Handicapping is the process of evaluating two or more teams or athletes to determine which one is more likely to win a particular event. It is an essential skill for any successful sports bettor.
There are many different handicapping systems and strategies that bettors use, but there are a few key principles that all successful handicappers follow.
1. Understand the sport and league you are betting on
The first step to becoming a successful handicapper is to have a deep understanding of the sport and league you are betting on. This includes knowing the rules, the teams, the players, and the trends.
You should also be familiar with the different handicapping factors that can affect the outcome of a game, such as injuries, weather, and home field advantage.
2. Use a variety of sources to gather information
Once you have a good understanding of the sport and league, you need to start gathering information about the specific teams and players that you are considering betting on.
There are many different sources of information available, such as sports news websites, blogs, and forums. You can also use statistical databases to gather information about past performances and trends.
3. Be objective and unbiased
When handicapping a game, it is important to be objective and unbiased. This means avoiding letting your personal preferences or emotions influence your judgment.
You should also avoid being swayed by the opinions of others, especially if they are not supported by evidence.
4. Use a variety of handicapping factors
There are many different handicapping factors that can affect the outcome of a game. Some of the most important factors include:
Home field advantage
You should consider all of these factors when handicapping a game. However, it is important to note that not all factors are created equal.
For example, team strength is typically more important than weather conditions.
5. Manage your bankroll wisely
Once you have handicapped a game and made a betting decision, it is important to manage your bankroll wisely. This means only betting a small percentage of your bankroll on each game.
You should also set a stop loss limit for yourself, which is the maximum amount of money you are willing to lose on any given day.
In addition to the general handicapping principles listed above, there are a few specific hacks that can help you become a more successful bettor.
1. Look for value bets
A value bet is a bet where the odds are higher than the true probability of the event happening. If you can find value bets on a regular basis, you will be able to make money in the long run.
One way to find value bets is to use a betting calculator. This will allow you to compare the odds offered by different bookmakers and find the best odds available.
Another way to find value bets is to look for mismatches. For example, if a good team is playing a bad team, you may be able to find value betting on the good team. This is because the bookmakers will have factored in the fact that the good team is more likely to win, and they will have adjusted the odds accordingly.
2. Use a variety of betting markets
Most bettors focus on the main betting markets, such as the moneyline spread, and total. However, there are many other betting markets available, such as player props and team props.
By betting on a variety of markets, you can increase your chances of finding value bets.
3. Take advantage of live betting
Live betting allows you to bet on a game while it is in progress. This can be a great way to find value bets, especially if the odds are not moving in your favor.
For example, if a team is leading by a touchdown in the NFL, the odds that they will win the game will be very low. However, if the other team scores a touchdown, the odds may move back in your favor.
4. Use a betting system
A betting system is a set of rules that you follow when making betting decisions. There are many different betting systems available, but some of the most popular systems include the Kelly Criterion and the Martingale system.
Betting systems can help you to be more disciplined and to avoid making emotional betting decisions. However, it is important to note that no betting system is guaranteed to be profitable.
Handicapping is an essential skill for any successful sports bettor. By following the principles and hacks outlined in this article, you can improve your handicapping skills and become a more profitable bettor.