Mistake #1: Not understanding the concept of value
Value isn’t finding a team on a hot streak that is a sure fire win.
Value is all about understanding what the odds represent, being able to calculate your own probability, converting the odds in to implied probability and then looking for discrepancies in what you believe the odds should be.
A bet offers value when:
The Probability of the outcome is greater than the Probability implied by the odds
This simply means the bookie believes a certain event is less likely to happen but if it does, it will pay out an exponentially higher amount on your bet.
The key to successful betting is finding value betting situations.
Example of a Value Bet
Using a coin toss as our example, we know we have a chance at 50% it will land on either heads or tails.
If the bookie offers us odds at 2.2 for heads.
To calculate the Implied Probability we use this simple equation:
1 / Decimal odds
0.4545 x 100=45.45%
The implied probability is 45.45%, but we know there is a 50% chance it will land on heads.
This offer now gives you the opportunity to take a bet the bookie thinks is only a 45.45% implied probability, but you’ve calculated a 50% chance.
This is a value bet!
Mistake #2: Not betting with the right bookmaker
There are endless supply of bookmakers to choose from.
And just like any other industry, each bookmaker competes to claim the most bettors by offering attractive odds.
Bookies may also offer a lot more in the form of free bets and bonuses.
While that might seem like added value, what a lot of bettors don’t know is that bookmakers will increase their margins in order to provide these offers.
Something that will inevitably affect your end pay-out.
Mistake #3: Not using a proven staking method
Staking is a method of calculating the appropriate amount of money to bet for a consistent profit. It forms part of your betting strategy.
The use of a staking method is essential if you want to make money and failing to do so is a costly mistake bettors can’t afford to make.
If you don’t manage your money while betting, you won’t have any money to bet. There is nothing wrong with the “all in” approach, as long as you know not to expect consistent profits.
One staking method I continuously mention to my TWS readers is the percentage staking method.
The percentage staking method is when you calculate your stake based on a chosen percentage.
I.e. 5% of a R10,000 bankroll, would mean:
0.05 x R10,000 = R500
This means you would place R500 on your first bet.
And 0.05 x R9,500 = R475
R475 on your second bet.
And should you win and your bankroll goes up to R11,800.
Your third bet would be:
0.05 x R11,800 = R590.
Meaning you would place R590 on your third bet.
The percentage staking method is betting a percentage of your bankroll at that time.
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Mistake #4: Not being aware of cognitive biases
It’s natural to assume we are in control of our thoughts and actions.
However, looking at what psychology has taught us, there are little things known as biases that cause us to deviate from what we think is rational judgement.
Confirmation bias is one that greatly affects most of mankind. Confirmation bias is when you look for evidence to support your theory and disregarding any other evidence that might contradict it.
This can lead you down a road to misinformation and ultimately bad bets.
Anchoring is another bias that effects bettors, in that it is the tendency for bettors to rely on the very first piece of information offered to them.
This is detrimental to bettors as things can and most often do change in a short period of time.
This lack of objective thinking can lead you to make unsound decisions and lead you to make bets not based on logical reasoning.
You may not be able to control cognitive biases but the biggest mistake bettors make is failing to acknowledge them.
These are the most common mistakes sports bettors make, don’t me one of them!
Until next time,