Betting on sports can be a lot of fun, but if you aren’t careful, you can find yourself losing far more often than you would like or expect. In fact, many amateur bettors feel like they are on the right side of a lot of games only to find that at the end of the week they are out of money.

Many of the mistakes made by sports bettors are quite common, and with only a little bit of care can be limited or erased altogether. Let’s review some of the most common mistakes we see for you now.

Bankroll Management

This is far and away the most common mistake made by gamblers today. Mind you, this is not only limited to sports bettors – all types of gamblers can fall victim to bad bankroll management. The issues with bankroll are two-fold. First, some players bet too much of their bankroll on one particular game. If you think about your bets as units instead of dollars and understand that on the best days you will win 60% of your bets, the key to being successful is staking the right amount on the best odds to grow your balance closely. IN the same vein, we often see people who are betting on too many games at once, making it impossible to get ahead. Yes, you may win a few of these bets, but ultimately you will end up splitting the difference at best, all while paying the juice to your sportsbook.

Betting on your favorite teams

Betting with your heart is a sure-fire way to get yourself in trouble. Look, we understand if you are a fan of the current Golden State Warriors, and you happen to be on the right side of a lot of bets over the last few years. However, that is a small sample size, and over time, if you bet on your favorite teams instead of on the best odds, then you are going to be a loser. Use your head when you gamble – look for the best lines to exploit, and if it happens to mean betting against your team, then you can take comfort in the silver lining that you are profiting from their loss.

Shopping for lines

In the internet age, it is very easy to look at several websites before placing your bet. If you do, you may find better odds at one site, which in turn will give you a better chance of winning or a chance to win more money. However, we do not suggest that you use any of the odds aggregators out there -many of them are designed to push you to sites that are compensating the owner of the aggregator. The best way to find out the true odds is to check 3 or more sportsbooks, and from there you should be able to make a selection.

Not taking advantage of bonuses

Another advantage of betting on sports online is that many sites will give you great offers to use their platforms. Between all the different sites out there, you could bounce around taking advantage of signup offers from multiple sites, all of which will give you slightly more of an edge. Yes, this also means spreading your betting dollars out over multiple sites, but since you can do all of that from your couch, it isn’t a whole ton of effort to try to take advantage of all the offers.

Taking too big a risk

The allure of hitting a 10 team parlay sounds magical, but in reality, this is one of the hardest bets to win – the sports betting version of a lottery ticket. Making bets that have huge payouts tend to come with significant risk, and that isn’t what profitable sports bettors are looking for. Sure, having some parlays can be fun, but that should be a small part of your budgeted betting. Try to grow your bankroll the old fashioned way – slow and steady. Boring? Perhaps, but you know what isn’t boring? Cashing out winning tickets.

Betting under the influence

Many of us have fallen into this trap – either sitting is a casino or watching a game in a bar, after a few cocktails you decide to pull out some cash and start betting. This, of course, is a terrible decision, as you are in an incapacitated mental state. Making sports bets under the influence can cloud your judgment and tend to be more emotionally-driven. Just like your car keys, if you are going to be drinking, then leave your login information at home.

Betting on sports, you don’t understand

One more way that bettors can make mistakes when betting on sports is if they choose to bet on a sport that they do not fully understand. This can be a factor of having nothing to bet on at a particular time of day, or sheer boredom with the bets that you currently have in play. If you want to bet on a sport you aren’t up to speed on, we aren’t saying that you should not follow through. However, if you want to be successful, then you should start with some research. We have some pages dedicated to betting on individual sports and what you should be looking at to make informed decisions.

In general, the mistakes made by most sports gamblers can be easily remedied. It really comes down to being focused on what you are trying to accomplish (winning money) and operating your sports betting account like you would a small business. Look for advantages and offers to boost bankroll, make smart business decisions and look to grow slowly but effectively and you will find your balance growing in no time.