Avoid These Habits of the Losing Sports Bettor

Learn to avoid these habits of the losing sports bettor.

Key Points

– The losing sports bettor lacks clear goals.

– Avoiding these habits can help anyone become more successful as a bettor.

Avoid These Habits of the Losing Sports Bettor

You can read blog post after blog post that emphasizes how to become a winning sports bettor. What if we looked at it from another perspective?

Sports bettors don’t like to lose, but too many of them do. What if we looked at all the things the losing sports bettor does? If we could simply eliminate a few or even all of these habits, it might just turn the tide in our sport betting careers. 

Here are several habits of the losing sports bettor. With them identified, we should be able to use this list to our benefit, eliminating bad bets.

Lack of Defined Goals

What exactly are your objectives in sports betting? It’s acceptable if your season-long objective is simply to have fun. It’s also acceptable if your main objective is to just improve the games’ entertainment value.

The problem with both of those goals is that they can’t be measured. One thing surely improves fun and entertainment value – winning bets! And, for the record, winning bets would mean profitable bets. 

Ask yourself how much you have won betting on sports this week or this month. If you don’t know, it’s because 1) you don’t have clear goals set and 2) you aren’t keeping accurate records of your bets. These are habits of the losing sports bettor.

The Losing Sports Bettor Doesn’t Do Research

The majority of losers in the sports betting industry just wager on their favorite teams. They don’t care who the opponent is, where the game is being played, and they have no clue if any star players are injured. 

Most often, losing bettors don’t even bother to look at the point spread or the moneyline odds. They only care that it is their favorite team. That’s great if you are okay with losing. However, this is a strategy that will not work if you are planning on being a profitable sports bettor. 

Every game you bet on should be researched. At the very least, use the services of a professional handicapper for help with the pick. Don’t bet blindly.


Lack of Line & Odds Shopping

Your return on investment is significantly impacted by the amount of vig you pay. Sometimes you might find wagers where you simply need to wager $105 to win $100. The same wager is also available in books where you must wager $120 in order to win $100.

Here’s the key. Remember, that at standard odds of -110, bettors must wager $110 to win $100. In order to just break even, bettors must win 52.4 percent of the time. 

However, if you consistently pay $105 to win $100, your break-even point shrinks to 51.2 percent. Consistently, getting better pricing on your bets will help to increase your bankroll.

It can also help to win bets. Line shopping can help you find an extra half-point on a spread that could mean the difference between a loss and a win. 

The Losing Sports Bettor Fails to Manage Money

Bankroll management is one of the simplest things bettors can do to help them make money. It’s also one of the most difficult, especially for the losing sports bettor. 

The loser lacks the discipline to stick to the money management plan. Here’s an example. 

You have a bankroll of $10,000. On the Sunday NFL schedule, you estimate that all the underdogs have a 65 percent chance of winning. You bet a total of $5,000 on all the week’s underdogs. 

Those underdogs also have a 35 percent chance of losing. If they all lose, you lose half your bankroll in one day. That’s not great money management. 

Typically, winning bettors will stake 1 to 5 percent of their bankroll per bet. That means if you had a $10,000 bankroll, you would be placing $100 wagers on conservative bets and $500 wagers on more aggressive bets. 

In the long run, you will never bankrupt yourself because of some stretches of bad luck.

Chasing Losses

So, you lost your $5,000 on all of those NFL underdogs. You decide the best course of action is to make up for that big loss. You find a bet you really like with a probability of 70 percent. 

Let’s assume that you did lose $5,000 on your 65% shot in the preceding scenario. The best course of action, in your opinion, is to quickly gain $5,000 to make up for that loss. You have a 70% probability of winning this week. What the losing bettor fails to recognize is that he has a 30 percent chance of losing.

Avoid These Habits of the Losing Sports Bettor

Losing bettors make these betting mistakes all the time. They chase their losses. Let’s say you wagered $100 on 10 NFL games on a Sunday. You lose eight bets and win two.  Despite winning $200, you lost $880 (assuming standard -110 odds).

To make up for the loss, you decide to place a sizable wager on the game on Monday night. To make up for your losses and display a healthy profit for the week, you wager $1,000 on the game.

The worst thing that happens is you win that bet. Now, you believe you can chase your losses with big wagers. It may work occasionally, but in the end, it will bankrupt you. 

Betting with the Public

The betting public is generally wrong most of the time. That’s why sportsbooks are still in business. From time to time, it would be a good idea to bet against the public. 

A successful contrarian betting approach is to wager against the majority. Consider the NFL’s most recent ten years. You would have won at least 53% of the time, and maybe 54%, if you had only wagered against the side on which 75% of the general public had gambled.

This strategy of “fading the public” is something that the losing sports bettor doesn’t do. He should though as it can pay off. 

Making Too Many Bets

Effective gamblers only wager when conditions are ideal. In other words, they just walk away from a wager if the predicted value is negative. 

It’s like poker players. The ones that win more often are the ones that fold when they have weak cards. Sports bettors need to learn when to fold ‘em, to quote the great Kenny Rogers. 

If a bet doesn’t have value, don’t place it. Don’t place bets for the sake of placing bets. Just because there are 16 NFL games on a Sunday, it doesn’t mean you should bet on every single one. 

Final Note

To become a successful sports bettor, one should avoid the habits of the losing sports bettor. Simply do the opposite of what the loser does. 

That means have clear goals, research your bets, shop for the best pricing, manage your money right, don’t chase losses, bet against the public more often, and don’t make too many bets. 

Simply following these pieces of advice could lead you to a long and prosperous sports betting career.

Sports betting success is possible for you. Start by kicking some of these extremely unproductive sports betting behaviors.