Common Mistakes Made By Sports Bettors

This article provides a basic explanation of the common mistakes bettors make and how to avoid them.

Bet on a “Hunch”
How often have you overheard a sports bettor say, “I have a felling”?

Placing a bet on your favorite team
This involves emotion and NOT research!

Increase bet size after a loss
They say that the law of averages will work things out. This is BS. This is most likely the second most common mistake that sports bettors make, in my opinion.

Parlay or Teaser
The takeout or vig is just too high!

Believes a self proclaimed handicapper results without research
Most say they win 75% or more of their picks. Actually, true handicappers are in the low to mid 50s. NOT choosing the right bookmaker.

Choosing the right sports book
Bettors are given an endless supply of bookmakers they can choose from. Just like any other industry, there are different approaches to bookmaking and everyone will claim to be the best. However, it does NOT take much to analysis your options and discover that some bookmakers offer a lot more than others.

What a lot of sports bettors do NOT know is that in order to provide the offers, bookmakers will increase their margins – something that ultimately impacts the odds you bet with. Thus, have several bookmakers on your list and make sure that each bookmaker is funded!

While these kinds of bookmakers lure customers in with expensive marketing campaigns and false promises, they also do NOT let sports bettors win that often. If you make a consistent profit betting with the kind of bookmaker that offers you free bets, your limits will be severely limited or your account will be completely closed.

Choosing a bookmaker because they offer you a free bet is a common mistake that sports bettors simply cannot afford to make! Check out my reviews for the best sports books.

If you want to make a profit from betting you need to have an advantage over the bookmaker. An example of having an edge would be knowledge of team news in a NCAAF game, changes in the weather in an NFL game or any other potential influence on the outcome of a match that the bookmaker is unaware of.

Managing your money for sports betting
Regardless of where your edge comes from it is made redundant if you do NOT manage your money correctly. The use of money management is essential if you want to make money from betting and failing to do so is a mistake that can cost bettors dearly.

If you do NOT manage your money when betting, you will most likely NOT have any money left to bet – it is as simple as that. There is nothing wrong with an “all in” approach, as long as you know NOT to expect it to result in consistent profits.

Thinking that you need to avoid losses at all costs is one mistake that bettors should certainly avoid.

Failing to understand the concept of value
Value is, in my opinion, the most common mistake that sports bettors make when placing a bet.

Value is NOT as simple as finding a NCAAF team on a winning streak that is priced at high odds against a team that has lost a few games in a row.

Value is about understanding what betting odds represent, calculating your own probability estimation, converting it into odds and then looking for discrepancies in what you believe the odds should be and what the bookmaker believes.

Bettors often make a mistake when determining what value is. It is NOT an opinion but rather the use of information, data, models and historical results to form a more accurate prediction than the one provided by the bookmaker.

Once you know what value is, you can begin to calculate expected value for any bet you place – this is essentially a calculation that will tell you how much you can expect to win or lose if you were to place the same bet multiple times over.

Being too concerned about losses
Loss aversion – a preference for avoiding losses instead of acquiring potential gains – is also prevalent in betting and is another cognitive bias that many bettors are NOT aware of.

One of the most common misconceptions in betting is that good bettors do NOT lose. This simply is NOT true. Good bettors lose less often than they win and if they lose, they will use a money management system to ensure they do NOT lose all of their bankroll.

Thinking that you need to avoid losses at all costs is one mistake that bettors should certainly avoid.

Betting because it is convenient

Even if bettors know what to do in order to succeed and avoid the common mistakes mentioned above, the element of convenience can still undo a lot of hard work.
 
Of course, for those who bet for entertainment purposes, betting out of convenience does NOT matter but if the aim is to make a profit, you should only bet when the time is right (remember about having an edge and positive expected value).

The increase in popularity of online betting and the emergence of mobile betting apps has made the process of placing a bet much easier than ever before and sports bettors who want to make money cannot afford to bet because it is convenient.

Instead of betting on a NCAAF game because it is on TV or an NFL game because your bookmaker has sent an app notification saying that they have increased the odds, stick to what you know, stay disciplined and remember you are betting for long-term success, NOT short-term profit.