1. ACCUMULATOR BETTING
Betting on accumulators is as a general rule of thumb a terrible idea, because the odds you get is way worse than the true probability of the teams winning. This article shows an example of why it is a great way for you to loose money.
2. NOT TRACKING OR ANALYSING YOUR GAME
Lack of knowledge and analysis of your performance against the bookmakers is one of
the biggest factors in not becoming a profitable long-term sports trader. Whether you
are a poker player or day trader, keeping track of your results enables you to determine
whether your strategy is working and whether you are running good or bad. This can in
turn enable you to change your strategy for the better.
When trading sports you should measure your performance versus the closing lines of
the sharp bookmakers. If you are able to consistently place bets where you get better
odds than the bookmakers closing lines you should be profitable in the long term.
3. NOT HAVING A STAKING STRATEGY
Even if you are placing profitable trades, without a correct staking strategy, variance
could wipe you out. So what does a profitable staking strategy look like? Well there’s
two options you can deploy profitably. A flat stake, and a proportional stake.
With a flat bet size, you either put the same wager on every single game, or you put
the same wager on games that have the same odds and edge. Flat bet sizing is fairly
easy to use, but it’s hard to select a proper size. A size too big will increase the chance
of going broke, while a size too low will not yield big enough profits.
A proportional strategy is where you place a certain percentage of your current bank-
roll on each bet. Kelly’s Criterion is a formula that maximizes the growth rate of your
bankroll. You should be aware that following the Kelly Criterion is high risk. You can
reduce your risk by following for instance 30% of whatever the Kelly Criterion tells you
to. I’ve also made a video on Youtube where I explain the Kelly Criterion and how to
apply it in betting.
4. KNOW THAT “TIPSTERS” WHO ARE PROFITABLE WOULD NEVER GIVE AWAY
THEIR ADVICE FOR FREE
Most tipster make money from affiliate deals with bookmakers where they get money if
you use their links to sign up to the bookmaker site or by getting a percentage of losses made by bettors. If a tipster has an actual edge or inside information they will act upon this themselves. Only once they have taken a position in the game will they be
willing to give up this information. The result being that they get better odds than you.
For instance if a tipster recommends Troy at home versus South Florida in the NCAA
at 1.75. They could take an earlier position at 1.80. Once people start following their
advice and the market drops to let’s say 1.65 they can take a bet on the other side to
make a surebet.
Most tipster also don’t want to give away their track record and for the once that do,
there is no guarantee that they have not simply deleted some of the bets they have
lost. For the tipsters who actually do show you their full track record, the sample size
is often very low. If they only place 250 bets a season for example their results will
mainly be down to luck. There are two good articles on Pinnacle, which covers how to
evaluate tipsters track records and survivorship bias.
5. NOT CLEARING OUT SIGNUP BONUSES ON THE SOFT BOOKMAKERS
The majority of soft bookmakers offer bonuses with a turnover requirement, e.g. a 10x.
You can use arbitrage to clear these bonuses. For instance let’s say you are betting on
an Over / Under in a basketball game. Bookie A offer 2.05 in odds on an over, while
Bookie B offers a 2.05 in odds on under. By placing $100 on each side, you have a
surebet with a guaranteed profit of 2.5%. [ 1 / (1/2.05 + 1/2.05)]. Remember that your
goal is to clear the bonus, so you can go break even by taking 2.0 and 2.0 or even go
slightly below. Just make sure that your bonus is large enough to justify taking bets
with a slightly negative expected value.