Professional sports betting is romanticised with making big decisions and huge bets that can change your life forever.
This is not what actually happens.
In order to be successful from sports betting, bettors must be prepared to put the effort in, learn and be disciplined.
Patience is also essential.
The Importance Of Patience
It’s a key component of a sports bettors ability to make long-term profits.
The best way to explain this is with the law of large numbers; specifically, probability distribution.
Within a small sample size, if you were to flip a coin, or bet on red or black in Roulette for example, over time, you’d expect that there’d be an equal number of outcomes.
This could be after 2 flips/spins or after 1,000, but equalization will occur eventually.
In sports betting, if you had an edge over the bookmaker’s margin, the effects of variance and randomness will even out and you will profit.
The only thing you need to achieve this is patience.
Even skilled, professional poker players can lose over the course of 100,000 hands.
While this is on the extreme side, it highlights the importance of being patient and waiting to see the positive results.
Overcoming Cognitive Bias
Sports bettors may know the common mistakes to avoid and understand Gambler’s Fallacy.
But cognitive biases can get in the way and guide you down the wrong path.
Here are 16 types of cognitive biases to be aware of:
Hindsight bias is another example not included in this list.
Professor of Psychology Thomas Gilovich investigated the effects of hindsight bias in gambling.
He sought to find why American sports bettors stick to losing strategies.
Gilovich did conducted three studies; here’s a summary of the results:
- Bettors would justify losses by randomness, while winners would disregard it as they only care about the result;
- After reminding the participants of the luck involved in their bets, losing bettors had their faith restored in the teams they bet, while not affecting the winners’ faith in their own;
- Subsequent bet sizes of losers and winners were larger than their first.
This shows that bettors would prefer to say they got unlucky and find abstract, random reasons to justify their losses rather than admitting that they were wrong.
This is something that we talk about a lot, particularly with our Ghost Insights members.
Here’s the deal:
Too many people prefer to take the short-term option and seek instant gratification rather than a much larger, long-term gain.
Some will even go for broke and bet their entire bankroll in order to get that big win – even if it means they’ll go broke.
It seems pretty obvious that you shouldn’t do these things, but it happens all the time.
This is why staying patient is so important.
There are methods you can use to grow your bankroll and continue to profit in the long run.
We’ve covered this in more detail in the following posts:
Rational choice theory suggests that every decision is based on making the most from your edge and keeping losses to a minimum.
This is not always possible in sports betting.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you wanted to bet with your usual bookmaker and they offered -110 odds on the spread, but you could get -105 somewhere else.
Now imagine these two scenarios:
Put yourself into the first sports investor’s shoes.
Would you switch bookmaker to win an extra $0.86?
Maybe, maybe not, right?
What about if you were the second sports investor.
Would you switch bookmaker to win an extra $8,600?
But money aside, what’s the difference?
In both scenarios, you have a chance to maximse your advantage, yet you’d be willing to give up your advantage in the first one.
Does that sound like a rational way of thinking?
Not to us – and it shouldn’t to you.
Professional sports bettors understand the importance of value, no matter how large or small the difference may be.
It may take some time to find a bookmaker with lower odds and having the patience to do so will make you more money.
The Role Of Technology
Thanks to technology, it’s never been easier to get the things you want and fulfil your needs.
It’s both a blessing and a curse.
In terms of sports betting, there are so many providers to place your bets and it takes little to no effort to do it.
“Popular bets” and “trending bets” are on the rise with recreational bettors, but this herd-like behavior only benefits the bookmaker.
Further, why would you wait until you get home so you can do some solid research when you can just place the bet on your phone right now?
To some extent, technology has made us impatient.
If you want to be successful from sports betting, you must use technology to your advantage.
Take a few extra moments to find another bookmaker and see their offers before jumping on the bandwagon.
See The Big Picture
The bottom line is this:
If you have +EV from your bet selection but you lose, it’s just a small blip in a large, profitable sample.
Creating an edge, finding +EV spots and understanding margins is important, but you must be patient to see the results and reap the rewards.