Bet Smart Understanding How to Make Informed Bets

Sports betting has been around for centuries, with people placing wagers on various sporting events in hopes of winning big. With the rise of online betting platforms and increased accessibility, sports betting has become more popular than ever before. However, with the increase in popularity, there has also been an increase in irresponsible and uninformed betting. This not only leads to financial losses for individuals but also perpetuates negative stereotypes associated with gambling. If you want to engage in sports betting, it’s crucial to bet smart and make informed decisions. In this article, we will explore how you can do just that. Posted by 789bet

The Basics of Sports Betting

Before we delve into how to bet smart, let’s first understand the basics of sports betting. Simply put, sports betting is the act of placing a wager on the outcome of a sporting event. The most common types of bets are moneyline bets, where you bet on which team will win, point spread bets, where you bet on the margin of victory, and over/under bets, where you bet on the total number of points scored in a game.

To start betting, you need to choose a reputable online betting platform or visit a physical sportsbook. You then select the sport and game you want to bet on, choose your type of bet, and enter the amount you want to wager. If your bet is successful, you receive a payout based on the odds set by the sportsbook. It’s important to note that sportsbooks take a small commission on winning bets, known as the “vig,” so even if you win, you may not receive the full payout.

Understanding Odds

Odds are an essential aspect of sports betting, as they determine the potential payout for a successful bet. There are three main types of odds used in sports betting: American, decimal, and fractional. American odds are displayed as a “+/-” number, with positive numbers representing the potential payout on a $100 bet and negative numbers representing how much you need to bet to win $100. For example, if the odds are +200, you would win $200 on a $100 bet, and if the odds are -200, you would need to bet $200 to win $100.

Decimal odds are used primarily in Europe and are shown as a decimal number that includes your initial stake. For example, odds of 2.00 mean that for every $1 you bet, you will receive $2 back, including your initial stake. Fractional odds are more commonly used in the UK and are displayed as fractions, with the first number representing the potential payout and the second number representing the amount you need to bet to win that payout. For example, odds of 5/1 mean that for every $1 bet, you will receive $5 back, plus your initial stake.

To bet smartly, it’s crucial to understand how to read and interpret odds. They give insight into the likelihood of a particular outcome and can help inform your betting decisions.

Managing Your Bankroll

One of the most critical aspects of sports betting is managing your bankroll. Your bankroll refers to the amount of money you have set aside specifically for betting. It’s essential to determine your bankroll before you start betting and stick to it. A common rule of thumb is to only bet between 1-5% of your bankroll on each individual bet. This helps to minimize losses and ensures that you don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.

It’s also important to keep track of your bets and regularly reassess your bankroll. If you’re experiencing a losing streak, it may be time to take a break or re-evaluate your strategy. Don’t be tempted to chase your losses by increasing the size of your bets. This can lead to further losses and potentially put you in a difficult financial situation.

Strategies for Betting Smart

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s explore some strategies for betting smartly.

Do Your Research

The first and most crucial step in making informed bets is to do your research. This means gathering information about the teams or players involved in the game, their recent performance, any injuries or suspensions, and the historical match-ups between the two sides. It’s also essential to pay attention to external factors such as weather conditions, home-field advantage, and player motivation.

There are numerous resources available online that can help you gather this information, including sports news sites, team and player statistics, and expert analysis. Taking the time to research and analyze this information can give you a better understanding of the game and help you make more informed betting decisions.

Shop Around for the Best Odds

As mentioned earlier, odds play a significant role in sports betting. Different sportsbooks may offer different odds for the same game, so it’s important to shop around to find the best value. This can increase your potential payout and minimize your losses.

Online betting platforms also often offer promotions or bonuses, so it’s worth comparing these as well. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully before taking advantage of any bonuses, as they may come with specific requirements or restrictions.

Be Selective with Your Bets

One mistake many novice bettors make is placing too many bets on a single game or across multiple games. This not only increases the risk of losing money but can also lead to poor decision-making. It’s important to be selective with your bets and only place wagers on games where you have done thorough research and feel confident in your prediction. This may mean betting on fewer games, but it can improve your chances of making smart bets.

Consider Alternative Bets

While the most common types of bets are moneyline, point spread, and over/under bets, there are numerous alternative bets available that can offer better value. These include prop bets, which allow you to bet on specific events within a game, such as the first team to score or the number of touchdowns scored by a particular player. There are also future bets, where you can bet on the outcome of a tournament or season-long performance.

Alternative bets can provide better odds and more significant payouts if you have done your research and make informed decisions.

Common Betting Mistakes to Avoid

Now that we have covered some strategies for betting smartly, let’s also look at some common betting mistakes to avoid.

Chasing Losses

As mentioned earlier, chasing losses by increasing the size of your bets in an attempt to recoup previous losses is a dangerous move. This can lead to further losses and put you in a difficult financial situation. It’s essential to stick to your bankroll and only bet what you can afford to lose.

Emotional Betting

Betting based on emotions rather than logic and research is another common mistake. For example, betting on your favorite team without considering their recent performance or placing a large bet on a team you dislike because you want them to lose. It’s crucial to separate personal feelings from betting decisions and focus on the facts.

Failing to Shop Around

As mentioned earlier, shopping around for the best odds is crucial. Failing to do so can result in missed opportunities for better payouts. Don’t get complacent with one sportsbook; instead, take the time to compare odds and promotions across various platforms.


Q: Is sports betting legal?

A: The legality of sports betting varies depending on your location. In many countries, online sports betting is legal, but it’s important to check the laws in your area before engaging in any form of betting.

Q: Can I make a living from sports betting?

A: While it’s possible to make a profit from sports betting, it’s challenging to do so consistently. It takes a lot of research, discipline, and luck to be successful in sports betting, and it’s not a reliable source of income.

Q: Can I bet on any sport?

A: Most online betting platforms offer a wide range of sports to bet on, including popular options like football, basketball, and tennis, as well as niche sports like darts, golf, and even eSports. However, it’s always best to check the available options before signing up for a platform.

Q: What is the minimum age for sports betting?

A: The minimum age to participate in sports betting varies by location but is typically between 18-21 years old.

Q: How can I keep track of my bets?

A: Online betting platforms usually have a section where you can view your betting history and track your wins and losses. You can also use a spreadsheet or a betting tracker app to monitor your bets.


Sports betting can be an entertaining and potentially profitable hobby if done smartly and responsibly. By understanding the basics, doing thorough research, and using sound strategies, you can increase your chances of making informed bets. Remember to bet within your means, be selective with your bets, and always shop around for the best odds. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a smarter bettor.

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