Basic Sports Betting Tips

As you start placing bets on all the variety of sports tournaments and matches, there are a few tips and strategies that you can use to your advantage. Even for those that have been betting on sports and are already experts, it is always good to go back to the basics and refresh your memory. We will discuss important factors such as Money Management, Handicapping, and Habits to Avoid or Use.

Money Management

This is one of the most important aspects that any sports bettor should have in mind before they start placing bets. The golden rule to managing your money while betting is:

  • Only use what you can afford to lose and never use money that you need

By keeping that in mind, we can move on to a small strategy that has been very useful for most sports bettors in terms of bankroll management. You only want to use a certain percentage of your total bankroll each day or week, as it depends on how often you place bets. We tell bettors to only use about 50% – 60% of their total bankroll each week. We do this for two reasons:

  1. You will have about 40% – 50% left, which you will be able to use if, in the worst case scenario, you lose all of your bets
  2. You won’t be tempted to use extra money that needs to be used elsewhere (check the golden rule!)

We then take it a step further and will want you to split up that 50%-60% you are using into relatively small to medium bets that you can use to place multiple bets. We would use anywhere from 5% – 10% f the bankroll on each bet. Let’s say you have a total bankroll size of $800, and you plan on using 50%; $400.

Bankroll Size



# of Bets

$800 $400 $20 20
$1300 $650 $32.5 20

That is a total of 20 possible bets using 5% of your bankroll. During a week, that could mean you placing at least one bet on each of the NFL matches, or even multiple bets on several of the NFL games. By following this simple guide, you can maximize the amount of bets you can make, as well as maximizing your bankroll in case anything happens. Obviously for special occasions, be it the Super Bowl or the World Cup, there may be exceptions, and you could use up to 15% of your bankroll, but don’t forget that there are sports matches all year.


Handicapping is a great strategy for those that already enjoy following their favorite sports teams and players. There are really two types of handicapping, Technical and Fundamental. Technical handicapping has to do with numbers and statistics, where you base your prediction off of a calculation. Fundamental handicapping is taking a look at the overall picture, at the situations that occur, and from there make a prediction. There are some that use a combination of the two, but most of the time it is either one or the other.

What technical handicapper’s research:

  1. Offensive Stats. This means they look at the entire offense of a team in order to gauge how the overall team performs. This can include the total number of touchdowns, yards run/thrown, possession time, 1st and 3rd down attempts/successes, etc. All of these factors influence how the offense performs as a whole.


  1. Defensive Stats. These stats have to do with the whole team as a defensive unit. They research the amount of sacks, tackles, how well they are at stopping runs/throws (based on yards), how good they are at stopping the score. The defense of a team is somewhat harder to gauge, as they fluctuate more than the offense.


  1. Individual Player Stats. They also take a look at how each player performs; however, you don’t have to dive so deep by just looking at the key players. For example, looking at the QB means looking at their Attempts/Completions, touchdowns, interceptions, and sacks; which is what the QB rating gives an overall rating number you can also use to compare.

The problem with technical handicapping is that they don’t take into account anything sudden that can change in a game. There are always unpredictable plays or injuries that simply change the way the game is played. This is where the Fundamental handicapper’s come into play:

  1. Situations. They look at how a player is doing both physically and mentally. Looking at how well a team plays together, whether there are problems of communication between the QB and the WR. They look at the big picture and see how it could affect the game.

Habits to Avoid or Use

To Avoid:

  1. The number one habit to avoid when placing bets on the NFL, or any sport for that matter, is to never be drunk or emotional. Being drunk simply leads to making the bad choices and even worst mistakes. While betting when you are stressed or angry can also lead to rash decisions, like trying to make up for a loss by betting double. These are quickest ways to lose all your money.
  2. Following the hype or the crowd isn’t always as good as it sounds. There have been many times where the odds lean in favor of one team more than the other due to the hype surrounding that team, but in the end the underdog ends up winning. This is why it is good to make your own decision based on facts, rather than just going with the flow.

To Use:

  1. On the other hand, a habit that you should always try to do when betting on sports is to actually watch the sports matches that you are betting on. For instance, if you are going to place bets of the NFL season, you should be watching the games and the teams that you want to bet on. This will give you a particular inside view of how a team is performing without needing to look at the numbers.
  2. News sites and the actual sports websites. You should use more than just one site to gather any information. This will allow you to sift through all the bias that can happen when you deal with the sports world. It is also a great way to get information that may have been otherwise hidden in other websites.