How to Make Money Sports Betting

Companies featured on this page may be our partners that compensate us if you sign up for one through our links. This doesn't affect our ratings or opinions in any way. Learn more here. Must be 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Let’s be clear: making money sports betting is hard.

Most non-professional sports bettors fail to turn a profit, even with years of experience. For example, when betting on the standard lines of -110, you need to win at least 52.38% of bets to break even.

This may not seem that hard, but with how accurate bookmakers are, it’s actually very difficult.

Still, this doesn’t mean that making money on sports betting is impossible. You can always rely on certain sports betting strategies to increase your chances, and we’ll go over a dozen of them below.

On this page

13 Ways to Make Money Sports Betting

Here are some of the best ways you can make money sports betting:

1) Claim Every Sign-Up Bonus Available in Your State

Most states with legal sports betting have several sportsbooks, and almost every online sportsbook in the U.S. offers a sign-up bonus for new customers.

There is no limit to how many different betting sites you can use. To maximize the amount of money you make sports betting—at least at the beginning—you should open up every betting account available and maximize the intro promo.

The most common types of betting offers for new players are bonus bets back if your first bet loses and deposit bonuses. You can claim the majority of intro promos once you complete the first deposit.

To best take advantage of these sign-up bonuses, you should sign up for multiple at the same time so you can take two sides of a bet with each offer. 

For example, say you have two offers that both give $1,000 back in bonus bets if your first bet loses—Sportsbook Offer A and Sportsbook Offer B. 

You can use Sportsbook Offer A on the Eagles -2.5 (-110) against the Cowboys +2.5. You can then take Cowboys +2.5 with Sportsbook Offer B. Regardless of how the game ends, you'll end up winning $909 on one bet and lose $1,000 on the other. You then have $1,000 in bonus bets you can use on other bets. 

So you're essentially paying $91 (assuming $1,000 bets) in exchange for $1,000 in bonus bets.

Note that some sportsbooks require promo codes to access the sign-up bonuses. Check out our guide to the Best Sportsbook Promotions & Promo Codes to learn more.

*Special offers from our partners. May vary by state. Must be 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. **Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Add’l terms.

Our Partners

Sign-Up Bonus

Next Steps

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets

States: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KY, KS, LA, MA MD, MI, NJ, OH, NY, PA, TN, WV, WY, VA.

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

States: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, KY, KS, MD, MA, MI, NJ, NY, NV, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets**

States: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, KY, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY

Second Chance Bet Up to $500

States: AZ, CO, DE, IL, IN, IA, LA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV

2) Use Sports Betting Software & Tools

Besides taking advantage of sign-up bonuses, using sports betting software that can help you make smarter bets is one of the best ways to make money sports betting.

Sports betting software can help you find the best lines and odds, uncover arbitrage opportunities, and much more. 

Here at Odds Assist, we have several tools that help you win more at sports betting.

Our staple is our Betting Odds Comparison Tool which allows you to compare odds and lines at popular online sportsbooks for most leagues.

We also have a Positive EV Bets Tool that looks for sportsbooks that have odds or lines that are off the consensus of all other sportsbooks to help you find value.

For example, if most books have Patrick Mahomes to throw for over 280.5 passing yards at -140 but one has the odds at -110, you can assume that there is positive expected value (EV) from betting this. Over time, if you make only positive EV bets, you will make money.

We also have an Arbitrage Bet Finder Tool that automatically finds existing arbitrage opportunities for both upcoming and live games.

If you're looking to build your own tool, you can use a sports betting odds API to automatically pull in up-to-date lines and odds.

3) Take Advantage of Odds Boosts

Sportsbooks will sometimes offer odds boosts on specific games and markets, increasing the original odds by 10% to 40%. As a result, you will make more money if the bet hits.

However, boosted odds come with certain prerequisites and terms of use—for example, they can have stake limits. Also, not all odds boosts present a good opportunity. If enhanced odds are offered on long shot bets, you should consider if taking them is a good idea.

Still, many odds boosts can create a scenario with the positive expected value, as they often completely eliminate the sportsbook’s juice. They are also advantageous when used in combination with arbitrage betting, which we’ll talk about later on.

4) Take Advantage of Ongoing Promotions

Apart from the intro offer, sportsbooks provide many other promotions regularly. For instance, you may use parlay insurance, which is a promo that gives you a partial or full refund if you miss your parlay by a single leg.

Cash back is another common ongoing promo that allows you to get a portion of your losses back after a given period. You may also receive free bets and deposit bonuses on occasion, as well as referral bonuses and promos acquired through loyalty programs.

Each of these promotions allows you to either cut your losses or extend your bankroll, so you should definitely use them every chance you get.

>> Read More: Free Bet Calculator

5) Shop Around for the Best Lines and Odds

Another reason you should register on as many betting sites as possible is to be able to compare their odds and lines.

Not all sportsbooks offer the same odds and lines for every market. By doing a quick comparison of the books you use before placing your bet, you can find the one that offers the best line (such as getting a team at -2.5 instead of -3) and/or the one with the best odds (such as getting a team to win at +150 instead of +130).

This kind of odds shopping can help you find +EV bets and value bets that are profitable over time.

You can use our Betting Odds & Lines Comparison Tool to find the best deals for upcoming games.

6) Look for Arbitrage Opportunities

Arbitrage betting involves taking each side of a market on two different betting sites and profiting regardless of the outcome. For this to happen, the odds must be aligned in the right way, but you also must know how much you need to wager on each outcome.

Finding arbitrage opportunities is very difficult to do manually, and calculating the required stake can be even harder.

To help, we’ve created an arbitrage bet finder tool and arbitrage betting calculator that will make things at least a bit easier. We automatically uncover arb opportunities then you can use our calculator to see the ideal bet amount on each side.

7) Be Selective With Your Bets

Not all bets are worth your money, so you must take your time and do proper research to find markets that provide an edge.

Instead of just focusing on featured events and the main markets, do a little digging around to see if the sportsbook has mispriced any props or markets in lower-level competitions.

It also helps to choose the best sports to bet on, including those with the lowest vig as well as those that you know the best about.

8) Avoid Betting Longshot Parlays

Longshot parlays are fun to bet because of the potentially massive payout. However, any bettor with a little bit of experience will tell you that these are the worst possible bets to make.

Parlays have a very low chance of hitting. The more legs you put down on your slip, the lower the probability gets.

You can look at it this way: even the most successful bettors are satisfied when they win more than 55% of their bets, assuming standard -110 odds. With parlays, you need to win 100% of each individual leg, so the chances of making a long-term profit on them are almost impossible.

9) Don’t Always Bet With the Public

The logic of betting against the public (fading the public) is a sound one. Since casual sports bettors typically lose, it’s logical to side with the sharps and bet on the opposite outcome. However, there is a time and place when this tactic should be applied, so do not use it blindly.

The best thing to do here is follow the reverse line movement. This suggests that you should take note of the line movement relative to the percentage of the bets taken on either side. If the majority of bets are taken on one side but the line moves against it, it means that larger bets made by sharps are going in the opposite direction.

>> Learn More: NFL Public Betting Percentages

10) Study and Look for Value in Prop Bets

Many sportsbooks offer hundreds of prop bets on certain games. With so many props available, it’s likely that oddsmakers might have mispriced some of them—especially in contrast to moneyline, spread bets, and total bets—allowing you to find value.

11) Manage Your Bankroll

Bankroll management is an essential strategy when sports betting. Instead of just being focused on making money, you should also make sure not to lose a lot of it.

The general approach is to always decide on your bankroll before laying down your first bet and stick to it. From there, you should distribute it relatively evenly, betting between 1% and 5% of your total bankroll on each wager.

12) Follow Up on Injury Reports and Other News

Always stay on top of the news regarding injuries. If you find out that a player is injured early, you may be able to find value in betting on his or her replacement.

Plus, you will have a better notion of what that means for the outcome of the entire game. Of course, you’ll need to be quick, as the lines will move as soon as the information reaches the sportsbook.

Pay attention to forecast reports as well. If there’s going to be bad weather, an NFL or college football game is likely to have more rushing yards and less passing yards.

13) Stay Away From Complete Chance Prop Bets

Some prop bets are completely up to chance, like a coin toss or whether the total number of points in a basketball game is going to be odd or even. These are true 50/50 bets and you can’t take any knowledgeable approach that’ll help you figure out their outcome.

Like with every other bet, sportsbooks charge juice on these props, so even though they are a 50/50 chance, you won’t even get an even-money payout. This means that you are mathematically likely to lose money on these bets in the long run.

Sports Betting Math—How Often You Have to Win to Make Money

Sportsbooks charge vig (sometimes called “juice”) on every bet, helping them make money. The odds are always on their side, so you can’t just win 50% of your bets to break even.

To calculate the exact percentage of bets you must win, we have to find the implied probability. You can learn about reading betting odds here and calculating implied probability here. For standard -110 lines, as an example, you have to win 52.38% to break even.

If the percentage of your winning bets is higher than this number, you will be making a profit. While the added 2.38% doesn’t seem like much, it is a hurdle that most sports bettors fail to cross.

*Special offers from our partners. May vary by state. Must be 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. **Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Add’l terms.

Our Partners

Sign-Up Bonus

Next Steps

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets

States: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KY, KS, LA, MA MD, MI, NJ, OH, NY, PA, TN, WV, WY, VA.

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

States: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, KY, KS, MD, MA, MI, NJ, NY, NV, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets**

States: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, KY, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY

Second Chance Bet Up to $500

States: AZ, CO, DE, IL, IN, IA, LA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV

Our Expert Betting Picks

If you don't feel like doing the research required to be a successful sports bettor, you can always just follow expert picks. 

Our team of handicappers here at Odds Assist releases their best bets weekly. Here are some links where you can find our picks:

Dave Rathmanner

Dave Rathmanner is the Founder & CEO of Odds Assist. After struggling to find helpful sports betting resources and honest reviews when he first started betting, he decided to create the site he always wished he had. Dave has been betting on sports since NJ legalized it in 2018 and regularly analyzes sportsbooks to find the best options for bettors. Aside from creating new content for OA readers, Dave is also passionate about researching betting markets, creating models, and developing profitable betting strategies.