The Mistakes Sharps Avoid When Gambling on Sports

If gambling on sports was easy, everyone would be doing it. More and more people are these days, but too many bettors make the simplest of mistakes. How about the bettor that complains that his card went 5-2? Or the one whose 12-team teaser failed because he missed one bet. Read on to learn more about betting mistakes to avoid.

Key Points

– When gambling on sports, do what the sharps do.

– Following a simple plan is the key to success when gambling on sports.

Learn to Manage Your Money When Gambling on Sports

You will read about money management on every sports betting site you see. It’s there because it is crucial to success. Too many bettors continue to make the same easy errors.

Start with your weekly bankroll. Take your budget and divide it by the number of weeks in the season. If it’s the NFL, for example, you’ll divide by the 18 weeks of play during the season. 

If you had $1,800 for the NFL season, you would have $100 to wager with each week. While this may not sound particularly thrilling, it does guarantee that you will be able to bet on the NFL throughout the entire season. 

Instead of betting on a whim, manage your money and enjoy betting on football all 18 weeks of the season. Who knows, you might even have funds available to wager on the postseason.


Track All of Your Bets

All sports bettors share a common trait. They lack self-awareness. Over time, most people are more likely to recall what went right compared to what went wrong. Bettors tend to overlook the poor decisions and focus on the wins. 

Tracking your bets solves that problem. Bettors are like fishermen. The stories get exaggerated every time they’re told.

You think you were 7-for-10 in your last ten bets. When you check your betting log, you see that you were actually 5-5. Keep track of everything – the type of bet, the stake, odds, and winnings.

Sharp bettors track everything. It helps them when deciding to wager on or against certain teams. If it’s good enough for professional bettors, then it’s certainly good enough for the average Joe.

Never Chase Losses When Gambling on Sports

It is extremely frustrating on a college football or basketball Saturday to deal with an early losing streak. Because there are so many games, there is that feeling of wanting to make up for those losses. 

Instead of following a disciplined approach, a bettor decides to bet on more games than he would normally. Keep in mind that the best bettors, even in a good season, will lose about 40 percent of the time. 

Chasing losses never pans out. Sure, you might win big on a bet and make up for a bad loss. That might be the worst thing that can happen. Then, you feel confident about chasing losses. In the end, you will dig yourself a deeper hole. 

Stick to your overall betting plan. Do the research and find bets that offer value. Don’t chase losses. Sharp bettors don’t.

Treat Parlays With Care

A guy at the track hits a daily double on two horses with long odds. He wins more than $10,000. Another bettor hits a 10-team NFL and college football parlay. His payout is over $20,000!

What the average bettor doesn’t know is both bettors spent about $50,000 just to win that one bet. 

Although parlays and teasers are frequently profitable for bettors, they don’t win that often. Winning one wager is hard enough. Combining that with another and then adding more bets makes the likelihood of succeeding very low.

That, of course, is why parlay odds are so high. That ten-team parlay has about a 0.2 percent chance of winning. That’s why the odds are in the +64000 range. 

The point here is this. Treat any parlay bets – teasers included – with great care. You can use creative strategies, but keep this thought in mind when thinking about parlays. It’s like a diet. You can’t eat burgers, fries, and pizza all the time. Your health will decline.

You can’t bet parlays all the time either. Your bankroll will suffer greatly. That doesn’t mean you should avoid parlays. Keep them to two to four teams. Bet a half-unit instead of a full unit. Do your homework and pick a parlay that has a great chance of winning.

Don’t Bet on Bad Numbers

If you don’t know what key numbers are in the NFL, you need to look that up right now. When betting the NFL, it pays to know these key numbers. More NFL games than any end up with a scoring margin of three points. Typical scores include 27-24 and 24-21. 

Knowing these key numbers can help when deciding teams to bet against the spread. If you’re betting on a favorite and can get it at -2.5, that’s a bonus. If the same favorite has a line of -3.5, that’s probably not a great number. 

Staying on the right side of the numbers over the course of a season will help you win/save money.

Avoid Playing Only One Side When Gambling on Sports

Don’t be the average Joe. The typical public bettor loves to bet on favorites and Overs. Sportsbooks know this and cook that into the lines they offer. 

Using that thinking and just betting on all underdogs is also a recipe for disaster. Underdogs are in their position for a reason. They aren’t supposed to win. Yes, you can make out big on underdogs that win, but betting on them all the time is a no-no.

The point is to avoid playing one side all the time. Once again, do the research. Pick bets that offer value. Stick your betting strategy and don’t bet over your head. It’s the clearest path to betting success.