Sports Betting: Barrera's Guideline for Beginners

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Michigan just legalized sports betting, and it’s right in time for the Super Bowl. This got me many first time bettors will be joining in on one of the busiest gambling days of the year? I remember when I first started placing bets. All of the choices and the constantly changing lines was overwhelming. I always followed sports closely, but knowing what to look for when placing an educated bet was a skill I had not yet developed. I’m not going to sit here and pretend it came naturally. Not only did I lose bets, but I lost money I worked hard to earn. Thankfully, I learned from my mistakes, improved my techniques, and have found some success in sports betting.

The point of this article is simple. Give beginners, or people who want to start betting more seriously, a few tips I learned along the way.


Let me get the adult part of things out of the way. Never bet or deposit more than you’re willing to lose. Enough said, let’s move on.


First, focus on a sport you not only enjoy, but that you're knowledgeable about. Above everything else, I love basketball, but I mainly bet on college. My examples will be based off my experiences betting college ball, but they’re transferable to other sports.

Obviously, you should be watching games with regularity. It’s impossible to watch every game, but keeping yourself visually involved is important. Next, review box scores every night. Especially in the NFL, it’s easy to run through a handful of games in no time. You will never be able to place a logical bet without first knowing each team's history. Who have they played? Are they on a road trip? Why did they lose to particular teams? Etc.

Like I said, I focus on CBB, and on Saturdays there are over 100 games. When going through box scores, I focus on teams I’m tracking, conferences I typically bet, or trends I’m searching for. Additionally, I look for sources to guide me. There are TONS of podcasts, articles, websites, and pages that break down games. Not only do these sources discuss the sport, but professionals will dissect things in a simple way. I have my favorite CBB shows that I listen to daily. Even if I don’t always agree with their picks, I can use their analysis to make my own educated wagers.

Understanding Your Sportsbook