What Are The Differences Between Pro vs New Sports Bettors?

What are the things that set pro bettors apart from the beginners? We list the main things to think about when turning pro
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Let’s start with an analogy: If you go to a new restaurant with an unknown chef in the kitchen who may be cooking for the very first time, it’d be fair to say that the food you’d be served won’t be nearly as good as the food from a renowned chef working at a Michelin Star eatery.

The same can pretty much be said for sports betting: The bettor who has never opened up a sports betting app is likely to be outdone by the handicapper who does this for a living and makes money doing it. Sounds fair?

Novice bettors and pro bettors bet in different ways and, as a new bettor, there are probably a few things to learn from those who have experience and have failed along the way.

Right off the bat, it is important to know that many pro bettors only hit ~60% of their bets, a success rate figure that’d make them highly successful handicappers. The reason for this is that, in order to be profitable, hitting between 52%-54% of bets is the sweet spot after you account for the vig, or juice. Therefore, hitting 60% would certainly make anyone a pro bettor in our eyes.

In this article, we will explore the main differences between novice vs pro sports bettors. We take a look at approaches to sports betting, betting strategies, and the mindset when placing bets.

Let’s jump in!

Approach to Sports Betting 

One of the most significant differences between a new sports bettor and a pro sports bettor is their approach to sports betting. A new sports bettor is inexperienced by definition, and may even be betting on sports for the first time. These bettors may have a deep understanding of the sports they are betting on, but not be familiar with the various betting options available to them.

A pro sports bettor, on the other hand, typically has a well-defined approach to sports betting. Their experience and knowledge of the sports guide them in their betting decisions, and these experienced bettors are familiar with the different types of bets available to them.

Pro bettors often have specific betting systems or strategies in place and are typically highly disciplined. These systems are tools used to select which bets to take and which to turn down. Novice bettors should probably stay away from making their own systems at first, but a good approach is to connect with people who do have these systems and learn from them. Obviously, doing your own research and watching sports betting guides also help.

Pro Bettors Don’t Bet With Their Heart

A new sports bettor may rely on gut feeling or emotions when placing bets, which can lead to erratic betting behavior and potentially result in losing bets. They may also bet on sports that they are not familiar with, which can increase the risk of losing money.

In contrast, a pro sports bettor has a well-defined and tested betting strategy that they follow. They may use statistical analysis, data models, or other betting systems to inform their bets. They typically focus on the sports they are most familiar with and may specialize in certain types of bets or markets. 

New Bettors Are Often More Impulsive

The mindset of a sports bettor can also play a significant role in their success. A new sports bettor may be more prone to impulsive betting behavior and may struggle with maintaining discipline when placing bets. They may also be more emotionally invested in the outcome of their bets, which can lead to irrational decision-making.

Credit: @etiennegirardet

A pro sports bettor, on the other hand, typically has a more level-headed approach to betting. They understand that losses are an inevitable part of sports betting and are prepared to handle them. As a result, they approach betting with a long-term perspective and focus on making consistent profits over time.

Additionally, betting is a business to pro bettors and not a casual hobby. Therefore, pros aren’t looking for their favorite teams on Sunday and betting on them to win. Experienced bettors use a clear head without personal fandom and bias. We can’t stress this enough: leave your favorite team off the sports betting ticket because you aren’t making a clear-headed wager when betting on something you have a personal interest in. 

Playing The Long Game Requires Good Risk Management 

Effective risk management is a critical component of successful sports betting, and here too there are significant differences in the way that new sports bettors and pro sports bettors approach risk management.

A new sports bettor may not fully understand the risks involved in sports betting and may not have a plan in place to manage their bankroll effectively. This can lead to them risking too much on individual bets, which can be disastrous if the bet does not pay off.

In contrast, a pro sports bettor has a well-defined plan for managing their bankroll and minimizing risk. They typically place smaller bets relative to their bankroll and focus on minimizing losses rather than maximizing wins. They also keep detailed records of their bets and analyze their results to make adjustments to their strategy over time. 

New Bettors Love Parlays

When you are just beginning to bet and making different wagers and parlays, the higher you can get that number next to the + sign, the better it feels to place a bet because your potential winnings are massive. There is a reason that these odds are so high and it’s mathematically because it is way harder to accomplish.

The takeaway here is that pro bettors do not get caught up in ridiculous parlays that will likely fail Instead, they are more focused on pumping out straight bets that have tons of research behind them. Don’t get caught up in all the madness that comes along with these massive odds. 

Pros Are Good at Avoiding Big Favorites & Find Value Bets

Credit: @rojekilian

Ah yes, if you bet on the team that is favored to win, you will win, right? Not always, and there is no value in betting on a big moneyline favorite where you will have to risk way more than what you will receive.

Pro bettors are really good at finding value and avoiding the bets that don’t offer it up. While it may be nice to have what feels like a “surefire win” in the beginning, you are just going backward. Your goal should be to avoid any bets that require you to risk significantly more money than you stand to gain.

Experienced Bettors Track Their Plays

A pro bettor can tell you exactly who they bet on, what kind of wager they placed, whether it hit or not, and how much money was won or lost on any action they’ve ever taken because they keep track of their plays. If you want to improve as a bettor and learn where you are making mistakes or where you are having success, write down your bets and keep an organized journal of all the wagers you take. There is nothing more important than knowing where your money is going in the financial world, and it is no different in sports betting. You will begin to see trends and patterns in your action. 

As you can see, there are differences between a new sports bettor and a pro sports bettor. While a new sports bettor may be inexperienced and may not fully understand the risks involved in sports betting, a pro sports bettor has a well-defined approach to sports betting, a tested betting strategy, and a disciplined mindset. If you are just starting out with sports betting, it is essential to take the time to educate yourself on the sports you are betting on and to develop a strategy and plan

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