5 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Sports Betting

We've all been there. You placed a bet and lost without even realizing your mistake. Sports betting can be a thrilling experience, but it also involves risks. Hopefully, you didn't lose too much before coming here, but nonetheless, we want to help you keep your bankroll intact without any bonehead mistakes.
5 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Sports Betting

To increase your chances of walking away with more money, here are five common mistakes you should avoid.

Betting with your Heart Instead of Your Head

One of the most common mistakes in sports betting is letting personal bias or emotions influence your decisions. 

It’s important to base your bets on objective analysis and statistical data rather than personal preferences.

For example, I’m a huge Green Bay Packers fan, but I also realize that they’re in a rebuilding year this year, and things aren’t going too well for them. I’ll have to bet a little different than I did in years past when Aaron Rodgers was leading the offense. Until Jordan Love proves he’s able to win consistently, I’ll refrain from placing well-thought-out bets on the Pack.

Don’t bet with your heart. Instead, bet with your head. Conduct thorough research and analyze the data before making any decisions. This will ensure that you’re making informed bets based on facts rather than emotions.

Failing to Research and Analyze

Another common mistake is not putting in the time and effort to research and analyze the teams or players before placing a bet. 

This is right up there with betting with your heart. But maybe you’re not betting with your heart but what others think. Maybe the Indiana Pacers are getting a bit more hype than other teams, so you think they’re a sure bet.

However, without understanding the factors that can affect the outcome of a game, you may end up making unwise bets.

Dive deep into the stats, team matchups, and recent performances to increase your chances of making smart bets. Break down the rosters, depth charts, and injury reports to see how they could impact the game.

Remember, knowledge is power in sports betting.

Not Managing Your Bankroll Properly

Many people make the mistake of not setting a budget or sticking to a bankroll management strategy

This can lead to reckless betting and unnecessary losses. 

It’s important to set a budget for your bets and spread your risk by only wagering a small percentage of your bankroll on each bet. Even a sure bet that you dropped all of your bankroll on could go south, and you’re left with nothing to bet.

One of the best strategies we recommend to new sports bettors is only betting 3-5% of your bankroll on each bet. This means if you have $100 in your FanDuel account, you should only bet no more than $5 on a single bet. Even if you’re on a heavy losing streak, you’re still 20 bets away from going broke.

Chasing Losses

This is a mistake that can quickly spiral out of control, and we’ve seen it way too many times. In fact, if you’re chasing losses, you might want to seek some gambling help.

When you start losing bets, it’s tempting to try to recoup your losses by placing larger bets or making riskier bets. 

However, this often leads to even greater losses. 

It’s important to stay disciplined and not let emotions drive your betting decisions. Remember when we said never bet more than 3-5% of your bankroll? That’s a good way to not chase losses. 

Ignoring Betting Odds and Value

Another common mistake is not paying attention to the odds and the value they represent. 

It’s important to understand that the odds reflect not just the likelihood of a team winning but also the potential payoff. 

We always recommend comparing multiple sportsbooks for a bet. Sometimes, you can find hidden gems, especially when it comes to over/under bets.

For example, let’s say DraftKings has the over/under for the Lakers vs. Clippers game at 220 points with -110 odds. But FanDuel has the same bet at 225 points with +100 odds. By betting on FanDuel, you could potentially win more money, even though it’s the exact same bet at both sportsbooks. You win more and stand a slightly better chance at winning.

One of the odds and values we look at closely is player prop bets. Usually, you’ll see bigger spreads on the values between sportsbooks. You might see a tight end projected at 34.5 yards on BetMGM, but on Caesars, they’re showing 39.5. That’s a decent spread and something you can take advantage of the “under” bet on.

By identifying bets where the odds are higher or lower than they should be, you can find value and increase your chances of making a profit.

Hold Tight to your Bankroll

In conclusion, sports betting can be a fun and exciting way to enhance your enjoyment of sports. However, it’s important to avoid these common pitfalls. 

Always ensure your decisions are based on objective analysis rather than personal biases or emotions. Make time for thorough research, manage your bankroll effectively, and avoid the temptation of chasing losses. Finally, don’t overlook the importance of odds and values. 

By adhering to these principles, you can significantly increase your chances of success and derive more enjoyment from your sports betting experience. 

Matt Brown

Head of Sports Betting and DFS

Matt’s love for sports betting and daily fantasy sports, coupled with a deep understanding of football, hockey, and baseball, shapes his innovative thoughts on Hello Rookie. He has a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and a M.S. in Project Management.