Avoid These Common Mistakes When Betting on Sports


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By Jeffrey Keim

Betting on sports like football, basketball, and baseball can be a lot of fun and even profitable for those who are smart. However, it’s an activity that has a lot more to do with knowledge than luck. This means that limiting your mistakes can have a big impact on your bottom line.

That’s why it’s important to understand the missteps that are most often made in sports betting. By knowing more about these errors, you will have a leg up on other handicappers who make their picks blindly. Let’s take a look at seven of the most common sports betting mistakes.

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Diving in Without Basic Knowledge

One of the most common mistakes rookie sports bettors make is beginning to bet without understanding the basics. Take the time to read up on all the different bets that are available and make sure you understand what the odds mean. When you win, you want to make sure your payout will be what you expect.

Betting Under the Influence

The big casinos have created the idea that alcohol and gambling can go hand in hand. While enjoying a beer or cocktail and playing a game of pure chance may be no big deal when it comes to sports betting, you should make sure you are at your sharpest before making any decisions. If you want to be successful in your handicapping, do not bet while you are under the influence.

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Not Managing Your Bankroll

One of the most dangerous mistakes you can make as a sports bettor is not utilizing proper bankroll management. When you bet without an eye on your overall bankroll, it’s easier than you might think to end up in a troublesome situation. You could end up causing yourself serious financial hardships in the blink of an eye. Make sure you have a plan for bankroll management before you place your first bet – and have an idea of exactly what you plan to do with your money if you lose or win.

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Not Shopping the Lines

In the past and depending on where you live, you may not have had many options when it comes to where you placed your bets. However, online betting today means there are many places you can go to check out the lines and find the bets that will be most profitable for you. Once you know what bet you plan to place, check the lines for that wager on every sportsbook with which you work.

Compare carefully to ensure you have the correct baseline. Then, once you find the sportsbook with the best line, you’ll know where to place your bet. Doing this simple bit of comparison shopping will make it easier to profit in the long run.

Over-Extending Your Focus

For the best chance at making a profit, you’ll want to bet on the sports you know and keep up-to-date with. It can be tempting to look at the lines on all of the sports that you enjoy, but by narrowing your focus to those you know best, you’ll be able to make smarter wagers.

Betting Too Much

Yes, sports betting is a lot of fun. However, it does have an addictive quality to it. Unfortunately, many people wind up betting too frequently, even when the lines don’t look to be in their favor. Have a plan in mind for your betting frequency and don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the action and bet too often, or you’ll likely see your success rate drop.

Forgetting to Cash Out

It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to cash out your winnings. If you are using multiple sites it can become overwhelming. The last thing you want is to forget about your winnings and fail to cash out a wager.

When it comes to sports betting, the importance of preparation and knowledge can’t be overstated. Before you make your next picks, take some time to think about the impact these common missteps could have on your betting. You’ll find that by keeping your mistakes to a minimum, you’ll be a much smarter, and ideally, more profitable bettor.

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