The Five Golden Rules Of Sports Betting

Are there really only five golden rules of sports betting?  Well, probably not, but these are the most important in our minds here at  As we’ve stated many times over the years, sports betting is really hard.  That’s why we play for units here at instead of for real money.   If sports betting was easy than Vegas hotels wouldn’t have beautiful pools and gorgeous lounges to place bets.  Professional bettors know there will always be ups and downs.  The key is to stay the course, and try to build a bankroll over a long period of time.   Below are the five golden rules of sports betting for you as you as you begin your journey on the road to sports betting glory.  And again, using as your platform to learn these rules is the best thing for you.  If you mess it up, there is no downside.   You’ll just start over the next month with a fresh allotment of units to fine tune your strategy

1.  Consistency in Bet Amount

Money management may be the most important discipline needed to be a successful sports bettor. One of the worst things bettors can do is change their unit size based on how well or how poorly they’re doing. When you’re hot, never double down and risk more because you’re overconfident. When you’re cold, never chase and try to win it all back in one fell swoop.  This is by far the hardest rule to adhere to, especially when you are losing.  Sports bettors love to try and chase when they’re down and that’s when you are most at risk.

Instead, we encourage bettors to embrace a flat-betting approach. This means betting the same amount on every game and risking only 1% to 5% of your bankroll per play. A good medium is 3% per play. For example, if you’re starting with 50,000 points in our monthly leagues, every play is risking 1,500 points.

2. Overreacting to Recent Trends

If a team looked great the previous game, or if it’s riding a four-game winning streak, novice bettors will automatically want to bet on it, simply because it’s playing well. Meanwhile, if a team just got blown out by 20 points and is on a five-game losing streak, novice bettors will automatically bet against (fade) them.

But that’s a mistake: Historically, teams coming off a win are overvalued. The oddsmakers know that the public will be inclined to bet on them, so they adjust their lines accordingly. For example, say the Patriots just came off a 21-point blowout win. The next game, the oddsmakers might have a true opener of Patriots -7, but since they know the public will take the Pats no matter what, they open New England -7.5 or -8. As a result, you are getting a low value line, otherwise known as a bad number.

On the flip side, teams coming off a loss are historically undervalued. If the Jets are coming off a 35-point loss, the oddsmakers know that the public will want to bet against them, especially if they are playing a superior team. So instead of opening the Browns at a true +10 the next game, they open +13.5 or +14, giving sharp contrarian bettors extra points and great, contrarian line value.

Similar to the stock market, this is a reason to buy on bad news and sell on good news.

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3. Too Much Action – Too Many Bets

Bettors love to bet.  And we may see a disproportionate number of bets here at but I don’t believe we do.  If you’ve ever been to a real sports book in Las Vegas, you see this behavior all the time.  People love to fire in action on everything that moves.  This is almost a belief that the more bets, the more chances you have to win.  But betting just for the sake of having action is never a good thing. Betting 10 or 15 games per night is dangerous. You are taking on massive risk and one bad night can destroy your bankroll. Instead, bettors should stay disciplined and limit their plays to their most confident games of the day. And remember, you can’t lose a bet you don’t place.

4. Buying into or Listening to a Handicappers. 

I should have used the term Scamdicapper because that’s what this entire industry is all about.  There is a stain on the sports betting industry and it is the people and companies that attempt to sell picks for a living.  There is no oversight regulation in this industry.  And that means that anyone can start a company or website and begin selling picks.   When thinking about this logically just think about it like this, if they could really pick winners at the rates they claim, what do they need you for?

We encourage all bettors to stay away from every single one of these people and organizations.  We are a fan of the data driven approach to handicapping, such as services like Sports Insights and Swish Analytics.   This is the future of handicapping, not Joey from Queens with his five start lock for this Sunday.

5. Understanding Sharp or Professional Action

In addition to going contrarian against the public bettors, if you want to be on the same side as the professional bettors who win at a high rate and have a long track record of success. One of the easiest ways to spot sharp action is looking for Reverse Line Movement: when the line moves in the opposite direction of the betting percentages.

Let’s give you an example.  Say the Patriots are getting 80% of spread bets against the Dolphins during a regular NFL season game.   But you see Golden State fall from -9.5 to -7.5. Why would the oddsmakers drop the line to give public Patriot bettors a better number? The answers is because sharp professional bettors got down hard on the opponent, causing the line to fall.

In order to succeed long term, bettors need accurate and reliable data. If you don’t know where the public is, where the smart money is and why the line has moved, you’re automatically at a disadvantage. By covering up the names of the teams, removing all bias, and betting based on line movement, percentages and value, bettors can make the smartest decisions possible and greatly increase their chances of winning.  The key to this strategy is having a source for public money action.  You will be able to see the line movement from many sources, but find a good source like Sports Insights or something similar where you can discover where the % of bets are on a given game.

That’s it for our five golden rules of sports betting.  Check our other FAQs and How To Guides on our blog.  We are posting new articles constantly.   Chase Knox is a senior writer for 

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