Sportsbook 101: Tips you should know before betting

·4 min read
Here are five tips that'll surely help make you a more informed and effective sports bettor. (Getty)
Here are five tips that'll surely help make you a more informed and effective sports bettor. (Getty)

The first weekend of legal single-event sports betting in Canada is in the (sports)books, and there was no shortage of events for Canadians to wager on.

Late-season MLB, Week 4 of the CFL, NFL preseason, the Jake Paul-Tyron Woodley fight, and the opening week of college football highlighted some of the events people could bet on to dip their toes into Canada's new betting waters.

For those who may not be too familiar with the sports betting scene, I suggest learning the basics if you want to give it a whirl. Even before you make that first deposit, check out these helpful tips.

Play within your established limit

It sounds cliche, but this is No. 1 on the list for a reason: It's the most important tip out there.

A successful bettor isn't someone who wins every wager, that person doesn't exist. A successful bettor is someone who bets only what they are willing to lose. You'll win your fair share of bets, but there's no avoiding the bad beats and tough losses. Make sure what you're wagering is what you're comfortable losing because there are usually only two ways your bet can go.

Don't chase a loss

Losing a bet can leave a bad taste in your mouth. Nobody likes losing money, and it's pretty natural to impulse bet on another game in an attempt to win back what you loss.

It's good to remember that you can lose even more money just as easily as you can win it back. With that in mind, don't just bet for the sake of getting your winnings back, but also consider the next three tips before placing your wager.

Bet what you know

Like anything you do in life, it's good to have an idea of what you're getting yourself into.

That's why I highly recommend doing at least some research prior to making a bet. Start by looking at recent results, examine injury reports, and then look at some historical trends. These three steps will give you a solid research basis so that you can feel confident about the bet you're placing.

It'll also prevent you from saying things like "I didn't know they weren't playing" or "I didn't realize they were that bad" midway through the game.

Don't bet on what (and who) you love

Like any normal sports fan, you probably have favourite teams. Squads that you love to root for every single game. Through the years, you have endured a number of highs and lows with these teams and have built a loyal allegiance to these franchises. 

And that's why you probably shouldn't bet on these teams.

Chances are, the passion you have for your favourite teams is so strong that you can't objectively bet on their games. Whether they're heavy underdogs, big favourites, or anything in between, you think your team has a shot and you're confident enough to put your money where your mouth is.

A good rule of thumb is if you're not willing to bet against your favourite team, don't bet on them, either.

Use live betting to your advantage

One thing I highly recommend getting familiar with — especially when betting on underdogs — is live betting. Live betting is when you wager on a sports event while it is happening.

The reason why I suggest using this strategy on underdogs is it affords you the benefit of seeing how a team, which the odds do not favour, looks during the game. If you think a team that seems overmatched on paper squares up well against a favourite, allow the game to play out a little bit to get a feel for the contest. This eliminates the guesswork of wondering if your underdog will show up and put up a fight, or if they'll put up a dud and make you look foolish.

Sure, the odds may not be as enticing as they were at the beginning of the game, but chances are, you'll still be able to find some value in that scrappy underdog if you like what you see early on. 

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