7 Ways Sports Bettors Can Tell They’re Betting Too Much

7 Ways Sports Bettors Can Tell They’re Betting Too Much

Before I started gambling regularly, I made a list of a few ground rules. I knew I liked to bet on sports, and that I was pretty good at it.

But, I also saw what sports gambling did to people who couldn’t control themselves.

I told myself that if I ever stopped following my ground rules I would quit gambling. All these years later and I still abide by a few core principles.

I’m not saying that I’ve been perfect along the way because perfection is impossible when it comes to sports betting. But, I also know that those rules have helped me keep my head above water and avoid falling into holes that some gamblers can fall into.

Unfortunately, many new gamblers don’t know how to help prevent these setbacks. Soon enough, they can get into some unfortunate situations and let their gambling habits spiral out of control.

Most of the time:
It’s possible to recognize some signs before things get too far out of hand. It’s important for inexperienced gamblers to know what to look out for so they can avoid disaster.

Here are 7 ways sports bettors can tell that they’re betting too much.

1. Watching Sports Isn’t Fun Anymore

In all likelihood, most sports bettors were simply sports fans. At some point, that passion morphs into something else and fans feel compelled to start putting money on the games they watch.

That’s even more prevalent now as many of the major sports leagues and teams are partnering with different gambling companies, websites, and even casinos.

Additionally, there has never been as much content related to sports gambling as there is now. It’s safe to say that the industry is strong and the gambling public has never been larger.

Regardless of when or why you started gambling, the love of the game is the one thing that binds a majority of sports bettors together. Despite any unfortunate losses or bad beats, watching sports should still be enjoyable and entertaining.

If you no longer have fun watching sports, that might be indicative of a deeper issue. Sports betting is supposed to be a fun activity for the average gambler.

Please Note:
It’s a nice way to increase your attachment to a team’s performance or the results of the game. Sometimes gamblers forget the reason they started betting in the first place and they stop enjoying themselves. When that happens, it’s worth taking a step back and examining why that’s the case.

Under no circumstance should sports betting cause you to lose your love of the game.

2. You Lose Interest in Your Favorite Teams

Generally speaking, wagering on your favorite teams isn’t a great idea.

If you feel compelled to bet on the home team, you might be betting with your heart instead of your head. But, if you bet against your favorite teams, then you’ll end up having to root against them.

Either way, it’s a no-win scenario.

Still, some people know how and when it’s acceptable to bet on the teams they root for. If you can do this frequently and maintain a solid winning percentage, then more power to you. But this type of gambling can create a slippery slope.

At some point:
That winning percentage might dip well below 50%, and your favorite teams can cost you money. Once again, it’s not worth losing your connection to your favorite teams and players.

If you’re unable to separate emotion from the bets you place, then it’s not smart to bet on your favorite teams.

3. Blowing off Responsibilities to Gamble

Unfortunately for some gamblers, there comes a time when gambling crosses the line between hobby and obsession.

Unless you make a living by gambling on sports, it shouldn’t be your primary focus.

Look, I understand that betting on sports can be enticing, and even addicting to some. But, if you’re shrinking responsibilities to wager on sports, you might want to slam on the brakes.

I often notice that this problem is more prevalent with younger, less experienced gamblers. In other words, the ones who definitely shouldn’t be devoting a majority of their time to betting on sports. Becoming a successful, profitable sports better takes time.

You can’t force it; instead, it’s best to learn at a comfortable pace. If you dive into the deep end head first, there’s a good chance you’ll sink.

4. Winning Doesn’t Feel Satisfying

Securing winning bets is a satisfying feeling. It proves that you are correct in your predictions and made a smart decision.

Winning some money doesn’t hurt either.

Sometimes though, gamblers stop feeling a sense of satisfaction after they win bets. Instead, they feel a sense of relief, as if they’ve just dodged a bullet.

This transition occurs for a few reasons in particular:

  • Gamblers are betting too much money
  • There betting is getting out of hand
  • They got to a point where they contemplated what a loss would lead to
  • Sports betting morphs into something more serious than mere entertainment

If you no longer feel a sense of satisfaction or delight after winning a bet, you might have a problem that’s worth looking into.

5. Losing Feels Like the End of the World

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: absolutely nobody enjoys losing sports bets.

Watching an entire game only for your bet to wind up losing is a miserable experience. Sometimes these wagers come down to the last few minutes, leading to an excruciating and seemingly inevitable gut punch.

But, under normal circumstances, sports gamblers should shake off these losses and carry on with their day. If you feel something deeper and more devastating, that could be a problem.

Please Note:
Losing bets shouldn’t feel like the end of the world. If that’s the case you are either too emotionally attached to gambling or have too much money at risk.

Both of these don’t bode well for your future as a sports bettor. When losing a sports bet puts you in a terrible mood and ruins your day, evaluate what gambling’s role in your life is.

6. Your Finances are Severely Impacted

Every serious gambler should adopt a bankroll management strategy that works for them. For most sports bettors, that merely involves setting a budget and sticking to it.

By doing that:
You will reduce the chances of losing more money than you anticipated. Still, it can be pretty hard to stick to a strict budget, especially if you love to gamble.

There’s nothing wrong with occasionally overspending and exceeding your gambling budget.

A one-time mistake is one thing, but it shouldn’t become habitual.

If you routinely blow through your bankroll, you can get yourself into serious trouble.

Gambling addiction is a problem for millions of Americans. Don’t ignore these clear signs and allow yourself to ruin your finances.

Betting on sports needs to be taken seriously and gambling addiction shouldn’t be taken lightly.

7. You Act Out of Desperation

There are a few stages gamblers go through before they hit rock bottom. Hopefully, you can recognize the warning signs well before you get there.

At first:
Gamblers might start to bet much more frequently than they once did. Instead of approaching gambling as a hobby, they think of it as a second job. Slowly but surely, this obsession can spiral out of control and force you to start gambling out of desperation. Gamblers need to correct a few behaviors well before they get to this point. Most of the time, this scenario begins unfolding when gamblers start chasing losses.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, chasing losses involves placing more bets after losing one or multiple bets. Usually, these bets are half-baked and don’t stand a great chance of winning.

They’re placed because bettors want to win back some of their money.

Chasing losses is a terrible habit that rarely ends well. Instead of engaging in this type of behavior, save your time and energy and try to get back on track the following day.


It’s crucial to address some poor gambling habits before things get out of hand. Sports gambling shouldn’t be a cause for strife and financial struggle.

It should be entertaining and be a way to make watching sports even more exciting. Winning money is something worth celebrating, but the pursuit of profit shouldn’t take over your life. Luckily, there are several ways the average gambler can tell they’re gambling too much. Losing interest in your favorite teams or not enjoying sports, in general, is a clear sign. Most gamblers get into sports betting due to their love of the game, so it would be a shame to lose that.

Unless you’re a sharp or professional handicapper, sports betting shouldn’t be your top priority. If you start to notice that you no longer enjoy wins and losses feel like the end of the world, take a step back.

Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.

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