Strategy + (Positive expectancy + Execution) = Winning

Strategy + (Positive expectancy + Execution) = Winning

February 27, 2018 3:12 AM


The key to long-term profitability in sports betting is the combination of a betting strategy with positive expectancy and consistent execution.

Two award-winning Israeli psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman made the world aware of a Nobel-prize-worthy discovery – the notion of cognitive biases, systemic patterns of deviation from rationality in judgement.

Furthermore, professor of psychology Thomas Gilovich was the first to investigate the hindsight bias in gambling situations.

In an experiment that attempted to establish why American sports bettors stick to losing betting strategies, he observed how bettor’s interpretations of their own successes and failures influence their subsequent betting behavior.

In the first experiment, he found that after soccer matches that had been decided by flukes, such as bad calls from referees, neither the winners nor the losers would have changed their bets.

Losers justified their losses by seizing upon these random flukes, whereas winners discounted them as irrelevant; for them, what counted was the result. Gilovich, therefore, concluded bettors tend to take success at face value, but carefully scrutinize failure.

I have talked on this subject before. It is amazing how many times a person will think they should have won their wager on a team because of their biases.

Again, to repeat myself, if you do not have positive expectancy, in the end, you will lose. How to measure positive expectancy? The line you wagered on compared to the closing line. Not necessarily the closing line in the casino you’re in, but the closing line in the sharper sportsbooks.

As an example, if you took +3 on a game and the line is +2.5 at books like Westgate, Cantor, and major volume offshore books, then you have the best of it and therefore your future is headed in the right direction.

Another measure of positive expectancy is bankroll management. Do not make a wager on any one game for more then 2-3% of your bankroll. When I say bankroll, I mean your gambling bankroll, not your monthly bill bankroll.

Note: Look for the conference tournament small dog lines to tighten up toward game time – especially the road dogs. I think the linemaker gives a little bit too much of a home court advantage in the line to them. Track it yourself and see what I am talking about. Use this to your advantage and place your wagers early.