10 Tips for Making Better Picks
1. Get to know your team
your teams, learn their strengths and weaknesses, know
their home and road records, and evaluate them
objectively. Pay attention to changes in the quality of
a team from one season to the next as players graduate
and changes occur in coaching staffs.
2. Value betting - find low
risk high reward action
Successful basketball gambling requires getting value on
your bets ... basically this means getting better than
the "true" odds on your team. For instance, if your
objective prediction for a game suggests that Duke
should be receiving 5 points but are in fact receiving
8, then this is a value betting proposition. In this
case, the risk to reward is very much in your favor,
making Duke a strong play.
3. Bet against public opinion
Certain teams always have a strong public following.
For years, the Chicago Bulls were one such team, having
captured the public's admiration during the Jordan
years. High-value bets can often be found by betting
against these teams because the odds makers adjust the
line to reflect the expected amount of public money ...
thus, the underdog is often listed with better odds or a
larger pointspread than they realistically deserve.
4. Stay abreast of injuries
the injuries, but don't overreact to them. Judge the
importance of an injured player and the quality of his
back up. Remember that second-string players are often
highly qualified and are especially motivated when
replacing a starter, so it often pays to bet on a team
missing its best player. The public normally overreacts
to injuries so you may find good value in this
situation. However, beware of situations where there is
more than one injured stud or there is an injury to the
team's captain or inspirational leader.
5. Bet on motivated teams
Sometimes a team doesn't play up to its potential and,
at other times, may play well above what is indicated by
their overall record - especially in critical games.
Determine how important a game is to a team. If the team
has already clinched a playoff spot, they may be more
focused on the post-season than the present game.
Conversely, a team facing a must-win situation to make
the playoffs may be highly motivated. A team out to
revenge a defeat earlier in the season may also be very
6. Bet with your head, not your heart
Make an honest
assessment of a team's chances, not one based on
emotions. Don't bet on a team simply because it's your
favorite without considering the real odds. Be selective
and remember that you will only find value betting
situations in a small number of games. Betting the
entire NCAA schedule every week is a risky proposition
7. Don't chase your losses
you do run into the inevitable losing streak, don't
panic and make the common mistake of betting larger
amounts in an attempt to recoup your losses. Instead,
examine your handicapping methods and reduce your
betting amounts until you start winning again. Remember
- chasing your losses is the single biggest mistake a
gambler can make. Once you start winning again, increase
your bets slightly, but don't go overboard -
unfortunately, like losing streaks, winning streaks also
come to an end.
8. Don't bet just for the sake of betting
There is no
shame in passing up a bet. Remember that there are
sports betting opportunities almost every day of the
year. Don't bet simply for the sake of gambling - be
patient and wait for good value betting opportunities.
9. Practice smart money management
money management is just as important as picking
winners. Increase your betting amount only when showing
an overall profit and reduce your betting amount when
you are losing. Try to set a maximum percentage of your
betting capital that will be placed on any one bet in
order to minimize your exposure ... many professional
handicappers suggest that no more than five percent of
your wagering capital be at risk on any one bet, no
matter how strongly you feel about the game.
10. Keep accurate records
Accurate records of your wagering activity are
essential for increasing your winning percentage. For
example, do you tend to bet your home team or your
favorite team more than you should? What are the current
trends - are more underdogs winning early in the season?
By maintaining records of statistics as well as your
betting history will help you to avoid destructive
wagering patterns and, at the same time will enable you
to spot trends that may give you an edge.