Correct bad methods and learn the right way to make bets
January 09, 2018 3:00 AM
by Bill Krackomberger
I have a friend who visits Las Vegas every year for the playoffs and Super Bowl. This friend literally never wins when he bets sports.
He doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion on a game, even if they have better information. He doesn’t even pay attention to anything I do. While I have losing weeks like anyone else, and occasionally a losing month, I never have a losing quarter, which obviously means I never have had a losing year.
On 75 percent of the bets I make, the line moves in my direction by the time the game tips. That means I have a mathematical advantage at the start of the game. (For example, if I lay -2 on a game and the line closed -3, in order for someone to mirror my bet and lay only -2, they have to lay -130 when I laid only -110.)
Back to my friend, he never ever bets an “under” on the total points on anything. He loves betting Overs. He would rather bet his own negative EV games and hope to win to inflate his own ego. But it gets even worse. My friend is on a fixed income and needs this money, so he actually is trying to win to get ahead for the month. In other words, there is blood money on the line. It really is like that old saying: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome. The guy never wins.
When I think about my friend, I try to put myself in his shoes sometimes. I watch him literally sweat every play. It makes me think about the human body and how it produces adrenaline and endorphins, which is similar to taking a drug, when gambling.
That range of emotions that occurs in a short time span is staggering. It’s no different than taste. If we ate the same bland food every day, there would be no joy in eating. We would just eat to stay alive and that’s it. So we try to always eat better tasting food which gives us pleasure and our brain understands the full sensation range of eating.
But since we all experienced huge ranges in food, from bad to fantastic, we know what bad food tastes like and don’t enjoy it. Not only does it taste terrible, it sometimes literally makes us sick, and we hate that feeling. I was food poisoned one time last year and it’s one of the most terrible things that can happen to a human being. I know where the food poisoning happened so now I stay away from that restaurant.
This same rationale applies to my friend’s sports betting habits. Who enjoys food poisoning? Who enjoys losing? Why wouldn’t someone who loses in sports try to correct their methods and change things around by trying something different?
Like I’ve said in the past, there is a world of opportunities, just do research on the internet if you want to be a serious handicapper. Do you really think by watching retired players commentate on television and reading the stats and trends in newspapers you obtain an edge? In most cases, that exercise will actually lead you astray, as that is what the majority of public bettors do.
They listen to talking heads on TV and because they grow familiar with them and attached to them, they think their opinions are always right. The reality is, fading these TV commentators is usually the right move for value.
Sit back one of these weekends at your local book and watch the crowd. Look at the range of emotions. If you are one of these people, then I hope you’re doing this for a hobby and not for any serious money. Don’t be a victim! Smarten up! One of the worst allergies you could have is the allergy to money.