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Betting for Beginners: How to Make a Sports Pick

When you’re coming up to the plate and getting ready to swing on making your first sports pick, what should you consider? If you’re just having fun and don’t care if you win money you can do what most beginners do: pick your favorite team or whoever you think will win. But because you’re reading this post, we know you want to make your picks more strategically to make money while enjoying the sports you love… And for that, Big Al will help you hit a home run.

So sit back, crack open your drink of choice, and let’s look at helpful tools and strategies for making your first picks as you get a feel for sports betting. Our goal is to help you think about your picks like a professional while giving you enough information to get started.

And, of course, we want you to understand enough to know how to make money through your bets so you can continue to enjoy sports betting as long into the future! Because sports betting isn’t about being right, it’s about making money.

make a sports pick

Research Your Pick

Many variables help determine how a game will play out. The environment, the strengths, and weaknesses of the individual players, their match-ups, home advantage, or even what’s going on behind the scenes. These are all avenues you can research to inform your pick based on the best data you can assemble.

If your pick isn’t used to training in winter weather or high levels of humidity, they might not play well. The venue may put them at a disadvantage if the stadium was designed to amplify the sound of fans, giving the other team an extra home-field advantage.

Maybe your team’s best batter doesn’t do as well when facing down a lefty pitcher with a mean curveball. A long string of away games? Look at their track record and see if they have a pattern of losing steam after spending a long time on the road.

Use the Expertise of Professional Sports Handicappers

Professionals invest hours, weeks, months, and even years developing systems to help them go through statistics, uncover trends, and research as many variables as they can account for. It can even become a full-time job! But as a beginning better, that’s not a realistic place to start. For you, one of your best tools is to rely on sports betting picks made by professional sports handicappers.

Look at the Numbers

Bets don’t all pay the same. You can consistently pick winners and still lose money. And with the same amount of money, you could regularly choose losers and win money overall. That’s why you must always look at the numbers before you make your final decision on which team and what kind of bet to place!

When choosing your pick and bet, always keep your eye on your Return on Investment. This is called “Betting for Value.” Look for which the ones that are expected to pay out at a higher rate than they should be.

make a sports pick

Pay Attention to the Betting Line

There can only be one true betting line: what happens in the game. The gambling odds you bet on are set by a company or individual called a sportsbook. These odds determine the favorite and the underdog. Sportsbooks technically start the line at a few percentage points below what they think it should be (they’re trying to make money too, after all). But they also move it around a bit to give betters incentives to go one way or another. Payout is based on how likely the odds say something is to happen.

Your goal is to find bets where their set probability is less than what you predict. That’s where you’ll find the higher payouts. When the sportsbook makes a poor prediction, you can make big money.

Anyone can point out favorites and create a record of picking winners. But if you choose the ones that will give you the most value, you can brag about how your big pay-off came off your pick and strategy.

Apply Your New Knowledge

Once you know what you want to bet on, figure out the chance percentage you think it has of winning. Then you need to turn that into an odds number so you can compare different sportsbooks to see what they’ve set. The farther the number is from zero, the higher it will pay out if you win. But the farther they are from zero, the less likely the outcome is. That often means the risk isn’t worth it.

Always remember to look at the risk associated with the bet. If you’re confident in your prediction, determine if winning the bet will offer enough value for you to take a risk. Only make a bet if all the numbers check out.

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