Sports Betting Psychology

Sports Betting Psychology
by Staff

Betting on sports is more than just making a pick and hoping that it wins. Sports betting is a thinking mans game and needs to be approached as such otherwise your going to be part of the majority that helps contribute to your bookies next cadillac, and believe us when we say he’s probably at the dealership right now checking out the latest model. Do your best to not let that happen. Get informed before you jump into this body of water that appears to be shallow but is actually as deep as the middle of the ocean and full of sharks.

Psychology in sports betting is huge. Let us explain. Point spreads are based on public perception. That means that oddsmakers are producing a number that they believe will gap the difference in talent and create the general betting public to see some sort of equality between two teams. That’s the first part of the thinking man’s game right there because the number is based on how they think the public will view the outcome, not how the outcome will really be. This means that if their sharp and privy to good information on a team, they can use those two sets of numbers against you all day long and line their wallets with loot.

The first thing that you need to know is that a big part of whether you win or lose has to do with if you are able to decipher the difference between what should happen vs. what can happen. Good teams SHOULD beat bad teams and most of the time they do. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that their going to cover the spread!

Betting on games is a marathon, not a sprint. Those that take on this beast thinking that their going to cash each week are in for a real letdown. Prepare your mind for a grind. Your going to win and your going to lose. Your going to have streaks of both as well. Don’t get on too much of an emotional high when your winning big and don’t get too down when your losing because believe it or not, both emotions have a lot to do with what your next play is going to be.

Its tough to do, but when your winning and feeling like everything you pick is turning to gold, DON’T SLACK ON YOUR HANDICAPPING. Your not a god, your not the best handicapper that ever lived and you aren’t going to win at that rate forever. You’ve either been handicapping real well with a touch of luck or your just on one of those crazy runs that happens. This doesn’t mean that you can cap games any less than you did before. Stick to what got you there, don’t change your method just because your winning.

Conversely, don’t get too down when your on a fat losing streak. It happens. Stick to the same good strong handicapping techniques that you had during your winning streaks and you’ll pull out of it. Don’t double up on bets to try to dig yourself out of the hole. This is bankroll suicide. Don’t dig into bill money either. Going backwards is just going to sink you further both mentally and financially. Wait until next payday when you have some extra cash and start over using good money management techniques.

What are good money management techniques? Playing 2% of your bankroll or so. Yeah, that’s boring, we know, but it’s the only way to take on this beast and beat it long term because your going to have highs and lows. You have to have enough cash in your bankroll to sustain the bad times. Conversely, when things are good and your bankroll is growing, that means you get to grow your bet size as well.

Speaking of proper money management, bet the same amount on every game. There’s an old saying in sports betting that “what looks too good to be true probably is.” Ever bet 5 games in one day, bet 4 games at one unit each and the 5th game at 4 units only to win the 1 unit games and dump your 4 unit play? At 4-1, you should be showing no less than a +2.9 units for the day, but in the case of the guy that bet 4 units on his “hot can’t lose play” he broke even or even lost the vig for the day. It’s mentally draining when this happens and it happens all too commonly.

Are you in love with teasers and parlays? We recommend that you keep records on all your bets. Organize each bet type like sides, totals, teasers, parlays, etc and keep records of not only win/loss but units won and lost. Break them down by favorites and underdogs too. After a couple months, take a look at how your doing and can what isn’t working for you and keep on going with what is working. The love of teasers and parlays is understandable, but bad news and a losing proposition over time. (for most) Maximize winnings and minimize losses!

Lastly, betting on your favorite teams or favorite players is too much for the human brain. Your opinion becomes biased and that’s not going to do anything positive for your wallet. Many of us simply can’t see past the fact that we love them which completely skews and screws our ability to make an unbiased opinon.

For any questions you may have on psychology in sports betting or anything gambling related for that matter, feel free to drop us a line at Predictem (at)

Good luck in your action!

Related: Dealing with Losing.