Sports Betting Tips

Sports Betting: Bets to Avoid

By Loot, Sports Handicapper,

The betting options a bettor faces can be mind-numbing. It’s not uncommon to see an otherwise sound betting man getting away from his strengths and putting his money on highly speculative wagers on sports or events where there is simply no edge to be had. For the most part, we want to stick to our strengths. In addition, we want to avoid betting on events where we suspect the result will not be arrived at organically.

In every sport, there is the element of shenanigans to various extents. In some team sports, that might just mean not getting a couple late calls in your favor. We kind of expect that. But in sports like MMA and boxing, the chicanery surpasses not getting a call or two. There will be times where you get straight-up robbed. It’s not easy to see coming, but there are signs.

If a local fighter is facing a visiting fighter, exercise caution. To some extent, the lack of fairness as it pertains to scoring for hometown fighters has been overstated, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Contrary to the belief of some, it is actually possible for a visiting boxer to get the decision in Germany or for a visiting MMA fighter to get a decision fighting a local hero in Brazil.

When making bets on MMA and boxing, however, always account for the hometown dynamic. For example, if you suspect an underdog fighter can edge a favored home fighter–that probably won’t be enough to pull the trick. The term “hometown decision” is a part of the lexicon of fighting sports for good reason. It forces the bettor to be especially discriminating when placing those kinds of bets.

You also want to generally avoid sports where your knowledge is not up to par. We’ve all done this–dip our toe into the waters of the unfamiliar. The results are usually unpleasant. We see how hard it is with the sports which we are familiar. That’s hard enough. Making wagers in sports where our knowledge is only surface at best usually doesn’t yield the best results.

Then again, there are some sporting events where the action is so heavy that we might actually find a good spot. If you don’t know much about tennis, auto racing, or soccer–you shouldn’t be putting money on it. At the same time, there are certain events where the betting volume is so high, that we can still actually profit with all the weak betting going on. These events include the Daytona and Indianapolis 500, World Cup soccer, or perhaps even Wimbledon. If the public loads up on the favorites, we can find good value on the second-tier guys and teams.

A good rule of thumb is to steer clear of All-Star games. I’m sure if someone tried hard enough, they could roll out a compelling list of reasons why betting on All-Star games is the thing to do. One can’t help but think, however, that it’s a good time to take a break from that sport. Leading up to and following the All-Star game is a frenzy of action. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little break to charge up the batteries for the rest of the season. If you somehow stumbled on some amazing angle, that’s one thing. For the most part, though, betting on All-Star games is gambling for the sake of it–and that’s never a good idea.

Try to avoid parlays. Is that old and unoriginal advice? It sure is. But it bears repeating, as so many otherwise capable bettors screw up their bottom line by playing these bets. But remember, we’re only talking about parlays involving point-spreads. Parlaying money-line picks actually has its place in certain situations. Whereas point-spread parlay plays are bound to a pre-determined payout formula that is rife with juice, a money-line parlay payout is true. In other words, it is computed using the odds of the various picks, making it a far fairer bet.

We just need to put a leash on ourselves at times. The amount of different events you can bet on, combined with the different types of wagers available make it a landscape that is like the Wild West. We just need to make sure we don’t run amok and start tangling with the bookie along battle lines where we are at a distinct disadvantage. At root, we should stick to what we know.

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