Don’t just bet based on last game's result

Jun 26, 2018 3:03 AM

England scored six goals in the World Cup game on Sunday. Following the game, I overheard a bunch of guys in the sportsbook talking about how England is going to be an over-the-total-goals play for them in the next World Cup game.

Does it make sense to place a bet on OVER 2.5 goals just because a team scored 6 in their last match? If you think it does, then you are exactly who the bookmaker is looking for. The line and total on the next game already takes into account the previous game(s). In fact, a sharp bookmaker will actually price the line with the expectation that the public has a misguided perception to bet the OVER based on what they saw in their previous game.

The same thing applies to every sport. In baseball, the Cleveland Indians averaged 8.7 runs per game last week. This means zero as to what may happen this week to anyone except Joe square public. The daily line already takes into account these occurrences.

So this has me thinking… What else does the public use as a reference to handicap their games? They usually go by past performance. Joe Public may watch and follow a team like Cleveland’s recent offensive output; and if that is the case, then this week you will pay for it. The reason is now instead of going over a line that would have been 8.5, they will shade the opening line to the OVER, (making you lay more juice) or even open it with a total of 9 runs.

Most people also go by a team’s record when handicapping games. Therefore, when you are betting on teams like the Yankees, Astros or the Cubs, you are going to pay a premium on them because they are known to be America’s teams based on current record and public perception.

I tend to play mostly on the dogs that are opposite of those type teams. Especially here in Vegas where we get rewarded with extra juice because of the gambling crowd’s obsession with favorites. Try to always remember that even the worst teams in baseball will win 40% of their games. The best example came this past weekend when the Yanks and Cubs were both swept.

One of the scamdicappers I talked about last week claims to be 29-0 at his “system plays.” What he does is take a good team like the Yankees and tells you to bet $300 on the first game of a series and if you win, then you quit. That makes him 30-0. However, if you lose, then you have to double-up on what you lost on game one and add in to win $300 profit.

If you lose that game, you are to bet to win what you lost on the first two games total to make $300 profit on game three of the series. The bottom line is this is a disaster of a method as you would have lost $5,500 on the Yanks this weekend trying to win pennies.

He did this last year with a four-game home series that lost all four games and had the nerve to advertise he was 41-2 with his system plays after this loss. His clients were jumping off bridges after game four.

Have you ever increased your stake after a series of losses? Of course you have. It is time for your luck to change after all, isn’t it? These are the mental pitfalls bettors have to protect themselves from.

Psychologists have found a series of cognitive biases at play that consistently lead bettors to lose money. So, how do you overcome these biases? The simple answer is you cannot overcome them. All you can do is control your actions by placing bets based on positive expected value, rather than your feelings and assumptions because you are determined to become part of that elite minority who make money in sports betting.


We won another juicy dog last week taking +230 on Tampa Bay vs. the Yanks. Let’s stick with that as the Reds will be getting a nice price when they take on the Braves. Reds just came off a sweep of the Cubs and have won seven in a row so hopefully they feed off that trend. The public still looks at this type of game and sees Braves in first place and Reds in last place. CINCY