NFL Betting – Cardinal Sins Of a Football Bettor

NFL Betting – Cardinal Sins Of a Football Bettor
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images/AFP

We take a look at the seven deadly sins of betting: common mistakes football bettors should avoid making. Whether you are a novice or avid bettor, mistakes are going to be made. It’s part and parcel of life, the process of learning and growing. As encompassed by a plethora of “learning from our mistakes” quotes and sayings that we’ve all been privy to at least once in our lifetime. And like all things, knowing what the dos and don’ts are ahead of time can help mitigate disaster; this becomes particularly important to know at the onset in online sports betting.

So, what are the common mistakes sports bettors make? In this article, we shed light on some of these and serve up some helpful tips on how to avoid making them.

1. Don’t Chase Money/Profit/Losses

Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images/AFP

One of the cardinal sins of football betting – for that matter, sports betting in general – is chasing money, profit, or losses. Whichever way you slice it, chasing anything is considered bad practice, and it can lead to catastrophe when it gets out of hand. It’s these kinds of traps that many gamblers can fall into: greed for money and profit and greed to recover losses.

Greed leads bettors down a treacherous path that involves playing with high stakes, playing without sound reasoning, playing beyond set means (bankroll), playing recklessly,…etc. It’s a slippery slope when that happens.

No single gambler can ever claim a 100% winning record with sports bets; it’s virtually improbable. Even the savviest, most careful gambler will admit to losses from time to time. Accepting that wagers will be lost occasionally therefore is paramount to an enduring and healthy relationship with gambling.

Winning and losing are a reality of betting.

Moreover, what sets apart successful gamblers from those that aren’t is knowing when to stop.

2. Don’t bet for the sake of it

Sports betting can be lots of fun, not to mention rewarding when exercised properly. However, getting carried away and betting just for the sake of betting – essentially, because it’s there and you can easily do so online with so very many sports just a mouse-click away – is an important “Don’t” to take heed of mentally.

Discipline is fundamental to the foundation of any solid approach to gambling. Bettors should bet only when it makes sense and not bet willy-nilly. Know when to bet and when not to bet. Simply put, being selective and responsible with risk-taking, because – let’s face it – the more you bet (risk) the more likely you are to lose, which then could see the first “Don’t” listed above — chasing money, profit and losses – rear its ugly head.

3. Don’t bet lazy

Lazy betting is self-explanatory, surely. The key is the word “lazy.” In case this isn’t clear, it means betting without doing due diligence and research, which is both useless and a hopeless exercise in futility that is certainly not recommended.

The Latin phrase “Scientia potentia est,” springs to mind. In laymen terms, “Knowledge is power.” There are no shortcuts in betting and bettors that attempt to circumvent the hard work required will not develop a winning strategy ever. Alas, all too often, bettors don’t exercise this rule to their detriment.

Knowledge is power

Knowing a subject is crucial to successful enterprise. That means know the sport you are betting on, the statistics, trends, and any and all information that pertains to that sport and those that play it as well. Sports aren’t static but constantly changing and developing; so too is the form and momentum of players. Equally, sports betting markets are fluid, sports odds and lines ever on the move. Being on top of all this – having all this knowledge on tap – is what separates smart bettors from thoughtless bettors.

4. Don’t bet emotional

JuJu Smith-Schuster Pittsburgh Steelers
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images/AFP

Emotional betting can lead gamblers astray, prompting snap judgements that could prove costly. This is particularly true of negative emotions such as anger, frustration, annoyance, and so on. Betting when experiencing a bad mood isn’t advisable. Thinking a few bets might “turn a frown upside down” is wishful thinking.

Another example of emotional betting pertains to personal involvement. Likes and dislikes that invariably have a negative impact on betting. Loyalty to a team or a fondness for a player (or vice versa dislike of a team or player) can lead bettors to base bets on emotions rather than sound reasoning.

Just because you want a team to win or a player to win doesn’t mean that it’s the smart bet to make. Favored teams or players can lose too. Conversely, just because you want a team or player to lose doesn’t mean that it’s the savvy sports pick to make. And yet: all too often, sports bettors make this mistake repeatedly.

5. Don’t be influenced by others

The classic rhetorical question, “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?” is in all likelihood one that just about everyone has been asked, at least once in their lives. It’s meant to illustrate social influence and its negative connotations.

Bettors should never allow others to dictate how, why, what, when, or where they bet. Allowing others to determine your decisions or influence them in some way, shape or form is ill-advised. It’s another example of a “Don’t” that could lead to more than one of the aforementioned “Don’ts” listed above.

6. Don’t drink and bet

Don't drink
Photo by Tom Mihalek / AFP

Anytime sound judgement is required, drinking is quite rightly discouraged. This is true with many daily activities that are unlawful when combined with drink.

Never drink and bet

As such, drinking and betting is a serious “Don’t” that falls under “gross misconduct”. Gamblers should never place wagers while inebriated. It only leads to poor decision-making and potentially hefty financial losses. Worst-case scenario, having no recollection of doing so only to be faced with an empty balance (gulp!).

7. Don’t bet in vanity

Once in a while, a bettor can hit a good run of form. A lucky streak. When this happens and winning bets roll in, it’s obviously great. However, it’s important to not – and this is a crucial “Don’t” – get overly confident or cocky, because the reality is that lucky streaks inevitably end. Nothing lasts forever. It’s a common mistake that gamblers make, getting caught up in the moment and throwing caution to the wind.

It’s important therefore to never lose sight of the central principle of discipline, both in good times as well as bad times. Resisting the temptation: to raise stakes, to bet for longer periods of time or to get adventurous with unfamiliar bets during a period of good fortune. Get ahead of yourself and luck might run out faster than you can say “good.”