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Take your sports betting skills to the next level with these five key steps

Most of us in the United States are fairly new to sports betting. With the exception of betting on horse racing and in Nevada, most sports betting has been illegal across the country since 1992. But that’s all changed now, and it’s an exciting new era for bettors.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) became a federal law in 1992. There had always been an undercurrent of anti-betting feeling in some of the more conservative parts of the country and the involvement of organized crime in bookmaking gave them a reason to ban betting.

Betting has always been big business in other countries, most importantly the United Kingdom. Americans were able to see that bookmakers and betting shops could be run as legitimate businesses by major corporations. Seeing the taxable revenue it generated helped the government warm up to it too!

In 2018, the Supreme Court decided to overturn PASPA and gave each state the right to decide for itself whether or not to allow sports betting. Most have already passed legislation allowing it or are moving in that direction. Some states only allow online betting, others only allow in-person, and some allow both.

Online sportsbooks have quickly become the most popular way to place bets on sports. Many of the best sportsbooks don’t just provide a platform to bet on, they also offer ways to improve the experience, including features such as betting guides, up to date sports info and interviews, and hot tips.

Online sports books are also attractive because they offer promotions for new and loyal returning customers. Some of these bonuses increase the impact of your initial deposit. One of the most popular of these bonuses is deposit matching.

There’s no way to guarantee a win when you’re betting on sports. There are, however, ways to improve your odds. Here are five tips you can follow to take your sports betting skills to the next level.

Focus on one sport

If you’re just casually placing a bet from time to time, it doesn’t matter how many different sports you bet on. If you plan on becoming a more serious bettor, however, focusing on only one sport is important. It allows you to dedicate plenty of time to studying the stats and latest news on the teams and players.

Of course, you can still put the occasional bet on a big game or when your favorite team is playing, but you should only focus seriously on one sport. Otherwise, you risk spreading your attention too thin and that can lead to making poorly informed bets that don’t pay off.

Know that sport very, very well

If you want to succeed at sports betting, knowing the ins and outs of the sport and all of the team and player stats is essential. It’s not enough to just know about the quarterback and a few players on your favorite team.

If you only focus on the obvious stars, you’ll miss the potential future hall of famers like Minnesota Vikings’ Linebacker Eric Kendricks. Players like Kendricks can slip under a lot of people’s radars and then have a huge impact on the outcome of the game.

The more you know, the less likely you are to be surprised — and have your bets thrown off — by what lesser-known players are capable of.

Take the time to learn the basics

Your first time reading an odds page can feel a bit like you’re reading something in a foreign language. There are pluses and minuses and rows of numbers. There are experts talking about the moneyline, over/unders and parlays. There are decimals or fractions, and it can all get a bit confusing.

Instead of just betting based on who your favorite team is or based on how your friends are betting, take the time to learn the basics. Once you understand how to read the odds and interpret tips, you can make better betting decisions.

Set a budget and stick to it

Making a budget and sticking to it is an important part of becoming a successful better. Both parts are equally important since having a budget you’re happy to ignore is basically the same as not having a budget at all.

Only betting a set amount of money that you’re comfortable losing keeps betting from becoming a stressful problem. If you can just have fun betting, there’s less pressure on you. With less pressure, you don’t have to make risky bets to recoup losses, you can focus on making smart bets.

Be strategic

There is no surefire formula for betting success. If there was, the industry probably would have died out decades ago after all. There are, however, different strategies that you can employ to potentially maximize, or at the very least protect, your investment.

The best tactic is to experiment with different strategies until you find the one that works best for you. Hedging your bets is the classic strategy used to protect your investment. When you hedge your bets, you place money on both sides of the bet, with the amount reflecting the odds.

Betting against the public is a strategy for experienced bettors who have developed the ability to judge the odds and tell when the line has been shifted too far to draw in any more money. One strategy to avoid is the Martingale - because the potential losses would vastly outweigh the winnings, which would be more frequent but much smaller.

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