Eliminate These Four Betting Tells from Your Game


Sportsbooks look for patterns to identify skilled sports bettors who win money over the long term. In a table game like poker, a mannerism called a ‘tell’ can give an opponent knowledge about a hand. Sharp sports bettors also have ‘tells’ that tip sportsbooks off about how good they are at betting based on their actions. Today, sportsbooks rely on computer-generated reports to manage player risks. Sharp bettors who know how to eliminate their ‘tells’ can avoid detection.

Sharp sports bettors bet early

Sharp bettors who bet early at an online sportsbook can shape a stronger line for the book. Sportsbooks will then present them to the less knowledgeable general public who tend to bet later. Sportsbooks use risk management software to detect early bettors. To avoid this ‘tell’ sharp bettors may need to resist the temptation to try and be the first to bet.

Sportsbooks keep posting lines earlier, and limits are lower for early week lines or overnight lines. The sportsbook protects itself in this way. The problem is that sharp bettors often can’t resist betting early as they fear fellow bettors will edge them out of market profit if they are too slow.

Betting optimally requires sharp bettors to understand the market and when it moves. Outside factors, like the news, have an increasing impact on betting markets that are getting more efficient earlier. For example, a football injury can have a major impact. The NFL league industry report standardizes injury news. Knowing when the report comes out and being able to learn from successful people who tweet accurate information can help with placing optimal bets.

Betting on unders or underdogs

The general public will generally bet on overs or expected favorites to win games. In major sporting events like the Super Bowl, public sentiment can keep pushing the market in an over/favorite bias. As a result, sharp bettors can find value in betting on unders or underdogs. If they bet too much in this direction, it can tip off a sportsbook. Covering this ‘tell’ isn’t easy, especially if this is where the value lies.

Finding value in overs/favorites is possible now that markets are more efficient. Sharp bettors keep records of their bets, and if they find their betting on unders/underdogs is too heavy, they can switch it up a little.

Sharp bettors prefer round numbers

Public bettors are likely to bet whatever bills they have in their hand at the time. They don’t worry about loose change. Those who bet to win round numbers reveal some knowledge and experience. This can cause sportsbooks to pick them up. Sportsbooks look for gamblers who bet on round numbers and appear to have a system. Betting a few less round numbers may seem trivial but it can avoid detection.

Sharp bettors avoid parlays

The general public likes to bet a little and win a lot. Sharp bettors with good decision-making skills will usually avoid parlays. They know these bets can draw them into areas of high vigor and rocky results. They would rather place disciplined straight bets rather than parlays which increase variance. If sharp bettors place a couple of parlay bets, they can probably avoid detection. It can make it hard for the book to discern that they’re sharp bettors.

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