Common Sports Betting Mistakes We Make Over and Over

06 / 28 / 2021 By Ally Mielnicki

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“I’m never making that mistake again.” “This is the last time I trust that team to cover.” “No way I ever take the Over on a big game again.”

Too many times, we find ourselves as bettors making the same rookie mistakes when it comes to sports wagering over and over again. We say we’re on a weekly risk budget, or we convince ourselves we will not bet with our heart over our mind, but we do it anyway. 

Don’t worry. you’re not alone in this. However, next time you’re close to breaking the betting promise you made to yourself last week, here are some common betting mistakes we all make over and over again.

  1. Chasing a loss. The idea of chasing your bet is probably the most habitual mistake we all make as sports bettors. There is nothing worse than watching your confidence drain as the three “sure bets” you wagered earlier all are about to result in losses. What’s the answer to that? The smart move is to stop betting. Today is not your day. Take your losses and start afresh tomorrow. However, panic mode sets in, and you take the favorite in the matchup in the Sunday Night Football game and bet heavily to reclaim the total dollar amount we already lost. Nine times out of ten, no such luck. Just like putting the brakes on while you’re ahead, log out of your betting account while you’re behind, and resist temptation.
  2. Getting overly confident. You just hit back-to-back two-team parlays – you’re on a roll! There’s that old saying, “quit while you’re ahead,” but why do that when you’re “lock of the day” has yet to play? Often at times, when bettors are on a hot streak, they look to ride the wave and bet game after game. This mentality is the opposite of chasing a loss, and you should avoid it at all costs. The last thing you want at the end of the betting day is to be up $100, decide to put down more than you would have originally on a bet ($75 instead of $25), and then lose it and wind up with a net profit of only $25. Take your wins in stride and don’t develop an invincible mentality.
  3. Listening to the “experts.” you’re trying to chase a loss. you’re undecided whether to bet on the Cowboys or the Eagles. In fact, you don’t know much about either team. Immediately, you go to your mobile and Google “Cowboys vs. Eagles” predictions. You read the first three articles from the first three blogs that pop up. All three pick the Cowboys -7 with confidence, so that has to be a lock, right? These “experts” online are no more skilled at sports betting than you. Sure, they may throw out fancy stat trends and quickly researchable statistics that favor their pick, but they are not pros. They are casual bettors who make it seem like they know more because they can publish a post online. Your best bet is betting against them. After all, that’s what the sharps do. Go against the public sentiment.
  4. Betting a game because why not? It’s happy hour. Your coworkers ask you if you want to grab a cold one at the local sports pub and catch the Nets vs. Knicks game. You’re not a fan of either team, but hey, why not make watching it worth it, right? Of course, that is your mentality going in. Yet, at the end of the game, you witness that $50 you wagered on the Knicks go down the drain when the Nets both win and cover the spread. Do your research before making any wager. 
  5. Bankroll/Risk Management. If you practice good management with the amount you’re willing to lose on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis in sports betting, then this will help you avoid both chasing your bets and betting for the sake of it. Set aside money for a certain amount of time that you’re comfortable losing. This practice will prevent you from digging into other funds out of sheer panic or disregard when you’re experiencing a losing streak. If you’re tolerant to losing, say $100, then stop right there and wait for the new week to begin. It’s only a few hours away!
  6. Siding with the public. Yes, most sports bettors are the public squares. They tend to stick with the safe bets (aka the favorite). This concept is a commonality, and people pound the favorites heavily. It’s the Super Bowl, and 75 percent of the betting public is siding heavily with the defending champion Chiefs. However, despite most wagers on the favorite, the Chiefs -3 line has yet to budge. Use this as a reason to side with the underdog Buccaneers. Once you start shying away from listening to the “public majority,” you will find more success in betting based on line movement and betting percentages rather than what all of your friends think.
  7. Hometown Bias. I know, it’s your team, so why not make money off of them? This idea is similar to trusting your heart over your head. You already are invested in your team winning, so why risk losing money? Sure, if they win, you win your bet, but if they lose, it is worse. It is much more strategic to study trends and statistics for a team than how much you root for them. The same applies to the clubs you dislike. What is more frustrating than watching the team you despise claim victory while you have $100 less in your bank account on their behalf?
  8. Trusting one sportsbook. Yes, it can be tedious exploring 4-5 sportsbooks that offer differing values. Still, in the end, line shopping is worth it. Let’s say you like the Lakers at -1.5 (-110) at Sportsbook A, but Sportsbook B has them listed at +1.5 (-110). Now, you can get +1.5 points in your favor for the same value as sacrificing -1.5. Scour around multiple betting sites and sportsbooks before you place a bet. You do want to maximize your earnings.
  9. Not cashing out. You just completed a hot streak, winning 5 of your 6 bets this past week. You have a net gain of $500 – that’s amazing! Now it is time to withdraw. This mistake has hurt casual sports bettors time after time. When you have $500 in your account instead of $100, the betting world is at your service. This case is where bankroll management plays a crucial role. In the long run, it will benefit you to remain consistent, sticking to your weekly risk budget. Don’t be tempted by that additional $400 in your account. There is a good chance you’ll burn through it if you go on a cold streak.

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