People who place bets on sporting events, like NFL games, lose for a wide number of reasons. I recently lost a bet on an NFL game and when I reviewed the reasons why it was shocking.
I’ve learned what I need to do to win as a sports gambler – but I ignored just about everything I’ve learned over the years.
This experience opened my eyes to how quickly I can forget what I need to do. And you’re going to learn exactly what mistakes I made so you can make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes.
1. Not Enough Time
A friend of mine who I place bets with from time to time sent me a text message a couple hours before an NFL game. He asked if I wanted to make a wager. The first mistake I made was thinking about placing a wager without taking enough time to review all of the facts.
I asked him what the line was and which side he wanted to bet on. He let me know, and after taking a quick look at the game, I decided I’d be on the opposite side if I was betting on the game.
My first impression is correct more times than not, but it’s nowhere close to 100% accurate. I don’t track my first impressions, so I don’t know the exact percentage of times that I’m correct. But my guess is somewhere from 70% to 75% of the time.
This doesn’t mean that I win 70% to 75% of my sports bets. Many games don’t offer enough value to bet on, even if my first impression turns out to be correct.
I didn’t take enough time evaluating the game to find out if my first impression was correct.
2. Didn’t Use Smart Handicapping
This is something like what I just covered in the first section, but it’s a little deeper. You can spend a lot of time on an NFL game without using smart handicapping.
This is a mistake that you can’t afford to make when you’re betting on NFL games. In fact, you can’t afford to make this mistake when betting on any sporting event.
Handicapping means looking at all of the information that you can find to predict the outcome of a contest. This includes statistics, past performances, injury reports, and current news about each team and the players.
But it also takes focused time and effort. You need to find all of the information then work through all of the information to find the key information that helps you win.
I didn’t spend enough time handicapping the contest before I made the bet.
3. Relying Too Much on Public Opinion
In the game that I bet on, the public opinion was heavily on the other side. In other words, the public believed that the other side was going to win and they pushed the line during the week before the game.
Usually, this is a good indication that the other side of the game is profitable. When the public bets so much on one side of a game that it pushes the line, you almost always want to bet on the other side.
The problem is that this doesn’t take the place of using smart handicapping. I skipped the handicapping part of the equation and used my first impression and the fact that the public was on the other side to make a wagering decision. The thing that’s so frustrating about this is that I know better.
I’ve made this mistake before, and it has cost me money. Of course, I’m right in these situations sometimes, but there’ a big difference between handicapping a game and losing vs. just guessing and losing.
Public opinion is an important piece of information for sports gamblers, but it’s just one small piece of information. And one piece of information is never enough to make a smart sports wager.
4. Bet Against Experience
This isn’t something that you can use alone to make smart sports wagers, but you can use it to help you decide which team offers a better bet when the two teams are close in other areas.
In most sporting events between two teams that are closely matched, the team with more experience, or with players who have more experience in big games, are likely to do a little better.
I bet against experience and it cost me. Once again, this is just one part of a wide range of information that I should have been using. If I’d have done a good job handicapping the game, I might have seen that betting on the side of experience was the smart play. But I didn’t think the game was close. Once again, I was wrong because I didn’t do the work I needed to do.
5. I Didn’t Shop for Lines
In this case, I couldn’t get a better line than the one my friend was offering. But this isn’t the point. The point is that I follow a particular system when I bet on NFL games, and part of this system is looking or shopping for the best line before I make a wager.
It was within ½ point at all of the best online sportsbooks, so the line was fair. And by placing a wager with my friend, we avoided the normal vig that sportsbooks charge.
But just because it didn’t matter in this case doesn’t mean that I didn’t make a mistake.
In hindsight, it’s no wonder that I lost. I didn’t do anything that I needed to do.
6. I Didn’t Take It Seriously
All of the things that I’ve covered so far lead to one simple conclusion. I didn’t take this betting opportunity seriously enough. And when you don’t take a sport betting situation seriously, you’re making a mistake.
In general, I don’t place bets on my favorite teams. And if I do place a bet on them, I use money from my pocket instead of money from my sports gambling bankroll.
It’s fine if you want to bet on sporting events for fun. But you can’t mix betting for fun with trying to be a serious sports gambler. When you bet for fun, you need to use your own money instead of the money you use for your sports gambling bankroll. If you don’t have a bankroll, you need to start using one immediately.
Betting on NFL games is serious business. If you don’t take your sports betting seriously enough, it leads to many costly mistakes.
I lost my last bet on an NFL contest because I made many mistakes that I now know I shouldn’t make. This was a good wakeup call. You’re probably making some of the same mistakes that I made.
Now that you know what I did wrong, you can stop making these same mistakes. Make sure you’re investing enough time before you place a wager on an NFL game, and remember to take your betting seriously.