Setting up a sports betting strategy should be one of the first things any new bettor does when they start betting. From understanding betting odds, bankroll management, hedging bets, arbitrage betting, and more, there are plenty of strategies that you should be taking advantage of.

With this sports betting strategy overview, you’ll learn how to understand odds, control your money, and anything else it takes for a winning sports betting strategy. Ultimately, the best betting strategy is the one that you develop and tailor to your own betting style and preferences.

Understanding Betting Odds

Understanding the betting odds format depends on where you are from. In America, you will need to learn moneyline odds. In other places, fractional odds and decimal odds are much more common. No matter the different types of odds, parlays, and bets, all prices remain the same.

Fractional odds

A slash or hyphen is used when writing fractional odds. If the fractional odds were 7/1, you would win $7 for every $1 you bet. Here’s how you can calculate fractional odds:

Total return = (stake x fractional odds) + stake. 
Example: If you bet $1 at 7/1 odds, your total return would be ($1 x 7) + $1 = $8.
Profit = stake x fractional odds.
This calculation gives the profit from the bet without including the original stake. Example: A $1 bet at 7/1 odds would yield a profit of $1 x 7 = $7.

Decimal odds

Decimal odds also show the amount won for every $1 bet. For example, if you bet on something that has 4.00 odds, you would win $4 in total payout. thi s payout consist of your original $1 stake plus $3 in profit. The calculation is as follows: 

Total return = stake x decimal odds
Example: If you bet $1 at odds of 4.00, your total payout would be $1 x 4.00 = $4.
Profit = (stake x decimal odds) – stake
Example: The profit from a $1 bet at 4.00 odds would be ($1 x 4.00) – $1 = $3.

Moneyline odds

Moneyline odds can be the most confusing as they are distinguished by positive or negative values. For negative odds, such as -210, you must bet $210 to win $100. Conversely, with positive odds, your winnings are calculated based on a $100 stake. For example, at +210, a $100 bet yields $210 in profit.

Total return for positive odds = stake x (odds / 100) + stake
Example: For a $100 bet at +210 odds, the total return would be: $100 x (210/100) + 100= $310
Total return for negative odds = stake + (stake x 100 / odds)
Example:  For a $210 bet at -210 odds,  the total return would be: $210 + ($210 x 100 /210) = $310

Steps to adjusting your bankroll

Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is a fund used when you decide how much of your income you want to bet on sports. The bankroll should only be the amount of money that you are willing to lose. If you do not learn how to manage that, you can end up losing more money than you had initially expected.

If you do not have a betting bankroll, you could start to chase losses, betting more than you can afford to lose, and developing other bad habits.

The money you have saved up for sports betting is known as your bank. A bankroll is the amount of money you have decided you can lose only on sports betting over a specific time frame. If you have bills to pay and other life necessities, this is when you decide that you can only lose a certain amount in any period of time. All the other stuff in life takes priority.

Betting Strategies: An Overview

Below are the sports betting winning strategies that can help you win.

Value Betting

A value bet is a bet where the chances of the bet hitting are higher than the odds offer.

A value bet is all up to the person placing the wager. Value can mean many different things, so do not think that value only means if a bet is +500. For example, if you believe the Golden State Warriors should be -500, but they are only -280, there is value in betting on that. 

Frankly, all value means in betting is that the odds of the game, prop, and other wagers are much higher than the odds that are being offered by the sportsbooks. 

Value bets aren’t guaranteed winners, but you should always be on the lookout for value when you bet. If the bet has a positive expected value, you should find more success in the long run than if you weren’t trying this strategy.

Positive Expected Value betting, commonly known as +EV betting, means the chances of hitting the bet are higher than the sports book’s price.

For example, if your analysis gives the LA Lakers a 60% chance of winning, but the sportsbook’s odds give a 50% chance, placing a bet on the Lakers represents a +EV betting opportunity because your analysis indicates more value in the bet than the odds imply. 

When you look for value, you will find many ways for it to show itself. Value betting is simply finding an edge on the sportsbooks and betting on it.

Arbitrage Betting

Arbitrage betting is when you place two bets on the same game and guarantee profits. The bet would be placed on both sides, giving you a margin to make money on both ends.

For instance, if you have the Los Angeles Lakers to win the game at +120 in one sportsbook and another sportsbook offers +130 on the Los Angeles Lakers to win in the same game, an arbitrageur could place bets on both outcomes in such proportions that guarantee a profit, taking advantage of the slight discrepancies in odds.

However, seeing this in a sportsbook is uncommon because they would lose money if it happened frequently. 

Therefore, finding such opportunities requires diligence and quick action, as odds can shift rapidly, especially in response to sudden changes in team composition, for example, due to injuries. 

Finding suitable conditions for arbitrage betting is more common by comparing odds across various sportsbooks rather than within the sportsbook of a single provider.  

Matched Betting

Matched betting is a professional sports betting strategy that allows bettors to profit from free bets and other offers from sportsbooks.

It involves placing bets on all possible outcomes of an event across different platforms – using the free bet on one outcome at a sportsbook and a lay bet to cover the opposite outcome elsewhere, such as at a betting exchange. 

This method takes advantage of offers like sign-up offers, deposit matches, free bets, bonus bets, profit boosts, and more.

The following example explains how to win sports betting every time with zero risk.  Let’s say that a sportsbook offers a $20 free bet for new sign-ups. You use this free bet to wager on the Boston Celtics to win a game at one sportsbook while simultaneously placing a lay bet against the Boston Celtics at a betting exchange. 

Whatever the game’s outcome, one of your bets will win, ensuring you profit from the free bet without risking your own money. 

Advanced Betting Techniques

If you’re curious about how you can consistently win at sports betting, advanced betting techniques can help you improve your betting strategy. An example is 3 way betting, a wager for three possible outcomes: a win, loss, or tie. Below, we will discuss some more advanced techniques that are commonly used by bettors. 

Martingale strategy

The Martingale strategy is a betting technique focused on recovering losses by doubling the bet amount after each loss. For instance, if you lose a $20 bet, then your next bet would be $40 (double the original bet) on an event with even odds (+100) to win back the lost amount and potentially secure a profit equal to the original bet. Be careful with this strategy, as you need a substantial bankroll to cover a series of losses. 

Quantitative Analysis

Quantitative analysis in betting is using an algorithm to place a bet. You need a prediction and test a strategy, possibly with a betting system.

You would take that analysis and test it on other bets. For example, if there is a bet you are looking to play, you would use your analysis and test it on 20 games that you find. Once you find a system bet that works, you will be able to use it in the future.

Creating a betting system can be as easy as putting data into a Google Sheet to make a chart and tracking the outcome of multiple things with the data you have.

Psychological Aspects of Betting

The psychology beyond sports betting plays an important role in potential issues bettors could face. The allure of uncertainty and the thrill of potentially winning money can be highly addictive. There is never a guarantee that a wager you place will win, and that unpredictability keeps people excited. Therefore, it is important to manage your betting responsibly in order to avoid problematic behaviour.

Never place a bet when you are in a negative emotional state or are suffering from stress, as this can lead to irresponsible decisions.  

Most useful betting strategies

Sport-Specific Betting Strategies

Having a betting strategy for football, hockey, golf, or boxing gives us the opportunity to make money. However, there are specific betting strategies for each sport that could help. Beginners can learn the basics of betting on some of the major sports, such as baseball and soccer, by reading dedicated blog posts or by searching the internet. 

Let’s take a deeper look at the betting strategies for basketball, horse racing, and football. 


Football betting is a different animal, given that the NFL only plays once a week. In football, we typically see bigger odds than we would in other sports. For example, if the Kansas City Chiefs are playing the Carolina Panthers, Kansas City will be a 14-plus point favourite and a moneyline favourite of -1000-plus. While there’s no guarantee they win the game, upsets happen far less frequently in the NFL in terms of teams being much better than one another.

In the MLB, you could see the Oakland A’s beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game because they play a four-game series and Oakland has one good pitcher. There isn’t much of that in the NFL, making it a bit easier to predict the winner of the game at times.


With 82 games in the NBA and back-to-back games on certain nights, it’s not always easy to get an edge.

However, there are ways to make money on the NBA and it’s often viewed as one of the best sports to bet on in the United States. The reason for that is because of all options to bet on, including moneyline, spreads, player props, and more. There are multiple things for sports bettors to bet on in the NBA, making it possible to make more money.

Betting strategies are all up for people to learn, and the right tools can help with that. An example is the Overlyzer live tool, which provides real-time analysis and visualizations to help you make informed decisions. 

Important data to consider before placing you bets includes: 

Horse Racing

Horse racing doesn’t have as many events as other sports, but there are ways to make money in it. The most notable is the Kentucky Derby. Some of the best bets include betting on multiple horses – as the odds are typically high – and hedging your bets.

Besides knowledge about competing horses, it is also important to analyze data about:

Utilizing Betting Tools and Software

Various online betting tools and specific software can help you improve your betting strategy and, eventually, your returns. With the help of online tools, you can track your betting record and evaluate your strategy. Betting software can help you identifying value bets or show you the best options for arbitrage betting. 

However, most of these options are paid variants. If you are not ready to spend money on these tools, listing all your betting activities in an Excel sheet is a good way to keep a betting record. This also gives you insights into your betting results, and the trends that you notice can help you improve your strategy to find out how to win sports betting.

Tips for Responsible Betting

Safe betting practices lead to a positive betting experience. The way to achieve this is by doing the following:



How Many Sportsbooks Do You Need?

Having as many sportsbooks as possible is important if you want to make money in arbitrage and matching betting. Always take advantage of the offers sportsbooks have.

What are the key components of a successful sports betting strategy?

Firstly, understanding different types of betting odds and effective bankroll management are the main things to remember when putting together a sports betting strategy. Secondly, applying various betting techniques like value betting, arbitrage betting, and matched betting can help you become successful. Thirdly, tailoring these strategies to fit your own betting style and preferences is also vital for success.

How do I start managing my sports betting bankroll?

It starts with setting aside a specific amount of money you can afford to lose, which is your bankroll. This should be money that is not required for essential expenses such as rent, food, and clothing. If you want to be effective with your bankroll, it is important that you only bet a small percentage of this bankroll on any single bet to minimize the risk of quickly burning through your money. 

Should I Use All the Betting Techniques?

If you want to maximize your profits and do everything needed to try to win, using all of these techniques is advisable. However, it is important that you only use techniques that you fully understand. 

Is Arbitrage Betting Time Consuming?

Arbitrage betting involves placing multiple bets on all possible outcomes of an event with different bookmakers to guarantee a profit, regardless of the event’s outcome. It is time-consuming and can even take hours out of your day, but it’s a profitable strategy and worth your time.

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