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3 Reasons Most Lose Money Betting on Sports

May 29, 2014

We can focus all we want on tips to win at the sportsbooks. But part of the learning process is focusing on common mistakes sports bettors make. There are a few reasons most sports bettors lose. Most don’t even realize the mistakes they are making. They just keep placing bets and are left wondering why they keep losing. Here are the 3 reasons they do:


Poor bankroll management

A smart bettor is one that is good with money. That seems a bit odd considering the word “gambler” is associated with reckless people. That is true for losing gamblers. Not true for successful gamblers. Yes, a professional sports bettor does take financial risks. It wouldn’t be called gambling if risk wasn’t involved. But the smart gambler takes well calculated risks. These risks don’t always pay off. Sometimes the gambler goes through periods of short-term losses. In the long run, the smart bettor comes out on top.

When betting on sports, it is crucial to have a smart financial plan. What I mean by that is to determine how much you can afford to lose on a game and how big your bankroll is. If you have a $10,000 bankroll, placing a $9,000 bet on one game is a costly mistake. Anything can happen and if you place all your eggs in one basket, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You don’t have to wager exactly the same on every game, but you should be fairly consistent with your wagers. Never wager more than 1/20 of your bankroll on one game.


Thinking you know enough about a game, when you really don’t

You casually watch a certain team play. They’ve impressed you. Their opponent is a team you’ve also seen play a few teams and haven’t been impressed. The team you are less impressed with is a 2-point favorite, so you automatically bet big on the underdog. You think it’s a lock. But you haven’t taken into consideration certain factors that may impact the game, or discovered why a team that appears superior is an underdog.

There’s always a reason why a team that has been outperforming another is the underdog. Sometimes the reason is because the top handicappers know something the average fan doesn’t. Sometimes the reason is because of injuries. Sometimes the reason is because the favorite is one of the many over-hyped media darlings. You need to dig deep to find out the reason behind the line prior to placing a wager. When a line is too good to be true, there’s probably a reason for it.


Making too many stupid bets

Big parlays and teasers are fun. If you win a 7-12 team parlay/teaser, you make some big bucks. But these are sucker bets. Your odds are very slim to win these. The casino lays some big odds on these wagers because they know even top sports bettors will only win once in a blue moon. If you want to place the occasional $10 bet on a 12-team parlay, be my guest. Just don’t get carried away with it. You’re bound to lose big in the long run on these

Another mistake is to bet heavily on the moneyline on big favorites (i.e. –480). Sure, you’re going to win the vast majority of these, but you win so little it’s not really worth it. A $480 bet on a team with –480 odds only profits $100. Getting approximately 1/5 on your money isn’t good odds. And what happens when an upset occurs? You lose big on a bet that would have provided a small reward.