Mistakes to Avoid when Sports Betting


Everyone loses occasionally, and it’s merely another part of sports betting. Most punters lose due to mistakes that they make themselves, though, not because of something their bookie did or failed to do. Failing to manage your bankroll correctly, placing emotional wagers, or simply not paying attention can put you on the road to a losing streak.

There are many mistakes that punters can make, but most of them are easily avoidable. In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the most common mistakes that punters make, as well as give you a few tips on what to do when you’re stuck in a losing streak. We’ll also give you five of our top tips to get back to responsible betting with less risk.

Top Mistakes That Can Lead to Sports Betting Losing Streaks

Mistakes to avoid when losing on sports

Here are our best tips that will help you see the warning signs that you are on a losing streak. Heed our words so you can avoid these most common mistakes that may lead to grave losses to anyone betting on sports online!

Poor Money Management

Poor money management is probably one of the biggest reasons why so many punters lose on sports betting. Even skilled bettors have gone bust simply because they don’t know how to manage their bank wisely. For example, you might be tempted into a risky bet after a big win, instead of putting your profit into a secure account.

Setting yourself limits on spending or working according to a budget by claiming betting bonuses for loyal customers is good practice. It’s not that hard to manage your bankroll wisely. The problem is staying disciplined. If you can keep yourself in check, then you should never blow out your budget.

Emotive Betting

Placing wagers for the wrong reasons, such as emotion or sentimentality, can result in a losing streak. We’re not talking about intuition, which is an entirely different beast.

Emotional wagers, on the other hand, don’t make for good results, and sentiment has no place in sports betting. In essence, you’re betting on what you hope will happen. If you’re placing a bet on your favourite team either because you have chosen bookmakers with the best odds or because you want to believe that they’ll win, it doesn’t suddenly mean that their chances of coming out victorious have miraculously skyrocketed.

Thousands supported the Boston Red Sox, and they still had a losing streak that lasted 86 years.

Betting Too Often

As a punter, you need to be selective by choosing the highest-rated bookmakers but even this won’t guarantee success. If an excellent opportunity doesn’t present itself, don’t place a bet. Instead, take the time to study your chosen sport. Learn about what factors can influence an outcome of any event or wager and find a way to use that information to improve your betting strategies.

Not Keeping A Sports Betting Logbook

The only way you’re going to know if you’ve made a mistake is if you keep detailed records of your wagers. Sports betting can be a responsible activity, but most experienced punters will tell you that you need to keep track of your bets.

If you keep a logbook, then you can go back and see when you’ve picked winners, and when your bets lost. By analysing your past successes and failures, you can get valuable insights into which betting strategies work and which ones will prolong your losing streak.

Betting on Sports You Don’t Understand

This is a mistake that a lot of beginners make, and it’s one of the easiest ways to get stuck in a losing streak. You often find punters who eagerly place several bets on sports they don’t understand at all, simply because the odds looked appealing. Understanding how a sport works can give you insights into probable results.

If you’re going to start engaging in sports betting, then try to start with and stick to sports that you’re familiar with.

Fail to Pay Attention

Making a mistake can be costly, and with some betting strategies, it’ll be downright ruinous. Imagine that you want to bet £/€/$5 at 1.50 odds. Making a mistake there won’t be too much of a problem. But what if you don’t notice that you’ve got a £/€/$500 wager locked in instead of £5? Or if instead of 1.5 odds, it’s 15.0?

Always double check your wagers before you confirm anything. Small mistakes might be manageable, but bigger ones can take a serious chunk out of your bank.

Betting on a Single Sportsbook

Having an account at more than one sportsbook is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s pretty standard practice among expert punters. Different bookies have different odds, which means that you can get a great deal at Bookie A for betting on the outcome of a football match, while Bookie B gives you better odds on the first scorer.

There are entire strategies based on playing the odds available at different bookies against each other. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best deal, odds, or even promotions.

Always Betting on Favourites

There is a saying that goes that everyone loves the underdog, but that’s not entirely true when it comes to sports betting. Most punters show significant bias towards betting on favourites, and it seems like a logical bet. After all, it’s the favourite because most people believe that it’s the most likely outcome or the most probable winner.

Bookmakers need to keep their books balanced, however, and they do that by evening up the money and causing the spread to grow. In other words, the underdog gets more points than it should. This can create some extremely exciting wagering opportunities for those punters who know how to take advantage of it.

What to Do When You’re on a Losing Streak

Tips for when on a losing streak

Even the best punters lose occasionally, so if you’re currently stuck on a losing streak, don’t worry. There are things that you can do to improve, and we’ve listed five of our top tips further below. First, we’re going to look at a few things before we give you any wagering tips. Here’s what you need to do if you’re on a losing streak:

  1. Calm Down and Take A Break
    Bettors lose, and it happens every day. It’s not fun, but you’re not going to gain anything by getting angry or emotional. If you’ve lost a series of bets, get up and go for a walk immediately. Also, try to steer away from mobile betting apps when you walk out. Don’t allow yourself to be tempted into additional bets to chase your losses.
    The best thing you can do now is clear your head and come back once you can think clearly.
  2. Don’t Blame Bad Luck
    The referee didn’t see the foul. The coach is an idiot. The players had a bad game. Lousy weather, player error, heavy pitch – it’s all bad luck, right? Not really, no. Bad things can happen, but these are common excuses that punters use to justify their losses. After all, your prediction had to be correct, but something else must have mucked it up.
    These are all excuses to justify your loss. You took a risk, you wagered and you lost. It’s easy to attribute your winning wagers to skill, but to blame a losing streak on a run of bad luck. If you’re going to try and make any real profit from sports betting, then you’re going to have to put your ego aside and stop blaming bad luck.
  3. Don’t Chase Your Losses
    Chasing your losses is one of the best ways to turn a couple of losses into a financially debilitating losing streak. The chances of you suddenly becoming successful as you keep increasing your wagers is so low that we wouldn’t even consider taking the odds.
    It’s so easy to miss important details while you’re chasing down your losses. You can spot ‘value bets’ that aren’t very valuable at all or decide to place a bet that you rejected previously. The most likely result will be more losses, more misery, and a vicious losing cycle.
    Close your laptop, turn off your PC screen and exit your betting apps. Don’t wager again until you’ve cleared your head.
  4. Look for Your Mistake
    Sometimes your loss is just bad luck, but it’s more likely that you’ve made a mistake somewhere. If you keep a log, now would be the time to go back and study it to see what you got wrong. Did you overestimate the ability of one of the teams or players? Maybe you forgot to take bad weather into account, or perhaps a key player couldn’t make the game.
    Knowing what you did wrong is the only way to avoid making the same mistake over and over again.

5 Things You Can Do to Start Betting Responsibly

It’s time to move away from losing. Now, it’s time for you to prepare to start wagering with a level-headed mindset. Here are five top tips on what to do to start gambling responsibly when you bet on sports.

1. Get Advice from The Experts

There are numerous sports betting communities and forums available online, and many of these experienced punters are more than happy to share their expertise. Don’t be afraid of asking these folks for a few tips or advice. They’ve likely been where you are now and can tell you where to improve.

2. Specialise

The more you know about a sport or betting market, the better the chances of you placing an informed wager are. Don’t try to be a jack of all trades, especially not if you’re just starting out. Find your niche or pick a favoured sport and focus on that. Try to learn as much as you can about betting on that particular sport, its betting markets, average odds, betting strategies and what factors can influence event outcomes.

3. Put Aside Time for Research

Research is such a crucial part of becoming a successful punter that we can’t stress its importance enough. Start by setting aside time to research an event, team or player, before you place any wagers. One or two hours a week can make a big difference and give you critical insights into which bets will offer better rewards, and which ones to avoid.

Over time you’ll get better at spotting essential factors that can impact the outcome of an event or wager.

4. Join More Than One Sportsbook

Many bettors operate under the misconception that having an account at more than one bookmaker means that they’re gambling addicts. That’s definitely not the case. In fact, most successful punters wager on several different sportsbooks. You can start by signing up with the most popular bookmakers around the world, but you can also search for local betting sites as well. Doing so allows you to take advantage of the best promotions and odds, different betting markets, or exclusive rewards.

Diversifying your portfolio will help you to find the best deals and can help you put an end to your losing streak.

5. Practice Patience

If you’re planning on becoming a successful punter in the long run, then you’re going to have to learn patience. You’re going to need it by the boatload. A patient bettor can wait for good setups and better odds that make for sound bets. It can also help you to ride out a losing streak.

Most importantly, patience gives you the time to figure out where you went wrong. If you don’t do that, you’ll keep making the same mistakes.


Losing is never fun, especially not when it affects your bottom line. Sports betting is a game of chance, though, and there’s no way to eliminate losing completely. It’s the inherent risk that comes with gambling, and it’s a risk that all punters eventually must accept – even the successful ones.

If you’ve been on a losing streak, then you’ve likely been making some of the mistakes we’ve mentioned. If so, then there’s some good news. With work, research, time, and patience, you can turn your losing streak around. Don’t expect to go from zero to hero, however. Recouping your losses is going to take time, and you’ll have to put in the work to improve your sports betting skills.

Hopefully, we’ve helped you realise where you went wrong, and we wish all our readers the best of luck. Happy punting and remember to bet responsibly!

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Javia Alex
Javia Alex is an expert-level Copywriter/Editor with a wealth of experience in the iGaming scene. A self-described player advocate, Javia’s player-first mindset, “tell it like it is”, has earned her an oft-cited voice across gambling circles. She frequently works late nights and long hours, fact-checking reviews and pages for accuracy.