Sports Betting: Top 5 Reasons Why You’re Losing & What to do About it
Sports betting involves some pretty complicated maths, but it isn’t an exact science. No matter how many betting strategies you use, or how long you’ve known your team, you could still end up on a losing streak. Even the best punters run into “cold periods” from time to time, so you’re not alone.
The very nature of sports betting means that you’re leaving some things up to chance, but is there anything you can do to improve your technique, and perhaps get out of your losing slump? There very well might be.
Gambling of any kind is always associated with a degree of luck. However, there are also mistakes that are often overlooked by the average bettor.
Read on if you want to know more about these mistakes, how to avoid them and how you could possibly change your losing into winning instead.
#1 No Bankroll Management
This might seem like an obvious aspect, but oftentimes bettors have absolutely no bankroll management. Even if you’re a casual punter, it’s vital to your sports betting success that you have a system in place.
Erratic betting decisions could affect your cash flow negatively. You could even wind up losing money. It’s, therefore, crucial to manage your funds effectively.
When you’re not keeping track of how much you’re putting in vs how much you’re getting out, it’s easy to chase losing bets or to make irrational ones.
You also don’t have a clear picture of how much you’ve already spent. This is dangerous territory when you haven’t set any restrictions for yourself. It could lead to impulsive betting, which means losing a lot of money.
Figure out how much you can spend in a month on sports betting. Set limits for yourself and stick to them. Lastly, cap your bets at a specific amount. For example, if you have £/€/$100 in your pot, keep your single wagers to, say, 1% or £/€/$1.
Furthermore, by keeping a record of your profits and losses, you’re also able to monitor your performance and make more informed betting choices. If you’re using a specific strategy, you can determine whether it’s working or not too.
Practice self-discipline, but don’t be too rigid either. You’ll soon see the value in managing your bankroll.
#2 Hasty or Emotional Betting Decisions
Another typical error that punters make is to bet impulsively or emotionally. Let’s say you’ve just remembered there’s a football game on, and you want to get in on the action, so you quickly go and place a bet without putting much thought into it. While this isn’t an issue if you only do it once in a blue moon, it could develop into a bad habit.
The same goes for emotional sports betting. If you only bet on your favourite team for that reason alone, despite the odds in favour of the other side, then you could end up losing quite a few wagers. Similarly, betting when you’re angry or upset is never a good idea either.
Placing wagers without thinking them through, puts your bankroll at risk. If you’re only betting for the sake of it, because you have an affinity for a certain team, or because emotion clouds your judgement, chances are those decisions aren’t the best ones. Once again, you risk losing your money.
While you won’t necessarily lose these kinds of bets, statistically, your risk increases which in turn jeopardises any potential winnings.
While it’s impossible to remove all emotion from an equation, it’s best to make decisions with a clear head. If you’re upset that you’ve lost a wager, take some time to calm down before you rush into placing another bet.
Similarly, avoid making bets that don’t correspond with the available data, even if it’s for sentimental reasons. If you’re consistent with this rule, you’ll find that your losing streak is less prominent.
#3 Spreading Your Bets Too Thinly
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of sports betting, especially if there’s a league, series or championship going on.
However, if you’re placing, say, ten bets at a time as opposed to five, then chances are that your focus is all over the place, too. Your chances of losing, therefore, increase as well.
In the same vein, if you’re placing bets across a multitude of sports, you’ll have a harder time keeping tabs on the latest information about each one.
By spreading your bets too thinly, you’re dividing your attention between too many sets of potential outcomes. Any professional punter will tell you that research is a crucial component of profitable sports betting.
However, if you have a wide range of wagers across the board and from various sports, it can prove challenging to research each wager before placing it. This means that you’re more likely to make less informed bets.
Perhaps you didn’t notice an injured player, or that the weather conditions changed drastically. These things affect the outcome of a game and, therefore, your wagers too.
Successful sports betting means being selective and identifying opportunities that align with your judgement. Intensify your focus by sticking to one sport at a time, and only concentrate on a selected number of games.
When you do this, you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of success because you’re able to analyse and carry out sufficient research. By doing your homework, your betting decisions are naturally smarter ones, taking into account the finer details of an upcoming event, its players and the circumstances.
#4 Relying on Betting Strategies Alone
You might have a betting strategy that has proven useful, but perhaps your plan has let you down lately. While it’s essential that your sports betting technique has some kind of order, it’s just as crucial that you don’t become too stuck in your ways.
Having a tried and trusted betting strategy is fantastic, but just like anything in sports betting – nothing is guaranteed. If you find yourself in a situation in which you just keep losing, but you refuse to change things up, then this could be part of the reason why you’re in a slump.
The trick is to find balance. By all means, stick to your betting strategy, but don’t be afraid to deviate from the norm. That’s not to say that you should discount the importance of consistency – not at all. Rather, you should be open to trying something different when it’s clear that the same thing isn’t garnering positive results.
#5 Placing Bets Based on Recent Results
While looking at a team’s recent results is critical to your overall sports betting decisions, it’s also something that tends to cloud the overall picture of a team’s performance.
When you place bets solely on the fact that the opposition team played terribly last week, you’re inadvertently making decisions based on assumptions, not statistics.
Also known as the “recency bias”, this problem is something that punters can do without even realising it. Placing your confidence in a team this week merely because they performed well last week makes for risky sports betting.
Conversely, believing that a team or player will perform awfully because that’s what happened recently, the memory still fresh in your mind, is equally as risky. When you forget to take into account a team or player’s overall performance throughout the season, you’re overlooking crucial data that could result in you losing.
It may prove difficult to separate your recency bias from viewing a team or player objectively, but it’s vital to your long term profitability. Check-in with yourself and make sure that you’re not betting purely because of recent performance, but on the statistical data from the past, too. This will ensure smarter choices, thereby giving you a higher chance of success.
5 Extra Tips on How To Improve Your Winning
Now that you know the top 5 things to avoid, here are five extra tips that could help you change your losing streak into a winning streak.
- Bounce Back
While it’s easier to bounce back after a successful betting spell, the same isn’t true for losing. However, if you’re experiencing the latter, and your confidence has taken a knock, then it’s crucial that you learn to become unaffected by your past results.
On the other hand, it’s equally crucial to watch that you don’t become overzealous when you’re on a winning streak. This could lead to you taking risks and betting impulsively.
Just because you shouldn’t let the past affect you, doesn’t mean that you should disregard its lessons. Be introspective and look at your sports betting history to see where you might be going wrong, what you can do differently and even what you shouldn’t change at all.
You’ll get insights into your sports betting technique that you might have otherwise missed. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn, improve and acknowledge your sports betting habits – both good and bad.
- Don’t Limit Yourself to One Bookmaker
There’s no rule that says you can’t use more than one bookmaker. In fact, by signing up to various sportsbooks, you’ll have the opportunity to shop around for the best odds.
After all, why should you wager on a game at 7/10 (or 1.70) odds when another bookie is offering better odds of 9/10 (or 1.90)? Get the best value for your money by having a look at the various odds on offer first.
- Take Advantage of Promotions
In addition to the above, the more bookmakers you’ve signed up with, the more promotions and bonuses you’ll have access to. What better way to help mitigate your losses than a free bonus bet?
Once again, shop around and find the best promo deals to suit your sports betting needs. Make sure that you also understand any wagering requirements.
- Learn, Learn and Learn
There’s a wealth of information out there, with various experts offering excellent insights and advice. As an avid sports bettor, you’ll never stop learning.
Find out what area you’d like to specialise in, and learn everything there is to know about that particular sport. For starters, you can check out our Guide and Tips section.
Last But Not Least
Well done for investigating what could be going wrong and finding ways to resolve your potential shortcomings. Now that you know what to avoid, and how you can mitigate some of the common mistakes, your losing streak should be over.
You’re ready to get back into the saddle and try again with the first step already complete. Here are a few key points to take with you:
- Put limits in place that you can stick to
- Make bets methodically, with a clear head
- Focus your attention on selected games, and do your homework beforehand
- If something isn’t working, do things differently, but be consistent too
- Take the overall performance of a team or player into consideration
Remember, though, that nothing in sports betting is guaranteed. While we endeavour to provide you with useful tips, we obviously can’t promise anything. Although it doesn’t hurt to try, so why not give it a bash and find out for yourself whether you can stop your losing streak and start winning.