Sports betting has boomed around the world in the past decade, with just about every sport you can imagine having a market that is readily available to exploit.
With an enormous amount of sports to bet on, seemingly endless options within each match and a vast quantity of bookmakers pining to take you on, it is easy to get caught up in the allure of a big win and lose your head and your bank balance.
This article will address five of the biggest mistakes punters make. Use this as a “what not to do” guide to make your sports betting experience a more lucrative and enjoyable experience.
1. Betting on sports with which you are not familiar
This seems like the cardinal sin, but it is without question the greatest mistake general punters make when it comes to sports betting.
When looking at odds, especially when putting together a parlay bet, it is easy to add in the favoured team in a sport you have little or no knowledge of just to boost up your final dividend.
However, without the knowledge of the teams competing, the players within the match itself or even a solid understanding of how the sport itself works, it is ill advised to place money on any sport you are not familiar with.
So when putting together your English Premier League multi, avoid throwing in the Bulgarian handball matches.
However enticing the extra percentages for your multi may be, the chances are your inexperience and lack of knowledge on the sport will be your ultimate downfall.
2. Betting impulsively rather than astutely
After a tough day gambling – especially if your “sure thing” gets beaten by an excruciatingly slender margin or because of a dubious refereeing call – it is easy to see certain sports as your “get-out clause” at the end of the day to recoup your winnings.
This is another classic mistake novice punters continually make.
It is one thing to be confident a bet will come off, it is another thing to bet impetuously because you think there is a distinct possibility you will win back your losses – it is never quite that simple.
If you want to win in the long run you have to know when you are done for the day.
3. Not completing your due diligence
Ever come across a match-up in your favourite sport and think, “those odds are too good to be true’? Online bookmakers are not in the business of giving away handouts so there is usually a particular reason they have offered such a high value on a certain team.
Always check before you bet, even if you are certain you know the game back-to-front things can change quickly in sport. A player could be a late withdrawal, certain teams could struggle in specific weather conditions or a particular competitor could have a strong head-to-head advantage over their counterparts.
In this day and age Twitter is your best resource at finding out any late changes in matches. Always check the feeds of each team and search using match-day hashtags to find out any late and breaking information – especially if there is a late plunge in the market.
4.Manage your money wisely
One of the easiest things to do, yet it seems so hard to master.
There is a reason there is a focus on limiting your losses and insist on not chasing your losses – it’s a simple strategy that will keep you betting in the long run.
Say you start the day with an allocated $200, and you place a two-leg multi on the NBA that happens to double your money, giving you an additional $200 to play with. With a balance of $400 it makes sense that the bettor would withdraw the original 200, leaving you with the remainder to play with throughout the day.
It is smart money management, it means that even if that 200 does not last the day, you at least did not spend any of your ‘own’ money.
All online bookmakers offer a pre-commitment feature on their website too, meaning if you think you will struggle to contain yourself if you have several bad defeats in succession, the company itself will restrict the amount you can deposit and the time in which you can make a secondary deposit to your discretion.
5.Use your head, not your heart
This is one that anyone that has placed a bet on their favoured team can identify with. Your affiliation to your particular team will inevitably lead to overestimating their abilities.
Conversely, placing money against a team you have a natural distaste for leads to the same mistake. Always use your discretion, patience and most importantly your sports betting smarts before even contemplating placing a bet.