Sports bettors should remember these four keys when betting

Sometimes when it comes to sports betting, we need to think about what not to do instead of just trying to pick winners.

Here are four things to avoid when the sports calendar heats up in March.

1. Change one size

Money management can be the most important discipline required to be a successful sports bettor. One of the worst things bettors can do is change their unit size based on how well or how poorly they are doing. When you are hot, never double down and risk more because you are overconfident. If you are cold, never hunt and try to win everything back in one fell swoop.

Instead, we encourage bettors to take a flat betting approach. This means that you bet the same amount on every game. If you have a $2,000 bankroll, betting 1 percent ($20) is a good approach.

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A flat betting approach will save bettors from going bankrupt when they hit an inevitable difficult stretch. It will also offer bettors a positive return on investment (ROI) if they do well.

2. Overreacting to current trends

If a team looked great in the last game or is on a winning streak of four games, novice bettors will automatically want to bet on it simply because it’s playing well. Conversely, if a team has just been eliminated by 20 points or is on a five-game losing streak, inexperienced bettors will automatically fade them.

But that’s a mistake. Historically, teams that get a win are overrated. The market can overvalue these teams.

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For example, let’s say Purdue just pulled off a 21-point blowout win. The next game the odds makers could have a true opener of Purdue -3, but knowing the crowd will take Purdue no matter what, they open -3.5 or -4. As a result, you get an overpriced and bad number.

For this reason, we generally encourage bettors to buy on bad news and sell on good news.

3. Player Error

Gambler’s fallacy is the belief that something that happens more often than normal over a given period of time will happen less often in the future. Suppose you go to a roulette table and see that a black number has hit the last 10 spins. Your first thought might be to bet on red because it hasn’t happened in a while and it’s “due”.

But this logic is flawed: each spin of the roulette wheel is made independent of previous spins. The same theory applies to sports. If the Cubs lose the first two games of a three-game streak against the Padres, that doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to win the third game.

4. Too many moves

Bettors love to bet, but betting just for the sake of action is never a good thing. Betting 10 or 15 games a night is dangerous. You are taking a huge risk and one bad night can decimate your bankroll. Instead, bettors should remain disciplined and limit their games to their most confident games of the day. You can never lose a bet you don’t make. Sports bettors should remember these four keys when betting


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