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What is a Square in Sports Betting?

by January 13, 2022
Mac Jones

A “square” in sports betting is someone who bets recreationally, which is the majority of the betting population. A square is the opposite of a “sharp”, which is a term used to describe someone that bets professionally or is profitable in sports betting over long periods of time. I walk through a fictional story below to illustrate a square in sports betting:

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It is Sunday night and Joe is heading over to the neighbor’s house for Sunday Night Football. Joe does not have a rooting interest in the game, as he is a Packers fan and the game features the Bills traveling to Foxborough to face the Patriots. Wanting to add a rooting interest to his viewing experience, Joe places a wager on the over because he knows they are both good teams and can score the football. Additionally, Joe does not want to root for an ugly defensive game as high-scoring games are more fun to watch, so the over was an easy decision for him to make.

Joe’s neighbor is named Sal, and what Joe never knew about Sal is that he is a sharp bettor. Sal has been profitable in sports betting for over a decade and uses analytics, data, and information to make informed wagers that he believes will give him an edge over the sportsbook. Sal explains to Joe that he took the under two days ago at 42.5 because he read the weather forecast for Foxborough, which stated that at kickoff the game will see sleet, rain, and 30-40 MPH winds. Sal has been betting on football for a long time and knows that extremely ugly weather conditions will force both teams to run the ball for the majority of the game. When both teams run the ball all night, the clock is essentially always ticking which will limit the amount of time each team has to score. By kickoff, the total dropped to 39.5, giving Sal a massive edge on his bet.

The game ends with the final score of 14-10, going well under the total.

In the story above, Joe is a square bettor and Sal is a sharp bettor. Square bettors usually bet on popular teams, favorites, home teams, and overs. In the long-run, square bettors are almost always not profitable.

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Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.

Tony Sartori is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Tony, check out his archive and follow him@tony_sartori.

Bet Types, Betting 101, Betting Tips