8 Tips For Betting On A Sport You Know Nothing About

Sports betting is vast and shows no signs of slowing down. Many sports enthusiasts want to get involved but are puzzled about where to start when betting on sports they know little about.

By 2020 the online global gaming market is expected to reach $59.79 billion. Increasingly, more and more bettors are joining this enormous industry.

Studies have shown that the top reason why people bet on sports is for entertainment purposes. Typically, people bet on their favourite teams in the hope that those wagers will make watching their favourite games even more compelling. There is a minority who take their sports betting further, attempting to make a career out of it. To them, sports betting is a business

No matter which type of bettor you are, naturally you will be happier if you win rather than lose. With gambling, there is no way to guarantee a win, but there are measures you can consider to improve your chances of winning (and hopefully) make some money off your wagers. To make it easier for you, we have provided our top tips for betting on a sport you know nothing about.

Whilst most of these are straightforward, both beginners and experts alike will benefit from reading through them, as you may discover something new you did not know.

Tennis can be baffling when seen for the first time

1# Start simple - but for big wins look at multibets

It is tempting to place those more complicated and advanced wagers and multibets since they often offer substantial payouts. Whilst we would never advise that you should never make such wagers, there’s a lot to be said for sticking to more straightforward bets, especially first of all when you are just starting out on sports you know nothing about.

Even though this may seem obvious, bettors forget this vital point all the time! The fewer selections you include in your bet, the more likely your chances of winning will increase.

Once you know more about the sport concerned, then it’s time to think bigger wins, and for that, you’ll need to dabble in some multibets. Yes, the odds are against you, but if you genuinely wish to make some more significant money, then navigating a 20-fold accumulator can pay off - and maybe you will be as lucky as this guy!

2# Use bonuses and promotions just to help you learn

Most sports betting sites offer bonuses to attract new customers to encourage them to sign up or reward regular customers for their loyalty. The gifts and rewards available are one of the significant benefits of gambling online as opposed to bricks and mortar bookmakers, so you should always try and take advantage of them whenever you can.

Bonuses, rewards and promotions can potentially have a significant impact on your winnings at first, whilst you’re in the learning phase. They will offset any losses you incur while you learn about the new sport you are betting on.

Once you’ve accomplished how to bet on games you know nothing about - stick with a reputable and responsible online bookmaker to increase your chances of receiving substantial winnings.

3# The favourite doesn't always win!

Bookies determine odds for a reason - the lower the odds, the more likely it is the bet will win. The caveat here is that the payout is inferior. The beauty about sport is its unpredictability - what you think is a certainty does not always happen, and this is when betting on the least favourite can pay off big time.

For example, when tennis player Rafael Nadal took on Fabio Fognini at the Barcelona Open in April 2015, bookmakers had Nadal as the firm favourite. His odds were as short as 1.10 with some bookies.

At first consideration, this would make sense as Nadal is the King of Clay and had won that very tournament a record-breaking eight times.

What the bookmakers had overlooked was that Fognini had beaten Nadal on clay only a few months earlier in Rio De Janeiro. Fognini's record of knocking out top seeds was also ignored by bookmakers. His 8.1 price looked very attractive to bettors.

Fognini went on to beat Nadal in straight sets!

4# It pays to follow less popular sports

You think it would be wiser to bet on sports you know more about. This is not an absolute rule: more of a suggestion. However, knowledge is critical when it comes to betting. The more knowledgeable you are about a sport, the more significant advantage you have against the bookmaker.

As bookmakers attempt to offer more ways for bettors to hand over their cash, they begin to expand the list of sports and betting markets that they cover.

The tip here is that bookmakers like you are covering sports, they too know little about.

Consider the rise of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The sport is obtaining increasingly more coverage, and hence more attention from the betting community.

Ronda Rousey was the heavy favourite when she stepped into the Octagon at UFC193, against her opponent Holly Holm. She was 9.1 early on and still 6.1 when the fight got underway.

However, why was Rousey at such a short price? Holm is a boxing world champion while Rousey’s striking is somewhat lacking. Rousey’s strength was her judo, yet Holm had defended 100% of takedowns going into this fight.

Holm won that fight defeating the champion in only two rounds. Bookmakers made errors in assessing the two competitors and lost out heavily to more knowledgeable punters.

Boxing: Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev Krusher

5# Spend some time on research - consider the underdog!

Knowledge is crucial if you like to bet. If you are prepared to do a little research, you can become more educated about the game you wish to bet on. The more insight you obtain, the more likely you are to make reliable predictions. The better your predictions, the more money you are likely to make.

Underdogs are great at making shocks - think Leicester City in 2016 - everyone thought their great run would end at some point. They were favourites for relegation after all - yet, their run of form did not stop, and frequently they surprised everyone by winning match after match. Those who did their research by watching Leicester City play knew this, as they won game after game, and finished as Premier League Champions.

6# Consider in-play betting

In-play betting, also known as live betting, can offer some great opportunities for making money.

Live betting involves placing wagers on an event that’s currently taking place. Meaning you have the chance to watch some of the action before you decide which bets you want to place. If you are good at analysing what is happening, then this can put you at a significant advantage when it comes to making winning wagers.

Plus several betting sites have a “cash out” feature - where if you bet on two results, and one has occurred; rather than waiting for the other game to end, you can cash out and take your money there and then without waiting on the other game’s result. The payout is, of course, lower but if you suspect the other bet will not go your way it is a great alternative to avoid a potential loss.

So consider in- play betting if you know little about the sport you are betting on.

7# Only bet when you’re sober

This tip is probably not relevant for many, but unfortunately, it is not uncommon for bettors to undo a lot of their hard work by going on a betting binge when they have had a few too many drinks, forgetting their perfectly crafted sporting analysis.

If you do enjoy having a drink, then we would suggest making a rule that you do not place any wagers when doing so!

8# Make sure you choose a betting site you trust and enjoy using

Betting online is the smoothest and most suitable way to place wagers on sporting events. Hands down, the hardest part of this is deciding which site you want to join, solely because there is a plethora of websites to choose from.

At Sportsbet we try our best to offer a fun, fast and fair service for customers. Why not sign up and give us a go!


Sports betting will require some effort on your behalf, as it is unlikely you will become an expert overnight. On sports you know little about, there is lots to learn. You will unlikely go from beginner to expert right away.

At first, consider spreading your bets with online sites bonuses, promotions, in-play betting, watching live sports games on TV - all will aid you in becoming more knowledgeable while keeping things easy early on for you.

Once you feel more confident, you can take advantage of team and individuals form and identify patterns to optimise your betting success - even when on sports you know nothing about!

Words: David Bailey-Lauring

Image: Quino Al on Unsplash

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