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Is Sports Betting Profitable?

Most Profitable Betting Strategy

Profitable betting, does it really exist? If you’re willing to put the work in, there’s every chance that it can, and the team here want to help you find out how.

As well as running you through some of the most popular and specific strategies for profitable betting, we’ll also give you some basic tips and tricks that can help you to boost your chances of placing winning wagers. Does that all sound good? Let’s get started then!

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Is sports betting worth it if you want to make a profit?

First of all, we should start off by saying here that nothing is foolproof and that an element of luck and factors outside your control are always going to come into play with sports betting. With that being said though, while sports betting could be likened to a risky investment strategy, it isn’t a potluck form of gambling, unlike the lottery or casino slot machines. That is to say, there are a number of factors that come into play, and therefore a number of things that you can do in order to tip the odds in your favor and increase your chances of winning. This article, above all else, should help you to learn how to win on bets, so you’re well on your way.

At a basic level, the most profitable sports betting strategy simply involves maximizing your winnings and minimizing your losses. So how exactly can you do this? There are a number of ways, and throughout this article, we’ll take a look at the most common and basic strategies that you can use in order to try to boost your chances of making a profit when betting on sports.

Is sports betting profitable? Here’s the most important thing you have to know

Before we proceed with our strategies and tips for profitable betting, there’s one thing that we should tell you is at the core of everything – longevity. There is no quick fix with sports betting, and if you’ve come here looking to find out if and how you can use sports betting to make a quick buck, then forget about it.

Profitable sports betting isn’t about winning any one individual bet; it’s about playing the long game. Making a profit on sports betting requires time, patience, attention to detail, and a little bit of luck. So if you’re willing to put in the time and dedication, then join us as we check out the best sports betting strategies for profitability. You can also find the best sportsbook promotions here on our site.

The first step – managing your bankroll

Before you decide to proceed with any of the more specific and detailed sports betting strategies that have been devised, you first of all need to have the basics in place. The first step of any sports betting strategy is managing your bankroll, so let’s take a look at how this works.

Basic bankroll management involves setting your initial budget, which should be no more than you can realistically afford to lose. You don’t have to deposit this total budget into your betting account straight away; in fact, it’s advisable not to in many cases, especially if you plan on using multiple sportsbooks – which we do recommend.

Once you have your budget set up, you should then decide on what percentage you are going to use per wager initially. We recommend using 1-5% of your initial budget per wager, especially if you are an inexperienced bettor with a modest budget.

From there on you need to plan your bets based on your sports and betting knowledge. We also advise tracking your progress via a spreadsheet or something similar. If you stick to the plan, you should hopefully build up your bankroll over time. You can change your betting styles and increase your per wager budget over time, but always do it in a calculated way, and never on impulse.

Most profitable betting strategy guides

Once you’ve got your bankroll in place, there are a few basic strategies that you can deploy when it comes to wagers that can increase your chances of making and sustaining a profit over time. The idea behind the best betting strategy is to gradually increase your bankroll. However, in the process, you may find that it stagnates or that you dip into a loss. The most important thing is not to panic, throw your strategy out the window and start chasing your losses. Keep calm and measured at all times.

Fixed amount

When we’re asked the question, “is sports betting profitable?”, this is the most basic strategy that we can put forward. With fixed amount betting, you choose a fixed wager amount and also a fixed winning percentage. For example, you may choose to always place (X) amount of $10 wagers a week on lines that give you a 60% probability of winning. While you don’t stand to have a single big payout, the law of averages tells you that your bankroll should increase over time.

Proportional betting

This is statistically speaking the most profitable betting strategy and is the next logical step up from fixed amount betting. If you started off fixed betting and it’s going well, you could then allow yourself to graduate and shift into a proportional betting strategy, combining it with any betting deals you can find.

Referring back to our explanation of basic bankroll management earlier in this article, we told you that you should choose a percentage of your bankroll to use on each bet and that we recommend 1-5%. With fixed amount betting, you would continue with that percentage based on your initial bankroll; with proportional betting, you adapt based on your bankroll increasing or decreasing.

For example, let’s say you start off with a total bankroll of $1000 and have chosen a 1% per-bet budget. If your first bet wins, you would then bet 1% of 1010, which is $10.10. If your bankroll total increases to $2000, you would then bet $20 per wager. However, if your bankroll dipped below the initial $1000 to say, $900, you would bet $9 per wager until it creeps back up again.

Profitable betting – Expected Value is at the heart of it all

So is sports betting profitable? By using long-term strategies, we’ve seen that it is. However, long-term profit requires short-term gains. What most professional gamblers use in order to decipher whether or not each bet is worth it is something called Expected Value (EV). EV is a calculation that tells you how much your bet would stand to win on average, were it to be repeated time and time again.

Expected Value explained

In order to explain EV in the most basic way possible, let’s use the example of a $10 wager on a coin toss. If you were to bet on heads at the real odds of +100 multiple times over and you have a 50% chance of winning, your EV would be zero, as on average you would win as much as you lose. However, let’s say that the person flipping the coin offered you betting odds of +110 on heads instead of +100.  If the coin lands on heads, you would now stand to win more than you would lose on average of multiple coin tosses. This would give you an EV of +0.5.

So how does this apply to profitable betting?

When it comes to sports betting, there’s a relatively simple formula that can be used to calculate your EV for each bet. What you need to do is first multiply your potential profit by the implied probability of you winning. You then need to subtract your potential losses (your stake) multiplied by the implied probability of you losing. The number that you are left with is your EV. The formula written out is as follows:

(Profit x Winning probability) - (Loss x Losing probability) = EV

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Most profitable betting strategy – EV in action

Now that we’ve learned the basics of EV and how to calculate it, let’s use a real sports betting example. Let’s take the moneyline of an NBA game between the Bulls and the Hawks, where the bulls are -190 favorites and the Hawks are +160 underdogs, the implied probability of each outcome is as follows:

Bulls -190 (65.5%)

Hawks +160 (38.5%)

Now let’s say you stake $10 on the bulls to win, your total potential payout would be $15.30, leaving a potential profit of $5.30. Your EV calculation would be thus:

(5.3 x 0.655 = 3.47) - (10 x 0.385 = 3.85) = -0.38

You’ve wound up with a negative EV in this case, meaning that on the face of it, it would appear that the bet isn’t worth your while. However, the important thing to realize here is that this is based on the bookmaker’s implied probability and not the realistic implied probability.

Is sports betting profitable – understanding the sportsbooks vs reality

The more mathematically astute among you may have noticed that 65.5 + 38.5 = 104. You may now be thinking to yourself that a total probability of 104% is impossible – and you’re absolutely right. That extra 4% is the margin that the sportsbook has added to the odds in order to protect their profits. Effectively this skews the reality of the EV number for you. What you then need to do is try and figure out as best you can what the real implied probability of each outcome is – which is where things can get tricky. Expertise in both sports betting math and the sports themselves is key here.

However, let’s say for argument’s sake that you figured out the real implied probability of the above game as actually 70% for the Bulls and 30% for the Hawks, the EV now changes as seen below:

(5.3 x 0.7 = 3.71) - (10 x 0.3 = 3.0) = 0.71

You have now discovered that in reality, betting on the Bulls actually has a positive EV. At the end of the day, the most profitable betting strategy is to dig as deep as possible to try and get ahead of what the sportsbooks are thinking.

Profitable football betting

Given that football is the most popular sport in the US, we’re often asked specifically if it is more profitable. Speaking in general terms, football has no more or less chance of being profitable than any other sport. However, as we mentioned at the top of this article, combining your own sporting knowledge of the sports that you are betting on with the strategic elements explained above will help to increase your chances of placing winning bets. Therefore, if football is your area of expertise, then by all means utilize that in order to increase your chances of betting profitably.

So is sports betting profitable –  what’s the verdict?

So is it possible to profit from sports betting? Yes, it definitely is possible and everything above can definitely increase your chances of winning more. However, what’s important for us to stress here is that it should always be viewed as a hobby that could help to yield a little extra money on the side – it’s not an investment nor a career opportunity. Also, it’s important to remember that you’re playing the long game here – there’s no guaranteed quick route to easy money.

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Profitable betting FAQ

💰 What is the most profitable betting strategy?

There are actually a few betting strategies that have the potential to be profitable. Which one is right for you depends on your experience and what you’re looking to bet on. Join our community at PromoGuy to find out more.

❓ Can betting be profitable?

Does betting have the possibility to be profitable, or is it true to say that the house always wins against everyone in the end? Find out if and how you truly can beat the sportsbooks here at PromoGuy!

✅ Which bet is easiest to win?

There is no one bet that is the ultimate easiest, but some bets naturally have a higher chance of winning than others. Discover your guide to winning wagers by following the link from this answer to our site.

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