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The Myths of Sports Betting

by November 5, 2018

Below are some of the myths of sports betting to be aware of and avoid in order to improve your chances of being a profitable bettor. To have fun and win in sports betting, putting certain myths to bed is essential.


As sports betting has started to become more and more mainstream, the line between it and other pop culture matters has blurred. More people are betting, more bets are being placed, and more sports outlets are covering betting topics. In general, sports betting has quickly gone from something taboo done by a small crowd, to a mainstream activity that tons of normal, everyday people partake in. The same problems that are presented to people interested in pop culture and news media have seeped into sports betting with the line being blurred, however. Not everyone who has a voice knows what they’re talking about. Information is a dime a dozen, and fake news is everywhere. Sports betting is now no different. Unfortunately, false information is just a few mouse clicks away.

Waiting Until the Last Minute to Bet

You don’t have to look far in today’s day in age to find last-second, up-to-the-minute advice about anything from weather to injuries. Aside from isolated scenarios and the over/under bet, it’s astounding how little impact these elements play. Factors like weather (again, barring a scenario like two feet of snow in Denver) rarely affect the true outcome of a game. No matter the sport, both teams are always playing in the same elements. So, there’s no reason to wait around until the last second for information that’s mostly meaningless. As a general rule of thumb, the earlier the bet is placed, the better the value for the bettor. It can realistically be the difference between winning and losing. Think of betting early like a coupon for sports betting.

Vegas Can Always “Fix Trends”

As of the writing of this article, the Kansas City Chiefs are 7-0 against the spread this NFL season. 7-0. Without argument, Vegas has tried to fix this.

Week 1, the Chiefs were 3.5 point underdogs at the L.A. Chargers. Week 4, the Chiefs were 3.5 point favorites at Denver. And Week 7, the Chiefs were 5.5 point favorites vs Cincinnati. In these weeks, the Chiefs faced somewhat even opponents. There was, in fact, a significant swing in the spreads since Week 1. With that being said, the Chiefs won in Week 7 by 35 points. The spread would have had to have been adjusted by 30 points for the Chiefs to not have covered.

Will the Chiefs continue to win every week by 35 points? No. But, it’s taken until Week 8 for the Chiefs to be more than 5.5-point favorites in a game! Sometimes, Vegas can afford to move and react slowly. Bettors have had seven weeks to see this dynamic Chiefs offense and capitalize on the advantageous spreads. Spreads that have obviously been much too far in the Chiefs’ favor. Finally, in Week 8, the Chiefs are 10 point favorites vs Denver. Even with a large spread like this, though, it doesn’t mean that the explosive K.C. offense is just going to slow down. Ten points might not even be nearly a large enough spread for the Chiefs. Spreads tell a lot of the story, but they can’t control what actually happens between the lines.

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The Over Bet is Only for Chumps

It is true that the over bet did not used to be as successful as it can be now. In today’s day in age, however, offense has become king, making the over bet more enticing. The three-pointer is the new slam dunk, great offenses are winning super bowls, and chicks really are digging the long ball. Steph Curry and other players alike single-handedly change the game every single day. Not to mention, defenses are having a much harder time finding success with current sports’ rules. All of this equates to historically high scoring across sports. Over/under lines have adjusted, obviously. But, a player catching fire and going for 50 points or three touchdowns and propelling an offense is in play in every game. All of this scoring means the over bet can be in play, all the time.

I’m Just an Unlucky Bettor…

No. Sure, everyone catches a bad beat from time to time. Some maybe more often than others. But, odds are odds, and over time, they will play themselves out.

Las Vegas sportsbooks made a record $248 million off of sports bettors last year. Sportsbooks are in business for a reason. The bettor is going to lose, and lose often. So, you are not destined to be a loser for life if you caught a couple of bad beats. Keep in mind, the best sports bettors in the world win only about 55% of the time. Unless you’re one of the best in the world, expect to win less than that. Go in with the mindset of winning less than 55% of the time, and maybe the luck won’t seem so bad.

I Should Bet it and Forget it

Sports betting does not end when the initial bet is placed. Hedging, the act of placing bets on a different outcome subsequent to an original bet to create a situation where there is a guaranteed profit, should always be in play. Would you rather have a chance at a $100 profit or a guaranteed $60 profit? This is a realistic question that could easily arise when considering hedging. To take it even further, towards the end of a futures bet or a single-game bet, hedging could mean risking $5 or $10 to guarantee a $90 to $100 profit, regardless of outcome. Betting it is great, but absolutely do not forget it.

Stick to Only a Few Types of Bets

The stigma that only certain types of bets should be placed can be compared to that of a casino: Slots do not provide the same odds as most table games. However, people still do win a lot of money on slots. If slots are what you enjoy, and you have a little money to risk, then pull away. Sure, certain bets are a little riskier than others. Some bets have a reputation for not paying out nearly as well. If you’re going for a small risk/reward, then maybe prop bets and parlays should not be your thing. If not, though, all bets can be on the table! The chances of winning a three-game parlay are less than winning the games individually, but the odds themselves don’t change. Know what you’re getting into, but feel free to entertain all types of bets.

Odds Change with the Volume of Bets Placed

The myth of volume bets being a bad thing, or actually changing your odds, is an easy one to debunk. Two games, 10 games, or 20 games could be bet on. It does not matter. The odds will always remain the same. The odds will be identical whether $100 is bet on one game, or spread out over 20 games with equal lines. Volume betting is not a bad thing at all, as long as you have the money for it. In fact, betting on multiple games is a good way to reduce your risk/reward, rather than putting all the money on one game. If money is not an issue, then bet away!

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Alex Altmix is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Alex, check out his archive.

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