Top Mistakes To Avoid Before Sports Betting

Top Mistakes To Avoid Before Sports Betting

Published Date · June 22, 2022 · Last Updated · July 5, 2022 ·Read Time · 6 mins

When starting on your sports betting journey, there are common mistakes that most novice bettors make. This can deter many sports bettors early on or potentially lead to a lot of money being lost. By avoiding these rookie mistakes, you’ll have a leg up on the online sportsbooks and start your sports betting journey on the right track.

Betting On Too Many Sports

When you start your sports betting career, you should stick to what you know. While you may think that you’re a jack of all trades regarding your sports knowledge, more often than not, there’s that one sport you know just a bit more about. Therefore, you should be betting on this sport when starting out on your sports betting journey. Getting yourself wrapped up in multiple sports at a time while betting on each can result in spreading yourself too thin and making mistakes you wouldn’t have made otherwise. You should also only focus on one sport at a time if you’re just learning the basic terminology.

Not taking into account home team bias

In just about every sport, the home team wins more than the away team. How often in each sport and season varies, but it’s a clear statistic to see. Since the home team wins more often, many sports bettors believe that the best bet is for the home team, thus giving them too much credit. This is referred to as the home team bias. While most sports bettors in the world have a home team bias, sportsbooks have started taking this into account. When the sportsbooks set their lines, they take into account the public opinion of the home team bias, which can affect betting the lines for both the favorites and the underdogs.

Not Line Shopping

Not every online sportsbook is built the same. Some are only available in certain states, while others provide certain types of bonuses for new and existing players. Similar to these cases, not every sportsbook has the same lines. One favorite may have (-200) odds at one sportsbook but (-350) at another. If you’re certain about the sports bet you want to make, it only makes sense to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. Your method for picking your sports betting winners can always be the same but picking where you wager on your sports betting winners can be equally as important in order to receive the highest payout. Many sites nowadays compare numerous online sportsbooks and the lines available for each game and matchup. You’re already ahead of the game, even if you include line shopping in only a few bets a season.

Betting on your favorite team

We all love our home team. Half the fun in sports is cheering for your favorite team to win their game and take home the gold. It’s okay to be a homer when discussing sports, but not when it involves betting on sports. No matter how clearly you think you are looking at your team’s upcoming matchup, you can never look at a wager involving your favorite team without some sort of bias. Betting on your favorites can get you in trouble fast if you are not careful. Some bettors like to bet against their favorite team. The way they see it, if their bet wins, then they’re happy. If their team wins, they’re also happy. It’s a win-win. But if you want to take your sports betting career to the next level, you should avoid putting any sort of money for or against your team and just enjoy watching them with no stakes.

Don’t Let Emotions Get In The Way

Similar to the last tip, emotions should never play a part when it comes to sports betting. This is especially true when it comes to streaks. Just like the teams and players you wager on; you too will go through hot and cold streaks in your sports betting career. Some weeks it will seem like you can’t make a bad wager. You may even go undefeated for a time. Whatever you do, make sure you do not get overconfident when winning. This can cause you to get lazy with what started the winning streak in the first place. On the other end, never get discouraged when facing a losing streak. It happens to the best in the industry and is inevitable in your sports betting career. Make sure you learn with each loss you take, adjust your betting strategy accordingly, and you’ll start digging yourself out of the losses you have recently experienced.


Don’t Wager Impaired

On the same level as the last two tips, your mental state has much to do with making a sports bet. In particular, you should always have a clear head when money is involved. In Las Vegas, the mecca of sports betting, it is easy to have a few drinks, wander into the nearest casino and sportsbook operator, and place a bet down. While making a wager here and there is fun, this cannot become a habit. Betting under the influence of anything can impair your judgment and can lead to a bad sports bet. The best thing you can do is leave the drinking until after the bets have been placed and when you want to watch the game. Just make sure you’re not doing any live betting either.

Not Taking Breaks

Like many things in life, having success is usually a marathon and not a sprint. The same can be said for your sports betting career. For repeated success, a lot of effort has to be put into your wagers which can be ultimately exhausting. It can be like a second job if done at the level of some other successful sports bettors. While the ultimate goal is profit-making, you shouldn’t be miserable doing it. Taking breaks from sports betting can be beneficial for your mental health as well as your bankroll.

Betting Parlays

Recently, Parlay bets have been popping up all over social media. Many sportsbooks have centered their promotions around players betting on parlays, specifically in the same game. Parlays are incredibly popular and exciting because you can take a very small amount of money and turn it into a big payout. However, winning a parlay has long odds and gets longer with each leg you add into the parlay. A good rule of thumb to follow if you insist on making a few parlay wagers is only to add legs to the parlay that you would wager on individually. Don’t just add a wager because it increases your payout more favorably. The get-rich-quick view of a parlay may entice you, but in the long run, you will be losing more money betting on the parlays than you would have won. Remember, it’s a marathon and not a sprint.

Don’t Ignore The Underdog

In every matchup, there has to be a favorite and an underdog. And in many cases, the betting public likes to sway to bet on the favorites because no one likes to lose. This is okay for the average sports bettor, but if you’re trying to get to the next level, you can’t ignore the value that the underdog holds. If you do the research, you’ll be able to find a positive expected value in underdogs. In the last full 5 seasons of the MLB and NHL, the underdog wins outright about 41% of the time. Even in the NFL, the underdog wins 34% of the time. So while you obviously can’t wager on the underdog on every bet, or else you’ll lose in the long run, it’s still possible to find the value in the underdog to increase your payouts.

Don’t Forget esports

While not available at every online sportsbook, esports has skyrocketed in terms of national and international popularity. In the United States alone, there are close to 30 million monthly esports viewers with prize pools as high as $40 million in total payouts. Games like Dota 2, Fortnite, and Arena of Valor are some of the most popular games on the circuit, with increased viewership expected in the next couple of years. While esports is fairly new to not only the sports bettors but also the sportsbooks, you have a chance to become an expert in a new industry where you may find more value than in other established sports.


Phoebe Greenwood

Content Writer