I’ve been betting for 6,5 years & working with sportsbooks for 2 of them. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Here are 8 Biggest sports betting mistakes I wish I could tell much less knowledgable self that will help you avoid them:
No tracking = No winning
What gets measured gets managed. Decisions are easy when you see whats actually happening. 5 years ago I noticed I was winning 2x more on WNBA than MLB. I haven’t watched baseball a single time since.
You Rely on Trends
‘The Cowboys are 9-1 their last 10 November Games’ These are fun to hear but don’t include any meaningful context. Some trends that may matter: Team vs. Spread: shows who the market has overvalued & undervalued all season. This is not predictive moving forward. Short turnarounds: NFL teams going west coast to east coast for a Wednesday night game lose against the spread over 70% of the time.
You Need To Compare Lines
Ex: You are in a store and see 2 identical protein bars. Bar X is $2 and Bar Y is $1. They are the same bar. You have no reason to choose the $2 bar. Yet this is what you do every time you don’t compare lines. You always want Packers +5 instead of Packers +4, just like you always want the $1 protein bar. There are free line comparison tools online. You should check them out.
Parlays: You Hate That You Love Them
Parlays accounted for 55.1% of New Jersey Sports Betting Profits last year. More than individual bets on NBA, NFL & MLB combined! 2-way parlays on player props have been the only profitable parlays I have seen thus far.
Convert Odds Into Percentages
Which do you find easier to understand? “Patriots are -275 favorites” or “Patriots have a 73% chance to win”.
It’s not enough to just do research. You must understand the market.
The Market = Everyone Who is Betting You will find success when you understand how the market moves a line, why it happens & when it’s an overreaction. Example: Team A & Team B play eachother Week 3. Team A is a 3-point favorite. In Week 3 Team B losses & Team A wins. Team A is now a 6-point favorite in Week 3. Assuming no key injuries, this is an overreaction. Little can change in 2 weeks to move the market this much.
You Are Too Emotional While Betting
Gamblers Fallacy: you are winning now so you believe you will keep winning Having a bet tracking system will help you with this. Once you understand the market it becomes easier to view betting as a game where you are finding the best numbers. It becomes less about how good Jerry Rice is at football. Instead use methods like value betting.
Your Expectations Are Too High
You see the $35 Parlay turned into $150,000 on Twitter and you suddenly have new life and betting goals. In reality to win you have to hit ~53.5% of your bets. Now that’s one sweet realistic goal!
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