Do you know the telling signs of the beginning stages of a losing streak? I break down the notion of Random Variance in sports betting, and share advice for how to face the almost-inevitable.
WHY? It is the question we inevitably ask ourselves, especially when we string together a losing streak. Of course, as we have all learned in Joe Gavazzi's “Get Out of Your Head” articles, it does us no good to dwell on the past or have anxiety about the future. We must function in the “NOW,” using our present moment thinking and focus, if we are to be successful as sports bettors. Nonetheless, it is important to understand that winning and losing streaks are inevitable, if you wager on sports. As much as we may like to disagree, the random variance of results comes into play in any set of plays. The purpose of this article is not to question that fact, but rather examine the common factors that occur to make up a winning or losing streak. Because we seldom question these results when a winning streak occurs, I will focus attention on the losing streaks we all encounter. Just be aware, the same factors prevail when you are “unconscious” and the winners start flowing like water.
My experience has taught me that 3 major factors are at work during a losing streak. I will identify each of these for you and relate the components that go into the results.
1. Bad Handicapping
Bad handicapping occurs in several forms. The most common way in which bad handicapping occurs is when we get “sloppy” with our handicapping methods. Maybe we choose to allow other events in our day take precedence over the amount of time that we put into handicapping. Perhaps our mind drifts to other areas that we deem to be of greater importance than handicapping today’s games. More likely, however, is that bad handicapping results from FEAR. When a group of losing selections occurs, it is human nature to knee-jerk to investing in a selection that is a “sure winner.” If we were thinking clearly, we would understand this is surely a public side that “looks so easy, we must look the other way.” We have all been there. What is important in breaking the losing streak is having the courage and the discipline to pass on these selections and dig a little deeper into other plays to break our losing streak. Losing streaks can also occur on the heels of a winning streak. During those times of good fortune, we get into a handicapping zone and winners just jump off the page.
2. Game Selection Management
In another article on Game Selection Management and its importance in your overall winning percentage. The segment of GSM that comes into play during losing streaks is that we become so eager to break the negative slide that we “chase the losers” by wagering on more games than is in our comfort zone or again, as was the case above, wagering on the obvious games. This is exactly the opposite way in which we should respond. When trying to snap a lengthy losing streak, it is important to dial down our selections, dig deeper into reasons for the plays, and wager on only top play selections.
3. Close Losses
The final component of losing streaks are the inevitable close defeats. Much like winning streaks feature lucky or close wins (which we rarely recognize), losing streaks are made up of tough beats and losses that are close to the pointspread. Often times, these occur in groups. Understanding the nature of Random Variance and that these close results, in the long run, are a major part of losing streaks MUST make it all the more tolerable in the understanding of the Anatomy of a Losing Streak. Close losses are going to occur! When they do so, we must accept them with the faith and trust that these eventually even out and that our next winning streak is right around the corner.
The above are the 3 major components of a losing (and winning) streak. When you find yourself at the beginning stages of a losing streak, here is my advice: Accept the fact that Random Variance is involved in the results and that it will eventually (sooner than you think) even out. Focus your handicapping efforts on games where you must dig deeper to find the betting odds pointspread winner, rather than playing obvious games. Have the knowledge that winners will again begin to “jump off the page at you, and you will be in your zone” once your winning streak has begun. Lastly, make sure to use solid Game Selection Management theory. Limit selections and avoid the mentality that you need to “chase your losers.” There is plenty of time to take off the rubber band once your winning streak begins. Finally, acceptance of the losing streak is essential with the confidence and trust that your next winning streak is right around the corner at the next sportsbook.