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- Psychology in Sports Betting
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Author: Steven D. Thompson
Updated: 27/02/2023 10:34 AM
Psychology in Sports Betting
Sports betting has been present for as long as we can remember. Countless recreational bettors in the world are looking to place all types of bets for entertainment purposes and maybe, earn some extra money.
Up until recently, sports gambling was only available at land-based sportsbooks, but now, bettors have a new option - online sports betting. Thanks to the fact that online sportsbooks are easily reachable, available 24/7, and have fantastic coverage, most punters are now fonder of placing bets online.
When talking about fantastic market coverage, we mean that bettors have tons of betting options at their disposal. They can bet on pretty much every sport that they can think of. Not only that but there are countless bet types available, with some of them including point spread, win/lose, draw, over/under, exact score, etc. If you are a football fan, you can bet on the number of yellow cards, corner kicks, number of free kicks, first and second-half scores, and so on.
But we are not here to talk about the advantages of online sports betting nor the bet types like point spreads. We wanted to focus on something that is far more unique for the industry and is not talked about very often - betting psychology.
We'll see what exactly motivates people to participate in sports gambling activities, do all people are betting for entertainment purposes, how can you protect yourself and make sure that you do not develop a gambling problem in the long run and thus, keep your hard-earned money safe, and whatnot. So, without any further ado, let's start breaking down the details.
Betting Psychology Explained
The first thing that we are going to cover is general betting psychology, which plays a huge role for both the punters - the excitement of taking risks.
For instance, point spreads odds would never be quite entertaining and thrilling if they were a sure thing. In this scenario, the decision-making process would last just a second, and there would be no fun in store for the sports betting fans.
Sportsbooks' goal is to make a profit from the gambling services that they provide, but they must also be fair to the bettors. The odds are created based on the general public perception. In layman's terms, they fill the void between the talent of the two opposing teams. On the other hand, the goal of the betting fans is to place the bet type that they think will be a winning one.
People that are massive fans of sports have a higher psychological tendency to participate in sports betting activities than people that are not, which is logical. After all, sports fans have a better understanding of the games, the rules, the form of the teams in the previous matches and thus, are able to predict the score of the game with better accuracy.
The Reason Why Most Bettors Love Sports Gambling
There are several reasons that can explain why sports betting fans love placing bets on their favourite matches. The most common reason is entertainment. They are just loving thea of being able to test their knowledge and maybe, just maybe, win a small reward for it.
Fun, thrill, and excitement are also worth a mention. There are not a lot of things that can make you feel as happy as you are when you have a winning bet. Of course, the chance of losing is there as well, but that is what makes the whole thing so exciting for bettors. After all, nobody can guarantee you that you will win the ticket.
The desire to socialise is also worth a mention, especially if you are betting on land-based sportsbooks. Sportsbooks are the places where you can find many sports betting fans. The herd mentality there is all about recreational gambling. So, you will have something to talk about with the people and possibly, make friends.
Last, but not least is the fact that sometimes people want to be competitive. There is always someone that wants to be on the winning side every time, and their competition is with the teams themselves. By placing a winning ticket, they think that they are on top of the game.
Betting Addiction is a Reality, Even for Recreational Bettors
While speaking about betting psychology, it is worth taking a look at how can excess sports betting affect people. Problem betting, also known as gambling addiction, is something that has been present for quite a while now.
While looking to be competitive and being on the quest for winning sports betting tickets, many people often face the opposite scenario - losing. In these moments, instead of taking a break, they use it as fuel to make more bets and win.
Think of it this way. Let's say you are playing a game and you have a difficult mission. Sometimes, you have a drive that tells your inner self that you will not quit until you complete it. The case is the same with sports betting.
On the other side, gambling addiction can also be developed by having a certain win streak. So, when you want to gamble again and end up losing once or twice, you think that this is just temporary, but you enter the circle of losing and thus, become obsessed with correcting that.
There are a few ways that can prevent you from suffering this bad outcome, and we are more than happy to list some of them.
Form a Budget and Stick to It
The first and most important way through which you can control the amount that you wager is to set yourself a certain budget and stick to it. That way, you will always be able to have better risk management and make sure that you never step over the line. You can consider making a limit on your payment method if you are betting online.
Understand How Sports Betting Works
This is something that we like to call 'back to basics.' At the beginning of this article, we explained that betting is not one of the safe strategies where you can make a profit. It is impossible to know the outcome of each game which is why you shouldn't treat it as an investment that can make you more successful.
Every outcome is random, and that is why you need to make sure that you do it for entertainment purposes only.
Set a Time Limit
With the rise of sports betting bookmakers, all you have to do to bet on a certain sport is to register an account. Online sportsbooks aim to be as easily reachable as possible, which is a good and a bad feature. By being easily accessible, they can influence your time spent sports betting and thus, 'help' you develop a gambling addiction. The strategy here is to set a time limit and never cross it.
Contact Problem Gambling Agencies
Lastly, if you do see that your 'plane crashes' and that you are on the way to developing a gambling addiction or already have, make sure to contact problem gambling agencies. They can help you restrict your access to sportsbooks and ultimately influence you for the better.
Interesting Sports Betting Psychology Facts
Finally, we wanted to close things off by naming a few interesting psychological sports betting facts that all gamblers should know. Some of them are based on research, and bettors have taken advantage of them by using them as a win strategy, but we advise you not to do it.
Like we stated earlier, everything about sports betting is random, and there's not a single type of tip that can help you place winning wagers. With that being said, let's check out the interesting facts.
Deep Understating Can Lead to Mistakes
Often, the best sports betting fans have a deeper understanding of the games and are able to make better predictions of the games. However, this can become a problem if they have won on several occasions and are getting overconfident.
In these scenarios, punters are basically convinced that they are always placing successful wagers and choose to read facts that only suit their point of view and ignore the facts that don't. To make sure that you always stay on top of your game, you must make sure that you fight this urge.
The Happier You Are, the Higher the Risk That you Take Is
Next up, this is one of the coolest psychology facts concerning sports betting. Studies have shown that our mood can be the key to taking a higher risk when placing bets. According to these studies, the happier you are, the more prone you are to risks.
On the flip side, sad people are less likely to bring risky solutions, and this is something that can be mirrored in our lives too. Sadder people are less likely to be active in their search for things that can be life-changing, while happier people are more likely to be willing to take control of their life and, thus, take risks to make changes.
The Availability Bias Effect
The availability bias is the process of overestimating certain events due to the fact that you are bombarded with tons of information on the event, which in this case, is sports games. This psychological fact is best explained by advertising. When you are overflown with ads and overthink the situation, in the end, you might just buy the product.
The same goes for vacations. If you've booked a vacation and you are checking every bit of detail about it, even the weather, you will lose all the thrill and excitement that comes from it and ultimately think of rescheduling it.
This is also applied in the world of sports betting. If you've thought about which teams you should bet on and what type of bet you want to place, it is best not to look for extra information as it can lead you to change your mind and ultimately influence the potential success.
Being Hungry Can Affect Your Success
Speaking of making success, the last psychological fact that we are going to mention is the trend of placing bets while being hungry. As Snickers' ad once said - you're not you when you are hungry. Well, this saying turned out to be true, but not in the wrong way.
Research has shown that when you are placing bets on sports, you are more likely to be successful if you wager your money on an empty stomach. The research discovered that the participants were far more able to appreciate the rewards when they are wrong, which can be applied to sports betting. The hungrier you are, the more appreciative of the rewards you will be, and thus, your chances of being successful will increase.
Psychology is a rather interesting field of study and is something that can affect your betting experience. As you can see, the art of betting is not just about writing numbers and hoping that you will end up on the winning side of a slip.
With the rise of the world of online sportsbooks, betting has become more reachable than ever, which can be a good and a bad thing. So, make sure that you know your limits and remember - bet only for entertainment purposes. Yes, the rewards may be higher when the odds are greater, but so is the risk of your money being lost. Wagering tons of money can lead to problem gambling, which is why you must always keep yourself in check.
And of course, as a rule of thumb, remember to gamble responsibly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make sure that I do not develop a betting addiction online?
The first thing that you need to do is set a budget and stick to it. Limit the time that you spend on betting, but most importantly, wager at sportsbooks that enforce responsible gambling. At Betpack, we've reviewed all of the best sites of this character, so feel free to read them.
How can I decide which type of bet to place on a certain game?
To figure out the type of bet to place on a game and increase your chances of winning, you need to do proper research. However, don't get too comfortable as overconfidence can affect your decision.
Why do people want to bet on sports?
There are several reasons why people want to bet on sports. They want to socialise, experience fun and excitement, test their knowledge of the sport, and for the sake of competitiveness.