As the sports betting industry has matured and expanded over the past few years, it’s becoming more difficult for the average bettor to delineate myths from helpful tips. The bottom line is, anyone can give tips, but few are qualified to do so. Being able to distinguish fact from fiction should help the average layperson make more informed decisions about which bets to make. Identifying sports betting myths can also help bettors differentiate between reliable and illegitimate sources of information. Listed below are some commonplace myths accompanied by a brief elaboration on each.
Myth: 70 percent and other obscenely high winning ratios
There is an abundance of sports websites that feature individuals claiming they have 70 percent winning records against the spread. These claims are typically either pure fabrication or based on very limited sample. Professional handicappers and sports bettors with reputations at stake rarely make such lofty claims. Exorbitant claims such as these is one of the most resounding indicators of someone who is uninformed, overconfident or has underhanded intentions. Haralabos “Bob” Voulgaris, one of the most successful NBA handicappers in sports betting history, only has a winning record of approximately 57 percent against the spread.
Myth: Bet on the better team
Age-old cliches may be one of the most dangerous pitfalls for amateur bettors. Many people mistakenly select the “favorite” to either win the spread or moneyline. Doing so is purely oversimplification, and blindly ignores several pertinent variables. In order to make a more reasonable selection, bettors should base selections on data and statistics, opposed to blindly following the public or succombing to sportsbook’s misleading lines.
Myth: Media pundits are experts
The rising prominence of sports stations like ESPN, Fox Sports and NFL Network has created an abundance of so-called experts making picks every day based on data provided by their employers. Amaterur bettors may benefit from understanding that the prime objective of these networks and their employees is to drive interest, rather than make sound predictions. More often, the motive of the media organizations is to hype up the game in order to gain viewership ratings.
Myth: Sportsbooks are fixed or use inside information
Unlike the media, Vegas and successful sportsbooks employ people to create close lines in an attempt to split the prospective bets down the middle. The lines are meant to be align closely with either a game’s outcome or how the public perceives the match; this is how sportsbooks turn a profit. When Vegas identifies a consistent winner producing high yields, the lines are adjusted accordingly.
Myth: NFL is the best sport to bet on
There is no doubt that the NFL is the most popular sport in the U.S., but it may not be the best to place bets on. It’s harder to find an advantage in the NFL because more people bet it, there are less teams to analyze and the parody is much higher than in the NBA or MLB. Essentially, the more obscure the sport is, and the more teams involved– the more likely bettors will be able to find an advantageous opportunity.
Myth: Wait and get all the data in before betting
Some gamblers choose to wait last-minute to place any bets, so they can review the latest weather, lineups or news developments related to the game under consideration. However, it worth noting that the longer one waits to place the bet, the more likely the lines will be adjusted accordingly. The most profitable and successful bets are placed as soon as possible, before sportsbooks have had the opportunity to adjust their lines.
Myth: Higher yields are superior to lower yields
Many amateur bettors are easily enticed by exotic bets, such as four or five-team parlays. There are even experienced gamblers who routinely invest in 12-team parlays. The most successful sports bettors understand that exotic bets cannot serve as a mainstay when profitability is a high priority. Some gamblers avoid payouts with low odds because they feel the risk is not worth it. However, its imperative amateur bettors understand that the lower the odds, the more likely it is that a successful payout will ensue. Even further, employing a betting system with low yield typically creates a more stable profitable source of income over the long-term.
Myth: Successful better have knowledge of the game
A clinical study published in the Journal of Psychopathology during March 2013 indicates that the most experienced handicappers have no significant advantage over amaeteur sports bettors or inexperienced gamblers. A professor at the Tel Aviv University Sackler Faculty of Medicine compared the final scores of 16 second-round Champion’s League soccer games with selections made by 53 pro-gamblers, 34 fans of soccer and 78 people with no previous knowledge of the sport. Researchers found that there were no substantial differences between any of the picks. In fact, two of the most inexperienced people achieved the highest payouts of everyone who participated in the study.