Sports Betting Myths

sports betting myths

There’s a lot of misinformation circulating on the Internet these days.

How do you sort what’s right from what’s a total myth?

The same is true in the realm of sports betting. As this activity becomes more popular, there seems to be an increasing number of sports betting myths.

To help you separate fact from fiction, we’re going to debunk common misinformation you might hear floating around these days:

1. Never bet on the favorite.

There’s obvious value in betting on the underdog in a moneyline bet. You wager less to win more. But there’s one thing you need to remember: your bet is less likely to payout. 

When you bet on the favorite, you have to spend more to make $100. Even though this seems like the worst end of the deal, it has its advantages. The underdog has to upset the odds to win, whereas the favorite is in a safer position. When it comes to moneyline bets, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t bet on the favorite if you believe that they will win.

2, Always bet under in a totals bet.

In an over/under bet, the oddsmakers give a total for what they estimate the combined score of both teams will be, and you wager whether it will be more or less than that number. Most people choose to bet under, thinking that a low-scoring game is more likely. However, there’s nothing disadvantageous about betting over. Don’t rely on a rule of thumb—take each game as it comes and bet accordingly.

3. Don’t bet until you know everything about a game.

Some bettors wait until the last minute to place their bets. They want to hold off until every detail is definite, from the weather forecast to the rotations. But did you know that it can be advantageous to place a bet as soon as the lines open?

In fact, you can sometimes get better value if you place a wager sooner. Many sports bettors recommend that if you’re betting on a favored team, place the bet as early as possible. When oddsmakers move the lines, your original bet will be honored at the time it was placed.

4. Not everyone knows about which players are injured.

One day before the big game, you hear that a star player is injured at practice. This is huge! you think. Is this the edge that your bet needs?

Unfortunately, the oddsmakers probably knew about the injury before you did. It’s in their best interest to make the lines as equal as possible, so you can almost guarantee that they’ve already moved them in response.  

5. Teasers are a fool’s bet.

When you place a parlay bet, you’re wagering on the outcome of two or more games. Teaser bets are similar, but with one main difference: you can adjust the point spread or over/under total by a few points. You’ll win less money for this type of bet, which is why some bettors view it as a poor option.

Sure, the payout for a teaser bet is lower than a parlay. But some return is better than no return. If those points you adjusted will make the difference between a successful bet and one that makes you lose money, the teaser will be worth your while. 

6. When one team keeps losing/winning, they’re due for the opposite.

A team that’s on a winning streak can sometimes seem like a bad bet. After winning so many games, aren’t they due for a loss?

This line of thinking is known as the gambler’s fallacy, which was first observed in a Las Vegas casino. It describes the idea that an event (like losing a game) is more likely because of previous events (a winning streak). In reality, winning a game doesn’t make a team any less likely to win (or lose) the next one!

7. One sport is better for betting than others.

Most people learn about sports betting by watching the NFL. In the football industry, betting is a popular part of any game. But just because one sport is more popular doesn’t necessarily make it the best for betting.

The opposite can be true. How can you find the one data point that the oddsmakers overlooked if there are so many eyes on the lines? Chances are slimmer that any mistakes will be made in the most popular sports books. 

For example, think about a slightly less popular sport for betting, like baseball. Not only are there more games per season, but fewer people are betting on those lines. Therefore, the chances that you’ll spot a situation that others overlooked is much higher. You might find yourself winning big when you bet on less popular sports.

8. If the public favors one side, you should bet against them.

It can be tempting to go against the grain. Sports betting myths like this one stem from the idea that a popular opinion is less valuable. However, it shouldn’t always be dismissed. The majority of people might be sticking to one side because of a legitimate reason. You should put more weight on the circumstances that surround games rather than popular opinion.

9. You can’t place bets after the game begins.

Even though it’s advantageous to place a bet as soon as the lines open, you can keep betting after the kickoff or puck drop.

Certain sports books allow you to place bets even as the game plays. React to new plays in real-time and spend wisely to make money.

10. Sports betting causes games to be rigged.

This myth comes from past scandals, which form the public opinion that sports betting can ruin the game.

But in the present-day, the likelihood of a game being rigged for a bet is extremely low. What payout could be worth a player destroying their whole career? If you’re caught betting (whether you’re a coach or a player), you’ll be banned from the league forever. 

11. I’ve got bad luck!

Sometimes, the bets don’t turn out as you’d like. It happens to everyone—even to the oddsmakers that set the lines. But is it a case of bad luck, or is there something you’re overlooking?

One of the most common sports betting myths is that you’re afflicted with bad luck. Forget about your losing streak and start refining your handicapping strategy.

12. Sports books know more than you do.

In reality, everyone has access to the same information. What sets a bet apart is how you look at that information.

The oddsmakers in Las Vegas know just as much about the team history, injuries, and weather conditions as you do. There’s no secret file of information about upcoming games that they base the lines off of.
If you’re looking for an expert eye when it comes to placing bets, you should consider a sports handicapping service. At Kyle Covers, our picks are based on data and experience—not myths. Contact us today to learn more about our sports picks!