How To Understand Psychology In Sports Betting

Elements to take into consideration for Betting Psychology

Many sports bettors will seek outside sources such as books and online betting guides in their quest to become better gamblers and find information such as Betting psychology.

However, because of the psychology of sports betting and other types of gambling, having the best statistics available or using an efficient betting strategy won’t guarantee bettors will become winners. 

The excitement people have when betting on sports is natural among all humans. However, many other aspects of the mind sometimes cause bettors to be more likely to lose money in the long term. 

Elements of Sports Betting Psychology

Everyone is susceptible to these psychological traits that can alter rational thinking. Bookmakers also use these biases to their advantage and get an edge on the betting public.

Bettors that can identify these elements of sports betting psychology can also learn to avoid them. Betting is based on making the correct decision at the right time.

Successful bettors need to be relaxed and calm, which is something people who gamble all the time fail to be. 

There has been extensive research done about how psychology affects betting decisions. This article will look at betting psychology and what things players should avoid if they want to be more profitable from sports betting. 

1. Don’t Follow Public Betting Trends

When looking at sports betting and how to bet on sports, there is a psychology behind it called herd mentality, which all bookmakers are very familiar with.

Online bookmakers will often highlight the most popular picks on their site because they realize that bettors using the strategy of following the popular bet will lose in the long run. Unfortunately, most sports bettors fall into this category. 

Well-informed and relaxed sports bettors often turn out to be successful. However, players should always do their own research and trust their instincts if they hope to be profitable when making their Sports picks.

2. Regency Bias

It’s not unusual for sports bettors to overreact to recent results during a professional sports season. Sometimes it can be a single game that drastically changes the public’s perception of a player or team.

Therefore, bettors should always consider all their research when deciding their picks while also not emphasizing the team’s most recent game result. 

For example, if the Detroit Lions begin the season 0-5 and beat an undefeated team in the following game, it will undoubtedly impact their odds in the next game.

Therefore, bettors must always make their picks based on the current matchup and not on previous results to avoid making this common mental mistake.  

3. The Gambler’s Fallacy

The gambler’s fallacy is a phenomenon in which bettors wrongly believe the outcomes of future bets can be predicted from the results of their past wagers.

The hot hand fallacy is based on a similar principle. If a player’s been winning a lot recently, they believe they are more likely to continue winning in the future with this overconfidence bias example. 

Players on winning streaks will generally place safer bets at more favorable odds while being careful and conservative with their picks.

Bettors’ Losing Streak

On the other hand, bettors on a losing streak assume their luck is about to change and make wagers on riskier odds. This means a lower probability of winning their subsequent bets, with the losing streak likely to continue. 

All sports bettors must be clear when making their picks and have a specific rational betting strategy. Sports betting and how to bet on sports is an activity where profits are made in the long term.

Those who tend to believe in the gambler’s fallacy will never have the same winning percentage as a professional handicapper. 

4. Availability Bias

Since discussing sports betting and how to bet on sports generate a large amount of media coverage, thoughts that bettors may already have in their minds because of things they see or hear can often be overestimated in their significance.

This is known as the availability bias, which is one of the reasons advertising is so effective. 

This bias is very important for sports bettors to understand because of the amount of sports programming featuring passionate debates that are rarely objective.

A Professional Athlete

For example, a professional athlete might become more popular because of being seen more than other athletes in the media or their involvement in something other than sports. This can often change people’s perception of the sports star’s actual performance level on the field.  

Bettors need to calculate various factors before placing wagers, so it’s important not to overestimate the chances of something occurring because they recently saw something similar. 

Placing Live Wagers

For example, a bettor may be placing live wagers on the NFL and see a long field goal made in one game, then proceed to make a bet on the same thing happening in another game.

In addition, bettors should be aware that the media can sometimes distort betting markets, and they should make the best betting opportunities based on occurrences that aren’t fresh in their minds. 

5. Outcome Bias

Most sports fans believe that the business of sports is based on results. Making a correct play or the right move on the field doesn’t matter if it doesn’t get the desired results. However, this isn’t always true in sports betting psychology. 

Those who are serious sports bettors should be making wagers based on research instead of a “feeling.” There is endless information available for bettors to utilize, meaning it shouldn’t be challenging to research the numbers to support their bets.

Need of Good Bet

Bettors will sometimes make good bets, but because of a negative result, they will disregard the work they put into making that pick and attribute the loss to a bad wager. If both good and bad bets can win, they can also lose.

Whether a bettor wagers following the public or using another method, they should always have a system behind their picks. Making the right bets may not always win, but they will in the long run.

6. The Affect Heuristic

The affect heuristic is one of the most challenging areas of betting psychology for people to avoid without even realizing it. This phenomenon is when the bettor makes wagers based on emotions instead of research. 

This is one of the most difficult biases for bettors to overcome because it’s something humans use in all areas of their lives.

Bettor’s Favorite Team

It’s why players will wager on their favorite team to win an event, even when they know it’s wrong. Sometimes when the bettor’s favorite team isn’t involved, bettors can still be biased when making a wager because of allegiances to specific players.

This bias will impact every game wagered, so it’s the player’s responsibility to recognize it and do what they can to conquer it.

Of course, the media will always influence bettors with no shortage of storylines that can affect betting psychology.

However, bettors can’t let emotions affect their judgment when putting their hard-earned money on the line. 

Want to learn more about Betting psychology? Follow us on Twitter

Betting psychology FAQs

The gambler’s fallacy is common in betting psychology because bettors fail to realize that a small sample is not representative of long-term results and that there can be a large variety of outcomes over the short term. It occurs because of the way the human cognitive system processes information, which is far from perfect.

A cognitive bias is a betting psychology phenomenon that’s an error in thinking that affects judgment. Many sports betting biases can contribute to the development of gambling problems beyond just losing a bankroll. Therefore, all serious sports bettors must know the potential cognitive biases that can affect every wager they make.

Ratio bias is the bettor’s tendency to look at a large sample rather than a smaller one, even though the probability is better with the small sample. For example, looking at a team’s record over the previous ten seasons rather than basing a betting decision on the team’s current season performance. No one is sure what causes this bias, but many suspect it’s because of the bettor’s minimal experience making decisions based on calculated probabilities.

Researchers Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky were the first to propose that the gambler’s fallacy causes people to evaluate the probability of an event by looking at how similar it is to events they’ve experienced in the past.

Betting psychology shows that novice gamblers are more prone to bet like fans than experienced bettors and may be compelled to bet on their favorite team because they want them to be successful. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to never bet on your favorite team, especially when first getting familiar with sports betting.

Winning streaks can be attributed to many factors, including luck. However, in the most popular sports like the NFL and the NBA, chance can sometimes play a more significant part in the results. The league’s structure ensures the talent is more evenly split among the teams, unlike sports such as European soccer, where a single team will sometimes dominate the league.