How I Went From Being A Losing Sports Bettor To A Winning Sports Bettor

I learned the hard way, but you don’t have to. Here are 4 simple changes to make to be a smarter sports bettor.

Last Updated: Sep 6, 2022 12:54 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams in a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium.
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Here’s the honest truth: For the first few years that I bet on sports, I was a losing sports bettor. 

And if you’re relatively new to sports betting, there’s a very good chance that you’re losing more money than you’re winning.

These are just the facts. Sports betting is really hard. But it doesn't have to be as hard as some make it.

Now, I'm not saying I am a professional sports bettor (because I'm not). There's a difference between being a winning sports bettor and a professional sports bettor. But for the last couple of years, I have been winning more money than I have been losing. And a lot of it has to do with a few changes I made to how I wager.

Here are 4 simple changes you can make to your betting habits so that you can win more money as we head into football season.

1. Have as many different betting accounts as possible

This is both the easiest thing you can do and the most important thing you can do: You need to have multiple sports betting apps on your phone.

This is what the industry calls having multiple “outs”. With more outs, you’ll be able to price shop (more on that below) and be able to take advantage of offerings that not all books have. 

I currently have 12 active accounts. Now, I’m not saying you need to go sign up for every regulated sportsbook in your state (although that’s exactly what I would do).

But start with three. I think once you see the benefits that come with having three accounts, you’ll quickly move to five and then more. 

Use our legal sports betting tracker and then click on your state to find a list of all the legal sports betting sites in your region.

2. Shop for the best odds

Another concept that is so simple but yet the vast majority of sports bettors don’t do it: Before you make a bet, check all the betting sites in your region for who has the best odds.

This is what we call “price shopping,” and it’s no different than how you would behave if you were buying anything else. If you were at the mall and three stores had the same pair of shoes, you’d buy them from the store with the lowest price. So why don’t you do the same with your sports bets?

You might think it’s insignificant based on looking at the numbers but getting half a point better on a spread or -105 instead of -110 makes a huge difference in the long run. For props, you’ll notice even bigger differences in the lines available. 

Shopping for the best odds is easy. Use a betting odds screen for spreads, moneylines, and totals, and use a comparison tool (like our NFL props page) for player props.

3. Bet information, not trends

Another easy tip that will improve the expected value on your bets: Turn on Twitter notifications for insiders and beat writers. 

Why? Because reacting to information is the path to making winning sports bets. 

Some good advice to remember is that everything that has happened in the past is already calculated in the odds. This means that trends, past performances, and historical stats have already been accounted for by the oddsmakers who set the line.

In order to gain an edge, you need to find what hasn’t been baked into the line yet — things like injuries, weather, adjustments in playing time, etc. If you can get that news in real-time, you can then navigate to your betting apps and get your wager in before the sportsbooks move the odds.

4. Respect the market

One thing you’ll learn very quickly (if you haven't already): You aren’t smarter than the betting market.

What does this mean? If you bet the San Francisco 49ers -2.5, and a few hours later the line has gone the other way, and the 49ers are now a pick ‘em, you have missed something in your handicap of the game. No, this doesn’t mean that the 49ers at pick ‘em now has more “value” it means that smarter people than you are betting on the other side. 

The only people moving lines on NFL games are sharps or professional bettors. You don’t want to be on the other side of a bet as they are very often. Let your 49ers -2.5 bet go and hope that you get lucky when the game plays out.


Yes, sports betting is hard. But it can be easier than most make it on themselves. I’m confident that you’ll become a better sports bettor if you follow these 4 tips:

  • Get as many betting accounts as possible.
  • Shop around for the best odds before you make your bet.
  • Bet on what is going to happen (information) not on what has already happened (trends).
  • Don’t chase bets when the market goes against you.

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