Today, it’s easier than ever to place bets on your favorite sporting events

Sports fans have been betting on sporting events ever since the ancient Egyptians ran chariot races and the Spartans competed in the ancient Greek Olympics.  Today fans can place bets legally at multiple sites including at brick-and-mortar casinos, through online sportsbooks and at the online casino.

Some people are satisfied to throw their bet out and hope that it results in something good. However, even if you’re a novice sports bettor, you can increase your chances of placing successful sports bets by following a few basic tips.

Live Betting

Today, in the age of instant, live-streaming sports coverage, it’s possible to place bets via live betting. Many players prefer the live betting because it’s one of the most lucrative type sports wagering. You can see and take advantage of the opportunities that are presented by the game flow at the same time that they are occurring. In Vegas, live lines are set based on the opening line that combines with the current state of the sporting event in progress.

Such a wager provides opportunities, such as if an underdog, that you favor, is on the wrong side of an early game run, you can get a more favorable line than what was available prior in the game. Or if the underdog jumps out to an early lead, it’s possible for bettors to take advantage of a more favorable line than what was available before the game started. These are opportunities that aren’t accessible otherwise so it’s a good idea to check and see if your sportsbook offers such options. 


Pundits suggest that you wait until just before game time to place your bet.  That way you can see if any of the star players are on the inactive list or, if any of the previous inactives are back in play.  Those decisions are often not made until just before play time so hold off on your bets until you know exactly who’s playing


Bet against the public. If you see that the public is loading up on one team, bet on the other one. Many sportsbooks claim that there’s data that “fading the public” is profitable. Give it a try.


Find reliable betting percentage data to use when determining the true worth of any betting line. Knowing that your favorite team is favored by a betting line of -7 is one thing but if you can determine that the majority of  wagers placed on a game are coming in on the that team -7, you’ll have a clearer picture. 

Favorites and Underdogs

Regardless of whether you’re betting on the underdog or on a favorite, you should take a look at the lines as soon as they’re posted. You can often find the best values as soon as a line is posted, though sometimes it’s worthwhile waiting until game time. In fact, many veteran sports bettors prefer to wait until close to game time to check the lines and make their bets. 

The majority of bettors wager on favorites so you can use this to your advantage and put your bet on the underdog. Savvy bettors are underdog players. The value of betting on an underdog is in the ability to buy back betting odds that have been bloated by the massive influx of public money. There are online line-movement prediction tools available for free that you can use to help you determine when the scales will tip one way or the other. 

Early Betting for Specific Sporting Events

If you’re going to bet on a favorite, you usually need to bet early if you’re betting on a NHL or a MLB game. In these two sports, most bettors opt for moneyline betting, as opposed to spread action -- runline (MLB) or puckline (NHL). You can hold off if you’re waiting for an even better underdog but if not, moneyline is favored.

It’s suggested, however, that you hold off on your bets if there’s an impact player with the day-to-day listing. In such a case, it is more prudent to wait until the starting lineups are announced.

Football is the sport in which early betting is most often recommended because here, early lines generally present the most value. The early lines don’t get truly ‘sharp’ until game time approaches. If there’s a day-to-day injury to a star player, it is suggested that you wait until a player is ruled inactive or healthy before you place your wager. If Vegas sets the line favorably for the side on which you intend to bet, you can take advantage if you bet early.

Sometimes however you can find a more favorable line closer to game time. This is why some sharps wait until just before a game starts to lay their action. A large volume of public action typically comes in on the day of the contest creating potential values by way of line movement. The movement can create more value not only on the underdog but sometimes on the favorite as well. This can provide middling opportunities if you already placed a wager earlier in the week.

Betting early on a NFL game can often present the most intriguing values. Line movement can occur throughout the week. For that reason, it’s a good idea to keep your eye on your top play, especially if you choose to bet later in the week or right before the game. 


Basketball is acknowledged as the most difficult sport to bet on when dealing with spreads. Basketball is more about taking an all-encompassing analytical approach and betting strategy changes.  Big city team lines may have lines that are slightly inflated. This occurs because Vegas takes advantage of the fact that it’s expecting money to come in on that side.

Sometimes, basketball lines move dramatically based on both public action and smart action. Waiting for live lines occurs most often in basketball where an extra point on either side can change the line from being one that you avoid due to being ‘too sharp’ to one of which you should take advantage.

In an NBA game, wait until inactives are announced before you make your bet, unless you see a line that’s too good to pass up. If you see that the lines aren’t what you want, you can monitor the live line offerings to find the right potential value opportunity. Consider the lines when they’re published. But, to determine whether or not the line can be considered a potential value, look at the different correlative factors.

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