Betting School #3: 10 sports betting mistakes that pros make

Sportbetting is a complex activity.

In theory, its really straight forward, its all about picking the correct outcome. But if it was that easy, every sportsbook in the world would be bankrupt by now.

So why are so few players successful with their sportsbetting?

It relates to a number of different factors, and in this article Coolbet takes a look at 10 sports betting mistakes even the pro`s make.

1. Not keeping track of your bets.

Almost every sportsbettor will claim that they are successful, and that they make profit from betting. Its human nature not to admit losing. Its easy to deceive yourself by believing this, unless you make account for all the placed bets.

Keeping track of every single bet placed is the most efficient way to determine if you make money on sportsbetting or not. Many punters do not keep track of their bets, and are only assuming they make money. Some punters do keep track but are not really true to themselves, ”forgetting” to register lost bets, again creating an illusion that they are succesful in their betting.

The real professionals keep track of every single bet, and are not tempted by leaving out lost bets that would look bad for the overall result.

2. Try to win back what you just lost.

If you have just lost a bet, the professionals will accept it and move forward. One of the most common sports betting mistakes is to try to win back the stake you just lost to the bookmaker. Such a descision is only based on emotions, and will lead to poor judgements. The ability to stay cool, and accept the loss is a key to being successful with betting. Punters who immediately try to win back their losses will make poor calls, and end up losing in the long run.

3. Trusting the information of others

There are some great betting communties out there, with many skillful and knowledgable punters. These communties are based on trust, and based on a proven track record within a specific field.

But way too often players put too much trust into the information given by fellow punters. It’s just too tempting when you read in a forum that this match is a ”100% guarantee!” or that someone claims to have inside information, which in fact might be false. These persons hold no responsibility if you lose your bet, it is your call, and you can’t really complain afterwards.

The only person you can really trust is yourself.

4. Betting and drinking

Here is another quite common sports betting mistake. Betting when influenced by alcohol is never a smart thing to do. It’s very hard to stay true to your betting strategy if you are influenced by alcohol. Emotions will make the descions for you, and as a punter, you need to stay rational.

5. Let emotions decide

This sports betting mistake is similar to the one above. But its also possible to make wrong choices and bad judgements when you are sober!

Every player has experienced a bad beat, a run of events where you just can’t seem to win on anything. Late goals, cheap penalties, a red card that was not given, the list is endless. The not so successful punters will let those feelings play a large part in their descion making. They want payback, and they want it NOW!

It’s also common to make a bet against a team you really dislike, just because you hope they will lose, and at the same time you will actually win some money it. Double joy.

The other option is to bet on the team you hate, to sort of ”hedge your feelings”. If my rivals win, at least I am going to make some money on it, right?

Both bets are equally bad from a long term profit perspective.

Making bets fuelled by emotions is the safest way to lose your bankroll. Stay cool, and use analytical methods to find your next bet.

6. Trying to be good at everything

A common sports betting mistake is to attempt being an expert on everything.

The number of sports and betting options are endless, and succesful punters narrow down their focus areas. Remember, most sportsbooks have really competent traders who are specialists in their area. The chance of making a profit is bigger if you specialize in a specific sport, a league or even betting types, like corners or cards. If you try to cover everything, its likely that you wil be semi-good in a lot of things, but not really good in anything (“Jack of all trades, a master of none”). Be a specialist , and try to be better than the bookmaker in that specific area.

Many punters think they have struck gold when they discover a new sport.

Well, new to them, that is.

A great example comes from the early days of online gaming when a Norwegian tipster claimed he had found the best bet ever, in a cricket match. He was obviously not an expert in cricket, but nevertheless claimed to be an authority on the sport. He was so sure that Pakistan was going to win, that he said ” Hell would freeze over ” before they lost that game.

Can you guess what happened?

Pakistan lost. Lesson learned, stick to what you know.

7. Not betting value

The concept of betting value is the single most important thing to achieve long term profit. Betting value means that you only bet on those odds where you think the probability and odds are in your favour. The bookmakers take a margin on each bet, so its not easy to find bets with value. The higher the margin, the bigger mistake the bookmakers have to make for it to be value.

Many punters sin against this very important concept, its probably the most common betting mistake. Value is your individual opinion of a match. If you have a different opinion than the bookmaker, its possible to find value.

Deciding value is not easy, you have to have very good knowledge about the sport, probabilities and odds. A mistake many do is to decide on an outcome first, then argue for it to fit the odds. It’s one of the hardest things in sportsbetting, letting go of a bet you believe in, because after analyzing it, you found out that there was no value after all.

Bet the odds, not the outcome. In the English Premier League, you believe Chelsea will win, but how big chance do they really have against Sunderland? 72%? What would the odds have to be then for it to have value?

8. Using complex betting systems.

In the search for profit, it’s common that punters experiment with different betting strategies, and there are plenty providers who stand ready to sell you these wonder-systems. The house always has the edge, regardless of what other might tell you. So stay clear of sensational new ways to make a profit.

A well-known strategy called Martingale. It’s based on the notion that you double your stake after each loss, and when you hit, you have made a profit regardless of the previous losses. The problem is that most gamblers do not have an infinite bank roll, and even if they did, very few, or no bookmakers would accept the stakes needed to cover 12 losses in a row, for example.

Instead, we suggest sticking to betting unit size as a proper bank roll management (you can read more about Betting Unit Sizes here)

9. Not betting the best odds.

Loyalty is something we normally consider a good thing, but why should you really stay loyal to a bank or a bookmaker?

If they always offer you the best terms and best deals, there would be no need to change, but this is hardly the case. If you only bet with one bookmaker, its very likely that you miss out on profit. Does that particular bookmaker always have the highest odds on what you bet? Most likely not. Shop around, and bet with the bookmaker that will give you the highest odds on what you plan to bet on.

If you see two shops with identical products, and one is much cheaper than than the other, why buy it in the most expensive shop?

10. Betting on credit.

Betting on credit, or buying on credit for that matter is rarely a wise thing to do. It will force you to make bad bets you normally wouldn’t have made because you want to pay back the loan as fast as possible. Only bet with money you can afford to lose, and stay true to your strategy and the funds you have allocated for betting.

Human nature

As we have learned from the sports betting mistakes above, keeping your betting easy maybe isn’t that easy after all. There are many traps along the way. What we see is that human nature plays a big part in betting. And as humans, we make mistakes.

To suceed in betting you have to have tremendous skills in sports, analytic skills, a decent bank roll, and a strong personal character. You have to stay cool, be focused, keep track of your bets and be honest with yourself.

The human character is often tested when experiencing bad beats, where many simply lose it. That’s when the lack of discipline and emotional control make punters forget about their betting strategies, value and unit sizes. Their actions are simply fuelled by emotions, not rational descions. And unfortunately, thats bad news for your bank roll.

The most successful punters often use this slogan, and it explains everything within one sentence – ”Betting is a marathon, not a sprint”.

What do you think about these sports betting mistakes?

Are there any major sports betting mistakes we didn’t include?

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook page.

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