Most people understand that betting on sports has a probability of loss, no matter how smart you are or how sure your information is. But there are some devastating mistakes that multiply your risk of loss unnecessarily.

The good news is that these mistakes are mostly easy to avoid once you understand them.

The Biggest Sports Betting Mistakes

These are some of the biggest sports betting mistakes people make:

  1.       Ignoring odds and payouts. Some people simply place bets for the team they like best, or the team they want to win. But you should be studying the odds and payouts of each sporting event very carefully. Just because you think a team is going to win doesn’t mean you should bet on them, since the odds presented in the app and the payout may be unfavorable. In fact, many people make a habit of betting on underdogs, simply because the payout ratio ends up being higher.
  2.       Practicing bad bankroll management. Bankroll management is an important concept in sports betting, and one you can’t afford to ignore. Essentially, this means setting aside a separate amount of money to be used in sports gambling. This way, you don’t tap into your personal savings or money you can’t afford to lose when betting. It’s a key aspect of gambling responsibly, and one you should follow religiously.
  3.       Failing to specialize. There’s nothing wrong with placing bets on sporting events you find interesting, especially if you’re gambling a small amount. But if you want to maximize your chances of success, you should specialize. Focus on one specific sport, and better yet, one specific team as you build your skills. The more familiarity you have with a given environment, the more likely you’ll be to place sensible bets.
  4.       Using bad data. Most sports betting platforms offer some introductory information you can use to place your bet. You can also gather information from secondary sources, like social media feeds and news articles. But make sure to verify your information; if you use bad data or unreliable sources, it could compromise your outcome.
  5. Using the wrong app. There are many sports betting apps available these days, trying to fill the surge in demand for sports gambling. But too many people make the mistake of assuming that all sports betting apps are the same. In fact, there are many differences you’ll need to study before determining which app is best for you; at minimum, you should be evaluating the different odds provided by these apps, the level of transparency supported by the brand, and the transactional fees you pay with each bet. You should also be aware that some sports gambling apps deviate from the norm, offering unique and dynamic sports betting experiences that transcend a traditional bet. Sporttrade, for example, functions much like a stock exchange, allowing users to trade on the probability of events to occur through buying and selling outcomes on sporting events. You can also live in-game trade and even set limit orders to minimize losses.
  6.       Starting too fast. The path to becoming a better sports bettor is experience. The more time you spend in this environment, and the more you learn, the better you’re going to be at placing smart bets. Too often, newcomers get excited about the prospects of winning big and they start pouring large sums of money into their habit. It’s much better to start slow and scale your way up over time.
  7.       Betting while intoxicated or emotional. It’s important to make bets with a clear mind. If you’re drunk or otherwise intoxicated, you’re not going to make sound decisions. The integrity of your decisions will also be compromised by excessive emotions; if you’re angry with your team, or if you’re ecstatic about a recent victory, you might bet in a way that violates rationality.
  8.       Betting constantly. Just because you can bet doesn’t mean you should. There’s no reason to bet on every single game you watch, or bet every day. Take breaks and pace yourself.
  9.       Chasing losses. The gambler’s fallacy insists that losing streaks are always temporary, encouraging you to chase your losses in pursuit of recovering those proceeds. But this is labeled a fallacy for a reason; it’s usually better to cut your losses and move on.
  10.   Following a static system. There’s something wrong with having a “system” for your sports bets, but your system shouldn’t remain stagnant. Keep updating it as you learn more and get more experience.

Building Your Sports Betting System

There’s no single right way to bet on sports. As you grow more familiar with this activity, and as you learn more about your chosen sport, you’re going to develop some specific interests and affinities. Over time, you’ll develop a betting system that works perfectly for you – and even if you don’t win big, you’ll at least enjoy yourself as you place new bets.