Why are some sports bettors able to consistently win over time while other sports bettors simply can’t seem to catch a break? The truth is that on many occasions, we’re hardwired to make the wrong betting decisions even when the evidence to help us make the correct betting decisions is right in front of us. This is due to the fact that our brains make use of mental shortcuts, known as heuristics, that help us cope with information but prevent us from seeing the world as it really is. Successful sports bettors are able to overcome these mental shortcuts in order to analyze data with greater accuracy and spot the betting opportunities that others may have missed. Here are some important science-backed sports betting tips that every sports bettor should know.
#1 – You Make Better Decisions When You’re Hungry
Researchers have shown that being more “hungry” actually makes you a better sports bettor. Although this may sound counterintuitive due to the fact that when someone is hungry, they may be more prone to making more impulsive and grumpier decisions, the opposite tends to hold true. Sports bettors who are more hungry were able to improve their strategic decision making and make more favorable decisions regarding uncertain outcomes. Additionally, being hungry also makes one more appreciative of future rewards. In sports, a team that’s hungry tends to be able to grind out and win games – a similar concept.
#2 – The Season Distorts Your Betting Decisions
Believe it or not, the orbit of the Earth around the sun may implicitly affect your sports betting decisions. In more ancient times, our ancestors were more concerned about the onset of winter since that brought more danger and less food. As a result, they adapted to the changing season by living more conservatively and taking less risks. The evidence from studies surrounding the stock market found that traders further from the equator (more prone to cold weather) were more averse to risk in the wintertime and more open to risk in the summertime.
#3 – Commitment Alters Your Predictions
Although a lot of things can happen before the start of a game, the simple fact that you’ve placed a bet before the start of a game can force you into feeling that the team that you’ve bet on will win the game even if new indicators arise that should make you feel otherwise. A study that looked at horse bettors found that their perceptions of their likelihood of winning increased significantly after they’ve placed their bets, even though no new information arose that would make them think that way. This phenomenon is known as the sunk cost fallacy. The lesson here is that you should only change your mind on the expected outcome of an event based on new information or better analysis, as opposed to your own investment.
#4 – Ignoring Evidence That Could Change Your Mind
Once most people form an opinion about an event, it could be extremely hard to change their minds otherwise. This phenomenon is known as confirmation bias – it has a similar effect to the sunk cost fallacy. In these instances, when someone commits to a position about an event, they tend to only focus on information that confirms their position and tend to block out information that would make them feel otherwise.