In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth. Pareto observed that 20% of the people owned 80% of the wealth. The so-called 80/20 Rule would later be referred to as the Pareto Principle.
The Pareto Principle applies to sports betting too. It is common to say that in the long-run, 80% of sports bettors fail, while 20% are successful. Although the 80% lose their money in a typical week, most continue betting because they enjoy it.
You probably have been in that 80% group and lost money betting sometime, but what are the main reasons sports bettors lose? Below are the five main ones so read on and try to work out for yourself how you can improve your winning chances.
This can also be described as lack of knowledge. There is a world of difference between being knowledgeable about your local football league and being knowledgeable on matters of investing money on local football. Many bettors lose money because of such misplaced over-confidence.
Just because you can name all the players in your league does not mean you have a better chance to win a bet. You need to research, analyse the form trends, understand the prices, probabilities and available bet types and employ the right staking strategies in order to have the best chance to win.
In betting, just as in life, knowledge is power and you should strive to get that knowledge!
Lack of discipline and money management is a key reason why some bettors lose money. There is a subtle difference between the bettor who can pick a winner between two teams and one who can win money.
For example, it is foolhardy to bet 1000 shillings on one game and bet 10,000 shillings on another. If you’re going to do that you suddenly need to have ten times better knowledge with your 2nd bet. Believe me, you don’t!
While it is possible to win a few games where you have staked bigger, this strategy will come back and bite you over the long run. Bettors often make the mistake of increasing their spend after a win or loss and this mostly makes no logical sense. You need to understand your betting bank and be disciplined about spending only the percentage of it that your staking plan suggests. And do it consistently!
Betting On One Too Many Televised Games
Many bettors are too quick to place their money on live games. There is an extra excitement and feel of involvement that comes with betting on live games, regardless of how confident you feel about your bets. However, you are no more likely to win betting on a live game than one that’s played later tonight or tomorrow so, if you’re tempted only by the excitement, the amount you stake on such games should be much smaller than your standard bet amount.
This is a pitfall that can easily trap gamblers and where the percentages always favour the house. Unlike sports betting, where knowledge and expertise are factors in whether you win or lose, you can’t shift the odds in your favour in a casino.
A good number of online bookies have added online casino betting, which is colourful and enticing, but don't get sidetracked by such gambling alternatives if you bet on particular sports and are quite good at it. Stick to what you know and don’t spend significant money on other gambling options you do not understand quite so well.
Betting On The Wrong Events
Football and basketball receive the highest share of bets because they are the most popular sports to watch. However, these two sports have been shown to be the toughest from which to generate long-term profits.
The sport-of-choice among professional sports bettors is baseball, with hockey also being slightly more profitable for bettors than basketball & football. You, therefore, need to acknowledge that you do not have to enjoy the sport you are betting on in order to win; that deriving value from your betting is what matters in the long run.
Find out what you are good at rather than throwing away hard-earned money on what everyone else is betting on!