Sportsbook Tips: 3 Things To Avoid On Sports Betting Sites & Apps

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Written By Evan Scrimshaw | Last Updated
sportsbook tips

With the legalization of sports betting, there has been an exciting surge in new customers trying it out for the first time. Even more new users will sign up for football season at the best betting sites. If you’re one of those new users that have locked in betting bonuses, remember sportsbooks will always attempt to induce bets via every form of marketing imaginable, including e-mails and push notifications. While the various offers, promotions, and benefits have been largely good for customers, new bettors should be aware of some of the marketing language used to make some bets look better than they actually are. Below, we’ll look at three sportsbook tips.

Last week, TheLines lead writer Eli Hershkovich explained why not all sportsbook odds boosts are actually boosted at all. In the same vein, here are examples of what to pay attention to when looking at sportsbook promotions or bets.

1. Trends Are Generally Not Important

At the U.S. Open in June, FanDuel Sportsbook (amongst others) offered an O/U bet on what the leading score after the first round would be. What made the FanDuel offering newsworthy was what they included in the heading of the bet:

The fact that the previous four U.S. Opens had had leading scores of -4 or better was completely irrelevant to how Los Angeles Country Club would play, because the U.S. Open is not held at the same course each year. LACC hadn’t held a professional golf tournament since 1940, and had never held a men’s major.

Nevertheless, FanDuel was attempting to induce bets by posting this trend on the betslip.

During football season, there will also be plenty of stats about timeslot-specific trends. How the last four Thursday Night Footballs have gone isn’t relevant to how any specific game will go, because the teams are different. These sorts of context-free trends should be avoided and ignored at all costs.

2. Trending Topics & Bets

DraftKings has been in the business of sending emails to bettors highlighting trending or high-profile games. The information includes the number of people who have bet on one side. This is an attempt to attract more bets on what they see as important games. This included UFC 292, where the final fight of the night was a highlighted “trending bet”:

One of the keys to betting is to bet when you think you have an edge. Betting for the sake of it, because an event is in primetime, or because everyone else is doing so is a path towards losing money.

If you like a bet on a high-profile event, obviously bet it. But sportsbooks trying to induce more bets, and attempting to influence your bet with percentages of how much is being bet on both sides, is not a profitable strategy.

Letting outside factors in beyond what you make of a game won’t be the way to win long-term. The sportsbooks want to make money, and the bets they’re identifying are likely being identified for reasons we don’t have full access to.

Efforts to induce more action onto specific sporting events and to influence who gets bet by quoting percentages of money on each side aren’t about informing bettors, and bettors shouldn’t let them influence their behavior.

3. PrePackaged Same Game Parlays Are Borderline Predatory

The other thing lots of sportsbook offer are prepackaged parlays or same-game parlays designed to induce risky wagers. Here’s one of the better sportsbook tips to know. They’re not boosted parlays, just promoted ones, often with either pure narratives backing them or context-free stats.

How a baseball team or player has hit the ball previously is irrelevant given they will be facing a different pitcher, but these bets often have quick explainers pitching the logic of the bet.

sportsbook tips

We know that long-term profitability in parlays and specifically Same Game Parlays comes from correlation. The way to make SGPs worth betting is to correlate a game outcome with props that will likely happen if the game outcome occurs. Betting a running back to hit his over of rushing yards in a game at the same time as betting a favorite to win and/or cover makes sense because if the team is leading, they’ll run the ball more.

What we see from DK and others are completely uncorrelated bets. Pushing bettors to parlays based on how badly teams “need” to win is a fancy way of saying that these three teams aren’t playing well, but you should bet them anyway. Betting on narratives is rarely, if ever, the answer. However, people still bet promoted bets.

sportsbook tips

Final Thoughts

The regulated sports betting market is a marked improvement on the cesspool that was the unregulated, offshore market that came before it. That said, there are still a few things to be aware of if you’re starting a sports betting journey to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your money. Make sure to be diligent with your bets to give yourself the best chance to make money in the long run.

If you’re a new user, that always starts with making sure you get the best sign-up offers. We’ve done that work for you, ranking the top new betting sites for this year.

If you found these sportsbook tips helpful, join’s free sports betting Discord, where a community of 4,000+ share ideas and offer feedback every day in sports betting. Have some of your own sportsbook tips? Share them with our groups.