As an active bettor, I can tell you with the whole certainty that crypto sports betting is not a game of chance as video slots or many table games are. There is so much more sports betting can offer! You can use calculations and in-depth analysis to boost your chances of winning in it. If you are not a complete newbie to this entertainment, you have already heard that many experts and amateur players use sports betting strategies. That is exactly the topic of this article! I will guide you through the most popular strategies for betting on sports and explain how they work.

Key Beginner Concepts

Before jumping to the main point and exploring each effective sports betting strategy in more detail, I would suggest you get acquainted with the basic tips that contribute to successful betting no less than a good strategy. My friends and I consider the five concepts described further the main pillars of a successful experience at sportsbooks, and they certainly work and boost your winning potential!

Focus on One Sport or One Particular Team

Even though it is not good to lay all the eggs in one basket, it is certainly not true for sports betting. As long as you plan to win often by placing bets at bookmakers, you should have a clear focus on one kind of sport. Having all your time devoted to one (ideally your favorite kind of sport), you will be able to become an expert in it and base your prediction on solid arguments and facts instead of intuition. E.g., if you are a fan of soccer, make sure you are in the center of the events and are aware of all the main changes, summer transfers, and big news.

In the long run, you might find it even more effective to narrow down your betting interests to one team. The main rule here is to ensure you know as much about it as you can!

Do Your Homework

Can you guess what the best sports betting strategy is that never lets me down? It is quite simple, actually! I never place bets on any match without checking who plays on both sides, in what shape players are, what the weather is (if it is an outdoor sport that you place bets on), etc. In other words, I do my homework before each bet I place and ensure there are as few unknown points as possible. Information is the weapon that can save you money when it comes to sports betting.

Establish a Budget

A lot of new bettors ignore the advice of betting experts to have a defined budget and never go beyond it. Their ignorance of that tip is one of the main causes of big losses and debts. I encourage you to treat your funds responsibly and do have a budget allocated to sportsbooks. Ensure it is no more than 10%-15% of your income, and you never bet extra. This easy and very practical advice can prevent you from placing bets with money that you cannot afford to lose.

Familiarize Yourself with the Best Lines and Odds

This tip is often misinterpreted by new bettors, as they do not suspect how much lines and odds can differ from one bookmaker to another. Unfortunately, not all sports betting destinations are reputable and have fair odds. Some websites can offer either too lucrative or too small odds, which, of course, influences the ability of bettors to have the decent payouts they deserve.

Having faced this issue multiple times in my betting journey of over five years, I am always cautious when I wager on sports in new sportsbooks. I also do my little research and compare its lines and odds to those of renowned bookmakers. Only after I am convinced of the website’s trustworthiness, I start betting there.

Stay Objective

It is also essential not to trick yourself with a firm belief that strategies for sports betting can guarantee you a win. Unfortunately for all of us, it is not so. Strategies can increase your chances for a successful prediction and a decent win, but they are not your insurance from losses. Therefore, you should always be objective about your usage of the strategies described below.

Another point that requires your objectivity is to have a clear line between the fact that your team has a good chance of winning in a certain match and your desire for it to win. That is the common mistake of new bettors: they often misinterpret their belief that their team can win with real chances for victory.

Most Popular Sport Betting Strategies

After discussing the basic concepts that each bettor should know, I am finally on the verge of exploring the sports betting strategies that work (most of the time). Before jumping into the detailed explanations, I would like you to know that none of them is perfect for all situations and matches. Therefore, be flexible! Use them in turns (depending on the sports and matches) and do not be afraid to combine them!


Dutching is the sports betting strategy that can guarantee you a profit regardless of which team gains the victory. It is simple and straightforward and can be applied to any kind of sport. However, it would be too easy if there were no challenges. The struggle with the Dutching strategy is with the search for appropriate bookmakers to make the exact calculations.

When you opt for Dutching, you should be ready to place bets for the same match at two different sportsbooks. At the first bookmaker, you place a bet on one winner, and in the second one,  you wager on its rival. Bets are of different sizes, and the odds should be different as well. However, your calculation should show the same profit for each sportsbook. Look at the table below for more details:

Bookmaker 1Bookmaker 2
Liverpool Odds-200Manchester City Odds+250
Your bet $30Your bet $12.86

If you make such stakes in two bookmakers, your total bet is $42.86. Regardless of the winner, your payout will be $45. As a result, you would have a guaranteed profit of $2.14.

Even though ditching is an excellent strategy of how to have a guaranteed profit, bookmakers often track bettors’ activity to ensure they do not use it. Therefore, be careful! If you use it too often, you can be banned from the betting website.

Fade the Public

Fading the public, also known as betting against the public, is another effective strategy that I would like to mention in the blog. Even though it is quite self-explanatory, it certainly requires a good understanding of the game, a solid pre-betting analysis, and thorough research. With most “fade the public bets”, you cannot rely on pure luck and guessing, as it would take you nowhere.

To have a profit when using this sports betting strategy, you should place bets on a team that is not selected by the majority. Let’s say, you plan to bet on the match between Barcelona and Real Madrid. As Real Madrid has a better record of victories, and this team is considered stronger by the majority (especially now that Messi is no longer in Barcelona), it is easy to assume that many amateur bettors would place bets on Real Madrid. That is your chance to wager on Barcelona and have a big win (especially if you watch their matches regularly and are aware of the current shape of players).

However, the team record and recent shape are not the only factors to consider. To ensure that Fade the Public becomes the most profitable betting strategy for you, I encourage you to pay attention to the following:

  • Amateurs often place smaller bets, while experts tend to place bigger wagers. Those numbers can be checked in some sportsbooks. Let’s say you see that 60% of wagered money were placed on Barcelona but this amount was scored by just 30% of all tickets. Most probably, it means that betting experts consider that Barcelona would gain the victory.
  • How popular the selected event is. Let’s say, the World Cup Championship often draws the attention of bettors who normally do not watch football. It means that there will be a lot of bets made by amateurs, and World Cup events might be truly beneficial for Fade the Public strategy.

Hedging Bets

Hedge betting is a perfect choice if you are not fully sure that your initial bets will work the way you expect. All hedge bets should conflict fully or partially with the wagers that you have already placed. In this case, you would be able to compensate for the losses of the initial wagers if they do not work out.

From my own experience, I can tell that hedging is one of the best betting systems when you place future bets. It is always tempting to wager on the winner of the tournaments early in the season, while the odds are impressively high. Thus, let’s imagine that you have bet $30 on Girona in season 2023/2024 given the +3000 odds. If they do become the best team in Spain, you will win $900. However, closer to the season’s closure, it becomes clear that Real Madrid would become the champion, and the odds for its victory are +130. That’s high time to place a hedging bet to ensure you get a win and compensate for the $30 bet loss.

You might wonder how big your hedging bet should be. It depends. Still, ensure that the payout would cover your initial $30 + the money you place as hedging. Of course, include some profit in your calculation. To give you some precise numbers, in the case with +130 odds on Real Madrid, your bet should be no smaller than $24.

Create Your Own Betting Lines

Even though trusting your gut when placing wagers is always one of the best sports betting strategies, sometimes you do not need to accept blindly the odds bookmakers offer. That’s when you can create your own betting lines and listen to your intuition. Of course, it should not be pure guessing, as it will not take you anywhere.

It might sound a bit challenging or even intimidating at first, but once you follow the steps offered further, you might see all the benefits this strategy can bring you. Here is my detailed guide on how to create your own betting lines:

  • Determine a winning team: that is the starting point for all the events. You need to decide who you think would gain the victory. Ideally, you should base your assumption on background knowledge. 
  • How confident are you in your choice? By answering this question, you can easily decide if following your gut is the right move for the selected event.
  • Search for the facts to back up your feeling: it is not uncommon that some players get injuries or there are other factors that influence the morale of the team and their chances of winning in that given match. Ensure that all those factors are taken into account when you create your betting lines.
  • Determine the odds: based on the information you already have from three previous steps, try to decide on the odds. Are those -100, -150, or -200. Anything in the range of -100 and -120 is quite good.
  • Find the bookmaker that predicts the opposite: time to search for sportsbooks that have opposite odds to those that you have come up with. When you find such, make sure not to lose your chance and place wagers on such events.

The last piece of advice here: I would restrain from all complicated bets for this strategy, especially parlays.

Kelly Criterion

Kelly Criterion is not that much a sports betting strategy but a mathematical formula that helps bettors decide what percentage of their bankroll they should wager on a certain event. It is truly helpful if you are a data-driven bettor who prefers estimating their chances of winning and basing their bet sizes on that information.

The Kelly Criterion formula is as follows: f = (bp – q) / b

The meaning of each letter:

  • F shows the wager size.
  • B is the odds with decimal -1.
  • P is the percentage showing the probability of winning.
  • Q is the probability of bet losing. It is calculated in the following way: 1- p.

When you are placing bets in American sportsbooks, decimal bets are not that common. Therefore, you need to convert them before calculating your bet size with Kelly Criterion. E.g.б the +150 odds equal to 2.5 (decimal odds).

Now when the formula is explained, let’s take a look at a real example.

The odds for Chelsea are 2.5, while the winning probability is 59%. B = (2.5 – 1) = 1.5, and P = (1-0.59) = 0.49. To count how much you should place on stake for Chelsea’s victory, calculate the formula:

  • (1.5×0.59 – 0.49)/1.5 = 0.263, or 26.3% of your bankroll.

The Best Betting Strategy by Sports

Even though most of the above-mentioned strategies apply to many kinds of sports, each sport still has unique features that should be considered when deciding on the most profitable betting strategy. That is why I  keep in mind the peculiarities of American football, ice hockey, basketball, baseball, and golf. 

NFL Betting Strategy

NFL betting is one of the hardest for confident predictions, and the fact that bookmakers have quite a low percentage of spread cover  shows that there is always a possibility for a big, unexpected win. While the NFL is not that predictable for bookmakers, regular bettors can benefit from the “make your own lines” betting strategy, as what you assume has more chances to differ from what bookmakers say. Given the spread cover percentage, you always have a higher chance of being correct with your own predictions.

NHL Betting Strategy

You should certainly consider wagering on the NHL if you plan to practice the Fade the Public sports betting strategy. From my own observations, I can tell that many amateurs go for the home team when predicting the winner, as they rely on the home ice advantage. As a result, guest teams can often win and bring you generous payouts.

NBA Betting Strategy

NBA fans are more likely to bet on their favorites even if their chances of meaning are not that good. Keeping that in mind, you can always consider choosing an “against the public” betting strategy, and it will work just fine in many cases. Of course, do not forget that sometimes the “favorites” are truly strong teams with big chances of winning. Thus, gut feeling is not your friend here, as your wagers should be backed up by facts and statistics.

MLB Betting Strategy

With MLB, you should take a slightly different approach and not rely on any of the above-mentioned sports betting strategies completely. I would rather pay close attention to the events that have big lines, as it often means that games have a good potential of having high scores. When I see such events, I often opt for over/under bets, as they work the best!

Golf Betting Strategy

Make sure to use future bets for golf. This kind of sport is known for huge odds before the match begins. Moreover, those odds tend to drop significantly, as soon as a player has a good start. Keeping in mind that you can combine futures with hedging bets, and this strategy is one of the safest for golf betting.

Online Betting Strategy Mistakes to Avoid

While using sports betting strategies that work effectively and help you to increase your chances for a profit is important, avoiding some common mistakes of amateur bettors is even more crucial. Why? Committing mistakes described below can eat up your budget quickly and leave you empty-handed. Based on my experience in sportsbooks, I would encourage you to do your best to avoid the following things.

Not Understanding the Sport That You Are Betting on

Never bet on the kind of sport that you are not familiar with. Some might find it exciting and fun, but such tactics never pay out in the long run. There is a big risk of placing unsuitable bets or misunderstanding some of them, as you do not know the rules. Moreover, betting on unknown sports is pure guessing, and relying on your luck is not the best way to win in sports betting.

Ignoring Research and Analysis

Sometimes, it might be a good idea to listen to your intuition,, but there are situations when common sense should win. If facts and statistics speak for one team, and all the experts are saying that it will be the winner, you should not ignore their thoughts and analysis. I never trust my feelings if my research says the opposite, and I encourage you to have the same betting strategy.

Chasing Losses

This one is obvious! Once you have determined your budget and decided that you can stand a certain amount of money per week, never go beyond this sum. Especially when you have a feeling that the series of losing wagers is over, and you will compensate all the losses with the next deposit, and then one more, and one more. No. Only bookmakers can benefit from you chasing losses, not you!

Betting with Emotion

Emotions are good, but not when it comes to gambling. No strategies for sports betting work well if you are driven by emotions when placing bets. Only logic and analytics can help you succeed in this entertainment. And math, of course. Excitement from winning is captivating, and your desire to see your favorite team become a champion as well, but those feelings should never influence your wagers.

Overlooking Value Bets

Betting on random events and types of bets is not what you should do. Please make sure you have explored all the available options and found value bets for your stakes, and not just wagered at random. Overlooking value bets is the common mistake of the newbies, as they do not consider the research of available bets and odds necessary.

Betting on Too Many Games

I would certainly recommend you focus on 1-3 kinds of sports. Moreover, select several leagues and tournaments to follow and place bets on. This is one of the best betting systems. It will certainly prevent you from betting on too many games, which is one of the common mistakes for all active bettors who chase excitement more than potential profit.

Viewing Betting as a Source of Income

You should not forget that betting is not a source of income. You will be far more successful and sensible about betting when you treat it just like any other entertainment that you spend your money on. Winning is a big plus of betting that goes on top of the excitement you feel when placing bets. However, winning is extremely volatile, and it is not the best choice for making a living.

Final Thoughts

Sports betting strategies are an exciting and promising part of wagering , and each bettor who wants to be an expert in this entertainment should be familiar with the basics of what to do and not to do when placing bets. It is also highly effective to know about the most popular betting systems that work and can boost your win potential. That’s exactly what you have gotten acquainted with when you finish reading this blog article. Now, it is high time to try those strategies in practice. Good luck!