Even though you might be the best in your fantasy league, and always seem to get the right picks when making predictions with your buddies, gambling professionally on sports is much deeper than that. You have to understand the odds and how to make the most profits by identifying the most lucrative picks. Unfortunately, many new gamblers go in thinking they can win off of instincts only and end up getting burned in the process. Here are some of the most basic mistakes rookie bettors make.

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Choosing a Sport Based on their Tastes

While you might be tempted to bet on sports because you personally like them, you should know that not all sports are as easy to bet on. While you want to pick a sport you have extensive knowledge of before betting, you don’t want to pick one based on taste only.

Sports like hockey, for instance, are notorious for being extremely hard to predict. It would be wise to pick a sport that you don’t only know a lot about, but ones that are easy to predict as well. If you like football, for instance, then you should consider betting on college football instead of the NFL since it’s much easier to predict. Upsets are much less frequent in college football and the gap in talent between teams is much larger, making it much easier to predict. Do your research on which sports are the easiest to predict and analyze and go for the one you like the most out of this selection.

Betting on the Most Exciting Teams

In many cases, people will bet on teams with the flashiest players or the most stars. This is a mistake a lot of people make when betting on NBA basketball. They see a team with a star-studded roster and automatically assume that they will win against a team with mostly role players.

But in many cases, the team with the most stars will not have the best odds with a sports book simply because there are many factors besides star power that can determine the outcome of a game. For instance, a team with a great system that plays great defense will often win against a team with a few stars who might be great on offense but create tons of turnovers and aren’t good on defense. That’s why you have to look beyond the stars and look at match ups in detail before making picks.

Picking Based on Favoritism

You should never let your emotions dictate which team you’re going to pick. In some cases, people will pick based on the teams they like the best or the fighter they’d like to see win when betting on combat sports. But this is a sure recipe for disaster. Even though the side you’re rooting for might be actually good, you should never lose sight of the big picture and conduct a thorough analysis before placing a bet.


If you manage to steer away from these mistakes, you should be able to make a few bucks with sports gambling. Just remember to start slow and play responsibly if you don’t want to end up going through your bankroll before learning the ropes.