There are probably as many different sports handicapping methods as there are handicappers, but I thought I would take a look at some popular ways to break down games and find winners. If you are just starting out with your sports betting, then you could probably use some help as to how to figure out which team is going to beat another. If you are experienced then it doesn’t hurt to add more tools to your arsenal to increase your winning percentage. If you think I’ve missed anything then I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

Matchup Analysis

My personal favorite and what I use to find the final list. This is a pretty time consuming and cumbersome way to break down the odds, and probably only recommended if you are doing this full-time or have a lot of free time. Most of the time the linesmakers have already taken everything into account and set a pretty tight line, but you can reward yourself with some nice profits if you find something that they might not know about or undervalued.

Public Action

Some handicappers love to identify which side of a game the public is on and go against them. This would mean that you are usually betting on underdogs and the under for totals. It’s a pretty easy method because you just have to watch betting percentages and go against them. Almost too simple for my tastes and I’ve never had a lot of success with it.

Trend Handicapping

This is where you rely on trends to give you your sports picks. You need to make sure you are taking into account enough events that the trend isn’t just a fluctuation. Some people swear by this method while others turn away in disgust.

Sharp Money

This is similar to betting against the public, but you look for line moves in the opposite direction than what the public is betting and you bet with the line move. The theory is that the odds only change when a large bet has been made, and large bets are made by professionals not recreational players.

Value Betting

This is where you watch the line move in favor of the public action and when it moves far enough to have value, you bet the opposite. Thus, similar to betting against the public, but with the line movement variation. You’ll get a lot of underdogs here as well.


Here you rely on a service to provide you with your picks. If you don’t have time to do research or analysis then this is the best way to go. You just want to make sure that you are going with someone reliable so check things like records and leaderboards (we have both).