Sports Betting – How to Make Consistently Profitable Bets

Until recently, sports betting was illegal in many states. But now it’s a huge business that is rapidly expanding nationwide, even as the industry faces criticism from groups that say it undermines the integrity of professional sports and fuels gambling addiction. Our guest today, investigative reporter Eric Lipton, is part of a team that has been tracking the explosion of sports betting for The New York Times. He’s here to talk about what he’s found.

Lipton and his colleagues have been looking at how states are regulating sports betting, the legal battles and lobbying campaigns that led to its legalization and the ways that sportsbooks are promoting their products to attract customers. They’re also investigating the partnerships between sportsbooks and other organizations like universities and media companies and the impact that sports betting has on problem gamblers and Native American tribes.

When it comes to sports betting, the basics are easy enough: you bet on an outcome (like a team winning or losing) and get paid if that happens. You can make individual bets or place multiple bets together in a parlay, for instance. You can also bet on specific aspects of a game, such as the number of total points scored or the amount of time left in a period.

The real challenge is making consistently profitable bets. To do this, you have to separate yourself from your fandom and know your stuff. This means doing your homework, not just reading stats but learning everything you can about both teams and players – including injuries and other factors that could affect a game’s outcome. You must also avoid betting on bad numbers. If your favorite team is a -7 and most other books have them at -6.5, resist the temptation to bet on them and shop around for better lines.

Money management is also crucial. You should decide on a bankroll before you start betting, and stick to it throughout the season. Ideally, you should bet 1 to 5 percent of your bankroll on each bet, depending on your confidence in the play. This way, a bad day won’t deplete your entire bankroll.

Another important tip is to track your bets, both wins and losses. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and can lead to more profits in the future. This can be done on a computer spreadsheet or in an old-fashioned notebook, but it’s important to keep track of your wagers as you go. This will help you learn which types of bets and teams are delivering the most value and which ones are not.