9 Sports Betting Mistakes You Should Avoid

If you’re just getting started in sports betting, chances are betting mistakes will be made. Lots of them. However, you can easily avoid most of them with a little bit of research beforehand.

It’s not easy to be a sports bettor. If it was, Vegas would collapse and Average Mike gamblers would be able to retire and live extravagantly as millionaires.

Seasoned gamblers know that there will always be ups and downs. It is important to stay the course, be disciplined, and build your bankroll steadily over the long term.

Here are nine common betting mistakes to avoid:

Betting Mistakes to Avoid – No.1: Change the unit size

The most important discipline to be a successful sports bettor is money management. Changes in unit size due to how well or poorly bettors are doing can be very dangerous. If you are hot, don’t double down or take on more risks because you’re too confident. If you are cold, don’t chase after it and try to get it all back in one go.

We encourage all bettors to adopt a flat-betting strategy unless they have a quantifiable advantage on certain bets.

Flat betting is when you bet the same amount on all games and only risk 1% to 5% per play. A good middle is 3% per play.

If you start with $100, each play is $3. Every play with $1,000 is worth $30.

Flat betting will prevent bettors from going bankrupt if they are hit with a tough stretch. It will provide a positive Return on Investment (ROI) if done well

Betting Mistakes to Avoid – No.2: Reacting too strongly to recent trends

betting mistakes: reacting too strongly to recent trends

A team that has been winning four consecutive games or looked good in the last game will be attractive to novice bettors. If a team is currently on a losing streak of five games and has just lost 20 points, novice bettors may fade them.

However, this is a mistake. Historically, winning teams have been overvalued.

Let’s say, for example, that the Patriots have just won a 21-point win. The oddsmakers may have Patriots -7 as the opener, but they know that the public will be taking the Pats regardless of what so they open New England at -7.5 or even -8. This means you’re getting a bad and overpriced number.

The flip side is that teams that have lost are historically undervalued. The oddsmakers will know that the public will be betting against the Browns after a 21-point loss. Instead of opening the Browns at +10, they open +0.5 or +11 for the next game. This gives sharp contrarian bettors more points and an inflated line value.

We encourage bettors not to take on bad news but to make a profit on the good news.

Betting Mistakes to Avoid – No.3: Gambler’s Fallacy

Gambler’s fallacy refers to the belief that if something occurs more frequently than usual over a given time period, it will occur less often in the future. Imagine that you see a black number on a roulette table after 10 spins.

You might think that red is the best bet because it hasn’t happened in a while.

This logic is flawed. Every spin of the Roulette wheel is independent of previous spins. In some ways, the same principle applies to sports. The Cubs may lose two of three games to the Padres in a series, but that doesn’t guarantee they will win the third.

Betting Mistakes to Avoid – No.4: Too many bets

Bettors love betting. Betting just to have action is not a good idea. It is risky to bet on more than 15 games each night. This is a huge risk, and one bad night could cost you your entire bankroll.

Bettors should instead be disciplined and keep their play to the most confident games. You can never lose a bet you don’t make.

Betting Mistakes to Avoid – No.5: Unrealistic Expectations

betting mistakes to avoid: having unrealistic expectations

When they start betting, new bettors often have high expectations. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to become rich overnight, win 70% of their bets, or hit a 1,000-1 parlay.

Spread sports betting (considering standard-110 juice) requires that bettors win 52.38% of the time to break even.

Anything over 55% is considered highly profitable.

Betting Mistakes to Avoid – No.6: Buy into Touts

There is no oversight or regulation in the sports betting industry. Anyone can open a website or company and start selling picks. In order to get business, handicappers may make false claims and promise unimaginable riches.

There are many honest and trustworthy handicappers in the industry. However, there are a lot of fraudsters who use fake names, flashy cars, and women in bikinis to get new bettors to purchase their picks.

In the hope of convincing you to sign up, they will bombard you with “Five Star Locks”, and “Guaranteed Winners”. It’s possible it is too good to be true if it seems too good to be true.

We encourage bettors not to trust handicappers who promise easy money or even avoid them altogether.

Betting Mistakes to Avoid – No.7: Choose Your Heart over Your Head

Public bettors usually lose. Public bettors are influenced by gut instinct and favor betting favorites, home teams, and overs. This is because it is more enjoyable to watch high-scoring games than root for missed field goals and blocked shots. They are also inclined toward historic teams, star players, and those who get the most media attention.

Contrarian bettors profit from public bias by betting against the public and can get artificially high numbers. They also favor the sportsbooks as an additional bonus. We all know that the house always wins.

Betting Mistakes to Avoid – No.8: Ignore sharp action

Besides being a contrarian, you should also try and be on the same side as a professional bettor; they win at a high rate and have a long track of success. Reverse Line Movement is a great way to spot sharp action. This is when the line moves in an opposite direction to the betting percentages.

These signals can be easily identified using our PRO Report.

Imagine that the Warriors get 80% of spread betting, but you see Golden State drop from -10 to 9. To give Warriors bettors better odds, the oddsmakers dropped the line. The line fell because professional bettors were sharp and took on the opponent.

To be successful long-term, bettors must have reliable and accurate data. You’re at an immediate disadvantage if you don’t know the location of the public, the smart money, and the reasons for the lines’ movement.

Bettors can increase their odds of winning by covering up the names and removing bias. They can also make smarter decisions by betting based on line movement and percentages.

Betting Mistakes to Avoid – No.9: Fail to Shop for the Best Line

The last from our betting mistakes series that we want to talk about is failing to shop for the best line.

You have a greater chance of long-term success if you can access multiple sportsbooks. Why? Because every cent counts.

Let’s say, for example, you want to wager on the Miami Heat plus points. Your book is posting Heat +15, while another book is posting Heat -5.5 and a third is posting Heat -6.

You can get an extra point by placing a bet on the book that has posted +6. You just received a full point by having multiple accounts at different books. Although it may seem small, this can really make a difference in your life and help you turn losses into wins.

You can think of it this way: If you bet 400 moneylines during the year, your record would be 210-190.

You could make $1,000 if you were able to get them at -105. That’s just five cents more per wager.

Betting mistakes can easily be avoided if you’re properly informed, and that is exactly why we are here. Take into consideration all the above information and you should be able to smartly place bets and make a nice profit. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us through the comments section or through our contact page!

And, as always, remember to bet with your head and not over it!

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