10 Common Sports Betting Mistakes To Avoid

Ethan Moore
Written byEthan MooreWriter
Fact checked byIliana PetkovaFact Checker
Localised byTendai MoyoLocaliser

The attraction of sports betting is undeniable. The thrill of the game, the possibility of a big win, and the rise of sports betting apps have made it easier for anyone over 18 to join the action. While there's no guaranteed formula for success, seasoned bettors swear by certain sports betting tips. But just as there are tricks to increase your chances of winning, there are also pitfalls that can easily ruin your quest for sports betting success.

Before delving into how to be a good sports bettor, it's crucial to know the common mistakes. Here are the 10 most common sports betting mistakes you should steer clear of:

10 Common Sports Betting Mistakes To Avoid

1. No Bankroll Management

The first step in how to do sports betting wisely is establishing a bankroll and sticking to it. The big question is, how much of your bankroll should you bet? A common advice among the best sports bettors to follow is not to wager more than 2-5% of your total bankroll on a single event. Not managing your funds leads to bigger losses and the inability to recover. When a bettor doesn't manage their funds, it's easy to see why sports betting is a waste of money for them.

2. Chasing Losses

After experiencing some of the worst sports betting losses, the instinct to recoup might push you to place a larger bet. This approach often results in a negative spiral where you keep trying to recover lost money, leading to more significant losses. Instead, remember to bet with your head, not over it. It's all about betting smart.

3. Betting Without a Clear Strategy

Wondering how to get better at sports betting? Develop a clear strategy. Jumping from one approach to another without understanding or consistency is a recipe for disaster. You wouldn’t rely on luck in other financial activities, so why leave it to chance here? It's essential to learn sports betting techniques and strategies if you're hoping for any kind of success.

4. Being Lazy With Research

How to do research for sports betting? It's simple. Dedicate time. With so many resources available, from sports betting slips to online analysis, there's no excuse for not doing your homework. Remember, knowledge is power. Ignoring this step means you're leaving your hard-earned money to sheer luck.

5. Betting on Sports You Aren’t Familiar With

It's one thing to bet on a sport you love and understand, and entirely another to place bets blindly. This is one of the betting mistakes that many fall into, especially when they're swayed by the promise of the biggest sports betting returns. Betting on an unfamiliar sport might as well be flushing money down the drain.

6. Betting on Too Many Events

For newcomers, especially those sports betting at 18, the variety of betting options is like a candy store: you want a bit of everything. But remember, not all candies are good for you. One of the biggest betting mistakes people make is spreading themselves too thin by wagering on too many events. It's not about the quantity but the quality of your bets. The allure of the biggest sports betting wins can be intoxicating, but betting on too many events is a surefire way to dilute your focus and drain your bankroll.

7. Not Shopping for The Best Odds

You wouldn't buy a car without comparing prices, so why do the same with odds? The odds you get can differ significantly between sports betting apps, so it's always a good idea to shop around. Always choose an app or website known for offering the best odds. In the long run, even minor differences in odds can have a substantial impact on your winnings. Don't be lazy and your pocket will thank you later.

8. Betting With Emotion Instead of Logic

How often have you heard the phrase, "bet with your head, not over it"? This axiom is crucial when it comes to betting smart. The heart wants what it wants, but don't let your emotions dictate your bets. You might love a particular team, but that doesn't mean they're the smart choice. Always rely on statistics, trends, and other logical factors. What percentage of sports gamblers win consistently? The ones who make informed, logical decisions.

9. Having Unrealistic Expectations

When it comes to how to get better at sports betting, tempering your expectations is key. This isn't a Hollywood movie; it's real life. While the stories of the biggest sports bettors hitting it big can be inspiring, remember that they are the exception rather than the rule. You're not going to become a millionaire overnight. Betting should be viewed as a long-term game where you aim for consistent, small wins rather than the jackpot. If you're wondering how to stop sports betting from becoming an obsession or a waste of money, realistic expectations are your first line of defense.

10. Always Betting on Favorites

We get it. It feels safer to bet on the team or player that everyone loves. But here's something that might shock you: favorites don't always win. Always betting on favorites is one of those betting mistakes that can seem like a good strategy until it isn't. Sometimes, the underdog has its day, and the odds on these less-favored competitors often offer a more significant payout.


How to do sports betting successfully is a frequently asked question, and the answer often lies in doing your homework. Learning how to do research on sports betting is vital. Sites that offer sports betting slips, forums, and tipster services can all help you make more informed decisions.

If you're looking for a quick turnaround and you believe that sports betting is a waste of money, then you're in it for the wrong reasons. The truth is, there are no shortcuts to becoming good at this. But there are certainly ways to avoid becoming bad. Things a bettor better know range from the intricacies of the sport they are betting on, to understanding bankroll management, to choosing the right betting platform.

If things ever go south and you need to know how to stop betting on sports, help is available. Betting should be fun, not a life-consuming fire. Make sure you're playing it smart, informed, and for the right reasons.

And if you're looking for the most reliable platforms to place those smart bets, know that you can find top-rated and the most trustworthy betting sites on BettingRanker. Choose wisely, bet intelligently, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

About the author
Ethan Moore
Ethan Moore

Ethan "BetMaster" Moore, born amidst the pulsating energy of London, combines a sharp analytical mind with the excitement of sports. As the chief writer for BettingRanker, he offers a unique blend of stats, strategies, and stories, making the world of sports betting both accessible and thrilling.

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