Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Focus How To Bet On Sports Like An investor

How To Bet On Sports Like An investor

07 January 2021, 21:07 CET

In essence, there are stark similarities to playing the stock market and wagering on sporting events. Both come with an element of risk. That risk tends to vary depending on how each is played.

Put money down on a college football game between Alabama and a cupcake school at an online betting site like BetOnline sportsbook and the likely outcome is going to depend on which way you wager. Ride with the Crimson Tide and it's almost assuredly going to be a win, albeit one that will deliver a tiny profit margin.

This bet would be comparable to investing in a blue chip stock. In all likelihood, there's going to be a positive return in terms of dividends with each quarter but it's not going to be enough to finally buy that Caribbean beach house you've had your eye on for years.

On the other hand, make a play on the underdog - say for instance, Alabama was facing tiny Alcorn State. If you bet on the Braves to roll the Tide, that's going to pay out quite handsomely. However, the odds of that actually happening are extremely remote. Think of it as if you were investing in a volatile tech start up. You might be staking the next Google or Amazon. Or perhaps you've just sunk money in another dream that's destined to fail and fade into oblivion.

Those who succeed in the world of sports betting, the sharps, or the smart money, as those in the industry often refer to professional sports bettors, do so because they take the same approach to wagering on sporting events that an investor does prior to buying a new stock. They do their homework. They weigh all the factors that will influence their decision, and when they make a choice, it's done entirely based on research and analytics.

Smart investors don't play hunches, and neither do savvy sports bettors. However, the fact of the matter is that the people who approach sports betting as an investment are the ones that are destined to have their wagers pay dividends.

Playing The Long Game

The beauty of sports betting in comparison to the stock market is that there is the opportunity for almost instant gratification. A football game will be over in 3-4 hours and that's when a bettor will know if their investment paid off or fizzled out. A stock player can wait an entire year to gain a 10 percent return on an investment. A sports bettor could achieve that in an afternoon.

That being said, smart sports bettors aren't thinking in such short terms. They aren't in this game for kicks or the jolt of adrenaline that the recreational sports bettor is seeking.

A stock investor has a portfolio and a long-range game plan. A few bad days on the Dow Jones or the NASDAQ aren't going to send them spiraling into a panic of selling. The professional sports bettor is no different. They are always thinking and planning with a long-term philosophy.

They choose their bets wisely and judiciously. If there's only one play that looks viable in a day, then win or lose, that will be their only wager. And if nothing looks good on a particular day, the stake stays in the bank to wait for another day when opportunity will knock.

It's a reality that even the best of bettors will only hit on their wagers between 53-57 percent of the time. That might seem dramatically low but it's more than enough success to guarantee a significant profit on investment. But it also means accepting plenty of losing calls and for many people, that's a difficult pill to swallow.

Think For Yourself

Those who hit it big in terms of stock portfolios aren't the type of people who go with the flow. They're bold risk takers, trend setters who seldom follow the crowd.

This facet also comes into play with sports betting. Public bettors will tend to overreact to events such as a key injury. In reality, countless studies have proven that there are very few players in any sport whose absence will impact an outcome in the short term.

Consider the recent Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers NFL game. The Ravens were missing 18 players due to an outbreak of COVID-19 and ended up with their third-string quarterback under center facing the 11-0 Steelers.

Pittsburgh was a 10-point favorite and bet heavily by the public. But the sharp money went with the Ravens, who lost but covered the 10-point spread, falling by a 19-14 margin.

A smart sports bettor, much like a shrewd stock investor, isn't swayed by hype of what's trending in the news. They've done their homework, and they follow their instincts.

Document Actions
EU Alerts

EUbusiness Week no. 851
Time to speed up climate action
→ EUbusiness Week archive

The Week Ahead no. 491
COVID-19 coordination - Portuguese presidency work programme - Recovery and Resilience Facility - relations with the US - right to disconnect

Subscription options