Merely a week into the New Year and I hope you haven't already broken any resolutions made only a few days ago. Do not feel bad as statistics show most people break ALL resolutions by February 1st.
The good news is we are here to provide you a more meaningful set of Sports Wagering Resolutions for 2021 that are not only easier to keep, but more profitable as well. Not specifically who to bet upon but rather "how" to go about it. In no specific order of priority or importance, keep these in mind as resolutions to keep over the next 51 weeks:
Spend More Time Handicapping Less Games
Do your best to focus upon key games that you want to wager upon within a day's time and evaluate the factors that either significantly prove their value or eliminate their potential to bet. Do not find too many reasons to form an opinion to bet way too many games.
Wagering upon several games is a recipe for disaster. Accept the fact that there will be some games you regret not wagering upon. We all forget the less valued games resulting in the "L" column that we thought about betting, but eliminated.
NFL Sundays and NCAA Football Saturdays are the two most habitual times to fall into this trap. Long days when every game possible is within reach on television via cable or pay subscription. Make best bet decisions and find discipline to accept them.
Avoid or Eliminate Parlay Betting
Yes, this is a tough one and a very tough habit to break.
The casual bettor is drawn into the parlay with a lottery-type bettor mindset. Bet a little to win a lot. It also fools one to believe they are eliminating the vigorish when the reality is, they are increasing it for the house. The more games you add to any parlay only adds to the odds against you, while increasing the bookmaker's advantage.
Best proof of this is analyzing the recent monthly figures from every U.S. state's sportsbook report. In each, they break down the type of wager favored and its contribution to profitability. Thus far, parlays are taking in 30-40% of the handle and averaging 50-60% of all revenue return. That fact alone should be enough to convince us that this is not the wisest path to wagering success.
Do NOT Wager Upon Too Many NFL Favorites
This is not to say any bettor should eliminate all favorites from consideration in their weekly NFL wagering diet. However, choosing a steady stream of NFL favorites, especially “home favorites” has proven to be a losing formula.
The wise list of top sportsbook operators knows the casual bettor loves to bet NFL favorites and slants that extra half point or point to their advantage. Over the course of a full 17-week NFL season, it works to their distinct advantage along with the juice each bettor pays per game.
Want proof? The past 2020 NFL season set a record for NFL underdogs covering a blistering 142-111-3 ATS. Good enough for a 56.1 percent cover rate. Perhaps those cardboard cutouts replacing rabid fans in the seats at home stadiums made the difference.
Keep In-Game Wagering In-Hand
Technology has delivered the birth of a new baby to the seasoned sports bettor. The in-game wager. It is more than cute, it can be addictive and get out of hand, especially when a highly opinionated or bored sports bettor gets ahold of it.
Many top sportsbooks including Bovada, WagerWeb, BetOnline, Bookmaker and others have adopted in-game wagering to supplement prop wagering to keep bettors engaged throughout any sport. It is almost limitless to how many types of wagers are available for every game.
I offer an Over/Under bet for how many props and in-game wagers will be made available for this year's Super Bowl. Keeping up and tapping your cell phone to wager might take more skill than playing a concert piano.
In-game wagering is fun, but unlike handicapping games, involves impulse thinking and often more luck than any skill we derive from serious experience and study. Like eating potato chips, enjoy it but know when to close the bag to avoid getting fat or sick.
Consider Betting First 5-Inning Baseball Games
Do you realize we are only three months away from the start of another Major League Baseball season? This will either excite or depress you to know that means 2,430 games to potentially bet upon before the playoffs begin.
To reduce your stress and keep you awake, I would make it a resolution to consider the 5-inning wagering option, offered by all top sportsbooks. It is so popular, it is incorporated into their basic game line, listed along with pitching match-up, game's money line and over/under total.
In evaluation, today's baseball game asks the starting pitcher to remain for up to approximately seven innings before giving way to a designated relief closer to complete a win. Focusing upon five innings not only heightens the pitching match-up's value, but allows a casual bettor to enjoy a much shorter time span for wagering result.
First 5-inning wagering has become more popular over the past ten years and is expected to continue that trend. While prioritizing the NBA playoffs, the NHL Stanley Cup and waiting for the NFL season to kick-off, it is a way to keep an interesting, less time-consuming appetizer on the menu.
The most gratifying aspect of resolutions are the results we can measure upon keeping them. Try these five and you will be able to measure them in dollars and cents come this New Years Eve.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, including previews and picks from Glenn, click here.