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The challenge is to gather as much information as you can about a game, weigh the probabilities of each team winning by an analysis of your data, and then compare your opinion to the oddsmaker's. Make the right call and you're the winner. Pretty simple! While luck may be a part of the outcome of an individual game, and luck will on occasion go against you, it will balance out in the long run; the skilled and well researched will win.

Consistently winning at sports betting is not about luck! It is about being prepared, taking the time to investigate the team, the players, the venue etc. It's about the ability to discern all the facts, notice trends, and evaluate probability. Then your goal is to stay consistent in order to have long-term success in your betting.

Remember, it's you against the oddsmaker, not the bookmaker. The bookmaker is the liaison between the bettors and the oddsmaker. Bookmakers operate on a small profit margin and, ideally, the bookmaker likes to see half the money wagered on one team and half on the other, assuring a profit. If too much of the money goes on one team, the bookmaker will move the line or pointspread to encourage bets on the other team in an effort to balance his book. The challenge for you is to outwit the oddsmaker and his views on each team's chances to win. By flipping a coin you will be right 50 percent of the time. At odds of 10/11 only 52.4 percent of your bets have to win for you to overcome the bookmaker's profit and break even. You only need to win a little more than half of the bets you make. Do your homework, bet selectively, and 55 percent winning bets is definitely achievable. A very realistic target is 56-58 percent. With those percentages you will have a very profitable, as well as a gratifying hobby. That's right, win less than 60% of the time and more than 55% of the time and your hobby will be very profitable.

Get analysis, tips, trends and free picks in the Sports Betting Edge.

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