If you’re new to sports betting, it’s important to understand how the odds work. This can be tricky, so we’ve put together the best sportsbook strategy guide to help you get started.

1. Don’t Bet On Favorites

sportsbook strategy

The first sportsbook strategy of betting on sports is to never bet on the favorite.

A favorite is a team that has been heavily backed by bettors, so there will be more people betting on them and more money in the pot (the total amount of money being wagered). This means that there’s a higher chance you’ll lose your bet even if your team wins.

To illustrate this concept, let’s look at some examples:

  • If there are 10 people betting $10 each on Team A and only one person betting $100 against them, then if Team A wins, it will take all of their money but only half of yours! That’s not very fair for someone who knows what they’re doing.
  • On the other hand, if everyone bets against that same team and all have equal amounts invested in their chances, then when they lose, everyone loses equally as well, which makes sense because losing isn’t fun either, no matter how much money you had riding against them.

2. Bet On Upsets

Betting on underdog teams is a smart move because they are more likely to win and cover the spread. According to a study by The Wall Street Journal, underdogs have covered the spread in 59% of games since 2010, compared with just 50% for favorites.

Another reason why betting on upsets is so profitable is because it’s less risky than betting on favorites–you’re less likely to lose your money if you pick one of these teams. In fact, according to another stat in their article (which looked at both college and pro football), only three percent of underdogs lost outright during that same time period! That means there’s only about one chance per 100 that an underdog will lose its game without covering.

3. Get Familiar With The Spread

Now that you know how to read the odds and have an idea of what the spread is, let’s take a closer look at it.

The spread is another way to bet on sports games. Instead of just betting on who will win or lose, you can also bet on whether they’ll win by more than a certain amount (known as ‘covering’ the spread).

For example: Let’s say there’s an NFL game between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. The Patriots are favored by 6 points over their opponents – meaning if you bet $100 on them winning straight up (without any point spreads), then if they win, your payout would be $600 ($100 x 6). But if they don’t cover their opponent’s scoreline (say they only beat Miami 38-35), then you would lose money because there was no profit from this type of wager.

4. Learn How To Read Odds

Odds are always expressed as a ratio. For example, if the odds of winning on a bet are 1:2, it means that for every dollar you put down, you’ll get paid back two dollars in winnings. Odds can also be expressed as either positive or negative numbers; if they’re positive, then your bet will pay less than what was wagered (e.g., -110); if they’re negative, then your bet will pay more than what was wagered (e.g., +120).

Because odds represent how much money is at stake per unit of probability–or “risk”–they must always be whole numbers in order for us humans to understand them more easily. This makes sense when we think about how much we stand to make from our bets; there’s no need for decimals when discussing whether or not someone will win a tennis match against another player who’s ranked higher than him/herself. 

5. Don’t Ignore The Moneyline

sportsbook strategy

The moneyline is a simple sportsbook strategy to bet on which team you think will win. The odds are set at -110, meaning that if you bet $110 on one team and they lose, your total loss would be $100. On the other hand, if you were to bet $100 on that same team and they won instead (with no points), then your profit would be $110.

The reason this is so important is that many sportsbooks offer bonuses for betting on certain teams with their moneylines included in those bonuses (e.g., 50% up to $500). This means that if there’s a game where two teams have equal odds, but one has better moneylines than the other–and therefore less risk involved–then it makes sense not only from a practical standpoint but also from an economic one as well!

While There Are Many Sportsbook Strategies Out There, These Five Can Get You Started

  • Don’t bet on favorites
  • Bet on upsets
  • Get familiar with the spread
  • Learn how to read odds and prices (I will go into more detail below)
  • Don’t ignore moneylines, which are bets that don’t involve a point spread or handicap


We hope you’ve found these sportsbook strategy tips helpful, and we wish you luck in your future betting endeavors! Visit BC.GAME’s sportsbook to start your sportsbetting journey.