Betting Mistakes to Avoid

There are a number of betting mistakes to avoid.

Key Points

– There are key betting mistakes that must be avoided.

– It takes time to learn how to avoid common betting mistakes.

Betting Mistakes to Avoid

Sports betting is not easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. Well, it seems like everyone is doing it, but most aren’t winning and that’s the key. 

Sports bettors ultimately want to win more money. Sportsbooks want to stay in business. There is a fine line between winning and losing and the smart bettor knows that he will face ups and downs, winning streaks and losing streaks. 

That smart bettor also knows that he needs to stay disciplined and stay on course. To do so means avoiding a number of common betting mistakes. Here, we address those mistakes so that the average bettor can do what they set out to do – win more money.

Managing the Bankroll & Unit Size

Managing one’s money could be the most important aspect of sports betting. Too often, bettors want to chase losses and increase their unit size to make up for a bad loss. That is a betting mistake to avoid.

It all starts with the budget. If $100 per week is your bankroll size, then that’s it. Don’t bet with the mortgage or car payment. Then, follow your rules on unit size. Typically, bettors that are more confident in a pick will wager up to 5 percent of their bankroll. Less confident picks might see a wager of 1 to 2 percent. 

You should have a rule that you never wager more than 5 percent of your bankroll. The key then is to have the discipline to stick to your money management strategy. This is where too many bettors make their first – and often biggest – mistake.

Betting Mistakes – Too Many Bets

Sports betting is not a “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” type of activity. The shotgun approach doesn’t work. 

Too many bettors want to place too many bets thinking that more is better. Betting on 10 or more games per day is likely too much. What ends up happening is that bettors will wager on sports that they really don’t know that much about. That’s a mistake.

Keep your daily betting to a few well-researched plays. Find the bets you have the most confidence in and stick to those. You can’t do it all and it wouldn’t be smart to try.


Unrealistic Expectations

If you are having delusions of grandeur, stop right now. You aren’t going to have a winning percentage of 70 percent in the long run. You aren’t going to hit multiple parlays at +10000. It just isn’t happening.

Remember, for a bettor to break even betting at standard odds (-110), the bettor must win 52.38 percent of all bets. Professional bettors will win 55 to 60 percent of the time. 

Any bettor that thinks they are going to have sustained success better than that is setting themselves up for failure. Dial it down and start slowly.

Betting Mistakes to Avoid

Reacting to Trends

Oddsmakers know that the typical bettor has a bias towards events that have happened recently. A certain team has won ten in a row or a player has thrown three or more touchdown passes in three straight games. 

It’s the same on the other end too. Bettors will usually fade the team on a five-game losing streak. Smart bettors will see this in an opening line. Take a team like the Packers, a public favorite. 

Green Bay is coming off three straight wins and opens as a favorite in their next game. Instead of being favored at -7, oddsmakers know that the betting public will wager on Green Bay no matter what. As a result, oddsmakers will open the Packers at -7.5 or even -8.

Just because a team is on a certain streak doesn’t mean you should automatically wager on them. Do the research and come up with a strong betting decision for the right reasons.

Betting Mistakes – Shoddy Research

There has to be a reason why you would take the Yankees -175 or bet on the Dolphins +2.5. Bettors need to do their research in order to make a strong betting decision. It’s not as simple as “Oh, I think they might win.” 

As mentioned before, start slowly and find your niche. Maybe you only bet on college football until you become more experienced. Plus, keep in mind that doing research takes time and it’s likely that your occupation is not professional bettor. 

At some point, you will be able to use advanced analytics and stats to your advantage. For now, stick to doing the research you know how to do.

The Head Not the Heart

“But, I love the Cowboys!” Those would be famous last words after a bettor’s entire bankroll was washed away on a bet that was based on emotion rather than logic. It is a huge mistake to bet with the heart instead of the head. 

Inexperienced bettors will too often bet with the heart. This is one of the easiest betting mistakes to avoid. You can’t simply bet on your favorite team just because they are your favorite. 

Bettors that win often will bet against the public on many occasions. The public favors winners, home teams, teams on streaks, teams with star players, historic franchises, and more. But, the betting public loses way too often. That’s why sportsbooks stay in business.

Bettors betting their hearts keep sportsbooks in business. Smart bettors learn when it’s right to side with the sportsbook. Remember, they win more often than not.

Bettors that can avoid these common betting mistakes will find themselves having success at some point. It won’t come easy. Anything worth it usually does take time. Stick to your sports betting plan and reap the benefits in the end.