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Sports betting strategy myths

Sports betting fans often boast about their win record and the strategies they employ to achieve success. Some are based on some degree of fact and have statistical merit whereas others are simply not realistic. Let’s take a look at what sports betting fans can do to improve their win ration and what ‘strategies’ are purely urban myths.

Double up

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Probably the most popular urban myth of a full proof strategy for sports betting that eventually always leads to success is that of ‘doubling up’ bets. The theory goes that if you choose the weakest team or player in a sports competition, where the odds for a win are longest and bet on them each time they play, doubling your bet the next time every time you lose, eventually they will win and you will make a profit. One caveat here is that you always have to bet for the weak competitor when they are competing against a theoretically much stronger opponent and the odds against a victory are long.

In theory this strategy could work. If you always bet for your weak competitor where the odds are, say, 10:1 against them or more, doubling up the bet each time until you win, you would eventually make a profit. However, sports betting companies are not stupid. If this strategy was really possible then there would be no sports betting business as players would very quickly cotton on and only bet in this way. In reality sports betting companies have maximum bets which mean that quite quickly you would reach this maximum and no longer be able to make big enough bets to keep doubling up and allow this strategy to reach its conclusion. Even discounting this, sports betting companies can refuse to take a bet whenever they wish and would politely decline the bets of any player that was obviously attempting to employ such a strategy.

Business

Some sports betting fans claim to make a living from the pursuit. While it is not impossible for someone to be ‘in the money’ (in profit) from their sports betting activities, over an extended period of time with regular betting this is extremely unlikely. The teams of statisticians who set sports betting odds and very clever and experienced the odds are set based on proven statistical models. While sports betting companies can often take significant losses on any given event, over several they almost always make a profit. And for them to make a profit the players have to lose. Again, this doesn’t preclude individuals from performing better than the company on an individual basis, but it is highly unlikely that this is the case.

Sports betting is for fun and should never be considered a money making activity. Whatever money you spend on sports betting you should be prepared to lose. The wins are fun and compensate for all the little losses along the way from the point of view of the enjoyment they bring, if not the monetary gain.