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10 ways to be a better sports punter

If you’ve been punting on sports for awhile you know it’s incredibly difficult to beat the bookmakers right? Everyone that’s ever had a taste of a decent size sports betting win knows it’s a great feeling and certainly one they’d like to see happen a lot more often! 

What does it take to consistently win month in and month out in sports betting? 

Here’s 10 ways you can be a better sports punter >>

  1. Create a weekly stake and unit system
  2. Find a lane
  3. Find a reason, or reasons to select an outcome
  4. Create a tracking system, to track your progress
  5. Set a weekly target
  6. Consider trimming or teasing 
  7. Keep multi bets to a minimum 
  8. Open multiple betting accounts to take advantage of the best odds
  9. Bet up with the house’s money
  10. Know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em

1 – Create a weekly stake and unit system

The first step to creating a consistent system to take on the bookmakers is to create your weekly stake amount and determine what a single one 1 unit value is for you. This is an essential step to creating a solid foundation that will be based on a consistent method of determining how you go about responsibly setting a weekly limit and how many units you have available to you in any given week.

You can read more about how we determine this in our full article here >

In simple terms find an amount that you can comfortably set aside that is a responsible amount, that if lost, doesn’t affect your broader financial position, i.e. don’t put aside your rent or gas money for wagering purposes. If you feel like you might need to speak with someone about creating more responsible habits you can follow this link for resources >

One of our strategies is to set a weekly unit total and if by some means we lost it all, then if its lost that’s it, we don’t go searching for more, or tapping into our profits from the previous week. This is a smart way to help you ensure you don’t overreach if you’ve had a loss, and there is no worse feeling than to take a further loss after you’ve already wiped out your stake for the week. So find a value amount that fits comfortably into your lifestyle and stick with it.

The unit amount is your total annual stake divided by 250, which is a number we use to provide us with approximately 5 outcomes a week during the year. So if your weekly stake is $100, then a single unit for you is $20, if your weekly stake is $50, then a single unit for you is $10, and so on. Once you have this unit amount keep it consistent, and start tracking your outcomes so that you know how you are going. If you are selecting increased unit outcomes the same deal keeps your unit the same.

The only time we would recommend lifting the unit value is if you have significant wins and you’re interested in re-investing in yourself because you’re making some headway, or you find yourself in a more favorable financial position and you’re comfortable increasing the unit amount. Just keep the principal the same, give yourself 5 total outcomes a week and calculate the appropriate unit amount.

2 – Find a Lane

Find a lane is one strategy that works very well for us and for all beginners in the game. Heck when things aren’t going well it’s a great place to default back to as well. It is our way of saying adopt a strategy that allows you to select a certain type of outcome consistently. For example “Find a Lane” may be a specific sport and outcome, it is a specific outcome within that sport. Such as a Home Team Total. The bottom line here is if you’re not watching sports then you really have very little chance of determining the very best outcomes, let alone setting a specific lane within the sport and finding the best value for money.

Some lanes you could consider – 

  1. Invest in the Sport you watch the most
  2. Outcomes based on home field advantage
  3. Home team totals with strong offensive both 1st and or 2nd half review over options
  4. Away team totals with very poor offensive full time totals 
  5. Alternate total line predictions adjusting the total higher or lower and favouring a tease of trim strategy that range from $1.35 – $1.65
  6. Player prop multi in game outcome, 3-4 legs in multi (parlay) at $1.35 is equal to $2.44 (144% profit!) – this is really the only same game multi we look at
  7. Alternate line combined total outcomes (2 LEG PARLAY) in the range of $2.40-$2.80
  8. A very strong offensive team (No 1 scoring teams vs usually the rest), but lower ranked teams that also struggle to score
  9. One higher unit outcome on a $1.45+ favorite that you rate as the best reason that a result will occur (range 1- 5 units but not more than 80% of your total unit stake)
  10. Live betting with the bookmaker direct (generally by phone – FOR NOW) in games where teams are racing up the points, you can really bank on this strategy

3 – Find a Reason, or Reasons to select an outcome

The reason is the why? Why is this outcome likely to end in a specific result?

  1. Is it a > Basher vs Bum?
  2. Is it a > Rivalry home clash outcomes?
  3. Is it a > The best defensive team you rank as better than the best you’ve seen?
  4. Is it a > Case of Injuries too much for a team to overcome?
  5. Is it a > Traditional close matches on large occasions? 
  6. Is it a > Underdog has too much start, let’s push that further? 
  7. Is it a > Home team top 10 scoring vs bottom team 10 scoring (or defence)?
  8. Is it a > Favorite running up the score on average teams

4 – Create a tracking system to track your progress

Tracking a performance is a crucial component, everyone wants to know how much they’re banking right! Understanding your +unit profit amount against your total stake, will allow you to take further advantage of better high ranking outcomes that have odds set slightly in the favor of your projected outcome.

There are many options to consider when building a tracking system, pretty simple, you should have a record of every outcome you have placed, total units out and total units in, pretty simple. 

5 – Set a weekly target

Weekly targets are a combination of strategy and unit risk assessment for the current week’s outcomes. Strategies that will return a certain unit value, from Square, 33%+, up to 289%. We chose that number because 300% is very very optimistic and while it may be achievable we feel that 289% is a realistic goal for us. You should find the mark that you feel is realistic for you. We generally aim to average 50%+ unit week in and out and a total return in the first six months of approximately 50% profit. Then review and set the course objectively to manage the stake in the back half of the year. Depending on the position we may look at some higher unit outcomes when the value is right in an attempt to really drive the profits up further. Maintaining consistency is key, but if you have hit some solid profits in the 1st half of the year, play it smart but use the house’s money when the outcomes are in your favor.

6 – Consider trimming or teasing and then start breaking things

These are two very simple strategies that when planned well can do wonders for your returns in weekly events. A “Trim” is you bet the favorite with a reduced line / spread / total / and other options that is the best value option and reduced amount from even money. As an example if a favorite is giving a 7 point line, you’ll find alternate lines that reduce the returns, but importantly increase the outcomes success. It all depends on the outcome and the reasons behind why this outcome works if you are trimming. A “Tease”is the exact opposite of a trim where you increase the line, where you feel the line is already too high and by pushing the line further to say 10.5 in the above case you’ll likely find odds around $1.45.

The common factor we have witness in punters that trim is that they still like to be on the favorite, it’s a whole new mindset looking at the dog and ability of that dog to be in the fight, if you can evaluate these outcomes objectively you should find that different matches suit the tease as opposed to the trim. The beauty of learning to tease is that you open up a whole new lane that you may have never considered, and you’ll find you can become very good at teasing in big matches, especially on totals.

Breaking things refers to your ability to reinvent the way you select your outcomes and break the habits you’ve been in for some time and develop the ability to switch it up and make selections a different way. If you can’t seem to find a consistent level of success month in and month out, then you may need to break most, if not all the current patterns and trends you tend to lean towards. You have to be brutally honest with yourself and be a very strong critique of yourself to make this a winning part of your life.

If you’re finding the lane you’re choosing not working, try a different one, if you find you’ve been close in many line outcomes (at even money) try a trim and reduce the return but increase the potential for the outcome to win!

7 – Keep multi-bets to a minimum 

There’s a reason all sports betting agencies or bookmakers with any advertising exposure are constantly focusing on taking teams together and marketing Same Game Multi’s, or Parlay outcomes. Our experience suggests that early punters will attempt parlays or multi-bets with odds at more than $10.00 which is one strategy that will send you broke. The over extended multi bet yeah, it’s great when they win, but how often do they? In our experience they are rare, and even rarer with full unit and stake amounts. Most punters seem to try lot’s of multi’s with small amounts in an attempt to win one of them? Well how’s that working out for you? We all like the thrill of winning a good sized multi, but our recommendation is to keep them to a minimum, make them part of your strategy sure, but calculate the risks and track these performances critically, if they’re not working then don’t keep a losing strategy going. 

8 – Open multiple betting accounts to take advantage of the best odds

There’s no question having options is a smart business decision, and if this is a business for some people using their own investment strategies then having options is a good strategy. This is an article for a future edition, however we can suggest that having 2 or better 3 options does provide opportunities for improved value and odds. After all that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Maximising the returns!

9 – Bet up with the house’s money 

This is a strategy that if not practised correctly usually sends most people broke. What tends to happen is that punters who win early with say a large amount almost always give it all back by increasing their unit amount for other outcomes that same weekend. That’s almost always a guaranteed lock for a wipe out. We’ve spoken before about keeping a unit stake consistent. What happens is most punters get a little too much confidence and they tend to get greedy, upping the bets on outcomes that are not well evaluated and don’t have the correct value. 

There are however opportunities when the right outcomes are evaluated, and when these appear if you have built a bank that’s when you can take advantage of betting with the house’s money. We still recommend being cautious and not over extending any specific outcomes. 

When you’re exceeding your weekly profit returns of 30-50% regularly, and you have built up more than 50% in say the 1st quarter of the year (3 months) in true profits or perhaps give yourself the 1st 6 months of the to evaluate, that’s when you might consider increasing your unit outcomes on your 1-9 star rating systems, so when you evaluate a 9 star special for a specific outcome and you have profit in the bank, then this is when you consider upping your unit value for that specific bet, not all bets, just that one bet when it comes along and you can take advantage of using some of the house’s money to get a bigger return.

The key is you must still stay patient, you must have a refined system, you still keep the unit amount conservative and protect your bank, and when the 9 star special appears you’ll be ready to cash in.

10 – Know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em 

In the end you’re the boss, you make the decisions here, it’s your stake, the system you’ve built to track how you are progressing, the reasons why you’re choosing certain outcomes and the value in that outcome based on as many + and or – factors you can list against each other. 

Hold’em refers to you being able to find the winners and continue betting them.

Fold’em refers to knowing when to stop and try a new method.

And of course walking away refers to finding a new hobby.

Bet responsibly, we hope these suggestions help you win more and win often.