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5 Sports Betting Styles for the Armchair Prognosticator

Guys Betting on Sports
Handicapping blogs can help gamblers find the best picks, but we’re not doing it for charity. Our websites need traffic just like any other operation.

That means we’ve got to cover the events everyone is talking about. On LegitGamblingSites.com alone, I’m responsible for predicting the outcomes of so many sports in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. My colleagues and I are thankful for the digital age! There’s no way I could cover so many ballgames and matches (and rounds, and sets) if the internet wasn’t such an advanced “location” for streaming stuff in 2019…unless I became a very rapid world-traveler.

Heck, I’ve even considered posting about Macready’s chess matches in Antarctica. But of course, he poured whiskey into the CPU and ruined that whole…thing.

Person Pushing Buttons

But there is a lot more to successful sports gambling than acquiring accurate touts on good teams and athletes. All of the systems, theories, and advice aren’t much good if they don’t relate to a bettor’s lifestyle and realistic options at the sportsbook.

Beating an online betting site always involves a little skill – or a whole lot of luck. The problem with any blog/prediction format is that we publish 1-size-fits-all tutorials way too often.

‘Need a winner to add to your soccer parlay?” I might ask. “Try a wager on Team XYZ from Bundesliga on Saturday morning.” Except if the client works every Saturday morning and can’t follow German football on the weekends, my recommendation may have led her down the wrong rabbit hole. She might even have the nasty experience of learning about a lost bet through a Google alert, and she certainly can’t scout the league and add her own prediction-wisdom to mine.

Sports gambling doesn’t need to be an exercise in losing money, no matter what you read in the news. At the same time, however, there are more important considerations that the hobby bettor to make that go well beyond dollars and cents.

Are you having fun watching bets play-out? How does the timing and dollar-amount of each wager affect your day-to-day lifestyle? Do you get itchy when making a sports bet and then waiting days, even weeks to watch for the outcome? Or do you personally enjoy getting to go around saying “I’ve got 50 bucks on Canada to win next month” and letting it ride for a while?

All important questions. While there’s no 1-size-fits-all solution, it’s important for every gambler – even the sharks and careerists in the bunch – to pick out a sports betting style that fits their life and their goals at the bookmaker.

Here are just 5 basic sports-wagering styles to choose from. Feel free to mix, match, and invent your own style – one that suits your personal schedule and interests.

5 Styles of Wagering at Online Betting Sites

The Specialist

Specialists are probably among the happiest and most successful of all sports bettors. While the action-junkie keeps himself busy trying to stay up-to-date on the NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball, the gridiron specialist is carefully handicapping American football teams and getting ready to make money – he hopes – with yet another successful autumn season of catching the bookie’s mistakes.

I’d stack my pro-sports handicapping against a lot of bloggers in my genre, but if I have a specialty, it’s international events in which athletes are representing their national flags.

For instance, I have a few stakes at gambling websites that exist mostly so that I can test predictions and enjoy sports and political betting experiences that I can share with readers. Early in 2019, I tried to make a slightly steeper bet from 1 of those accounts – a “real” gamble on a team I thought would win. But when the bookie didn’t allow it – despite allowing more-sizable wagers on the account before – I got kind of mad and decided to beat the book for a few hundred bucks.

What did I do? I deposited a fresh bundle ‘o bills…and waited.

Ha! That doesn’t sound like a move an angry person would make, does it? Hear me out.

Professional sports were still dominating the landscape in late winter. I wanted to wait for the warmer months when soccer, ice hockey, and even basketball – this is a FIBA World Cup year after all – would turn its attention away from clubs and toward the international calendar. Then I’d have my revenge.

I know more about the Ice Hockey World Championship, the Asian Cup, and the African Cup of Nations that most American bookmakers do. But that’s not even the crux of how a specialty-genre can work so well for a successful gambler. It’s also important to know more than the average bettor on the same tournament – since poor predictions by the general public lead to tasty payoff lines.

This August, household handicappers will be making World Cup predictions like “Canada has 9 NBA players and China has 3, so I give Canada 3-to-9 odds to beat China.” You can do better. Anyone can…if they see international games as an opportunity and not a needless complication.

The Action Hound

One of the truly awesome things about legalized sports gambling in the 21st century is that the popular hobby is helping some overlooked sports get on the map.

Betting on the NFL or the English Premier League will always be more of a cash cow than handles taken on IIHF tournaments or Australian Rules Football…at least American handles on Australian Rules Football. But there’s something “niche” sports and overseas events have on the billion-dollar leagues of the West…convenience for gamblers who are free late at night and early in the morning.

Promoters of tours like the LPGA and leagues like the NWHL do more than schedule the occasional early-afternoon event on the east coast for waking action-takers in California to enjoy. They know that going head-to-head against the NBA, NFL, or marquee MLB games is TV-ratings suicide. So women’s sports and other less-popular genres are often scheduled and televised when big dogs aren’t barking.

That means when there are no Super Bowls or NBA Finals on television, you’re likely to find more of the obscure stuff on cable broadcasts. And even if those sports are inconvenient for a daily schedule, there’s always odds on the happenings in Japan, Korea, Australia, and eastern Europe.

Why is it so important that there are betting odds on soon-to-begin games and matches all day and night? Because some sports gamblers are awfully impatient. I’m one of them.

Hobbies can be like rooms. You like to go into a room, do what you like to do in it, and then walk out and close the door behind you. Wagers made on Monday morning for an NFL game on Sunday night can become all-week stressors as every injury report and prediction causes hope or worry. It can be a lot more fun to log into a betting account at 6 PM, decide what you think will happen on Sunday Night Football by 6:30, place a wager or 2, watch from 7:30 to 11 PM and be done with it for a while.

What if Sunday Night Football isn’t convenient for Sunday Night Service Worker? That’s where the betting markets on overseas leagues come in handy.

Impatient “action hounds” who are available to gamble and watch sports late at night or early in the morning must learn to handicap games from elsewhere in the world or get very frustrated missing-out on the party.

I’d love to think a million bettors fell in love with the Australian Football League. More likely, sites like Bovada Sportsbook and MyBookie are pulling in larger handles on the matches from Down Under because the Americans looking for single-sitting action and a quick outcome at 3 AM don’t have too many other alternatives. The AFL is the only girl in town.

The Long-Term Speculator

The opposite of the short-term “action hound” is the long-term prognosticator who gambles on futures lines and on the outcomes of seasons, tournaments, and elections.

Hunter S. Thompson – not known as an especially patient man – was a long-term speculator and futures gambler. How do we know? Because he wrote about betting on elections. That’s a vocation for people who don’t mind waiting for a while…at least not if they’re playing the markets correctly.

Futures betting is underrated for its simulation of a hometown-gambling type of atmosphere. Even if a team calls a campus home 3 time zones away from you, taking their futures market for March Madness – especially in the social media age when we all get the benefits of local beat reporting – can feel like cheering a local school all the way from Round 1 to (hopefully) a final. You get a taste of the athletes’ journey as well as your own financial and cheering interest.

Also, futures can pay out very well on small bets. If you’re bold enough to venture a few hundred bucks on a preseason pick, the result of the wager can be life-changing. One St. Louis Blues fan gambled a sizable – but not catastrophic – amount on the Blue Note to win the Stanley Cup in 2019 and made off with a payout that could practically fund an ice rink.

But even if you’ve got the patience of a cat waiting for a mole to surface, it can still be a drag picking futures and waiting months, even years for them to potentially pay out. I have advised – and will continue to advise – gamblers to play small units on lots and lots of futures instead of going all-in on a few of them, creating a portfolio of “invested stock” in various teams and athletes, and enjoying potential payoffs all throughout the calendar.

The Pro Sports Junkie

Branding has never been more prevalent in sports – and might become even more prevalent if the NCAA allows student-athletes to begin endorsing products.

I’m in favor of that development, which, contrary to popular belief, will get the smarter underdog colleges a better chance to compete with the big dogs. It will be hard for SEC and ACC boosters – whatever their political pull – to prevent a business from investing heavily in a popular young player from a supposedly “inferior” conference. That will drive other recruits to look for alternatives.

There are pros and cons, though. One of the problems with such prevalent branding is that fans are encouraged to think in “chauvinistic” terms about their favorite pro leagues.

Major League Baseball fans will refer to some dude from the Texas Rangers as having the “least errors of anyone in ALL of BASEBALL.” But that’s not necessarily true. There are highly-competitive hardball leagues in Japan and Korea, from which the best players have proven to be every bit a match for MLB talent.

Saying that MLB or even Triple-A ranks are deeper and richer in talent than Nippon Professional Baseball is 1 thing. Referring to a few dozen American club teams as “All of Baseball” takes it to a whole other level of arrogance.

But most people who say “All of Baseball” don’t really mean it that way. They hear it, and they repeat it. That’s the power of branding and sloganeering. No MLB commissioner wants the average fan to know there’s a pitcher in Japan who could strike out their favorite batting order.

Professional leagues are like magic shows in that aspect. Of course their league has signed 100% of the best players in the world, it’s the best league, right? Don’t look at that XFL behind the curtain!

Betting junkies who only gamble on the NFL, MLB and NBA while dissing every other football, baseball, and basketball division as “terrible” are the ones eating-up the hype machine. They think that only the very, very top level of any sport is worth watching or speculating on – and they’re poorer for it.

Yes, the public is more likely to drive the lines in weird directions on big events like the Super Bowl. But guess what – a smaller handle can still add up to nice value on the moneyline when you’re betting on the World Baseball Classic against a bunch of clowns who think every ballplayer from Japan is under 5 feet tall and couldn’t hit 1 home run out of old Busch Stadium.

The Dual-Bankroll Tycoon

There are many ways to end a listicle on the internet. How about a shameless plug?

In a recent column, I teach sports gamblers how to utilize a system of dueling accounts at 2 separate sportsbooks. 1 account is for careful, cautious “system” bets and a slow-rising stake.

That slow-rising stake is then used to fund the other account, used for wild and fun bets on whatever tickles your fancy – trifectas and parlays even.

The idea is that no bettor can be Superman or Supergirl without some sort of backup, a contingency when things go wrong. Having a well-funded “boring” stake can be the best way to balance-out your mistakes in handicapping and stay in the black no matter what.

After all – you can’t have 2 “Superman” accounts, or you might end up beating the absolute crap out of yourself in a sports-gambling rubbish pile.