Last year, the online gaming market was valued at a staggering €41 billion!
That’s a lot of money!
And it doesn’t include illegal betting figures; otherwise this number would be even higher.
With this juggernaut showing no signs of slowing down (predicted to be €51 billion by the end of 2018) – you’d be forgiven for wanting to join in on this huge market.
The obvious choice for getting started with sports betting is to be on a sport you’re familiar with. In most cases, this is your favorite sport. But now and again, we stumble upon a sport that takes our interest. The problem is that betting on a sport you know nothing about can be dangerous, and a sure-fire way to lose money.
A classic example is the Grand National. Every year, thousands of people in the UK bet on horse racing, yet do not follow the sport otherwise. Some people bet on the favorite, others bet on the horse with the strangest, or funniest, sounding name (Thunder and Roses, anyone?).
But, if this is your first time placing a bet on the Grand National, or if it’s your first time placing a bet on a new sport in general, where do you start? How do you bet on a sport you know nothing about?
Here are 5 tips to consider.
Do your research
Using your sporting knowledge is vital to successful sports betting.
If you are prepared to do your research, then you can become more educated about the sport you wish to bet on. The more you know, the more likely you are to make good predictions. And the better your predictions, the more money you are likely to make.
The best part of all?
Watching sports on television is considered research when it comes to sports betting!
The first step to betting on sports you’re new to is to learn more about the sport, and the particular team or individual. Follow live betting or live games on TV, take note of their winning streaks and their losing streaks, and watch videos on YouTube of past matches or events. Seeing individuals or teams live in action is invaluable when it comes to betting on sports for the first time.
Another way to do your research is to sign up to receive sports news from the top sites in the industry. Reading what the top sportscasters and commentators have to say each week will give you an opportunity to identify trends.
When you follow the experts, you’ll soon learn who the underdog is in a match. Underdogs are great at making shocks, just like Leicester City did in 2016 who were 5,000 to 1 to win the title at the start of the year.
And guess what? They won it!
How many punters betting on Premier League football do you think backed Leicester City at the start of the 2015/ 2016 season?
Not many, that’s for sure!
Yet, for those who follow Leicester City and had researched the sport would have known that at the end of the previous season (2014 to 2015), Leicester City won 7 of their last 9 games – outperforming Chelsea, who were the Premier League Champions that year.
Be patient. Don’t jump right in!
Now that you have done your research, don’t go jumping in and placing a bet when you have only watched a couple of games!
Knowledge is key when it comes to betting. The more knowledgeable you are about a sport, the bigger advantage you have against the bookmaker. Usually the bookmaker is more knowledgeable about the sports you wish to bet on, especially ones that you know little about.
But if you’re patient – then there is a way to beat the bookmakers.
As bookmakers try and offer more and more ways for us to sign up and place a bet, they are forever expanding the list of sports and markets they cover. This undoubtedly means that they are covering sports they might not know as much about as they would like.
A good example is MMA. The sport of mixed martial arts is on the rise and we are getting increasingly more coverage and more information about competitors.
When World Featherweight Champion, Conor McGregor stepped into the Octagon at UFC196, he was the firm favorite and his opponent Nate Diaz was seen as heavier and as less agile than the Irishman. It seemed like an odds on win for McGregor.
But, as many bookies were new to the sport of MMA, they forgot to consider that the fight was agreed upon at a catch-weight of 170 pounds. Diaz was heavier and taller and had a higher reach than McGregor. Plus, Diaz had been in 10 fights in the UFC that have ended in decision whereas McGregor had only been in one. What that tells us is that Diaz was built for long fights, which meant he can keep constant pressure on McGregor as he has the cardio to do so.
Lastly, Diaz is a takedown specialist. McGregor is not. And so, if Diaz got him on his back it would have been hard for McGregor to recover.
And that’s exactly what happened. McGregor tapped out in 2 rounds and later admitted that his reach was too short and his energy levels were no match against his opponent.
Fans that have been following the sport for years were putting their money on Diaz, yet punters new to MMA blindly placed their bets on McGregor – and they lost their money. This is why a patient approach to betting on sports you’re new to pays off.
Use play money to begin with
Now that you’re more familiar with the new sport, it’s time to bet. But, don’t bet with real money just yet. First, test your wits by betting on the sport using play money.
What is play money, you ask?
Well, it`s free money that you can use to bet for fun!
All beginners should try betting with play money first, before you make your first deposit. This helps you to understand how the system works and get a feel for betting on a new sport without losing your hard earned money.
While you cannot exchange free money for real money or merchandise, there are plenty of free money sports prediction sites online that offer you the chance to win real cash prizes.
Take advantage of sign up bonuses
At this stage, you have done your research, have been patient and tested your wits using sports prediction sites. Next up, it’s time to play with real money.
Most sports betting sites offer bonuses to new customers to encourage them to sign up or to reward regular customers for their loyalty. The bonuses and rewards available are one of the major benefits of betting online, so you should always try and take advantage of them when you can.
Bonuses, rewards and promotions can potentially have a significant impact on how much money you make (or lose!) overall. They will offset any damages while you learn about the new sport you are betting on.
Bonus rules will apply, so you may not be able to withdraw the full amount immediately. However, this is still a great way to get you started because if you lose, then at least you do not lose all of the funds that you have deposited.
Keep it simple
It’s tempting to get carried away once you have had some success with betting on a new sport – but don’t overdo it!
The more you bet and win, the more you will become attracted to larger potential payouts by placing complicated and advanced wagers. While we’re not saying you shouldn’t place such bets, there’s a lot to be said for sticking to simpler bets, especially when you are just starting out with betting on sports you know nothing about.
Even though it seems like common sense, this is something that many punters tend to forget. The fewer selections you include in your bet, the more chance you stand of winning.
If you’re playing to make money, then think small bets, not big. And only bet on one team or selection to begin with. Once you find yourself putting that 20-fold accumulator on, you really are walking in a minefield of trying to get a payout and this often leads to mistakes!
If you don’t know the sport you intend to bet on, you’ll unlikely go from beginner to expert right away, as there’s a lot you need to learn.
During this learning period, make use of live games on TV, place your bets using free money and when you’re ready, take advantage of any sign up or welcome bonuses – as this will aid you in learning more while keeping things simple.