Last updated on May 20th, 2022
Picture yourself lounging around your house, watching your favourite sport, and you’re earning a huge amount of money. Sounds like a dream, right?
While being a professional sports bettor sounds like a fantastic way to make a living, the reality is that it’s far from easy to turn your hobby into a career.
Amateur vs. Professional Sports Bettors
Since we’re talking about reality, the truth about sports betting is that there’s a very small percentage of bettors who are actual full-time professionals. There’s also a smaller percentage of them making a great amount of money out of it.
Meanwhile, most people who try to be professional will fail because most of them are amateurs just looking for a good time.
So, if you want to become a professional sports bettor, you have to know the difference between an amateur and a professional.
For starters, amateurs don’t take the serious technical approach that every gambler needs to thrive. They bet on hunches or feelings — mostly driven by a favourite player or team. Amateurs want to bet simply because betting itself provides them with pleasure and entertainment.
Professionals, however, take a systematic approach to sports betting. It’s business for them and they treat it that way. They also don’t use gut instinct – rather, they place bets according to statistics and in-depth analysis.
If you want to be a professional sports bettor, here are the things you need to consider before starting your career in this industry.
1. Think of it as a business
To start with, managing your bankroll is an integral component, as you need to ensure you have a set of principles and follow them fiercely. For example, in low-risk betting, you only place 3% or 5% of your bankroll into each match that you wish to bet on. This reduces the possibility of drying your funds when you’re just starting out. Otherwise, this can create poor habits that will hinder your chances of sustaining your betting career.
To start sports betting seriously, you will need to find the right bookmaker. You will have to start asking questions like ‘What markets do these bookies offer?’ ‘What’s so unique about this bookmaker?’ ‘Do they have any restrictions?’ and lastly, ‘Is this trustworthy and reliable?’
One of the most important aspects of becoming a professional sports bettor is using a bookmaker that consistently offers the best odds. And if you want to be successful in betting, you need to find a bookmaker that welcomes winners and won’t restrict or limit anyone that makes money from betting.
Aside from finding a bookmaker that is suitable for you, you can also opt for sportsbooks aggregators. Now, what is a sportsbook aggregator?
A lot of bettors tend to create multiple accounts in various online bookmakers in order to compare the best possible odds for their sports bets. With a sportsbooks aggregator, you would not have to register for numerous accounts because they give you a list of the best odds and highest limits from a variety of sportsbooks.
Moreover, some aggregators, like the VOdds sports trading platform, allow you to place bets, make withdrawals and deposits, directly from their platform.
2. Understand the value of information
Providing yourself with as much usable information will quickly become a vital element of your analysis of your picks, as you need to be informed before putting any money down.
Whether news breaks that a certain valuable player gets injured days before his match, or looking at previous match records like, for example, if a team or player having a high standing last season goes up against someone from below the top 5.
Undertaking research using statistics, historical data, news surrounding your selections and by watching games can be beneficial to step up your game. As a professional sports bettor, you take advantage of all the information that you can get your hands on.
3. Confidence is key
Confidence is the key to a lot of things, even to sports betting. One of the main reasons why bettors do not win as much as they want is sometimes psychological. When you doubt yourself, you start to lose confidence, putting sheer pressure which leads to poor decision-making.
And do you know what happens next? You start to lose and it can inevitably turn into an excruciating cycle.
Once you’ve identified a selection you like that has value, you need to have the confidence to go with it. You need to believe in the efforts you’ve placed for every bet. Betting with conviction will allow you to take advantage of excellent opportunities to profit.
4. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses
As you gain confidence and establish yourself, keep a detailed record of your bets — both wins and losses — this will help you spot trends and see what’s working for you and what isn’t. You will be able to analyze how much profit you’re making.
This also allows you to have unbiased decision-making whenever you look at information about the best odds range that you succeed in. Say you have enough data to see whether or not you gain profit from placing bets on handicaps, and see that you’re losing money on it. In this way, you can find a weak point where you can improve or bet against – both of which help you decrease your risk of losing.
5. Have the right skillset
You need to equip yourself with betting strategies that can help you win more wagers.
For now, we’ll run you through some of the most common betting strategies that you can apply.
- This strategy is best used if you’re still starting as a bettor. One-Team One-Sport is exactly what it is — you pick one sport and one team, and gain a deeper knowledge about its ins and outs. You save time spent on researching teams, matches, or rules since you only have to focus on one.
- Betting systems are patterns in betting that you follow when you encounter winning or losing streaks. An example of the most common systems is called the Labouchere. One downside to betting systems, however, is that you need to invest a lot of time researching so that you don’t lose money trying to experiment.
How to Avoid Being a “Mug Punter”
A Mug Punter is something that you wouldn’t want to be associated with, and definitely not the type of bettor you want to be called. These are people who do the opposite of what professional sports bettors do and, hence, have greater chances of losing wagers or only have mediocre wins.
So, what makes a mug punter? Here are the common betting mistakes that you should avoid.
Trusting too much
There are tons of supportive punters all over the internet that can help you grow as a bettor. So, naturally, it’s good to seek advice from these people, especially if they have a proven track record.
However, one mistake that you can make as a newbie punter is to rely too much on other sports bettors’ advice. It can be tempting, especially when people from communities feed you with details about why a match is a “sure-win.” Unfortunately, not every tip you come across is true. Worst comes to worst, you come across a scamdicapper and get persuaded enough to wager every penny you have in your bankroll.
Trying to be a Jack-of-all-trades, but never a master
One of the biggest mistakes that most rookie punters make is trying to master every sport that they can bet on.
Keep in mind that there are numerous sports and betting strategies out there, and you can’t learn them all. A real, professional sports bettor focuses on mastering one sport and learning the best betting strategy that works with their chosen sport.
Trying to learn everything at once can only make you average (at most) in each sport and strategy you are trying to learn. If you want to be a professional, you have to be a master. So, focus and try to apply the “One-Sport One-Team” strategy that we mentioned earlier, and work your way from there.
Not Trusting Value Bets
Value bets are wagers that you place on odds that you believe to be the most feasible win, based on probability, statistics, and other supporting information. These are the types of bets that you should be making.
Yet mug punters don’t see the worth of value bets because they think it tedious to conduct thorough research on the details of a match. They put their trust in gut feeling, so it’s either they go with what the crowd sees as a “100% win” or bet on their favourite team.
You have to be unbiased when gathering information about a match, probabilities, and odds instead of looking for information to support your bias.
Overreacting to Recent Stats or Trends
We can’t emphasize it enough that you should always gather enough data before placing a bet. But your research can still go wrong if you overreact to recent trends.
Say a particular team has been doing great in the previous season or games, that doesn’t mean that you should instantly place a bet on their win in the next match. Don’t overestimate wins and winning streaks, and don’t underrate teams that come off from a loss.
Mug punters are in perpetual thought that if they get lucky enough, they can get instantly rich when one of their bets turns out to be a win. However, that will lead to nothing but more losses, disappointments, or worse, debts.
The first thing you need to do is to work on strategies to break even. Develop that skill and work your way into getting more wins through smart bets. A realistic figure that you can use as a goal is to win between 52% to 55% of your total bets. Anything above that, and you can now consider yourself as a profitable sports bettor.
It’s Not a Cakewalk, but It Can Be Rewarding
Before going full time, practicing and refining your skills is a great idea to see if you believe turning professional is the right move for you.
While it’s not as straightforward as it looks to become a pro, if you put in the work and have an unyielding commitment to ensuring you make coherent decisions, then sports trading can be an excellent career choice for you. Create an account, get professional football betting tips, and start placing winning bets on major football leagues!