What many don’t realize is that sports betting is a lot more complicated than they had thought. The vast majority of people simply believe that you choose a team, know what the odds are, lay down a bet, and then hope your team wins. However, this is a rather unsophisticated way to look at it. For an average sports fan, looking to enter the industry of sports betting and not understanding how betting works, especially in sports like the NFL, MLB, NBA, etc., it could only mean one thing: waste of time and money. To be honest, most establishments take wagers hoping that you stay a novice when it comes to gambling, expecting you to make bets that will cost you in the long run, ultimately making them a winner. Sports wagering can be a steep learning curve, but one that you can learn quickly with the right amount of information. Therefore, here are five tips that can assist you to be more successful and to have a better experience in betting on your favorite sports. Tip #1: Use Your Current Knowledge If you are a fan of sports, you probably have a favorite one, that you follow already. What this means is that you have a lot of information about the players, teams, and the success of both. You know who are the teams that regularly win games, the players that get hot, or the ones who are in a rut. This knowledge is beneficial to you. You probably find that on most occasions you can accurately predict who is going to be the winner of the game simply through the knowledge you have. The knowledge you have about a league should pay dividends for you when you are making bets. For example, if you know a lot about the NFL, who is hot, who has been blowing teams out, or the team that is really tough to beat at home, then you can use this advantage when making wagers. The information you know will really help you to make smart bets. Here is a good example for you to make this clearer to you. Let's say you are picking a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are 3-10 and the Steelers are 9-4. Pittsburgh is favored by six in the game. Many would look at the bet and think that the team with six more wins is the obvious choice. Consider this, however. A person with a lot of knowledge about football may have noticed that Cleveland has lost in Pittsburgh the last three meetings, but that was by less than three points in each of the games. They may also know that Pittsburgh has only covered the spread at home three times in the last 12 games. That is the kind of information that can be beneficial in making a wager. You may not think Cleveland will win, but you realize that the smarter bet is Cleveland and the points. That is how your knowledge of football can help you. There is probably a lot of information you have that could be of benefit and you didn't really think of it as useful. Understanding how well certain teams perform against the opposing conference, how many close contests a team has been in, or how well a team plays against top quarterbacks can be a huge bonus in making wagers. When you know a team has lost six of their seven games by less than six points when you see them as a nine-point underdog it may pay to go with them. A team that is terrible outdoors could be a team to avoid if they are favored in such a situation. A team that has lost 80% of their games on the road over the last six seasons tells you a lot about how to make your wagers. Tip #2: Stay Away from Teams You Love A big mistake that beginners make is that they bet with their heart. What that means is that they have a favorite team who they believe is going to win every time they step onto the field. They could be facing a team that is on a 12 game winning streak while they have lost nine in a row, but still believe their team is going to win. It is for reasons like these that you should avoid your own team. They may truly be a good bet on any given weekend, but it pays to be smart about that. Unless you are absolutely sure that your team is a good wager, stay away from it. Don’t let your heart cost you a lot of money. The same can be true if you really hate a team. This often happens with the Dallas Cowboys as an example. Fans may hate the Cowboys and so they cannot allow themselves to make a smart bet because of their hate of the team. Dallas may be a three-point favorite and have won seven straight games when favored by three, but the person hates them so much that they take the other team. You can't make wagers like this, not if you intend to make money. Look at the stats impartially and, if you can't do that then stay away from that game. Tip #3: Read What Others Say If you look on the Internet, the two largest number of websites you will find are "adult" content and sports betting. The reason behind this is simple – there’s a lot of money involved and it feeds the vices, especially of men. Over 12% of all websites deliver some form of adult content and over $29 billion is spent on adult film in the United States each year alone. Gambling in the United States constitutes more than $30 billion in spending each year. This is why you can be sure that you will find good information on the internet related to betting. Use that information to your benefit. Go and take a look at what oddsmakers, analysts, and sports bettors are saying about any given contest. See who they predict are good wagers about a contest. Before trusting their information make sure there is a reason to trust them. Look back at predictions they have made in previous weeks and see how successful they have been at defeating the odds. Just because they sound smart doesn’t mean they are. So, look into who you can trust. The well-informed gambler is the one who will have a lot more success making wagers. Tip #4: Keep It Simple…At First It was mentioned that you should bet based on your knowledge. Stay focused on sports where you have the best chance of being successful. The same should be true of the types of bets that you are making. Stay with things that you are likely to have greater success with, the simpler kinds of bets. If you are pretty good at predicting which teams will win games, then stay with those kinds of bets. Avoid the over/under total if you are not particularly adept at guessing what the score of a game will be. Stick with what works for you. If you know the Bears struggle in Green Bay, then that is a smart pick to make. However, if you have predicted three low scoring affairs between these two teams, and the total was over 50 in each of those games, this may be a type of bet to avoid. The truth is that there are many different types of wagers that you can make. You can get as sophisticated as to who will score first, what the winning margin of any game will be, and when the highest-scoring quarter in a contest will be. Those may be fun bets to make but, if you don’t really know the good information to make an informed decision, you are simply throwing your money away. When you are just beginning, it makes sense to just focus on the basics. Choose winners from each week. Maybe even choose to go with the over/under, but stay away from other forms of betting until you are more confident in your ability to predict accurately. Here is an important statistic to consider. It is true that you can make the most amount of money by choosing the more unique kinds of bets, like who will win the Super Bowl. You may go with a relative underdog and then they go all the way, earning you 10,000 for every dollar you bet. However, less than four percent of people will win at these bets. Conversely, better than 41% will win at picking the winner and loser of games based solely on the spread. That sounds like a lot better odds. Also, avoid the traps of pick three or pick fives. This is a popular bet that many are opting to partake in because they like the increased odds. They can pick from five games and can earn hundreds or thousands of times the rate of their wager. However, consider that each pick you make decreases your chance of success by better than 60%. So, if you had a 40% chance of winning by picking one game, you only have a 16% chance of being right with two. With three, your chance goes down to 4%. Your chance of winning big money increases, but greatly reduces your chances of even winning at all. Tip #5: Be Honest with Yourself There are really two parts to this. The first is, to be honest about how much you can spend. Set a realistic budget and don’t go over that. If you can spend no more than $50 a week, then don’t allow yourself to go over that budget. It’s perfectly okay to go under it, don’t risk going over. If you do it one time you can be sure you will do it again. Avoid that trap right off. Secondly, be realistic about your success. If you are losing week after week, it’s time to find something else to do. You want to have success at this and throwing your money away is not a way to be successful. At that rate, you’re better off buying lottery tickets. You can have a lot of fun making wagers on the NFL, NBA, MLB, or some other major sport, but make sure you keep these tips in mind. Making wagers can be fun, but the reality is that you are not in it for fun. You are looking to make some money and so it is important that you make informed wagers that give you the best chance for success. This can quickly turn your night of watching games into a truly profitable career.