What Makes a Sharp Bettors, & What Qualities Do They Have?

It should come as no surprise that not everyone is equally proficient at sports betting. Most bettors are around 50-50, with some much higher. The phrase “much higher” must now be contextualized in that context. No one, for example, hits 75% of their plays over time.

However, an experienced bettor may be near 55%, and some may even approach 60%. Sharps are bettors who have a high win rate over a lengthy period.

What Is A Sharp Bettor?

Sharp bettor are professionals who focus, conduct research, construct power rankings using models, crunch the data, and are likely to employ one or more betting strategies to manage their bankroll. In contrast, the rest of us regard sports betting as a leisure activity at most, or perhaps just a bit of fun.

Sharp bettors are just those who are better at it than the rest since it is what they do all the time. Being profitable long-term is not as simple as you might imagine. Casual bettors (non-sharps) get it right roughly half of the time.

To break even, you must be correct 52.38% of the time if you assume the typical -110 odds on Point Spreads and Totals (which account for the vig that a sportsbook charges you).

A sharp gambler may be able to increase that proportion to roughly 55% or 58%, but hearing of a sharp winning 60% of their bets is unusual. Take any tipster who claims to be able to reach that degree of success, at least over a lengthy period, with a grain of salt.

The key to winning is selecting the correct type of bet. That is where the pursuit of value comes into play.

What Sharps Indicate for Markets

Given how difficult it is to return good gains, it may be no surprise that bookmakers value clever bettors.

That’s not to suggest people enjoy being ripped off, but there is a healthy appreciation for what smart bettors can achieve, and anyway, even after big wins and huge payouts, we all know that the house always wins over time.

Some may provide sharps early access to lines, giving them better chances, although at a smaller limit. This allows the book to observe where the sharp money moves and modify lines early, allowing the book to provide a sharper market to the public.

Of course, it’s not always the case that the sharp money gets an early look in, and sharp bettors almost always have the potential to influence odds.

Line Movement

Line movement is how a sportsbook tries to balance a market by attracting equal amounts of money on both sides of a bet (i.e., the favorite and underdog). Bookmakers alter the odds on the moneyline, the point spread, and the Over/Under. Large quantities of sharp bettor money can shift a line when they take large positions.

Reverse Line Movement

However, as previously stated, line movement does not necessarily shift to the preferred side. Occasionally, we may see a line shift towards a side already dominating the action. This is known as reverse line movement.

Steam Movement

A “steam move” is a quick, abrupt, and uniform line shift across the sports betting industry, frequently caused by many sportsbooks simultaneously taking aggressive action on the same wager.

How Can You Become A Sharp Bettor?

The simplest and most clear response is commitment. You won’t get far if you remain calm regarding sports betting.

It makes no difference if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or experienced gamer. For every sort of gambler, several fundamental techniques are constantly in play. So, the first advice is to be realistic about your expectations.

Tip 1: When First Starting Out, Be Realistic

You should have realistic expectations for whatever you invest time and effort into. Most sports bettors may struggle to earn a profit in the long run. To begin, set a reasonable goal: At least 51% of your bets must be successful.

If you can maintain that consistency throughout the year, you may have what it takes to become a professional sports betting.

Tip 2: Bet With Your Head, Not Your Heart

As you begin, you should learn about which sport feels best for you. Maintain your wits by evaluating your triumphs and defeats. And never gamble with your emotions. Instead, bet with your brain.

Tip 3: Don’t Wager More Than You Can Afford To Lose

One of the most fundamental betting guidelines is never to wager more than you’re willing to lose. Sharp bettors use a rule of thumb: each wager accounts for 1%-5% of their bankroll.

You can raise your betting volume as you get more comfortable with sports betting. However, you should continue to limit your bets. Furthermore, you should never wager more than you are willing to lose.

Tip 4: Use Multiple Sportsbooks

You boost your chances of safeguarding your money by diversifying your portfolio. So, if you’ve honed your ability to spot value in your bets, you might want to try your hand at multiple sportsbooks.


Sports betting is intended to be enjoyable. Don’t gamble if you’re not having fun. Understanding the betting world’s lingo, conducting research, and everything else that comes with being a sharp bettor should not be considered labor. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do well. Have fun with sports betting!

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