6 Excuses Losing Sports Gamblers Make (and How to Avoid Them)

Losing sports gamblers seem to have an excuse for everything. The problem is excuses don’t do anything to help you win. As long as you’re making excuses, you’re ignoring the things you need to do to improve.

Winning sports gamblers don’t make excuses. Instead of making excuses, winning sports bettors focus on learning when they lose and focus on correcting mistakes.

If you want to join the ranks of winning sports gamblers, you need to stop making excuses. So the next time you use one of the six excuses listed in this post, stop what you’re doing and try to figure out what you can learn from the situation.

6 Reasons Sports Bettors Think They Lost

1 – I Didn’t Have Time to Handicap the Game

I’ve heard this excuse many times, and I always have the same thought when I hear it. My thought, and the way I operate as a sports gambler, is if you don’t have time to handicap a game, you shouldn’t bet on the game.

The line between making a long-term profit as a sports gambler and losing money is thin. You can’t afford to make any mistakes if you want to make a profit.

Some mistakes are simple, like making a bet at -6 when a different sportsbook offered the same game at -5 ½. A half point doesn’t look important, but you have to turn a push into a win sometimes to win in the long term.

I know several winning sports gamblers, and all of them handicap games. Of course, they don’t all use the same handicapping systems, but they all handicap games before they think about placing a bet.

I don’t know any winning sports gamblers who don’t handicap every game they bet on. I suppose there may be a gambler who has a small overall profit that doesn’t handicap games. But if there is a winner, it’s a matter of luck and variance.

If you don’t have time to handicap a game, you don’t bet on the game. I haven’t bet on a game I didn’t have time to handicap properly in over a decade.

Handicapping is the most important tool you have as a sports gambler. Everything you do should focus on improving your handicapping skills. If you never bet on a game you don’t have time to handicap; you’re never going to be able to use this excuse.

2 – But They Were a Home Underdog

I’ve bet on 100’s of home underdogs over the years. Since I started keeping detailed records of every bet I make, I’ve made a profit on home underdogs. But I never bet on a home underdog just because they’re a home underdog.

The best rule I can think of in sports betting is that nothing works all of the time. I show a profit betting on home underdogs because being a home underdog is never the only reason I bet on a team.

Sportsbooks are too smart to let a single factor decide whether a line is profitable or not. In other words, sportsbooks know that some gamblers make most of their bets on home underdogs, so the books adjust the lines to make sure gamblers can’t profit by betting every home underdog.

In addition to making bets on home underdogs, I also sometimes bet on home favorites and road teams.

When I’m evaluating and handicapping games, one of the things I look for is home underdogs. But after handicapping a game, I often find that there’s no value on the home underdog.

For example, in a recent college football game, the home team had a line of +13. At first, this line looked like it might have value. But when I handicapped the game, I predicted the road favorite should be favored by closer to 20. So I bet on the road favorite and won the bet.

Anytime you start using an excuse that starts with but, take a hard look at what you’re saying. If your excuse is about one thing, the odds are that you’re not using enough variables when you handicap games.

3 – The Pick I Bought Said They Were a Lock

I’ve never bought sports picks because I know how the scam works. I also know that I can make more money betting on my picks if I’m a good handicapper than I can make selling them.

I know a lot of sports gamblers who buy picks. But none of them are making money in the long run on picks they’re buying.

The scam artists who sell picks often market a pick as a lock, lock of the week, or the lock of the year. They market the picks this way so they can sell more picks.

I’m sure a few pick sellers sell profitable picks, but most of the sellers are selling guesses. And even if you find a pick seller who’s good, you’re still better off developing your handicapping skills and learning how to win without buying picks.

4 – It Was a Guaranteed Win

I’ve made this mistake a few times, but I finally learned my lesson. I was betting huge moneyline favorites and making a profit. But I eventually made a bet at -5,000 on a big favorite, and the team lost.

It’s easy to look at big moneyline favorites and think that there’s no way to lose. And the truth is that most of the time, you do win these bets.

But the problem is that you’re risking too much money for a small reward.

If you’re betting $5,000 to win $100, you have to win the game 49 out of 49 times. A single upset wipes out a lot of profit.

You might not have the stomach to risk $5,000 to win $100. But you have to be willing to risk money as a sports gambler. And this means that you might need to make some bets at -2000 or -2200.

Betting on the moneyline is like betting on totals and spreads. Your handicapping has to show that the wager is profitable on average.

If you’re betting $2,000 to win $100 on a heavy favorite, you can’t afford to be wrong. For example, if you make this bet 19 times, a single loss means that you’re losing money. You make $100 on each game you win, so if you win 18 games, you profit $1,800. But if you lose one game, you lose $2,000.

The important thing to learn is that there’s never a guaranteed win when you bet on sports.

5 – I’ve Got to Bet on My Favorite Team

I know a sports bettor who makes a small overall profit. But he has a weakness that costs him money every year. I want to be clear that I’m not bashing the guy. Anyone who can make money year after year betting on sports has serious talent.

His weakness is that he feels like he has to bet on his favorite team every time they play. It doesn’t matter what the line is, and he doesn’t even handicap the games. Some years this works out, and he makes money on his favorite team, and other years he loses money on them.

But this goes back to what I covered in the first section. If you don’t handicap a game, you shouldn’t bet on the game.

I stopped betting on games with my favorite team a long time ago. I can’t evaluate my favorite team correctly because I root for them. The guy I know who always bets on his favorite team would make more money overall f he stopped betting on them.

6 – I’ll Just Double My Bet after Every Loss

In theory, this system can work as long as you find a sportsbook willing to take your bets when they get big. But this is also a system that eventually is going to destroy your bankroll.

You have roughly a 50% chance to win when you make a spread bet, even if you don’t handicap the game. With a roughly 50/50 chance to win, you can bet more on a game after you lose and have a chance to come out ahead.

Of course, you have to bet a little more than twice your first bet to cover the vig, but it’s still a system that looks like it can work.

The problem is that you’re doing the thing that makes the sportsbooks money. What you’re doing is betting on games without handicapping the games.

It’s time to stop looking for shortcuts and tricks and start learning how to win with your handicapping skills. Doubling your bets based on hoping to win instead of based on value is never a profitable long-term play.


The most important thing you need to know is that winning sports bettors use their losses to improve, and losing sports bettors just come up with another excuse when they lose. So you need to stop making excuses and focus on improving your handicapping skills.

You’re never going to learn how to be a winning sports gambler if you make excuses. It’s time to take a hard look at your results and how you handicap games. The only way you’re going to improve is by looking at things as they are instead of blaming something or someone else when you lose.

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