Common Myths of Sports Betting Busted
Mon, Sep 27, 2021
By Doug Upstone of Doc's Sports
Like tales of sports bettors bragging about how often they hit parlays of 5 to 15 regularly, there are myths about the sports betting industry that are just not true, yet are widely accepted.
In the world we live in today, the truth and facts are often hard to determine and only those interested in getting to the bottom of the story actually know. The rest live in a perpetual world of make-believe and when even confronted with the facts, they disregard it not wanting to change their minds or act embarrassed.
Let’s get out the jackhammer and knock some of the reported truths down.
Sports Outcomes are Fixed
This has been around forever and most are from those on the losing ends of bets or watching their favorite team lose. With sports betting growing exponentially, the last thing sportsbooks can afford is a scandal.
For them and with almost every major sport having an affiliation with a sportsbook partner, the risk is too high. Sportsbooks will automatically pull games or matches off the board if there is any suspicious activity.
The best most recent example was table tennis when sports were shut down during Covid in the spring of 2020. Gamblers were left with few choices and in Ukraine, Russia, and across Europe, leading international players played in televised online matches, designed to attract bettors worldwide. Starting in Australia, unusual betting patterns emerged and it was found certain bettors were going against the norms and were winning regularly. This caused all markets to stop or lower limits and the perpetrators were eventually caught. That was table tennis, imagine the vigilance on soccer or NFL football.
Oddsmakers Know More Than Anyone Else
Those that casually follow the betting odds in any sport are continually amazed at how accurate they are on a regular basis in setting lines. However, the information for the most part is readily available to those willing to work hard enough to find it. No doubt they have a team to dig into all the available info compared often to one person or a few people. However, these are not some Harry Potter scourers who have magical powers, in truth, they are just doing their jobs well like most are expected to in their line of work.
Sportsbooks Win More on Favorites than Underdogs
If you take that title at face value that is technically correcty, however, that has nothing to do with the books.
The betting public decides what they want to wager on. And largely, most days, weeks and seasons, the public is backing favorites. In standard against the spread bets, you have to bet $11 to win $10. That money wagered is on favorites and underdogs and generally speaking, that is the numbers. What they are after is the action. Ideally, they would love to collect 50 percent of each side of every game, because that means they are collecting $1 on every lost bet of $11 wagered at time.
Where books suffer losses or have big winning days is when the action is out of kilter. That will usually be when the betting masses are taking the favorite to cover the spread. Why else would sportsbooks have sign-up bonuses, they want your action and they know you will keep coming back.
Betting Favorites Will Make You a Loser
After reading the above segment, why would anyone choose to bet on favorites? The easiest answer is simple because they win more often than they lose. The point spread is the great equalizer, still, there is always the money line option in all sports where you just have to pick the winner.
The most astute of bettors can locate underdogs, yet, at the same time find favorites that are undervalued in a given spot.
The truth is it doesn’t matter if you choose favorites, underdogs, Over’s or Under’s. If you are skilled enough to determine the right side, you will make a profit no matter what side you are on.
Believing In the “Due” Factor
A common betting theme is to “go with the flow”. If a team has won or lost four in a row, that is often a good time to jump on them in Play On or Play Against scenario. A typical mistake those placing bets make is trying to determine when a team is due for a win or loss.
Unquestionably, there are situations that stand out from a handicapping perspective where you can or possibly should bet against a streaking squad. Nonetheless, to blindly bet against a team because they have won or lost so many in a row is throwing money in the street.
Think of it this way, do you know how much money casinos have made on roulette with gamblers backing red when black has hit six times or more in a row? Untold millions.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports was in the golf business for over 20+ years and understands the ins and outs of what it takes to find winners on the Tour. Doug enters the final tourney of the year having won two of the last three weeks.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports has - 21 Documented No. 1 Titles - 94 Documented Top 10 Finishes - 25 Handicapper of the Month Awards. (Latest: MLB May 2021) Doug as a professional handicapper/writer has written for various well-known sports betting websites and several football newsletters.