Sports betting is one of the hardest things to do in the world at a super successful clip. Most people that gamble on sports come out on the losing end because they are not doing enough to gain the edge necessary to overcome the rake.
One way to overcome the rake is to simply make more educated decisions. While this may sound easy, it is likely one of the biggest reasons that people lose in fantasy sports and in sports betting.
This is a very generic way to attack your process, but I think that there are two strategies that can be used by people looking to become successful as a sports bettor.
This is something that can be very, very difficult for a casual player simply because of the time necessary to implement this strategy, but it is one that I have seen a lot of the very best implement to become a leader in the field.
This strategy also depends on your own biases and how you can or cannot control your emotions when trying to identify a play or any edge.
This strategy is best for people that want to go all-in on the industry and have plenty of time to spend researching and studying the plays that they want to be “in” on. That being said, it does provide a lot of benefits that are very, very tough to gain otherwise.
This strategy suggests exactly what it sounds like, which is to avoid public opinion on the game as much as you can. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid things like line movement, public money, and even other content, but it does mean that you have put in enough individual study in on the game to bet it without consuming content produced by anyone else.
This will benefit you in a few different ways, but it also has its drawbacks. The biggest benefit of this strategy for me is that it should help you rapidly improve your knowledge of the sport, how to bet it, and the things that you are doing right or wrong.
When you bet based on only what you find to be important, it should be very easy to identify the holes in your game and how to fix them. When your strategy consists of random things that you read all day, it can be very difficult to identify what might be making you a worse player.
This strategy can also help in things like daily fantasy sports, where being naturally contrarian is one of the best things you can do. Understanding the ownership of a player and the impacts of that is important, but being able to determine what you want to do before knowing what the public is doing is beneficial in being contrarian.
The biggest drawback to this strategy is the amount of time it can take and the holes that could appear in your strategy or beliefs because something slipped by you. Gathering all possible information and processing it can be a lot for a single person to do, and it is easy for you to overlook something that could change your mind completely.
This is how I would personally suggest the vast majority of people go about their sports betting prep. This can take as much, or as little time as you want, depending on your time and preferences, although I would suggest to always take enough time to become fluent in the key aspects.
What I mean by this is that if you are placing a bet on something, you should try to be able to answer questions as to what and deal with a rebuttal.
This is where I think that information gathering is the best thing for most people to do because you will likely run into 10 different takes about a single game that you want to bet while reading and listening to content.
While this can be overwhelming at times, it should give you a wide variety of opinions, and it should force you to think about all possible outcomes.
Where information gathering can become negative is generally within your biases. When you use this approach, I would suggest doing something to store all of the key points that you gather to try and deter you from having recency bias and playing games based on the last take that you read.
You could also become overconfident in a take due to things like the writing style or personality, and you want to avoid doing that if possible.
Building the Best Strategy
This is a very personal concept, but I encourage you to attempt both of these strategies and a mixture of them to determine what works best for you. I prefer to start my prep by trying to learn and generate my takes on my own before listening to other takes around the industry.
When doing this, always try to weigh your own thoughts and discover where you disagree with the other opinions and why. If you believe that you have missed something that was brought up, be open-minded and willing to change your opinion if you discover new things. But don’t just assume that the person producing the content has a better take than you either.