5 Myths you hear about sports betting – and why you shouldn’t listen to them
April 4, 2020
When you think of gambling, the word ‘luck’ is never too far away: the two words have gone hand-in-hand ever since the concept of betting first appeared in society.
While relying on luck is a dangerous thing to do when staking money, it has still contributed to a number myths that swirl around the gambling world. Many of them are harmless, but there are some that could cause damage if they influence our thinking.
Here are some of the most popular beliefs, and why we should take them with a pinch of salt when betting.
Tips will make you a ton of money
There’s often a person ‘in the know’ when it comes to certain matches or races. Maybe they’re self-proclaimed experts of the sport, or they have some special insider knowledge.
The truth is, they’re often guessing just as much as you are. Nobody can predict the outcome of a sporting event with any degree of certainty due to the number of variables involved.
Also, consider this. The people that you’re likely to hear give tips, or professional tipsters as they’re known, normally make their money selling their service, rather than winning actual bets.
So, when it comes to tips, maybe stick to those that improve your strategy, rather than for specific events. Or, better still, if you don’t know so much about the event you’re betting on, keep that money in your pocket for a rainy day.
Bet on or against teams on a streak
So, the soccer team you’re looking at is on a seven-game winning run – it has to end sometime, surely now’s the time to bet against them?
The problem with this thinking is that it defies logic. The length of a particular streak doesn’t make it any more likely that it’ll end sooner: who knows how long it could go on for?
After all, Arsenal FC famously went 38 games unbeaten in 2003-2004, despite punters furiously betting against them week after week, certain that the run had to end at some point.
Also, if this team has been winning a bunch of games, doesn’t that mean they must be pretty good? It’s probably not a good idea to bet against them. Similarly, a team that has been awful recently probably won’t be performing a miracle any time soon.
‘The Due Factor’ is a sports betting phenomenon that many people fall for. Don’t be one of them.
Sports matches are rigged (by the bookmaker)
This is a very common myth in the betting world, perpetuated by frustrated gamblers who see bookmakers as an easy target straight after losing their cash.
It’s a fear that isn’t helped by the existence of rigged casino sites in the gambling world. While websites like Casino Guru do a fine job of helping players find the best online casinos to play on, there are still many cases of players being cheated out of their money by unfair practices.
Also, there have been cases of sports betting companies using unscrupulous practices, such as setting unfavourable odds that are constructed to generate more profit for them. It’s something that leads to the whole betting industry being tarred with the same brush.
However, while there have been sports fixing scandals in the past, the Serie A saga in 2006 being one of the most famous examples, they are extremely rare – and bookmakers hardly ever play a part.
The reason for this is that, if anything, bookmakers hate match-fixing. They’re the ones who lose tons of money to match-fixers who have targeted improbable events with long odds to begin with.
Besides, they make enough money as it is – why would they want to break the law and risk their reputation?
Rituals will help you win
Superstitions play a big part in human nature. Ladders, black cats, Friday the 13th…luck charms are imprinted onto our conscience from an early age.
It’s something that makes the crossover into sport, too. Sports fans (and players) have been known to wear a lucky pair of underpants, or to not shave until their team loses, convinced that what they’re doing in some small way affects the result.
Now, it’s hardly a revelation to say that this is all nonsense. But it’s surprising how often we let it affect our betting decisions. Maybe we bet on the player wearing the ‘lucky’ number 7 shirt to score, even though, in reality, he very rarely does; or you forgot to cross your fingers for the last bet, so you need to repeat it.
It’s all good fun, of course. But when it comes to staking real money on a particular outcome, just be aware that your favourite superstition has no influence on your bet – none at all.
Stick to low-odds betting
A common strategy in sports betting is to stay away from betting on high-odds events. A consequence of this is an assumption that betting on low odds, therefore, is somehow ‘safe’.
This is simply not the case. Odds are the probability of an event happening, but they can be misleading. Just because a certain result is deemed more likely to win doesn’t make it a good bet.
Also, you might win half of your bets on low odds, but you could still be making a loss, depending on your stake. On the other hand, just one big win on high odds could mean you make a profit over several similar bets.
Odds are a guide, not a strategy. There are a host of other variables that influence the outcome of a sporting event: check these out before staking money.
To sum up
So, while it’s tempting to believe some of the comments that get thrown around betting shops and online forums, it’s always better to use common sense and logic. Sports betting is full of stories, like most industries, but if you’re able to steer clear of myths and superstitions then your betting experience will probably be much safer as a result.