Biggest Sports Betting Mistakes

Sports Betting Mistakes You Need to Avoid

To end up on top, bettors need to avoid doing the things that make bookmakers rich. Let's take a look at how NOT to put your bookie's kid through college by avoiding these sports betting mistakes!

Failing to Line Shop

Have you heard the term “line shopping” before? Smart players who are in it for the long run are looking for different wagering options that will give them more value for their bets. That means they aren't sticking to a single online sportsbook or betting app.

In an effort to get every edge possible, gamblers should have a funded account with several sportsbooks. Taking a quick look at an odds comparison screen you can easily spot minor differences across the betting markets. These differences are worth up to 2% on your total win percentage!

Let’s take a simple comparison of odds on the same match. Your go-to website offers odds of -208. By betting on these odds, players are getting a $48 return on a $100 bet. You go to your other sportsbook website and find odds of -185, which means that on a $100 bet, you would win $54. Why would you leave more then 10% profit on the table? If you are already a winning bettor, your bank roll and unit size increase exponentially because it is compounded by these added winnings. And if you were breaking even, betting this way would have made you a profitable sports bettor.

Using multiple sportsbooks also means you have access to different bonuses and promotions. 

Chasing Losses

This is by far the most important mistake that gamblers should avoid and it applies to all types of gambling genres  from sports betting, casino games, to horse racing and lottery tickets. 

To avoid chasing losses, you must go into sports betting with a set of rules. Do you have an established bankroll that you can afford to lose? Do you have an estbalished unit size? It's harder to be impulsive and lose your bankroll in one night if you know you are breaking your own rules. 

If you often get furious when on the receiving end of things, then you need to practice how to remain calm. Betting emotionally to get back what you have lost is guaranteed to burn through your entire betting bankroll.

Bettors stick to the leagues they know... until that league is no longer on the board. Then... it's time for Japanese Table Tennis! Seriously, sportsbooks are not offering second division basketball in South America because they want to grow the sport or are aware of fans that want to bet it. It's there the same reason the online casino is there... So that action junkies can get more down long after the west coast NBA players have left the arena. 

To summarize, don't bet more as you lose and don't stray from the leagues and games that you researched. Even betting the late NBA game second half without knowing if they played yesterday or play tomorrow is financial suicide. 

Betting on Your Favorite Teams

It's one thing to know a team well and follow them but its another to blindly back them out of allegiance. If you want to end up in black, you need to be objective. This is not happening if you are betting on your local team every weekend with your Lakers jersey and hat on. There is a reason why every local bookie shads the line on the local teams. They know over the long haul they will get fan bets. Fan bets are sucker bets. 

Not Getting the Most Out of Bets

Even though the majority of players prefer to bet on spreads and team outcomes, you should be aware of the many betting markets. 

The simple fact of it is, betting on the outright match winner or spread is not always the best bet to make. You can significantly increase your chances of winning by utilizing different betting markets. 

As an example, you can avoid inflated favorites and look at 3-way markets where the value might still exist. As Chris explains here, if you are priced out of a market on your team, betting the team total may still support your handicapping NHL prediction

Parlays Will Get You Nowhere

Parlays are all fun, but they are there to make the sportsbooks the most money possible. That's right, parlays typically have the biggest hold for the house. The more parlay legs you add, the more the margins, AKA bookmaker profits, go up.  Parlays are hard to hit but more importantly, they don't pay out enough to equal the ROI on straight bets at the same win rate.

As a general rule of thumb, placing a parlay every once in a while is not a bad thing. It's like getting an ice cream cone.. we all do it. But we don't pretend it's going to help with tomorrow's workout. So if you do parlay, make sure you A) know it is for fun or B) are getting advantageous payout odds or C) are using a bonus to inflate your ROI!

Bad Bankroll Management

Some pro handicappers weight their plays based on confidence. They see advantages and might bet more or less based on how big of an edge they see. You should not. Varying your bet size subjectively, or based on a good or bad week, is the most common way to turn a good week into a mediocre, and a bad week into a terrible week. 

Handicapping Only Recent Games

Recency bias is hard to overcome. Have you watched a team have a massive performance in their last NFL game, then thought they will steamroll their opponent this week, only to watch what seems like a bunch of imposters? It's important to understand that each game is unique with its own set of variables. 

Sportsbooks know that teams that beat down another in their past matchup will be inflated. That's what sportsbooks and sharps call "public teams". 


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