Tips To Help Be A Better Bettor


When done properly, betting on sporting events helps elevate the overall sports viewing experience. That said, constantly placing losing wagers will have an opposite effect. Whether you are a recreational sports bettor or a professional handicapper, there are guidelines that need to be followed in order to cash winning wagers.  


As long-time fans of the sports betting community, the Crew at Vegas Whispers is dedicated to helping everyone become a successful bettor. The tips and guidelines below are designed to help make the sports and betting marriage much more enjoyable and profitable.


Sports Betting Survival: Basic Do’s and Dont’s


Here are some basic sports betting survival tips. Each of them ties into other aspects of a proper sports betting plan.


Don’t Over-Spend: While everyone budgets differently, a general rule-of-thumb is to dedicate betting funds to a monthly entertainment budget. Never wager with money that is needed for day-to-day living expenses.


Never Bet with Your Heart: Blindly placing bets on your favorite team or player, without doing proper research, is a losing bet waiting to happen. 


Limit Daily Plays: More is not always better and bettors should set a maximum number of plays per day limit. Recreational bettors should limit their wager to between one and three single bets per day.


Don’t Chase: If you lose on an early game, it’s rarely wise to chase the loss by doubling down on a late game. This is particularly true if the chase bet exceeds your self-set daily wagering limits.


Trend Betting: Checking recent trends makes up a small portion of a sports betting research plan.  Just because a team has won five straight games, shouldn’t make them an automatic play against a team that has lost five straight.


Don’t Trust Everyone: The Internet is littered with advertisements that promise things like “Five Star Guaranteed Bet” or the “Lock of the Week”.  Guarantees and locks don’t exist in sports betting. Bettors should never pay for picks from ‘Cappers who promise them.


Organizing a Sports Betting Plan of Action


There are several steps bettors need to take, prior to placing their sports wagers, to help create bankroll-building success.


  • Proper Bankroll Management
  • Pre-game Sports Betting Research
  • Understanding the Sports Betting Options
  • Shopping Around for the Best Odds and Prices 

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Proper Bankroll Management


Proper Bankroll Management may not be the most popular topic to discuss, but it is one of the most important keys to achieving sports betting success. Establishing and maintaining a bankroll is an essential skill all bettors need to develop. 


Establish a Starting Bankroll: Independent from funds earmarked for living expenses, bettors need to set aside money for a starting bankroll balance. If you have $1,000 in expendable funds, that is a solid opening bankroll for recreational sports bettors.


Set Daily Spending Limits: Once players establish their bankroll, it is wise to set daily spending limits. A range from 1% to 5% of a current total bankroll is an appropriate target. That means, on the first day with a $1,000 bankroll, you can wager between $10 and $50. If you win, funds are added to your bankroll. If you lose, the hit won’t put a huge dent in your stack. 


Stick to Pre-Set Limits: Discipline is an important key to proper bankroll management. Sticking to set limits, whether you are having a winning or losing day/week, helps build and extend the life of an original bankroll. Don’t blow your budget by chasing losses or making increased bet amounts on perceived locks.


Follow Your Tracks: A spreadsheet file, which tracks all sports bets, is something every bettor should have. The file provides a clear picture of which sports, teams, plus types of wagers, bettors are winning and losing with.


Pre-Game Sports Betting Research


Much like researching a company, prior to investing in the stock market, bettors need to understand what they are betting on. Whether it’s football, basketball, baseball, or hockey, checking the standings helps, but a deeper dive into the current form of the teams you are betting on is a huge key to cashing winning sports tickets. 


Additional insights can also be gained by examining home and away records, as well as straight up, against the spread and game totals records. Reviewing current injury reports– plus the form of individual players– should also be high priorities during the research process. Checking recent head-to-head matchups, plus whether a team is on a long road trip or homestand are also key research items.


Understand the Sports Betting Options


Understanding the betting options, offered on various individual sports, is also important. For the Big 4 North American sports, plus college football and basketball, there are three main betting options.



Against the Spread: Point spreads, run lines, and puck lines are odds that are designed to level the playing field and bring in equal action on both sides of a game. Teams that receive points, runs, or goals, are the underdog, while teams giving points, runs, or goals, are the favorite. In the example from Super Bowl 56, Los Angeles was a 4.5 point favorite over underdog Cincinnati. Bettors who backed the Rams needed them to win by five points or more. Those who bet the Bengals needed them to win by any margin or lose by less than four points. A $110 bet on the winning side returns a $100 profit. 


Moneylines: Also known as straight-up wagers, the winning side is all that matters with moneyline bets. Favorites are always listed with a negative (-) number, while underdogs are tagged with a positive (+) number. In the Rams vs Bengals example, bettors needed to wager $200 to earn $100 if Los Angeles (-200) won as the favorite. Bettors would earn $170 on a $100 bet if the Bengals (+170) won as the underdog.


Game Totals: Also known as Over/Under betting, game totals ask bettors to predict if the final score will be higher or lower than a posted number. Fans betting on a high-scoring game, during Super Bowl 56, needed the two teams to score 49 or more combined points to cash OVER bets. UNDER tickets are graded as the winner if the final total score is 48 points or less.


Parlay Wagers: A parlay consists of two or more sides that are bet together on one ticket. Each side must win (or tie) to cash a winning parlay ticket. The return on parlay bets increases based on the number of sides bet, plus the odds on each of the sides. Betting on the Bengals ATS odds, plus UNDER on the game total line, returned a $264 profit on a $100 wager. 


Prop Betting: Since Super Bowl XX, when Las Vegas posted a YES or No prop on whether DT William “The Refrigerator” Perry would score a touchdown, proposition betting has exploded in popularity. Once viewed as gimmick bets, props are now a mainstream sports wagering option. Player Props, Team Props, and Game Props are offered on all major sporting events.


Live Betting: Also referred to as In-Game wagering, live betting is offered on most major sporting events once a game has begun. Moneylines, point spreads, and game totals are constantly adjusted and re-posted as contests play out. Prop options, like next scorer and correct final score, are also available. 


Futures Betting: As the name suggests, futures betting is a wager placed on an event where the eventual winner won’t be determined for weeks or months down the road. The most common futures bets are the winner of the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, the World Series, and the Stanley Cup. League, Division, and Conference Champions are also popular options. 


Hedge Betting: A highly personal preference, hedge betting can be used to set up a guaranteed return or reduce the initial risk on a potential losing wager. For example, a bettor may have been holding a $100 futures ticket, which would pay a $5,000 profit if the Bengals won the Super Bowl. To ensure a guaranteed cashout – the bettor could wager $2000 on the Rams as a hedge. In this instance, the Cincinnati futures ticket holder still earned a $900 profit even though the Bengals lost. Had they not placed a hedge bet – they would have lost their original $100 investment.


Shop Around for the Best Odds and Prices


Similar to shopping around for a new car, or household appliances, uncovering the best odds and prices is a very important part of a solid sports betting action plan. Although the swing is not always a large one, individual bookmakers often offer different odds and prices on the same games each day.


Secure a Stable of Sportsbooks: In addition to being the spice of life, variety is a good thing when it comes to sports betting.  With legal sports betting now available in many States, there is a wealth of sportsbooks to choose from. Bettors are advised to stick with nationally trusted brands and to register accounts at two or three different sportsbooks.


Secure the Best Odds and Prices: Since sports betting is a marathon, not a sprint, finding the best odds and prices is important. While variances, in betting lines and prices, may be minimal on a single game, they add up over the long run. In the NBA odds example below, the moneylines are actually quite a bit different. 


Bettors who wanted to back the San Antonio Spurs were paying $100 to win $200 at DraftKings while the same $100 wager was paying $215 at FanDuel. Players backing the Cleveland Cavaliers were paying $250 to win $100 at DraftKings while it cost $260 to win $100 at FanDuel. Those moneyline swings, plus the different ATS odds, are notable and prove that it’s worth spending a few minutes to compare prices and odds.



Sports betting, when done properly, can add an extra element of excitement to the overall viewing experience. By following the simple guidelines above, players of all levels can become a Better Bettor. Good luck and enjoy the games!