Biggest Sucker Bets to Avoid
If you’ve followed the sports betting industry enough, you should understand that the sportsbooks will typically win. That’s not always the case, but it’s important to remember that whether you are betting on sports or at the casino, the system is designed and built for the house to profit in the long term, not the bettor.
Many oddsmakers, casinos and sportsbooks have been in this industry far longer than you have, and they know all the tricks to making a particular wager look a lot more appealing than it actually is. They will take advantage of the less informed and more gullible wagerers, and it’s our job as bettors to sniff them out.
One of the toughest parts of avoiding sucker bets is to simply identify what they look like. On this page, we will show you how to identify sucker bets as they relate to sports betting and casino betting, and how to avoid them.
What is a sucker bet?
Sucker bets are just what they sound like — bets that only suckers would choose. Sportsbooks create a line that to you may seem too good to pass up. Sucker bets do not necessarily mean you have no chance of winning — it’s a little bit more complicated than that.
Identifying the best value, no matter what you’re betting on, is one of the most crucial aspects of wagering, and a decrease in value for the bettor is what makes sucker bets what they are.
The common odds for sports bettors when wagering on the point spread, over/under, etc., is -110 on each side. This essentially means you’d need to bet $110 to win $100 or $11 to win $10. It’s a built-in system that gives the sportsbook a certain percentage and a huge reason they’re much more profitable than a sports bettor. While the odds are already stacked against you, this is not necessarily a sucker’s bet.
Given that information, a sucker bet refers to the odds and lines being significantly out of your favor, but the sportsbook puts the numbers out in a way that can deceive the casual sports bettor. We want to avoid that at all costs.
Sucker bets to avoid in sports betting
Now that you know some basics about sucker bets, here’s a list of sucker bets that you may come across, and that you should try to avoid, for the most part.
As hard as it is to get a single game right, it’s incredibly difficult to sustain long-term success betting parlays. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, parlays are two or more bets grouped together. If you place a wager on 10 outcomes happening in a parlay bet, even if just one of those outcomes does not happen, the entire bet is a loss.
So what’s the appeal? The appeal is a parlay bet will offer a massive payout if you get each outcome correct. Sportsbooks understand how difficult and unlikely it is that you’ll get them all right, and they’re willing to take the risk because parlay betting is not a winning strategy in the long run.
A teaser bet is a form of parlay betting where you move the line in your favor for multiple bets. For example, you could make two NFL wagers and move the line six points to your direction. Your +3.5 bet on the Washington Football Team turns into a +9.5 after you’ve teased it. And you would do the exact same thing with another game on the board.
Obviously, there has to be something that helps the sportsbook out, right? That is correct. There’s a significantly lower payout for a teaser than for a parlay. Now you’re assuming a decent risk with multiple outcomes, but with a reduced potential payout.
While bets on the over/under or point spread will typically pay out evenly with -110 odds on each side, that’s not the case with the moneyline. Moneyline wagers are bets on the outright winner of the game, and sportsbooks can manipulate the moneyline odds in their favor, leaving you with worse value when you’re betting on the underdog or the favorite.
If you decide to place a bet on the underdog on the moneyline, you already understand this scenario will more than likely not occur. If the underdog is listed at +200 odds to win the game outright, you’d get a nice payout of $200 on a $100 bet, but even then, there’s no guarantee those are the true odds and that payout is available because the sportsbook is willing to take the risk on something that probably won’t happen.
On the other side, if you’re taking the favorite on the moneyline, odds could be skewed, as well. While it’s highly likely you’ll be correct taking a big-time favorite on the moneyline, the payouts are so small that it’s probably not worth it. If a team comes in at -350 on the moneyline, that means you’d need to bet $350 just to win $100. Upsets happen in sports, which is why this strategy isn’t the best for long-term success.
Adding moneyline combinations into parlays, as you could imagine, is not the greatest strategy either when you’re looking to identify value.
What are the best sports bet to make?
A good rule to go with when looking at sports bets is to take a wager that only has two possible outcomes, giving yourself about a 50% chance to win whether you’re taking one side of the bet or the other. Simplicity can be the best way to give you a chance to become a profitable sports bettor.
Another important way to sniff out a sucker bet is comparing odds and lines from your preferred VA sportsbook to the rest of the competition. Some sportsbooks may be more prone to putting out sucker bets than others, and you might be able to tell just by looking at what other places are doing. Opening multiple accounts at various sportsbooks can help you secure the best number and the best odds after looking at what all the shops are offering. Just like when you go out shopping, it’s important to find the best deals.
Sucker bets to avoid at a casino
One of the most common sucker bets that you can make at the casino is buying insurance in blackjack. When the dealer is showing an ace up, avoid taking the insurance offer.
Slot machines can be fun, but as you might imagine, the entire system is designed for the house to cash in off your bets. If you’re seriously looking to earn a profit at the casino, slot machines are something you can largely avoid.
Best casino bets for player advantage
Sticking with blackjack, keeping 10s together is a solid play that will more than likely lead to consistent success, so you should avoid splitting 10s.
At the craps table, use pass line bets because you will get the best odds. It offers the house a very low edge, and you’re looking to minimize risk no matter what you’re betting on.
Whether you’re at the sportsbook or out at the casino, avoiding sucker bets is a major key to avoiding a significant loss. If you’re looking at either of these as long-term investment opportunities, it’s good to be able to identify the best bets to take on and the best bets to avoid because that will help you become a profitable gambler in the long run.