It doesn’t matter how much you win betting, as long as you don’t lose your stake. Even if you win 5% a day, you are beating what you would get for your money in a bank by over 3,500 times a year. Even better, betting winnings aren’t taxable, and bank interest is.
So the premise must be not to lose your stake, (or at least to lose it so infrequently that it doesn’t matter.) The easiest way to lose your stake is to bet at odds against (where you have a less than 50% chance of winning) and the easiest way to keep it is to bet odds-on (where you have a more than 50% chance of winning.)
The gift of odds-on priced events is that you don’t need to study the form of the horse; dog; football team; or tennis player. The price tells you everything that you need to know. The experts have studied everything about it, and the bookies have run scared to protect their margins. Statistics are on your side. Long term studies of gambling on any events consistently show that you will lose considerably less money over a period of time betting on every odd-on proposition than every odds against one. Within odd-on prices, you will lose less if you bet on everything shorter than 1 to 2 on, than if you bet on everything between 1 to 2 and Evens.
So by restricting your betting to only odds-on priced bets you can expect to be fishing in a small pond full of large fish. Of course that does not mean that they will all win. They might all lose in one day, or ten of them might lose in sequence. Pick two odds-on winners at 1 to 3 and bet £100 double and you go home with winnings of £70. Your mate might have studied form all week, and bet £10 on a 7 to 1 shot to win £70, but the chances are that it didn’t win, and he lost his £10.
To consistently pull fish from this pool we need to adopt approaches used on the financial markets.
Market inefficiencies. Bookmakers don’t want to give odds-on prices. Spectators want exciting sports. The handicapper wants every horse to pass the winning post together. Formula 1 keeps changing the rules to stop major manufacturers dominating the event. With 5 minutes left to play in a football match with no goals, the in-play draw result will invariably be odds-on, however a 1 to 10 on favourite in a three runner horserace just indicates that there is too much racing. Bookmakers would rather not price it up at all, but have to because of market inefficiencies.
False markets. In their efforts to offer bets on more and more sports all over the world bookmakers are offering odds-on prices in false markets. Morning dogs; Indian Football matches; obscure golf tournaments and tennis matches all offer odds-on quotes. These should be avoided like the South Sea Bubble. Prices in these markets are not set by careful form studies and large investments, they are false.
Black swan events. Expect the unexpected. Brainstorm everything that could possibly go wrong, and then decide if it can.
Minimise risk. We want a consistent moderate return from a large number of bets. Don’t risk all of your betting pot on one bet; but do try to put at least a few winners away each week (say 100 bets per year.)
Keep records. Record all of your bets and their outcomes. It’s too easy to remember winners, and betting odds-on you will have lots of them.
Be disciplined and cool. Don’t feel obliged to bet every day. Don’t be tempted in by a price that keeps shortening when you previously Black Swanned it.
Be systematic. Every day will throw up different odds-on betting opportunities. Analysing these in a systematic way might mean five bets in one day or no bets all week.
Get real-time information. Bet late, and be prepared to walk away from the bet if the vibes look wrong. Avoid non-televised events.
So if you want to win at sports betting, consider sticking to odds-on selections. Apply lessons from the financial markets. Not only will you have lots of winners, you also stand a good chance of financial gain.