Full Guide To Handicapping Strategies

When placing your bets at bookmakers, it isn’t compulsory to consider strategies and you can make a guess based purely on random numbers. But, if you’d like to increase the likelihood of winning what you wagered on, this approach will not help you. In fact, you wouldn’t allow your hard-earned money to be put at such a great risk, would you? It is for this reason that handicapping exists, and they increase your odds of winning – resulting in you having the potential to make a great profit!

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What is Handicapping?

The best way to win at betting is to research key points of information from reliable sources before placing your bet so you can succeed like other bettors. To put it simply, handicapping is the process of researching a sporting event and calculating your own odds based on the outcomes of your research. Once you have those odds, you can compare them to your preferred online sportsbook before placing your bet.

Professional bettors who do this on a regular basis are known as handicappers. Although this seems like a simplistic definition, it’s quite challenging to get used to handicapping and even the best handicappers make mistakes. You must find what’s comfortable for you when it comes to handicapping since there are multiple handicapping strategies for you to explore.

sports handicapping

Different Handicappers

Different Kinds of Handicappers

A variety of online sources provide a wealth of information about how athletes and teams are performing. Just ensure you make use of reputable sites – this will ensure that the information you get there is very reliable and updated regularly. There are quite a few different kinds of strategies you can give a try and see what works best for you. There are many different kinds of handicappers out there. Let’s take a look at some of the more frequently occurring ones.

  • Basic
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Research Driven
  • Source-Based
  • Keeping it Simple

If you’re new to handicapping, you can be considered a basic handicapper. A basic handicapper is someone who isn’t putting in a lot of time and effort to research their preferred sport. These are handicappers that just want to make their selections as fast as possible.

Handicappers in the intermediate category have invested more of their time in the sports betting journey and understand that in order to get positive results from sports betting they need to put the effort in. They are in the process of finding handicapping strategies that will work best for them.

Sports bettors who reach the advanced stage of their careers have a good deal of experience. Their research has led them to develop a handicapping system that appears to be effective for them.

The research-driven handicappers are devoted to spending a large amount of time researching their preferred sports. Some of these sports bettors are tech-savvy people who use algorithms and programs to sort through data, while others rely on pen and paper to do so.


Source-based handicappers rely on the sources of other handicappers and use this to form their own opinion. They choose between free or paid resources, and often both, to help them make their betting choices.

The handicappers that keep it simple have an impressive range of experience and they come to terms that spending most of their time researching just isn’t working for them. Instead of wasting more of their time on research, they use key pieces of information to design a simple system.

Team Sports

sportsbook handicapsTeam Sports & What to Take into Consideration

There are many different things to look out for when handicapping, and each sport will have something different to look for and research. Once you have a solid foundation, you can build out your handicapping system and continue tweaking your foundation as you learn more. You have the choice to simplify your system or make it as advanced and complicated as you want. As soon as your handicapping picks become consistent, you’ll be on the right track with how you should perform with further bets. If you’re new to handicapping, then all of this might be a lot to take in. Luckily for you though, we’ve categorised a few concepts to understand for all the major team sports such as football, cricket and basketball.

Opening Odds

Each game will have opening odds that will be released before a match is played. Once these are released, you should look for any opportunities that seem appealing to you. In terms of public sentiment, as soon as the market reacts, the odds and lines may start to change. This gives us a sense of how public sentiment is shaping up. It’s important to take the time to learn and understand what the odds are. This is because odds alone have the potential to tell us about probabilities and potential outcomes of a match.

Home-Field Advantage

Many sports teams do exceptionally well when playing on their own turf, which is why it’s known as a home-field advantage. Regardless of this, there are many teams that do excel when playing away games. You should consider how the two teams perform in the situation they’re facing as part of your regular routine. You might find that statistics show that one team performs better when playing away games or you may even find that there may be a vulnerability on the home team

Previous Matches

All sports teams have their bad days, so while a few bad days may not be a set way to determine the outcome of an upcoming game, this is a strong way to see how a certain teams’ current performance is. You might find that one team has been doing exceptionally well compared to others, meaning they’re a good team to bet on.

Team Strengths

There’s no question that home-field advantage can significantly affect odds and spreads, so let’s look past that for a second in order to determine which team is actually stronger. Power ratings rank teams according to their strength according to a variety of factors. This is a great way to help you when forming your handicapping strategy.


The Weather’s Role in Handicapping

If you’re handicapping a sport that is played indoors, then you won’t have to worry about the weather conditions outdoors. However, if you’re planning to bet on outdoor sports, such as golf or football, then the weather and time of day plays a very important role in your handicapping. Here is what you should definitely take into account when sports handicapping:

  • Heat – this can make players get exhausted quicker
  • Time of day – sunlight can affect visibility
  • Rainy days– depending on the sport, this could be good or bad

Rain on match days can be a cause for concern as they cause rain delays which could result in a game being truncated. A sport where rain can be seen as a blessing is football. This is because regardless of the weather, a football match must be played out.

handicapping weather

Different Methods for Handicapping

Different Methods for Handicapping

There are multiple different handicapping methods to look at as each handicapper tends to follow and change up methods to suit them best. We’re going to go through a few of the popular ones used to break down different games and predict a winner. As a novice in sports betting, you may need some help in determining which team will win, and if you’re an expert, adding a few extra tips and tricks to your handicapping system could help increase your percentage of winning.


Handicapping horse racing

Method #1

A very popular method amongst handicappers is finding out who the fan favourites are and who are favoured to win, and betting against them. This means that the handicappers are essentially betting on the underdogs. This is one of the simplest methods of handicapping. A similar method to this is Value Betting, with the only difference being in the line movement variation.

Handicapping cricket

Method #2

Next, we’re brought to Trend Handicapping. Handicappers are 50/50 on this one. Trend handicapping is where you rely on the trending odds for your sport, but many handicappers are repulsed by this as they believe you should do your research and estimate your own odds.

Handicapping football

Method #3

There are a few methods that are time-consuming but extremely popular, such as the Matchup Analysis. This method is a great way to break the odds down and is more recommended for those of you who are planning to do this full-time. In most cases, the linemakers have already taken everything into account and set a pretty tight line, but if you find something that they might not know about or are undervalued, you can make a pretty nice profit.


Conclusion on Handicapping

Creating and following a handicapping strategy for yourself will help you become a better sports bettor. These strategies help you calculate the odds and increase your chances of winning the bets you’ve placed. It is, however, important to note that not all strategies will work for you – there is no guarantee that they will ever work for you because games can ultimately go either way.

It can take some time for beginners to get into handicapping, but once you’ve explored various strategies and see what works for you, it’ll get easier over time. In order to increase your chances of winning, you’ll also need to spend time gathering relevant and reliable information, so you need to make sure that you’re completely dedicated to spending a lot of your time researching sports. This is the only way you can increase your chances of placing the correct bet.