Disclosure: This content is reader-supported which means if you sign up on some of our links, we may earn a commission.
Betting can be fun and profitable if done with discipline. However, many bettors get carried away and engage in some practices that cost them both financially and mentally.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the mistakes you should avoid when betting.
#1. No budget for betting and other gambling activities
Never bet with more than you have or can afford to lose. Always set aside a specific amount that you can use for betting and other gambling activities.
Ensure you have settled all your essential bills before you even think of engaging in betting.
#2. Having a lot of expectations
No matter how awesome your analysis of games seems, you can still lose. Betting is a risky affair, the more games you stake on, the higher the risk of burning your bet.
Always have this at the back of your mind. Luck is the most critical factor in this business.
#3. Betting on your favourite team (emotional betting)
We all have biases when it comes to our favorite teams. We always want them to win and this may cloud your judgment as a sports bettor.
Wanting your team to win and the team actually winning a match are not correlated in any way.
If your favorite team has been performing dismally then don’t expect them to be good out of nowhere (and vice versa).
My general rule when it comes to sports betting is avoiding placing bets in matches involving my favorite team.
It not only gives me peace of mind but also keeps emotions that would otherwise cloud my betting judgment out of the fray – thus increasing my chances of success.
#4. Having a lengthy bet slip
As I said before, luck is the most important factor in sports betting. For each game, you need an element of luck, so imagine needing another element of luck for each game you add on your slip.
Luck rarely happens more than once. If you’re getting my drift, you know what I mean – bet on as few matches as possible.
Personally, I always stick to one or two games on my betting slip per given sport – nothing more than that. The risk remains lower that way.
#5. Betting on unfamiliar sports and teams
At all costs, avoid betting on types of sports that you are not a keen follower of.
For example, if you’re a football/soccer fan and just recently came across NBA games on your bookmaker’s site, don’t get tempted to bet on the latter.
The only time I’d advise anyone to bet on a different sport is if only they’re also a fan of the other.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys just one sport, avoid the rest when it comes to betting at least until you get deeper into the new sport.
You should also avoid unfamiliar leagues and teams within the category that you’re a fan of.
#6. Not having a strategy
Sports betting always requires some form of strategy to be profitable.
For instance, specialize in a particular league or conference and always have a detailed analysis of every team involved or select a given number of teams that you’ll be working with on each matchday.
Take your time and come up with a strategy that works for you best. For example, I only stick to English Premier League matches when betting.
I never fall into the temptation of looking in other major leagues in which I may be familiar with only two or three teams.
By following this strategy, my analysis is much easier and I get better at it with each passing day because I only deal with a fixed number of teams that play every football season in England.
#7. Betting while intoxicated
Betting is like a job and should be taken seriously. If you drink, make sure you have already placed your bets earlier or postpone the activity to a later day.
Being intoxicated can lead to lots of misjudgments which may cost you a lot of money in regards to betting.
Avoid alcohol and any other drugs whenever you want to bet. You can indulge later after you’ve done your detailed analysis and placed your bet.
They say ‘Don’t drink and drive!’ I say ‘Don’t drink and gamble!’
#8. Using the wrong stats
Data and statistics are the necessary tools when analyzing past and recent games before placing a bet. However, not all stats and data out there are useful for betting.
For example, you cannot use information like time of day and the weather to predict any given match. These parameters may be accurate information but pointless in this scenario.
Examples of data you can use to predict the outcome of a match include home record, away record, winning or losing streak, and head-to-head record.
While checking out these parameters, be careful and countercheck from a second source to be sure that you’re using the most accurate data.
In summary, my advice to anyone engaging in sports betting would be; to keep emotions out of betting, detailed analyses of each match, discipline, and self-control each time one wants to place a bet.
If you’re lucky enough to win big, slow down and avoid betting for a while. Luck rarely comes twice on the same day.
Use your winnings wisely and don’t reinvest most of it in betting. You can lose it way faster than you won it.
Remember that your bookmaker will not have invested time in the analysis as you have before taking your money. It’s all on you!
If you found this quick guide useful, please leave your reactions in the comments section below.