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The answer to that question is easy: of course, you can! Sports betting, either via sports betting websites or apps or at retail locations, did not become a billion-dollar industry based on the possibility of making money. Some people have and do make money simply from betting on sports.

However, it is worth noting that more people lose than win, which is why the gambling industry is as lucrative as it is. But if you are smart, understand the math, and stick to a plan, you can be one of those people who come out on top.

What Kind Of Math Do You Need To Know?

On the surface, it may seem like the only match you need to know is you have to win more than you lose. Well, technically, that is true. But the match behind the concept can be tricky if you do not know what you are doing.

Let’s say you want to play it safe and only bet on games where you can double your money or at least come close. So, you place five bets on games with +110 odds (a $100 bet will win $110) and five on games with -110 odds (you will have to bet $110 to win $100).

For the sake of the example, let’s say you won all five bets placed on the favorite. That means you won $500. But then you lost all bets on the underdogs—which means you lost $550.

The match can actually get a lot more complicated than that. But the point is this, it is not just a matter of winning more than you lose. You must win the right bets.

But what makes a bet the ‘right’ one? You do your homework and figure it out.

Why Do You Need To Do Homework To Bet On Sports?

If you decide how you are going to bet based on your gut, fandom, or because one team has prettier uniforms than the other, you will have a hard time making money betting on sports. No, with sports betting, decisions need to be analytical.

You need to be clear-headed (so wait on the beer until after you place your bets). Separate yourself from your fandom; do not let being a fan of a team or player (or not being one) influence your decision. People that bet on teams with prettier uniforms do not know anything about the game and are just guessing.

Never guess or make an “educated guess.”

You can avoid guessing and make it easier to set your fandom aside by doing your homework. Learn what you can about both teams. Not just how well they are playing or what they are good at, but injuries and anything else that could impact a game.

But there is more to it than just knowing the two teams. You need to understand the odds and how they may move.

Why Should I Care About Moving Lines?

The opening betting line for a game will often not be the closing line. For one reason or another, lines will move throughout the week leading up to game time. It could happen because of injuries, weather, or just the public perception of how a game could play out (among other things).

But when lines move, the odds will favor one side more while adding value to the other. The team with value is also going to be the underdog. But that is where doing your homework comes in. If you have reason to believe the underdog can win the game, you have found a bet worth making.

Do I Want To Be Contrarian?

Lines move because of injuries and other factors that impact the game. But they often move because much of the public is betting one way, and the book needs more people to bet the other. Now, you can go with the majority and bet on one team (go with the public).

But you could also be contrarian, and go against the public, and bet on the other side. The other side will be the underdog, which will mean a higher payout if you win.

But it needs to be the right bet for the right amount.

What Is A Bankroll And Why Is Managing It So Important?

Along with keeping a calm, clear head when you bet and doing your homework, you need to have a plan as you kick off your sports betting journey. Figure out how much money you want to risk throughout the season—this is your bankroll.

You want your bankroll to last, so figure out how much of it you want to risk per game/week—and stick to that number. Avoid committing too much to one game because your bankroll takes a severe hit if you lose.

If you win, do not get cocky and bet more the following week. Consequently, do not chase losses by making bigger bets the next week. Both scenarios are recipes for disaster.

So, Can You Make Money Betting On Sports?

Of course, you can. But to do so, you need to take a smart, systematic, and clear-headed approach. Do not let alcohol, emotions, winning, losing, or anything else cloud your judgment. Make informed decisions, and do not waste your money buying picks from a so-called “expert.”

Bet on yourself, not someone else.

About the Author

Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver is a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, his love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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