You probably already know that there’s far more to successful betting than just trying to find your next winner. Many bettors keep making the same costly mistakes so we’ve listed seven deadly sports betting sins below. Avoid these and your bankroll will be far better off in the long run.
From an overall perspective betting markets are very efficient. Sportsbooks post early lines that get beaten into shape by shrewd operators who are are very, very well prepared. They are often professional bettors and betting syndicates who have the resources to analyse massive amounts of data as well as having years of experience and insights betting on that sport. The sportsbooks adjust their lines based on smart action and betting volumes.
As a general rule the closer you are to game time the more efficient that line is. Overall it is indisputable that finding value on openers is much easier than trying to beat the market when betting late. Placing a bet close to game time based solely on gut instinct, one key stat you like or the fact that a key player is returning, will make it almost impossible to win long-term.
The good news is that there’s now more information available than ever before. You can analyse an amazing amount of advanced statistics, injury information, line moves and breaking news. Just don’t expect to do a small amount of work and be able to beat big markets.
Nothing else in sports betting is so simple, yet so important.
If you’re taking +6 when there is plenty of +6.5 available it may not cost you this time, but over the course of a season it’s likely to be incredibly expensive.
Every serious sports bettor will have multiple outs and will check for the best lines available before placing a bet.
Have as many betting accounts as possible – it’s extremely quick and easy. Unless you are chasing deposit bonuses you don’t need to deposit huge amounts. You’re far better off taking the same balance and spreading it across multiple bookies than having it all with just one. Then use our Live Odds (coming soon) to make sure you’re getting the best available line each time.
Betting is about probability and math. In fact the odds are just another way of expressing a probability. We talk about odds of -110 but it really just represents an implied probability of 52.4%, the same way odds of +400 actually represent an implied probability of 20%.
The laws of math apply and that means both winning and losing runs are inevitable. Look at the math and you may be surprised by the small percentages you should be betting on each play. Most bettors outlay far too high a percentage of the bankroll on each bet and struggle to remain consistent in how they manage their money.
A lot of losing bettors are under the misconception that you just need to pick winners to be successful.
But to make betting pay you have to consistently find value: you need to get odds that are better than the true probability. If a team has a 50% chance of winning the game there is no way you should be taking -110 on the moneyline.
Don’t back your favorite team just because you think they should cover.
This is one of the most common sports betting sins. Everybody is guilty of it at some point but it is a very tough habit to break. Emotions can be powerful and convince us to make decisions that, in retrospect, don’t make much sense.
We’ve all bet too much when we think we’re on a hot streak, only to hand some back. Or started chasing after a poor run and making things worse. Or even not sticking with a set of plays because a short losing run has dented your confidence.
Every game is a new, separate and unrelated event. Whether you’ve started the day 0-3 or 3-0 shouldn’t affect your next bet.
The best sports bettors in the world are able to quickly put a win or a loss behind them and focus on the bigger picture. We can all remember plenty of bad beats, but the law of averages says that over a number of years it all evens out and you’ll also get your fair share of miracle covers.
Minimizing the emotional roller-coaster of sports betting is a challenge we all face.
Las Vegas wasn’t built on giving free money away to sports bettors. When a line looks too obvious and too good to be true that should be the start of your analysis on that game, not the end. You may be missing key scheduling factors, injury news, or even falling into some recency bias.
Things aren’t often as simple as they appear on face value. You should learn to sidestep the traps that many bettors fall into.
Once the game is over most bettors move on very quickly to finding their next bet. Even if they spent an hour handicapping the game they don’t spend any time reviewing the work they did and how the game played out. Was it a game where luck played a big part in the result? Would you make the same bet in the same circumstances again? Did you bet more or less than you should have? Have you recorded the result in a spreadsheet for future reference?
Most successful bettors regularly review individual games to see if there betting lessons to be learned. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you’ll simply repeat them and in the betting game that means it will cost you money.