the refs. Discipline takes time to develop. You have to figure out what holds you back and change your habits to overcome whatever it is that’s slowing the engine down.
4- Take ownership of your wins and Ls
Sports betting is a choice. If you get fat are you gonna blame the food? There are definitely games where the coaches and players make some mind-blowing decisions that make you motherfucker the TV, but over years your skill will decide if you win or lose. Coaches, players, refs, and handicappers do not determine your fate at sports betting long-term. Tom Brady has won and lost some games because of ref calls and Pete Carroll’s lunacy, but over 20 years this guy wins. You can not be a part of the population that never blames themselves for their own decisions and points a finger – society teaches you some dumb shit and society’s views are geared to make people feel better about themselves for that week or that month, not the long-term. Blaming someone else takes pain away from you that day but it will haunt you over time.
5- Money management comes when you understand Numbers 1–4. Money management doesn’t exist without good habits. If you can’t manage your emotion after a win or an L, you won’t manage money properly. Money is attached to emotion. The best sports bettors find ways to cool down after a tough L and don’t stay high for long after a big hit. You need a deep bankroll and you can’t get greedy upping unit sizes when you’re up.
There’s so much more I can write up. I’ll have another one of these soon on how you can handicap games more effectively and what to look for.