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Do You Need “Luck” to Win at Sports Betting?

February 12, 2021
What is Luck?

This is kind of a tricky question because in order to answer it, you have believe in luck, or at least have a clear definition of what luck actually is.

What is Luck? Baby Don’t Hurt Me, No More

Roman philosopher Seneca once said “Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity”. Every bit of this statement is true. And if this is the exact definition of luck, then yes, you need luck to win at sports betting. You need to be prepared for when the right opportunity (opportunities) present themselves.

But many more people believe that luck is more of a cosmic happening. And in some way they are right. If you were to sit around and bet on coin flips all day, you would simply need to be “lucky” to win money. Luck in this circumstance would be defined as when events that have exactly a 50/50 chance of happening break in your favor, or against it in the case of “bad luck”.

A third take on what luck is would be a series of events set in motion completely out of your control and/or knowledge that affect you favorably (or negatively in the case of bad luck) when they intersect with you. You can choose to call this effect on you “good” or “bad luck”.

Trying to Take Control of Your Luck

There are many ways people have tried to change their luck from good to bad since the dawn of man. Nobody likes feeling like they are totally out of control and that everything that happens in their life is random. So humans have devised little gimmicks to help better deal with random chance.


These have been around forever. People performing rituals or doing something they ordinarily wouldn’t do hoping to affect the external random forces around them. In sports, you have guys that wear their favorite socks, use the same jock strap every day, jump over the field lines instead of stepping on them, or grow gnarly looking beards. These are kind of goofy when you look at them logically but when you factor in that humans are an emotional creature whose mind is affected by how they “feel” then superstitions aren’t so goofy after all.

Dressing well made HoF DB Deion Sanders play better. His famous quote was “If you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you play good.”. The fact is that sports require physical and mental preparation. And if your favorite socks help you get mentally prepared then so be it. Maye dressing well when you go into the sportsbook to place your bet will help you feel good and help you bet with confidence.

Working Harder to Overcome Bad Luck

MLB player going through a cold streakControl freaks and top performing athletes (often one in the same) will hit a bad luck (cold) streak and instead of rolling over, they will fight hard to break it. The may spend more time practicing on the field or in the cages to try to overcome what may just be a natural slump. Mathematically, slumps will always happen. If a MLB player can get hot, ie., hitting the ball with extreme accuracy, then naturally he can and will get cold too.

Sometimes the harder you try fight through it the worse it gets. Think of when you are single and the harder you try to get a girlfriend, the harder it becomes. Girls can smell the desperation.

If you have convinced yourself that you are on a bad luck streak, and you start preparing way more than usual, this can cause you to lose sleep and not be clear headed when making your decisions, thus adding to the bad streak. It can become a cycle and really extend your otherwise normal bad streak.

See: Patriots QB Cam Newton confirms he sleeps less than five hours a night

Taking a Break

If “bad luck” streaks are normal and they affect everyone who bets and who plays games of chance as well as games of skill then one of the better pieces of advice I have received and doled out is that taking a break can actually disrupt the streak. You will actually see this in pro athletes for sports like baseball. In a 162 game season, players can take several games off without much of a consequence to the season. Pro gamblers will often bail out for a week or two when they feel a bad streak has started. Clear the mind, get a new perspective, start over.


So, when asked if I think it takes luck to be able to win at sports betting long term, my answer is this: To win at sports betting you need to be prepared, you need good intuition, and yes, you need a little luck. Or at the very least, a little good luck doesn’t hurt.