Even the most successful sports bettors in the world develop bad habits, and those bad habits have an impact on their bottom line. The difference between them and the large majority of bettors, though, is that they are aware of what those habits are, they are on the lookout for them, and when they start to pop up they do something about them so that they aren’t a long term problem. If you have bet for a long time then you have probably developed some bad habits yourself. Here are five of the more common bad habits that can be a problem for bettors. What they have in common is that they can be easy traps to fall into, and they can be very costly if not noticed and corrected.
Believing your own hype – In order to be a sports bettor you have to have an ego. You have to believe that you are smart enough to outsmart the sportsbooks and the betting public, and that you can get into the heads of athletes and predict what they are going to do. If you don’t have an ego then you won’t be nearly driven enough to put in the work it takes to succeed. The problem, though, is that when you have an ego it is easy for that ego to get inflated and grow too big for itself. If you have some success and make a profit then it can be easy to believe that you can’t lose. That could mean that you take risks that you don’t have the bankroll for, make bets that you shouldn’t be making, and generally don’t act like a smart, rational bettor. It is absolutely crucial for bettors to remember that they are only as good as their next winning bet, and that every winning streak they have now just brings the next losing streak that much closer. If you lack that humility and self awareness – or if you misplace it for a while – then you are going to be in trouble when it comes to sports betting.
Cutting corners – Becoming a winning sports bettor takes a whole lot of work. You have to have the determination to find an approach that works for you, and the discipline to keep doing it whether things are going well or poorly. Once people have been betting for a while, though – and especially if they start to enjoy their success – they can start to try to cut some corners to make the process a bit less onerous. They might spend a bit less time handicapping each game, or spend less time watching games. They might slack off on their record keeping. The problem is, though, that when you cut corners you are no longer doing what you were doing when you were winning, so there is no guarantee that you can keep winning. getting lazy is the single biggest enemy of long term sports betting success.
Failing to innovate – The world of sports betting is always changing and advancing. New betting options are always available, and new information can be easily found to help you understand and interpret games. The public is getting smarter as well, so what used to work very well for handicappers in the past likely won’t work as well in the future as more people figure out what you are doing and replicate it. The bettor who is standing still and relying on what they have always done is not going to continue to succeed. Even when what you are doing is working perfectly you have to have the courage and foresight to keep trying new things to see how you can improve your handicapping approach and strengthen your bottom line.
Sticking with the same books – If the sportsbook that you are using is offering you bad prices then over the course of time you are throwing a lot of money away – especially if you bet on a lot of games or bet a lot of money per game. It is very important that you regularly look around to see if there are other places where you can get better prices for the sports and types of bets you prefer. You might also find that another sportsbook can help you out by posting lines sooner, making it easier to add funds, or offering a wider range of bets. Getting complacent and sticking with one book because it is easiest is not a smart solution in the competitive, constantly evolving world of sportsbooks.
Sticking to same teams or sports – There are some people who only bet on certain teams, leagues, or sports. They do that because it is what they know, and what they are comfortable with. Unless you can be sure, though, that those teams or leagues offer the best possible betting opportunities for your skills or interests then you are missing out. It could be that another conference or league offers much better value because there is less media attention, or that as smaller league might be easier to handicap and find value in. You always need to be assessing if the sports you are betting on are the ones best suited for your goals and skills. If they aren’t then you need to make a change.