Can Sports Betting Be Profitable?

Eddie Griffin

Written by: Eddie Griffin


Read Time: 4 minutes

If you are just getting into sports betting or thinking about dipping your toes into the water, one of the first questions you may want to find the answer to is “Can sports betting be profitable?”

Well, in a word, yes.

There is no airtight way that will guarantee you success, and you should not expect success. There are too many factors out of your control that make short or long-term sports betting success a certainty.

But can you make money betting on sports? You absolutely can. How? The below advice is with new sports bettors in mind, but experienced sports bettors can also benefit from it.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

If you follow sports betting accounts on social media, you will see posts about big wins every day.

And hey, there’s an element of truth to that. On any given day, there’s someone out there with a big win on a parlay or even a single bet, and there are plenty of people who come up with big wins with big bets on events like the Super Bowl or other championship events.

However, such wins are not the norm, and you absolutely don’t need to set out with the aim of striking it big on one big bet and being able to set sail for the Maldives the next.

If you want to do only parlays, there is nothing wrong with doing so. But don’t do parlays or even single bets with the intent and expectation of immediate and significant success, because that is not a realistic idea.

If you have even one more dollar in your account than you had the previous day, you’re making a profit. Every day will not be the same, and sometimes being ahead by that dollar after taking multiple bad beats in a day will feel like as much of a victory as days when your winnings are more substantial.

Make a sports betting plan and stick to it.

Generally, jumping blindly into something can come with major risks.

But when it comes to something involving your money, even if it’s leisure money, it is important to have a plan and to keep that plan at the forefront of your thoughts.

Are you planning to allocate only a certain amount of money to betting on sports each week or each month? Is there a set amount that you would like to stick to or not exceed for each individual bet?

There is nothing wrong with deviating from those amounts, but always make sure it is in line with your budget and that you are not betting beyond your means.

There are a lot of ups and downs that can occur as a bettor, and having a plan will help you navigate those ups and downs in the best way possible.

Do your research.

In-depth research will not ensure that you will turn a profit with betting, because sports are unpredictable, and you have zero control over the outcome.

Sometimes, a clear favorite will lay an egg. Sometimes upsets or unexpected results just happen.

And sometimes, there is a wild, inexplicable late comeback or play in the final seconds to turn a potential win into a loss.

If you bet on the Atlanta Falcons over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI or the Texas Rangers over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, you will know very well how cruel sports can be.

But it is vital to do your research and not just bet blindly based on premium sports picks that you purchased or someone on social media who has made a big bet on a particular individual or team.

There are many resources out there, including this site, that can help you with your research each day. You don’t have to learn everything about every team or player, and you don’t have to know every possible trend. But knowing the right information can help you be selective with your spots and maximize the possibility that you may come out a winner.

Say, the Milwaukee Bucks have covered the spread in nine of their last ten home games and are about to begin a five-game homestand. That may be a spot to take advantage, perhaps not for every game of the homestand but for two or three games.

And if your research makes you less convinced about a potential bet than you were initially, listen to that research. Don’t bet on something you don’t believe in.

Engage in responsible sports betting.

This final point more or less ties the other three points together, but it is the most important point of all.

Please. Bet. Responsibly.

It is certainly frustrating when there is a bad beat on a game or if your Saturday afternoon college football bets don’t go well at all, and the end result is a hard hit to the bankroll you have built up.

If you are still turning a profit overall, you’re doing well. It can get lost in all of the big wins that are posted on social media, but if you are turning even a small profit, you are doing a lot better than many.

Don’t hesitate to walk away for the day or cash out as planned instead of trying to reactively win back what you lost on something you aren’t overly confident about.

Sure, it may well work out in your favor on one instance, but it also deviates from the plan and sets a bad precedent for the future. What if you take that approach the next time and lose? Then you might feel inclined to keep trying to chase your losses, and soon enough, the bankroll you built up will have evaporated completely.

Don’t chase your losses. Don’t go beyond the sports betting budget that you have set for yourself. Know when to take a break for the day, week, or even longer.

And if you feel like you are becoming overwhelmed, walk away. Turning a profit is nice, but so is taking care of yourself.

Now that you are armed with tips that may help you understand how you can turn a profit as a sports bettor, here are a few other pieces of content we recommend checking out: