The Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting

Sports betting can be a challenging hobby but when done right, it can also be extremely rewarding. From our Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting you will find a couple of golden rules with which to enhance the overall betting experience – and maybe make some profit on the way. By avoiding the common mistakes it is possible to get results quite swiftly without losing any of the excitement and thrill of sports betting.

The meaning of odds

First of all, let’s start Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting with an arguably the most important betting tip for rookies. The odds are the Alpha and Omega of the whole betting business – a fact often forgotten or overlooked. In principle, the outcome of a single bet is non-relevant, as it is the odds that determine if the bet has value or not. In short, odds are the inverse value of the probability of certain occurrence – the more unlikely the occurrence, the higher the odds for it. Therefore, a good bet is when the probability of occurrence X is higher than the probability indicated by the odds.

In practice, it is possible to find value in any occurrence, be the odds 1.15, 5.50 or 28.90. If you have evaluated the probability of an occurrence at 90 %, odds of 1.15 present value (albeit a rather small one). Often punters are more likely to find value on the higher odds of the underdog, but this should not be taken for granted. All professional punters trust their own evaluations, regardless of favorites or underdogs. The most important thing is to bet with odds that represent value.

Comparing the odds between bookmakers is always a good idea and there are plenty of online tools for that but those are out of scope of our Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting. However, we would like to highlight that if you’re a serious punter, it makes no sense in betting on lower odds than the market allows – that would be like giving out money to bookmakers. At Coolbet, you can easily find our best odds on daily basis under the Boosted odds section. Have a look!

Picking your bets

In the beginning, many punters are inclined to play big accumulators, including a number of different selections which need to be correct in order to win. The idea behind the accumulator is, of course, to win big with a minimal stake as the odds are multiplying with each additional selection.

What punters should take into consideration is that the bookmakers’ odds include an in-built advantage, so that the rule “house always wins” applies.

At Coolbet the common theoretical return is approximately 95 % (in some leagues even higher), which is relatively high compared to the market. However, there are exceptions and nothing is set in stone. Coolbet sometimes offers the most customer-friendly odds with 100 % theoretical return!

You should remember that by basic rules of mathematics if the odds offer less than 100% theoretical return, the bookmakers’ advantage accumulates when more picks are added in the coupon. So even though the sportsbook payback is high, if you combine, let’s say, two selections the payback percentage declines under 91% and keeps on dropping with each additional selection.

Undoubtedly the best part of sports betting is making the correct picks and collecting profit. If you aim for the quick win Jackpot, and at the same time neglecting the fact you lower your chance to make profit in long term, you should acquainted with the system-feature at Coolbet sportsbook.

In short, the system bet feature available in betslip allows you to select, for example, six picks and automatically make smaller accumulators with which you can win even if not all the selections hit correctly.

The Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting

Setting the stakes

One of the most difficult aspects in betting – and often the most overlooked – is setting the stakes. You should remember that not a single strategy on setting the stakes will make you rich by itself.

On the other hand, no strategy or using a bad strategy will cancel even the good bets you have made and you will eventually end up losing your profits in the long run.

Feels difficult and confusing?

Yes, but with a couple of easy tips you will get started on the right foot.

Even the semi-professional punters often have a habit to raise the stakes when they are on a winning streak. Of course, you will start to feel invincible when all the games seem to go your way and the bankroll just keeps on growing. When you are on a streak remember to think twice and use your better judgment before increasing your average stake!

If you have correctly picked four football games in a row, does this affect how your NBA-picks will wind up?

Of course not.

Luck has no memory. Both the good and the bad streaks are always part of sports betting. The best thing you can do is to keep a cool head and set the stakes according to your own strategy – not according to your current streak. It is worthwhile to plan a staking strategy and keep to it. Each and every punter will face a bad beat, sometimes shorter and sometimes longer, when more money is lost than won. When this happens it is important to keep your cool and not to panic.

Self-control and anger management

Continuing on our list of Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting, each and every sport features a certain amount of chance, which in sports betting is usually called luck.

A single bounce here or there or any human error that cannot be anticipated may affect the outcome greatly or even decide it altogether. Because of this, it is likely that every punter will face both losing and winning streaks. During both streaks, it is crucial to keep in mind that the outcomes of previous bets have nothing to do with the outcomes of the future bets.

A sure-fire way to self-destruct is to chase your losses after big defeats or get carried away by increasing the stakes when on a winning streak. Cancelling those driving emotions is tricky and demands self-control – and anger management. Professional punters often state how easy it is to lose control when facing defeat after defeat and then only digging a deeper grave. Even if it is not easy to keep your cool, acknowledging the issue is the first step to success.

We believe that all the sports betting should be fun and exciting. If you have a feeling that you might be losing self-control or just feel like betting is fun no more, Coolbet offers you a possibility to cool down by closing your account or setting loss limits for a selected time period to avoid ill-advised betting.

Pick a strategy

Successful sports betting takes a lot of time and effort. Going through the abundance of information available nowadays can take hours and hours, not to mention actually following the games played. Furthermore, modern TV-contracts make sure the games are played almost around the clock, which makes it virtually impossible to follow all or even most of it.

This leads to a necessity for a punter to pick their battles and specialize on certain sport or better yet, a certain league or teams. No one has the time to follow every sport, so it is better to concentrate and maximize the knowledge on one or two leagues. After the specialization, it is easier to place informed bets and avoid hasty judgment calls, as you are less likely to be blindsided by surprising changes in lineups etc.

Betting tips

In addition to your own judgment, nowadays it is easy to find informed betting tips all over the internet – some of which are actually profitable as well. Especially in social media where you can access all kinds of tips around the clock. However, not all the picks are trustworthy so pay close attention when putting your faith in these tipsters. It is even possible that the tipster makes money when you lose your bets.

One of the least understood concepts in Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting tips is so called “affiliate deals”. It is a common practice in betting business for bookmakers to take care of external marketing with this kind of deals. In short, it means that the affiliates (tipsters, websites etc.) are paid depending on how much the clients they have brought in lose at the betting site.

We at Coolbet want to get rid of this age-old tradition, shake it up a bit and make the business be more transparent – We are not offering any affiliate deals to our partners or associates, so you can be certain all the tips related to Coolbet are genuinely independent. The tipster will not profit from a bad pick in any way.

Gathering information and evaluating probabilities

In principle, the bookmakers always have better knowledge and information of the games they are offering than the punters do. Many times it is more likely that the punters’ assumed value in odds is actually incorrect, as the oddsmaker working for the betting company has better knowledge when setting the odds. But this is not always the case: both the oddsmakers and especially other punters make mistakes, which a skillful punter can exploit.

In practice, in order to profit from betting on sports the punter should be able to bet on a selection, where the odds are higher than the actual probability of the occurrence. Making an evaluation of probabilities and calculating “correct” odds is the foundation of a systematic, profitable betting but it requires both time and skills.

Outcome of a match or a single occurrence in a game is affected by a multitude of variables, including previously mentioned chance (or so called luck). One of our Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting tips relates to the importance of information analysis. As a tip for rookies we can state that by gathering and analyzing enough information it is possible to minimize the chance/luck-factor when assessing the probabilities. Because of the massive amount of data available, a successful punter usually creates a system with which the relevant variables can be measured and used when calculating the probabilities.

The variables affecting the probabilities in sports are countless. For example, in team sports the lineups might change, there are players suspended or injured, certain matchups might be preferable, home-field advantage affects performance or significance of the outcome of the match to each team might be different are only a few of the more obvious variables that should be taken into account when calculating probabilities. With increasing know-how due to experience it gets easier to find anomalies in comparison to odds but especially early on the rookie’s assessments are likely to have pitfalls. Here, we have listed a couple of them:

1. Overreacting to lineup changes

In team sports it is easy and common to overreact to an individual players’ effect on team performance. In addition, the lineup changes – unless sudden and abrupt – have already been taken into account when setting the odds. For example, in the NHL the team’s overall performance is rarely remarkably affected by starting the backup goaltender.

2. Previous matchups

The previous matchups between teams might serve as a guideline of the respective teams/players relative strengths and weaknesses – but only if the participants have remained unchanged and the variables affecting the previous games are known and taken into consideration. You might already guess it, this is hardly ever the case. Therefore, placing too much emphasis on previous matchups matchups can be fatal to you betting strategy.

3. Stats don’t lie – or do they?

Statistics are an undeniable fact, if provided by trustworthy sources. How the statistics are interpreted and how they actually relate to performance and probability is a whole different story. A massive amount of statistical data is up for grabs for every punter and possibly even more for the bookmakers. Stats are a great way to measure past occurrences, but their relation to future might be non-existent or very little. So, use caution when analyzing statistics and be sure to have understood the causal connections correctly. It pays off to ponder if it is really relevant that the Broncos have won six of the previous games played the week before the Thanksgiving, if facing conference-rivals and the weather is clear.