Sports betting is one of the largest markets in the industry, and it’s growing steadily every single year. According to Bloomberg, it will be worth over $140 billion by 2028.
In South Africa, the trends mirror this. Players are increasingly depositing with their favorite sportsbooks, either hoping to win big or just adding a little spice to their weekly sport-watching rituals. If you’re one of those players, you may be looking to refine your betting skills. After all, why not maximize your chances of winning?
This guide will help you ‘predict’ results. That doesn’t exactly mean that you’ll know the results before they happen, but rather that you will be best placed to place a bet on solid odds. You’ll soon stack your winnings and watch your bankroll snowball.
Most people tend to place their bets on football. Think England’s Premier League or the World Cup. It makes sense, as it’s the planet’s most popular sport. The problem?
There are fewer options to find ‘holes’ in the odds, as they have their best people and algorithms odds-setting to ensure they don’t lose a lot of money in bets. There’s just too much at stake.
With more niche sports, however, there's a big opportunity. If you become an expert in a given sport, you’ll find deals that others won’t. Sportsbooks won’t be as bothered, either, as the number of people betting will not be as big as with the blockbuster draws.
You’ll have to do a little bit of digging to find sportsbooks that offer a vast bet range, however, especially for South African companies. They are definitely out there, you just need to cast your net a little wider. Hollywoodbets user review done by playcasino.co.za shows that you can bet on a variety of less popular sports as well.
Laziness is one of the worst qualities of the would-be professional gambler. If you’re just starting out, it’s fine to bet with a single company just to get accustomed to how things work. Once you’ve gone past the newbie stage, however, it’s time to shop around.
The reason is that sportsbooks don’t all offer the same odds for the same exact event. You need to look for the company that is offering the best bet, mathematically speaking. It may just be a tiny difference for a given individual bet, but it does add up over time.
Set up accounts with as many sportsbooks that will take you, within reason. As a South African player, try and focus on local companies. They’ll give you the widest range of bets on your chosen sport, including the more obscure ones (more on why that’s important follows below!).
First-time user? You’re in a great position. Betting companies are hungry for your business, and they will fight for it. For example, cashback bets, free bets, multipliers on your deposits, there’s a huge variation. Not only that, companies will often run promotions for existing users (always sign up to the mailing list!).
Always keep an eye out for the best promotions in the business. They can make a huge difference to your bankroll, opening options and insulting you from failed bets. It’s a great way to get started, but don’t waste your ‘free’ cash that they throw at you. Each bet needs to be calculated, just as if it were your own money.
Right place, right time. You need to be that kind of bettor. This means placing your bet at the best possible point. This is usually at two distinct and recognizable times.
The first stage is when companies release their initial odds. If you’re a smart bettor, you’ll quickly realize which are bargain bets. Other eagle-eyed gamblers will see the same thing, meaning that the window will close super quick.
The second point is slightly trickier, as it’s based on new information. For example, injuries. If you read a star player is going to be out, place a bet immediately. Also, pay attention to when line-ups are released. You may find a surprise or two, tweaking your betting strategy. You need to have your finger on the pulse.
Finally, the successful sports bettor always has realistic expectations. Betting is hard. There’s a reason most people fail. If anyone tells you differently, they’re probably trying to sell you something. Only a small minority will achieve long-term success and a potential career out of sports gambling.
So, to avoid disappointment and burning through your bankroll early, set realistic expectations. Not every bet will be a winner. It’s part of the game. Achieve a 52.4% winning rate and you’ll break even; anything above that is profit. It’s all about small victories stacking up over time.