The biggest challenges of sports betting
We all know that sports betting is a type of gambling in which the fate of the bettor is almost entirely in their own hands. Luck plays a very small role here. The decisions that a bettor makes are the main determinant of whether or not it is possible to make money consistently in the long term with sports betting. But to become a successful gambler, you need to do some hard groundwork. There aren’t that many people who consistently make money from sports betting. But they are out there and they are very dedicated people. That’s why I want to write about a few of the most important challenges you will face on this journey.
Instilling the right mindset
Most people think that betting on sports is betting on a potential winning team and that this is the way to make money by betting consistently. In a sense, this is true, but the key to making money is not always betting on the more likely winning team.
Let me give an illustrative example:
You’re betting on a tennis match in which player A is competing against player B. Player A is currently ranked 2nd in the world, while Player B is only ranked 30th in the world.
Which player would you bet on?
The obvious answer here is player A, right? He’s the better player and has a much better chance of winning. However, everyone has probably bet on him, so player A’s win is only €1 for a €100 bet. And no one has bet on player B, so if he wins, a bet of €100 would win €10,000. Even though Player A’s win is pretty certain, it doesn’t make sense to risk such a big bet to win a pittance. Betting on Player B, on the other hand, comes with a very high risk, as the player is much weaker.
Therefore, calculating odds and bookmakers’ numbers is a very important part of a sports bettor’s daily routine, and it is only worth betting when the numbers are in your favour. This means that sometimes you have to bet against your gut instinct – not always on who is more likely to win, but if you think the weaker player might surprise you, it’s worth placing a bet on them.
Calculating the probability of winning
We never quite know who is going to win a race – that’s what makes the sport exciting, and it probably wouldn’t be very interesting to watch if we knew what was going to happen every time. Of course, from a predictive point of view, not knowing isn’t quite as exciting as just watching the game. There are always surprises in sport and so researching every nugget of information about the athletes’ form, previous results, even personal problems etc. can only be of benefit when betting. The more background research you can do and the better you can guess the actual winner of a race, the better you will know if and how much money you stand to win. And while you can probably never predict it with 100% certainty, the more you know about the sport and the more you have researched the parties involved, the better your chances of winning.
So getting in-depth and doing your background work is the key to sports betting. That’s something I try to keep in mind myself when I want to make a spontaneous bet and hold myself back. As the saying goes – 9 times measured, 1 time cut.