Top 8 Most Common Sports Betting Mistakes

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
5 minute read
sports betting mistakes and how to avoid them

Sports betting mistakes might happen even to the most experienced bettors. However, common mistakes are easy to prevent. At Safest Betting Sites, we offer bettors a large resource of betting strategy. Even with all this material, it’s easier for bettors to fall back into poor habits and sabotage themselves by making poor decisions.

We all make betting mistakes, however, making too many avoidable mistakes will certainly diminish your bankroll. Don’t let mistakes affect you negatively. Mistakes are there as part of your learning curve as a bettor. If you learn from each mistake, that means you’re growing as a sports bettor. Even after years of practice and success. You won’t get to win every bet you place. Sports betting it’ss an ongoing learning process. Below are some of the biggest sports betting mistakes and pitfalls losing bettors make and how to avoid them.

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#1 Sports Betting Mistake – Listening To Pundits

Everyone has an opinion on sports in today’s world. There are not only a dozen shows on ESPN and other networks discussing the same topics over and over, but there are thousands of blogs and radio stations also adding their own opinions. It’s fine to watch and read these outlets for entertainment or news purposes, but not for betting advice. The talking heads may seem confident with their opinions, but remember, their job is to increase ratings and spark controversy.

They’re also rarely referencing odds and are almost never factoring in line movement when they’re making predictions about upcoming games. One of the biggest mistakes of the betting public is caring about what these guys think. Just because they were former coaches or players, doesn’t make them betting advisors.

#2 Sports Betting Mistake – Betting Too Many Games

Sports betting is typically a game of small edges. Sure, occasionally we’ll find situations where we are gaining a large edge on certain sportsbooks, but for the most part, it’s about finding inefficient markets and attacking them. There are going to be nights where bettors have a wealth of plays available at their disposal, but betting games for the sake of simply “getting action” is going to cost players big in the long haul.

The 10% vig is hard enough to overcome in itself, and placing wagers without solid reasoning and a decent edge is going to chip away at your bankroll and cut into bottom-line profits. There’s a reason why there are so many betting markets available at online sportsbooks, many of which are highly juiced and unbeatable. They know gamblers love the action of betting sports and they’re hoping to entice them to wager more. Don’t fall for this trap.

#3 Sports Betting Mistake – Failing to Line Shop

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We discuss line shopping at length and how vital it is that bettors shop around for the best price. Shockingly, this is probably the most common leak among sports bettors and the one that hurts them the most. Line shopping is absolutely paramount to newer bettors looking to build a bankroll as every dollar is more meaningful.

#4 Sports Betting Mistake – Hometown Favoritism

Betting on your favorite teams or players in the case of some propositions is one of the biggest traps that amateur bettors fall into when betting sports. Sure, we can understand the appeal of betting on your favorite team, kicking back and rooting them on, but if you’re trying to win money at sports betting, this is far from optimal. Not only is wagering disproportionally on your favorite teams a –EV decision, but it’s also an area where bettors are missing an important edge because of their bias.

If you’re a big fan of your local teams, it’s likely that you know them better than most other teams. There’s plenty of value with having a deep knowledge of specific teams. You’re simply going to have a much better bead on how teams you follow closely will play compared to others. Occasionally, this means betting on your favorite teams, other teams it means betting against them. There’s no room for personal bias or favoritism if you’re serious about making money betting on your favorite sports.

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#5 Sports Betting Mistake – Chasing Losses

We’ve all been there. After a string of rough losses or a losing streak, there is a temptation for bettors to forgo their process and chase their losses. This, of course, only makes matters worse. Chasing your losses will put a serious dent in your long-term profits and may ultimately derail your sports betting career, especially if you wager more than your normal amount when you suffer a losing streak, in hopes of making back your money.

Thinking of sports betting as a long-term investment strategy is vital in these situations. You don’t need to get even on the night or the week. Instead, look at your sports betting career as a life-long graph. Trust your process for evaluating betting markets and continue to follow your bankroll management plan.

#6 Sports Betting Mistake – Not Taking Advantage of Bonuses

Few realize that US-facing sportsbooks offer the largest bonuses in online sports betting, even beating out the biggest bookmakers in the world. Though these foreign bookmakers are safer overall due to their legal safeguards and regulations, offshore sites benefit from paying few taxes and cheap labor costs.

For this reason, they can offer a larger deposit and reload bonuses. Taking advantage of bonuses is an absolute must for new bettors, where these extra funds are crucial for beginning bankrolls. Bettors can easily clear thousands of dollars in deposit bonuses at reputable sites in the US market. When you decide to don’t use any deposit bonus, you’re essentially deciding to leave money on the table.

#7 Sports Betting Mistake – Choosing Poor Operators

If we haven’t stressed it enough throughout our site, we’ll do it again here. Choosing a reputable sportsbook with a long history of paying players on time is absolutely crucial. There is no use betting sports online unless you can be almost certain that you will be paid if you win. We offer a wealth of information on this topic, including an extensive list of scam sportsbooks that are still operating. There’s no reason to risk using poorly reviewed sites when there are tons of options that offer excellent odds and payout quickly.

#8 Sports Betting Mistake – Betting Under the Influence


It shouldn’t be a revelation that people don’t make their best decisions when drunk or on recreational drugs. Vegas casinos don’t give out free drinks out of kindness. They know alcohol relaxes people and gets them a bit looser with their money. However, even savvy gamblers make this mistake.

Having a drink or two while handicapping games is not an issue, but wagering while drunk or high certainly is one. Your head is simply not in the game and it’s easy to make a mistake. Those who have bet long enough make betting mistakes sober, let alone wagering when you’re drunk.

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About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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