Sports betting is about the story; miraculous covers, once in a lifetime parlay odds, and those massive futures on improbable long shots like Leicester City. But there’s another side to sports betting, for every winning streak or heater there’s a slump waiting around the corner. Losing skids are inevitable, they come with the business we’ve all chosen, and it’s all about how you handle downswings that separate the best from the rest.
Here are 5 things to think about until the worm turns…
Scale down your bet size
You would be surprised how many recreational bettors don’t even consider this possibility when games aren’t going well. I understand the thought process; “my unit is $50 and if I scale back to $25 and suddenly get hot it will take me twice as long to recoup my losses.” It’s funny how a gambler’s brain works because they only consider opportunity lost while the other real scenario is it becomes self preservation if losing persists. Kelly Criterion is a concept every bettor should understand. It’s helpful in determining an optimal size of a series of bets based on edge and bankroll constraints. Remember; don’t try and recoup losses all at once because there will always be another bet worth making.
Cut back volume
I’m a low volume player to begin with so cutting back bets during cold spells becomes a challenge. Through this past Monday I’d made roughly 500 bets; that’s a normal month for some of the sharpest betting syndicates out there. When things get rough I make even fewer bets, trying to isolate only the wagers that would normally be larger position plays in my typical betting structure. There will be people out there (and some reading this article) that ascribe the only way to get out of a betting slump is to bet your way through it, but that’s dangerous for those with limited financial means. Don’t be afraid to scale back or even take some time off when things aren’t going well.
It’s O.K. to take time off
Most of you reading this article aren’t professionals. You have a wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, family, kids, a job (I hope), or school to worry about first and foremost. Rather than press or chase losses take a mental health break to regain your wits. I know this is revolutionary but there’s more to life than just finding winners. Too many times people treat a day off like the bane of their existence not able to get the adrenaline rush that comes from gambling. Don’t become a junkie requiring a daily action fix; you’ll be pleasantly surprised how even 24 hours without sweating a game can leave you refreshed and refocused to dive back into the process with renewed vigor.
Don’t beat yourself up for passing winners
Guess what, there are an abundance of games to bet each week and 99% of them have a winner. Crossing a lean off your card is always a challenge and it’s frustrating when those few games you choose not to bet cash easily. Facts are facts; this won’t just happen to you once, twice, or 100 times if you keep at this profession or hobby for any length of time. Don’t get angry; go back and review the games you passed trying to figure out what about them scared you off in the 23rd hour. Our memories are funny; we only seem to recall winning leans we passed rather than the horrific 20 point landmines we sidestepped while being cautious.
Stay off of twitter
This one may crack a few people up but I’m dead serious. In the age of social media, when you follow a large cross section of sports handicappers, SOMEONE is going to have a winning day. Whether it’s a professional bettor, pick seller, or nickel dick seeking attention there will be a poster bragging about his 17-0 night. This isn’t good for a slumping bettor’s fragile state of mind in mind. Never forget, 97% of bettors will not win long term (1,000+ bets), meaning those bragging tonight might not be carrying the same tune tomorrow, or the day after.