Anyone who is familiar with betting on sports is also familiar with ‘bad beats’. This pertains to lost bets that appeared to be a lock until the closing seconds of the game. The worst bad beats are when you pick the winner but they fail to cover the closing spread because of a late score by the losing team. That is also known as a backdoor cover if you happen to be betting on the team getting points.
Bad beats are a part of the game and completely uncontrollable losses. Bad bets are a whole other story. These can be controlled and hopefully eliminated from your betting strategy. One example of a bad bet is when you wager on a team as a 10-point underdog and they get blown out by 20 or 30 points. This points to poor handicapping skills with a gross overestimation of an underdog’s capabilities.
Anything can happen when to two teams play each other, but betting on one side because you want them to win is another example of a bad bet. You always need to take a realistic look at any matchup, not an optimistic one. Never assume that any team is going to play its best game of the year. This is especially true if its current from does not support that notion.
Even more costly is blindly taking the favorite no matter how many points it is giving up. The starting point is determining which team will win the game straight-up. The next is determining how close the game will stay and the last step is figuring out how the spread will come into play.
Breaking down all the pertinent stats, facts and recent betting trends is vital for:
- Determining each side’s current playing form
- Noting key matchups between key playmakers
- Gaining access to accurate injury reports
- Using recent betting trends for insight into potential future outcomes
Doing your homework for any game you wager on is the best way to avoid bad bets. Just like in school, copying someone else’s homework can get you into trouble. If your bets are being influenced by some kind of external source, this will often times lead to a bad bet. You have to learn how to block out all the outside noise and trust your own instincts.
Another leading source of bad bets is wagering on teams, sports or events that you know nothing about. Creating action for the sole purpose of having action is like giving the online sportsbooks direct access to your bank account.
Everyone’s a golf fan when the Masters rolls around. You suddenly turn into an expert horse handicapper for the Kentucky Derby. Opening Day of baseball makes you a MLB expert even though you have not followed anything about the sport since last season’s World Series.
Bet on the sports (and teams) you know the best and enjoy the pure entertainment value of watching the sports you know nothing about. This is probably the single easiest way to avoid bad bets.
The fact of the matter is that most average sports bettors lose more money than they win. By eliminating all the bad habits you have developed as a sports bettor, you will also eliminate a large portion of the bad bets that drag down a winning percentage.