Luck plays a large role in sports betting. Comebacks are not all that rare in cricket or football. Even the strongest of teams fail miserably. Similarly, underdogs win. But if some punter keeps getting unfavorable results long-term, part of that may be on him. Chances are that they have some habitual shortcomings that hold them back. The worst part is, we often will not be aware of this until someone points it out. Here are some of the biggest bad sports betting habits that can become a big detriment to your chances of winning.
Chasing a loss
This is as common as a bad habit gets. In fact, it is the biggest trait that demarcates rookies from seasoned punters. Imagine that a bettor wagers 2000 INR with good chances of winning. The problem, as we underlined before, is that nothing is a 100% certainty. So despite their likelihood to succeed, the bettor loses their money.
When this happens, the unwary will go on damage control mode. The bettor now wants to make up for his losses with a quick win in the next match. This mindset will lose you a lot of money in the long term. You will make hasty decisions. When you chase losses, you also tend to think of luck as a balanced thing. You feel as if you should get lucky in the next round of wagering because you just got unlucky.
Personal loyalty to your favourite team
People casually bet on sports all the time. Sometimes you watch a Friday night T-20 game with your friends and decide to wager. In this case, sports betting is just fun and an addition to the excitement of sports. But casual betting and betting to make money are very different things.
To be a good sports bettor, one needs a keen understanding of the game. Their expertise and knowledge may not be as much as the average handicapper, but they often are enthusiasts about it. And when you are passionate about a sport, you often have a favourite team. The problem is that your favouritism and love towards your home team have no place in wager stats. Sports betting is a dispassionate game of numbers and statistics. It is all head and no heart.
Following the crowd
Humans are social animals. So our basic instinct is to follow the herd. Sportsbooks know this. So whenever you wager on a team that seems like the sure-shot favourite, consider this: Sportsbooks are a business, and they make more money than the casual punter does. So think outside the hive-mind, and take the bookmaker’s perspective. Do not be afraid to bet against the public, a.k.a. fade the public.
Stagnating into a routine
When you learn a new skill, you first learn the basics, and then get better with practice. However, we tend to look at sports betting as a way to gain some extra cash on the side, and not a skill that we can master. Over 90% of all punters undergo a similar journey. They try a few things and combinations on their favourite sport to see what works. At some point, things click into place, and they mark that as the one successful strategy. Then they repeat that strategy.
But sports betting is not like dieting. Sure, if you find a winning strategy, you will keep winning. In the short term, that is. It does not work out over time because sports and sports betting are dynamic systems, and too many factors change rapidly. This is why you have to constantly be on the lookout for new ways to up the ante.
Getting too smug
When you start winning, you develop a certain game sense for wagering. But do not develop an ego about it. A punter is only as good as his immediate bet. Too many bettors start believing ‘hunches’ when they have won x number of bets. But hunches will not win. What does win games is basic legwork – research and objective understanding. When in doubt, return to the roots.
These bad habits are common enough that even seasoned punters get them. But it is never too late to change – all you have to do is identify the repeat offender that loses you games over long-term.
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