Just as in many aspects of life, there are myths that surround sports betting. Most are believed since they seem to make some sense and can help somebody feel better, especially after a losing bet.
Sadly, majority of these myths are false, and you need to take all ‘truisms’ with a big grain of salt.
What are some of the most popular myths?
1. Matches are fixed
There is no denying there have been instances of sporting outcomes being fixed. Nikolay Davydenko in tennis, German second division referee Robert Hoyzer and, perhaps most famously, the 1919 Baseball world Series.
However, here we are not talking here about a few exceptional occurrences over many years but the too often pronouncement that games were ‘rigged.’
Very few professional players these days are willing to be involved in fixing games. Players are forbidden to bet on games in which they’re involved and large gambling businesses report suspicious betting patterns to authorities. Also, the cost of losing these days can be measured in the millions for a player in endorsements or for club that misses Champions League qualification, for example.
These costs and implications far outweigh the money that a match fixer would be able to win from wagering on a fixed game.
It is in only in smaller and little-known leagues where athletes could be financially enticed to fix matches because they often take home such meagre wages, but bookmakers will not permit large bets on such matches so there exists no big opportunity for match-fixers.
In summary, match fixing is nowhere near as common as the myth, and disgruntled gamblers, would suggest!
2. Bookmakers have insider information
No. they don't. Simple.
There is a myth that betting companies have timely access to insider information about the outcome of sports and will somehow trick people into betting on the wrong player or team.
They may sometimes get information faster than you because they’re doing their job 24 hours a day while you might be reading , sleeping or working. However, the information bookmakers possess is the same information you can get if you research all social and other media.
3. The ‘Due Factor’
“Due Factor” bettors typically bet on teams that are on a streak.
Some will bet that it’s about time for things to change. E.g if Arsenal has lost its past 6 matches, you pick them to win the next because they’re ‘due’ for a change in fortune.
Some will bet that things will not change. However, just because something has not happened recently does not mean it won’t happen; the improbable regularly happens in sports. Just because Barcelona has won its past 9 home games does not guarantee it will win at home tonight.
Most “due factor” bets are therefore illogical sucker bets. Nothing is ‘due’ or inevitable except death & taxes!
4. The public is always wrong
The publicly favoured side of a game (the side most people wager on) is often referred to as the square side whereas the opposite side is known as the sharp side. This is just silly!
The ‘public’ side of a game is determined by the amount of betting on each side of the game relative to that game’s total betting. So, most people (including the sharpest gamblers, by the way) will favour Manchester City at home to Newcastle. There is no logical basis for declaring that the public is mostly square or wrong.
5. There’s no point betting at high odds. It doesn’t ever win.
Not true. As mentioned above, the improbable regularly happens in sports.
Be aware that you’re not necessarily making a good bet just because the outcome is more likely to win. You can back favourites all day but this is a weak approach to sports betting and in no way guaranteed to make you a profit.
For example, if you back Arsenal at a price of 1.11 it has to win 9 out of every 10 matches for you to break even. If you back Malaga to win when it’s paying 10.00 it only has to win 1 out of every 10 matches for you to break even!