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Betting On Different Sports


1 Football

1. Fulltime Result The most popular form of football betting is on the fulltime result, with two betting types being the most common – 1X2 (Win/Draw/Lose) and Asian Handicap. With 1X2 betting, you can bet on either team to win or for the match to end in a draw. This form of betting is often referred to as 3-way betting. Asian Handicap on the other hand, was essentially created to eliminate the draw as an option and to also make seemingly onesided matches a little more interesting. Bookmakers will offer you a goal handicap that is added to one teams fulltime score or dedcuted from the other. For example, a handicap of +1.5 goals, means that if you add 1.5 goals to the fulltime score of that team, and the score is then greater than their opposition, that bet is then a winning bet. That team has 'covered the handicap'. A handicap of -1.5 goals on the other hand is deducted from that team. However, if that team's score remains greater than their opponents once the handicap is deducted, that is a winning bet. It's also worth noting that the regular length of a football match is 90 minutes. In many matches, it's not uncommon to see two or three minutes of added injury time, but it still counts as normal time for betting purposes. Extra time or penalty shootout do not count in normal 3way bets.


2. Half Time/Full Time Betting on the result after both half and full time is also popular, but quite difficult. The basic notion is the same as with 1x2, but in this case you bet on the outcome after each half and you have to get both parts of the bet correct in order to win. To succeed at this type of football betting, it's important to have a sense for how a match may play out and the tempo of both competiting teams. A team may be certain of victory against an inferior opponent but they may also be a team that is prone to slow starts in such situations. In this case a HT/FT bet of Draw/Win could be great value.

3. Half Time Instead of combining first and second half you can bet on the outcome of just the first half. Especially if you spot matches where teams are close or if they are known for great defense, you can find great value in knowing these tendancies. It's also a nice option to play outsiders here that dig in, often they manage to hold the game to a draw until halftime.

4. Combo bets / Parlay bets / Accumulators Essentially, these are three different names for the same thing: Placing a bet on more than just one outcome. Putting a number of selections on the one betting slip can give the promise of great returns as each of the odds multipy into the next.

For example, the odds on a combo bet of 4 selections is calculated the following way:


Selection One Odds 2.00

Selection Two Odds 1.50

Selection Three Odds 2.35

Selection Four Odds 1.35.

= 2.00 x 1.50 x 2.35 x 1.35

= Combo Odds of 9.52.

A word of caution when playing combo bets. Unless you have found value in each of your selections, then the bookmaker commission is multiplied with each selection diminishing the value of your combo bet. However if you have found value in each of your selections, then that value is multiplied into each selection you make.

5. Predicting the Number of Goals and Exact Score You can also bet on the total number of goals or the fulltime score. Odds on these kinds of bets are often rather high but are rarely profitable bets. Outcomes such as these are hard to predict and precision is needed in this kind of betting. On top of a low strike rate that makes for long losing runs, bookies also tend to have very large margins on these kind of markets for the simple reason people don't notice the lower odds as much on a market with this many outcomes. These margins are also put in place by bookmakers because of the difficulty in predicting these results. In this way, bookmakers are essentially protecting themselves from the


randomness of outcome. Odds on other soccer markets simply tend to be more competitive, consistent and as a result, worthy of investing your time and money in.

6. Over/Under bets – Goal Totals Another common bet is to predict if the total number of goals precedes a predefined number. Often 2.5 goals is set as a common benchmark. You simply bet on whether a match will end with fewer than 2.5 goals or more than 2.5 goals. In other words, will the match end with 3 or more goals or fewer than 3 goals.

7. Draw: No bet In this bet, a draw is not an option, meaning that in the case of a draw, you get your stake back. As a consequence the odds are lower on each team to win than in traditional 3-way betting. This is just the same bet as an Asian Handicap +0 bet on any given team.

8. Who Scores First Here, you are betting on which player will score the first goal. Pretty simple, right? It is a fairly simple concept but take time to check the rules that apply at your bookie. Issues like own goal and substitutions can differ from place to place. In some cases your player doesn't need to be the first to score. Some bookmakers offer a variation of the bet where you also win as long as your player scores the second or third goal. These bets are called Each Way First Goal Scorer. Yet another variation is called Last Goal Scorer. Here you bet on who will score the last goal. Alternatively, you can bet on a player to score at any time during the match. This is known as Scorer Anytime. Betting on first scorer and the final result is also a possibility and is called Scorecast. But not one to be recommended! Bookmakers are big time favourites to win that one so use your money on something more fun and with greater profit potential and consistency.


2 Tennis

1. Outright Tournament Betting This is simply to bet on the winner of a tournament. Normally bookmakers will offer each way bets; one third of the odds on the place of your favourite and the rest if your selection finishes first or second. Always take into consideration that tennis tournaments use draws to determine which players will face one another throughout the tournament. Taking a look at the likely opposition for each player once the tournament draw is released, can help you determine which players might be worth some value. A great player may find themselves with a difficult draw while a less talented player might be fortunate enough to be drawn against inferior opponents, giving them the dream run deep into the tournament.

2. Betting on Matches This is the most popular form of tennis betting, where you bet on who will win a particular match within a tournament. Unlike football, the draw is not an option. A player either will or wont win their match.


Before placing your bet, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first of these is the recent form of the player. Have they been performing with dominance or have they been struggling to close out matches? Likewise, it's important to keep in mind past matches between the two players. Some players might be considered of lesser talent in the tournament, but sometimes they have a playing style that troubles players that others consider to be of far greater ability. Possessing this kind of knowledge can help you find tremendous value, particularly in Set and Game handicap betting. It's also important to take into account the surface that the match is being played on. Grass is the fastest surface making the ball bounce less and makes a players service game an even more important part of the match. The grass surface favours some players while other players have styles suitable for clay or hard court. Clay is the slowest of the ATP surfaces and hard court is considered the middle ground. Take these elements into consideration when placing bets and which surfaces favour a particular players style. Since a draw is not a possibility in tennis, odds on favourites are often very low. Therefore some punters chose to accumulate bets in an attempt to find better odds, though this can be deceiving for several reasons. This strategy can be successful if you know your game, if not chances are you're simply compounding negative value. Make sure you assess value for each bet and check recent results for each player to be as informed as you can be.

3. Betting on Sets To bet on a given set score is the equivalent to betting on the final score in football. In tennis you bet on the score in sets. For example, Player A wins 3 sets, Player B wins 2. This can be a great way of finding value betting when you have a greater knowledge of both player's tendancies, especially if one player is a short-priced favourite but is known for slow starts in the early stages of a tournament. Yet an often-used possibility is to bet on the winner of the first set. Again, spotting a slow starter (or fast-starter) may yield good value odds!

4. Handicap Betting


You can also bet on a range of tennis match handicaps. The most common of these are Set handicaps and Game handicaps. In Set handicap betting, you bet on whether one player will win with the assistance of a Set handicap. This is somewhat similar to Asian Handicaps in football. For example, you can bet on a player to win with a -1.5 set handicap. Or on the other hand a player may be given a +1.5 set handicap. Games handicap betting is similar except that it takes into consideration the total number of games played in the match. This can be a challenging form of betting as even a short-priced who is expected to win in straight sets, may struggle through each set. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of if you know that the playing style of a suspected inferior opponent, gives his much fancied opponent difficulties.

5. Over/Under Tennis Betting As with handicap betting, Over/Under betting focuses on Set totals and Game totals. For example, you can bet on whether a match will end over or under 3.5 total sets. On the other hand you can be on whether a match will end over or under 30.5 games. This can be a great way of betting if you have difficulty determining which player will win the match. In these cases it would be a good idea to bet the over in both total sets or total games. It doesn’t matter which player wins. If it's a close match, your bet on the over is likely to come up a winner. Likewise if you expect a player of lesser overall talent to push a short-priced favourite, you can bet the over. Similarly, instead of betting on a short-priced favourite to win at very thin odds, you can bet on the match to finish in quick time receiving far more handsome odds. In cases such as this, it is wise to bet the under.


3 Baseball Baseball is a great sport to bet on as there so many value opportunities to found each season. For one thing, there's so many games played as each club in Major League Baseball plays 162 games a season. And that's not even counting the playoffs.

Unfortunately many don't recognise this potential for great profits, essentially because baseball can be such a complex and nuanced sport. But if you put in the time to research team form, the performance of both pitchers and hitters, you can spend 7 months of the sporting year steadily building your betting bank with daily opportunities to profit.

1. Head to Head Betting (also known as Moneylines) Unlike other American sports, the most popular betting format in baseball is head to head betting, commonly referred to by U.S sports bettors as the Moneyline or Sides. This is just like any other form of head to head betting with two possible outcomes, you simply bet on which team you think will win the game. One thing to keep in mind, is that the difference in overall winning percentage between even the best and worst teams in baseball is much less than in other sports. Often the worst team in the major leagues wins around 40% of their games over the course of the season, while the best can lead the league with only a win rate of 60%. This is important to keep in mind as it can make game to game betting far less predictable than other sports. It's also why many successful baseball bettors will avoid betting on teams at very short odds in a given game.


2. Bankroll Management If you want to be betting on baseball deep into the season, it's critical to have solid discipline and employ suitable bankroll management. However, the sheer number of games played each season allows you to maintain a conservative approach and still come away from each season with a handsome profit.

3. Considering Pitchers In baseball, the pitcher is one of the most critical positions in determining a team's game to game chances of victory. You will often see the starting pitcher for each team noted by bookmakers with bets voided for the game if one of the pitchers expected to start the game does not start. These pitchers are referred to as 'listed pitchers'. Bookmakers will also often offer you odds on the game, regardless of which pitchers start the game. It is crucial to assess the form of each listed pitcher when placing a baseball bet and there’s good reason why the starting pitchers are listed beside the odds at your chosen bookmaker. Quarterbacks have a great deal of influence in American football, but when it comes to framing odds, there isn't an individual player in any team sport that has as much impact as a pitcher. But don't get fixated on the starting pitchers. They don't have as much of an impact as yesteryear. In the modern era, starters will pitch 6 innings or fewer. What does this mean? It means that about a third of the pitching in a baseball game will be done by reserve pitchers. So while it's important to assess the form of the starting pitchers, don't overlook the potential of each team's pitching bullpens. Having an understanding of each team's relief pitchers can give you a great angle with which to find value that many other bettors may not possess.

4. Run Totals


Baseball run totals are just like any other Over/Under form of betting, meaning they are similar to goal totals in football or points totals in basketball. The total here refers to the number of runs that both teams score for the game. It's important to note that this includes games that extend into extra innings if the game is tied at the end of 9 innings. Run Totals for a baseball game are typically in the range of 8 to 10 runs.

5. Run Lines The run line betting is a form of handicap betting in which one team receives a -1.5 run handicap and the other team receiving a +1.5 run handicap. The team receiving the -1.5 run handicap has 1.5 runs deducted from their final run total. If their run total is still greater than their opposition, it's a winning bet. A team receiving a +1.5 run total has 1.5 runs added to their final run total. If after the 1.5 runs is added, their run total is greater than their opposition, it's a winning bet. What this means essentially, is that the team that is favoured to win must win by at least 2 runs in order for you to win your run line bet, while the underdog must lose by 1 run or win outright for you to win your bet.

6. Baseball Special Bets Like most sports today, bookmakers offer a great range of baseball special bets, often referred to as Prop (proposition) Bets. You can bet on things such as which pitcher will earn the most strikeouts in the game or individual team run totals. These can be a great way to profit if you do your homework as many bookmakers will post prop bet odds that are intended to seduce casual bettors who are perhaps not so familiar with the intricate details of the sport.

7. Season Bets Often referred to as Futures bets, Season bets are incredibly popular with baseball bettors. You can bet on which team will win the World Series, the American or National League, the winners of individual divisions or the number of wins a team will have in the entirety of the


season. For casual bettors, it can be a great way of having an interest for the length of the season for only a small outlay or even if you just want to have a small personal financial investment in the success of your favourite team.

4 American Football American football is one of the most popular sports to bet on not just in the United States, but across the world.

The popularity of the National Football League grows each season making it the dominant sporting league in the United States, with its popularity far exceeding baseball, basketball and ice hockey. The NFL consists of 32 teams, divided into 8 divisions, with each team playing 16 games through the regular season, 8 at home and 8 away. This makes the season short in time-span in comparison to most major sports leagues, being played from early September through to early February.


The brevity of the NFL season can be a challenge for those of us who enjoy betting on the league, since the limited number of games and opponents can make assessing a team's true potential difficult. But it's a challenge that everyone faces which can in turn become an advantage for those who are prepared.

1. Spread Betting The most popular form of betting on American football is betting on what is referred to commonly as 'The Spread' or 'The Line'. Although it may go by a different name, the spread is essentially a form of handicap betting. For example, you will often see a NFL game listed with a bookmaker in the following way:

Chicago Bears -3.5 VS Dallas Cowboys +3.5. What this means is that if you bet on the Bears to beat the spread, they must win by over 3.5 points, or in other words, 4 points or greater. On the other hand, if you wish to bet on the Cowboys, you win the bet if the Cowboys win the game outright or lose by 3 points or fewer. Essentially the spread is a margin that the bookmaker feels brings the contest to a 50-50 proposition. In our example, the bookmakers put up the spread of Chicago -3.5 as they believe there is a 50% chance that Chicago will win by 4 points or more and a 50% chance that they won't. Unfortunately, given that bookmakers also do not offer true even money odds of 2.00, typically offering a price of 1.91 for spread betting, it means that you have to win at least 52.5% of your bets in order to break even. This is more difficult than it sounds. However, to be successful long-term, a strike rate of 56% is considered golden. So as you can see, the margins between failure and success in NFL spread betting are very thin, which makes finding the best odds available so important.


2. Key Numbers In NFL Betting Something that is very important to keep in mind when betting on the NFL are what are known as Key Numbers. What are Key Numbers? Key Numbers are the most common winning margins in NFL games. In order of occurrence these margins are 3 points, 7 points and 10 points. Over the past 20 NFL seasons, almost a third of games finished with one of these three margins. So why should you keep Key Numbers in mind? Because given that 16% of NFL games over the past 20 seasons finished with a margin of 3 points, it is important that when betting on an NFL spread, you understand the difference between a betting line of 2.5 points and 3.5 points. Or 6.5 points and 7.5 points. Because so many games finish on these margins, it means that the difference of 1 point between a spread of 2.5 and 3.5 points is far more significant than a 1 point difference between a spread of 4.5 and 5.5 points, or even a 2 point difference between a spread on 10.5 to 12.5 points. To put it another way, let's say the Washington Redskins are receiving a spread of +3.5 points. Because of the common occurrence of 3 point margins, the 0.5 point advantage that the Redskins are receiving above the 3 point margin is worth far more than a 0.5 point advantage above a margin of 5 points or 8 points as these margins occur far less frequently than 3 points.

3. Home Field Advantage Traditionally home field advantage in the NFL is worth 3 points. What this means is that when you see a team listed with your bookmaker, playing at home with a spread of -3 points, it essentially means that the bookmaker considers the two competing teams to be of even ability, and are giving the one team the advantage simply because they are playing at home. This means there is essentially a 6 point swing between playing at home and playing away in the NFL in terms of the betting spread. For example, a team playing at home with a spread of -3, would be +3 points in the same matchup if playing away.


One simple way to assess whether or not you think a team is a value bet against the spread is to flip the venue. You can do this by applying the 6 point swing to the betting spread. For example, let's say that Miami are playing at home against Cleveland and the betting spread is Miami -4.5. To flip the venue we apply the 6 point home advantage swing. Doing this would then mean that if the game were being played in Cleveland, Miami would then be +1.5 at the spread. Flipping the venue like this can help give you a different perspective on a particular betting spread and help you determine whether or not you consider the spread on offer to be of value.

4. Betting On Underdogs It's a simple fact that the majority of people who bet on NFL games, bet on favourites. This can often lead to value opportunities for those of us who have the nerve to bet on underdogs, particularly underdogs receiving large point spreads. Let's just look at some simple numbers. Over the last 10 seasons underdogs playing away receiving a spread of +10 points or greater, have a winning strike rate against the spread of 54%. Now obviously just betting on these teams alone isn't going to make you rich, but their success rate against the spread shows how such a bias against such teams is reflected in the betting market. The average person betting on the NFL does not like to bet on underdogs, particularly ugly underdogs. We can see a similar bias for underdogs playing at home receiving a points spread of +7 points of greater. Over the last 10 seasons, such teams have a winning strike rate against the spread of near 59%. This is a rather incredible statistic and again shows the value of considering underdogs that nobody thinks have a chance of winning the game or even getting close.

5. Teams Bouncing Back From Big Losses


Another situation to strongly consider is teams coming off a bad loss. If we look at the last 10 seasons of data, we can see that teams coming off a loss of 14 points or more have a record of just over 54% against the spread when playing away in their next game. This is simply the betting market overreacting to their heavy defeat and the fact that they are playing away from home. We can break this down even further and consider teams coming off a loss of 14 points or more and playing away as underdogs. These teams have a strike rate against the spread over the last 10 seasons of just over 56%. Again, a typical market overreaction to their poor performance the week before.


5 Horse Racing There are numerous ways to bet on the outcome of any horse race. Here is a guide of how to bet.

1. Win only The most simple bet. A straight win bet for the horse to finish first. Many bookmakers now pay on the "double result" so even if your "winner" is subsequently disqualified in a stewards enquiry, you will still get paid. It is also worth seeking out a bookmaker offering "best odds guaranteed", whereby if the starting price (final returned price at the off of the race) is greater than the price you took at the time the bet was placed, you get paid at the bigger price. This is a very fair offer and one well worth seeking out as you get started.

2. Place only Originally available only on the betting exchanges, this has become far more commonplace as a separate market with many bigger online bookmakers.


3. Each-way betting Two separate bets: One to win and one to place. Very popular when there are 8 or more runners, as the place part is settled on the first three home, and in competitive handicaps where the market is often wide open. Bookmakers offer the same each-way terms that vary depending on the number of runners and type of race:

Non-Handicap Races   

2 - 4 Runners Win Only No place betting 5 - 7 Runners 1/4 the Odds 1, 2 8 or more Runners 1/5 the Odds 1, 2, 3

Handicap Races     

2 - 4 Runners Win Only 5 - 7 Runners 1/4 the Odds 1,2 8 - 11 Runners 1/4 the Odds 1, 2, 3 12 - 15 Runners 1/4 the Odds 1, 2, 3 16 + Runners 1/4 the Odds 1, 2, 3, 4

4. Forecast Predict the first or second in the correct order. Dividends are calculated by a complex algorithm that uses the prices of the first and second home. Can offer good value if the punter does not fancy a short priced favourite to finish first or second.

5. Tricast Similar to the forecast in its calculation, but the punter has to find the 1st 2nd and 3rd in the correct order. Can offer value when there seems to be a draw bias i.e where those drawn low have a huge advantage, and the astute player can combine all those drawn low in a Tricast.


6. Accumulators (Multi-Bets, Combo-Bets) Very popular in betting shops where more optimistic punters try to find several winners combined in one bet, multiplying up their winnings in doubles/trebles etc. The most popular is the Yankee which consists of four selections and eleven bets in total.

7. Tote betting Pool betting is very popular in countries where bookmakers are outlawed and their is no price competition. Generally these are a high margin product with a big profit assured for the pool operator. The usual range of win/place/forecast betting is offered, with a dividend calculated by weight of money (less a cut for the operator usually of 30%).

8. Placepot/Jackpot betting These is a tote bet that can offer value! When there is a carry over from a previous meeting (when the bet is not "won" by anyone) the final dividend can be substantial and much greater than the actual chance. The jackpot means a punter has to find the winner of 6 races on one card, while the placepot requires him to find one horse to be placed in each of these races. At bigger festivals such as Cheltenham there can often be several hundred thousand in these pools and the value can be unusually on the astute punters side.

9. Laying Since the advent of betting exchanges it is possible to bet against a certain horse winning or finishing placed. Very popular but also very dangerous for the inexperienced player.

10. Antepost betting


Betting on the big races in the coming months is offered by all major bookmakers. Big prices can be obtained if the punter is willing to take the risk, but clearly there is no certainty that their selection will turn up fit and well on the day of the race!

6 Ice Hockey Despite not being in the same company as football, American football or basketball, ice hockey enjoys an intense popularity in both Canada and northern Europe.

Due to this niche popularity, the sport doesn't attract the same interest in terms of betting. The most popular ice hockey league in the world is the National Hockey League of North America. The NHL consists of 30 teams spread


across both the United States and Canada. Each team plays 82 games through the regular season, playing 41 games at home and 41 away. As is the case with basketball, the sheer volume of games provides us with numerous opportunities to find value bets day after day. Similarly the sheer number of games can often mean the odds posted by bookmakers are not as accurate as they could otherwise be, giving sharp punters an edge right throughout the long NHL season.

1. Betting The Puckline Or The Moneyline? Puckline betting is ice hockey's version of the runline in baseball. In this case, bookmakers will give one team a 1.5 goal handicap much like they give one club a 1.5 run handicap with baseball runlines. You will often see it listed by your preferred bookmaker in the following way:

New York Rangers -1.5 2.90 Chicago Blackhawks +1.5 1.40 Much like baseball betting however, the puckline is not as popular as straight up moneyline betting (head to head without any handicap). One of the reasons is that it is a difficult form of betting to succeed at. A team's potential against the moneyline is much easier to frame as scoring events and margins in such a low scoring sport can tend to be more random than other sports. However, in cases where the favourite is of odds 1.50 or less to win the game, the puckline can offer a more intriguing proposition. Similarly, the puckline can offer you the opportunity to combine betting opportunities. For example, you can bet both the favourite to win the game and the underdog to cover the puckline of +1.5 goals. Doing so means that if the favourite wins the game by a single goal, you collect on both your bets.

2. Who Is Tending Goal?


Goalies often will receive a day off to rest, particularly if their team is playing a streak of successive games. Although it is perhaps not as important as the starting pitcher in baseball or the starting quarterback in American football, the difference between a teams number one goalie and their reserve can in some cases be significant. So it's important to pay attention to who will be starting at goalie in each game before placing your bets.

3. Power Plays And Penalty Killing Power Plays are a huge part of a NHL game. A Power Play is a situation where a team is penalised and plays with a man less than their opponent for a set time. How teams handle playing in this situation is critical to their chances of success in a game. So it pays to keep track of these statistics. How successful is a team when playing with a man advantage? How often are they able to score? Likewise, how successful is a team when playing with a man down? How often do they concede goals? How often are they able to hold a team without a goal despite their disadvantage? Paying attention to these key statistics will help you keep ahead of the odds throughout the season.

4. Betting On Ice Hockey Totals Betting on the total number of goals scored in a game is a very popular type of ice hockey betting. Typically the number of goals scored in a NHL games varies between 5 and 7. So how can you win betting on goal totals in ice hockey? The first thing you should do is to not give too much consideration to a team's goal averages. Averages can often give a distorted picture. What you should rather do is keep track of goal total occurrences. For example, games that featured the Los Angeles Kings might have had an average of 5 goals scored over their last 20 games. But what if two of those games only saw a single goal scored? The average of 5 goals is going to be distorted by these two very low scoring games.


So rather than consider averages, instead look at how often a team's games have gone over or under a given goal total. For example, if the goal total offered by a bookmaker for an upcoming Kings game is 5.5 goals, make a record of how many times recent Kings games have gone over or under that goal total. If you see a genuine trend either over or under that 5.5 goal line, you may want to consider that bet. You should also take into account the goal totals in the recent meetings between the two teams. This will provide you with a good indication of what sort of goal totals you can expect in a given matchup. Finally, consider how teams play at home compared to how they play away from home. There can often be quite a distinct trend between the type of game a team involves itself in when playing at home as opposed to away.

7 Basketball Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. Millions of people all over the globe enjoy watching the sport in numerous leagues and tournaments year after year.

It is similarly one of the most popular sports to bet on, with bookmakers offering a broad range of betting types and markets in which you can find many value opportunities.


The most popular league in the world is the National Basketball Association in the United States. The NBA began in 1946 with just 11 teams. Over the past six decades the league has grown to 30 teams across the North American continent attracting the best talent from not only America but in recent decades players from across Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Each team in the NBA plays an 82 game regular season, with 41 home games and 41 away games. Such a number of games played over a seven month period provides us with many opportunities to find value, with games played daily. But if the NBA doesn't provide you with enough opportunities, then there's always college basketball, where thousands of games are played every season, with dozens of games on the schedule night after night.

1. Spread Betting Spread betting is the most popular form of basketball betting. It also goes by the name of Line betting. But whatever you like to call it, it is essentially a form of handicap betting. If you go to your preferred bookmaker you will see NBA games listed in the following manner:

Los Angeles Lakers -5.5 VS Boston Celtics +5.5. What this means is that if you bet on the Lakers to beat the spread, they must win by more than 5.5 points, or in other words, their winning margin must be 6 points or greater. However if you bet on the Celtics to cover the spread, they have to win the game outright or lose by a maximum of 5 points.

2. Betting on Underdogs Like many other sports and leagues, the average punter likes to bet on favourites. This can often mean that the market is distorted in favour of underdogs, particularly underdogs receiving large handicaps. We can look at just a few simple statistics to demonstrate this.


Over the last 10 NBA seasons, teams playing away as underdogs of +12 points or greater have covered the line over 53% of time. We see similar trends in college basketball where underdogs of +17 points or greater similarly have a strike rate of over 53%. Yes, this strike rate will not make you rich any time soon. However, it displays the point that a bias exists in the market in favour of lowly regarded underdogs. Always keep this in mind when assessing your bets. When a team is often regarded as having no chance of winning the game, the spread is often in their favour.

3. Popular Teams Much in the same way that the average punter likes to bet favourites in the NBA, they also like to bet on popular teams. The most popular team in the NBA is the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes they have been a successful team over the decades, but this successful history often sees average punters throwing silly money in their direction, based purely on reputation alone. However, if we look at some simple statistics, we see that such thoughtless betting has not been particularly successful. Over the last 10 seasons, the Lakers have a strike rate against the spread of just under 47% when playing at home as favourites. When we break this down a little further we see that the Lakers have had a very poor record when highly favoured at home. When playing at home over the last 10 seasons and favourites of -10 or greater, the Lakers have a strike rate against the spread of just 37%. A fairly remarkable number. We see similar stats when we look at another popular team, the Boston Celtics. When home favourites of more than -10 over the last 10 seasons, the Celtics have a strike rate of 45%. Likewise the Chicago Bulls, 43%. The lesson here is that there are teams the average punter will automatically assume are good. Some of these teams are historically popular, while others like the Miami Heat are popular in the current era. It pays to find situations in which to bet against these teams or where to avoid them altogether.

4. Betting On Basketball Totals


Betting on the total points scored in a game is a very popular form of basketball betting. Depending on the league or tournament, the number of points scored will vary significantly. In the NBA, point totals will land in the range of 180 to 220 points game to game, with the average in the mid 190 point range. In college and European basketball, you can expect to see point totals in the range of 120 to 160 points. So how can you succeed betting on totals? The first thing is to not pay any attention to a team's short term averages. This wont help you much. What you want to be keeping a note of are occurrences. For example, games featuring the New York Knicks may have had an average of 195 in their last 10 games. But one of those games may have been an overtime result that saw 245 points scored. This result will distort the average significantly. So rather than depend on averages, look at how often a team's game have gone over or under a given points total. For example, if the total listed for an upcoming Knicks game is 195 points, make a record of how many times recent Knicks games have gone over or under that total. If you can identify a significant trend either over or under that 195 point line, you may want to consider taking that bet. Another thing to consider are recent meetings between the two competing teams. This will give you a good indication of what you might expect to see in the game. Likewise, take into account how teams play when they are at home and when they are away. You can often find quite a contrast between the two. Lastly, consider the situation a team is playing in. A team may normally prefer fast paced high scoring games, but they may be at the end of a long schedule of away games and be more inclined to maintain a slow pace resulting in a lower scoring game.



Betting on different sports