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The Psychology Behind Sports Betting: Common Biases To Avoid


Sports bettors are always trying to predict an outcome on their favorite sport. Have you ever thought about the psychology behind sports betting and the common biases that you should avoid?

What Are Common Biases In Sports Betting?

Common biases are personally perceived beliefs or thoughts about the sport in question that could cloud one’s overall judgment when placing a bet for that sport. Many of these biases usually cause irrational betting choices to be made because not enough pertinent information is gathered during the research process involved before placing a bet.

Overconfidence Bias

The overconfidence bias is a big one in sports betting. Bettors may be too confident in the knowledge they know overall about their favorite sport, the most recent developments in the news, and outcomes they believe will happen only because of their personal know-how on the matter.

If a bettor makes an expensive bet based on only the current knowledge that they have on the sport without doing additional resources and balancing out strategy and other odds, then this can result in a large chunk of investment lost. Every type of sports bet has a chance of losing more than it has of winning because anything can happen to turn it out of your favor.

Availability Bias

Availability bias means not analyzing all pieces of information from a neutral standpoint to make a conclusion on how you should place a sports bet.

For example, rather than taking into account all relevant information for a soccer bet such as star players participating, past team performance statistics, and the odds of the bet involved with the bet you are placing, you may only place a bet based on just what you remember about the two teams without further research. Conducting thorough research about both teams involved in a sports game and analyzing the odds are the keys to a successful bet rather than basing it just on the convenient availability of information from your mind.

Recency Bias

That brings us to highlighting the recency bias. Sure, recent information is pivotal to receive and process before placing a sports bet. However, the most recent events within the sport should not be the only consideration taken when making a bet.

Some bettors believe that if a team has won their last few games that they will definitely win their next game when that may not be the case. They could be going up against a team with a much better record that could possibly make it so that they lose their win streak. Instead, bettors should take into account past sports events within the past 1 to 3 years and the most recent events for a culminating picture of how they should place their bet.

Hindsight Bias

The hindsight bias happens more so after the final result of a sports match is released to the public. Bettors have a bias sometimes that the event that actually occurred was easily capable of being anticipated more than it truly was. No sports event is ever really foreseeable, which is why sports betting is so volatile. Rather than say that you knew that an outcome was going to occur when it happened, take it with grace if the event meant that you lost a bet.

How You Can Lessen Common Biases In Sports Betting

You can lessen common biases in sports betting by:
  • Journal the reasons why you made the bets you did so you can make more informed ones every time you place a bet.
  • Always researching thoroughly about the sport you want to bet on such as recent and past events, star player stats, and team performance statistics.
  • Analyze information from various sources such as from scholarly articles, experts in the sports, and information from newspapers.

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