If you follow some gambling-related social media accounts long enough, you will eventually see them: the posts that make you wonder if you are going about everything the wrong way.

“I just won $12,000 on a $25 parlay bet!”

“Another winning betting slate brings my record to 12-1 in the last two days and positive returns in 10 of the last 12 days!”

“Check out my bet slip, I won $5,000 tonight!”

“Scared money doesn’t make money! Big win, see you at the cashier!”

Just like with investing, there are certain things you can and cannot control when it comes to your sports betting strategy. Injuries, luck, officiating, coaching decisions… these are the things that cause you to win some bets you should have lost and lose some bets you should have won. Three of the most important factors you do have control over are your handicapping strategy, bankroll management, and finding the best lines.

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Handicapping strategy involves how you decide which bets to risk your money on. You can develop your own model, you can follow the free suggestions of handicappers in major publications or social media, or you can choose to spend for a paid service provided by various companies and individuals. Click here to learn about MY value based approach to betting and click here to check out Travis K Sports Investments two series on handicapping.

Bankroll management involves how you decide to handle your betting amounts. Successful bettors manage their bankroll very carefully in order to create a sustainable betting behavior. Several approaches for deciding how much to bet exist, and there are pros and cons to every strategy. Forward-thinking bettors also have predetermined criteria laid out in advance to guide how they react to a successful stretch of betting as well as the inevitable streaks of cold luck. Click here for a more in-depth look.

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Finally, after deciding which bet you want to make and how much you want to wager, perhaps the most important (and if we are being honest, the most boring!) part of a successful sports betting strategy is making sure you place the bet at the best odds possible. A few extra minutes of work comparing odds across multiple sportsbooks before placing each bet can be the difference between a positive and a negative return on investment. Luckily, the ability to quickly and easily sign up for online and mobile sports betting is allowing users to shop for the best line more than ever before. Click here for an in-depth article on how to use line shopping to your advantage and find the best promotional offers for signing up for sportsbooks as they become available in where you live.

You cannot control if your bet wins or loses, but you can control your approach to sports betting. Best of luck!

Please note: if you think your gambling is becoming harmful or you think someone you know is having a hard time dealing with problem gambling, please click here to learn more about obtaining help.