Signs That You Made a Bad Wager

Sports-Betting: Signs That You Made A Bad Wager

By Loot, Sports Handicapper,

When we make wagers, we naturally think they are good bets, otherwise we wouldn’t make them. At the same time, there are cases when our spidey-senses are tingling. It’s almost like we’re trying to tell ourselves something. It’s just that we might have so many different voices in our head, that it becomes impossible to determine which one we should listen to more. It’s more of a feeling–a visceral expression that tells us we’re about to eat dirt.

Make sure your wagering is coming from a good place. You’re on an even keel and saw a spot where you have a wagering edge, so you make the bet. Then we have the bets that come from a bad place. You lost a wager in agonizing fashion, as the ref blew a call, a kicker missed a short field goal, or your team couldn’t hit a free-throw late to save their lives. You are hot and steaming and feel like a victim. So you do what many have done–you chase. You try to make it right by betting big on a game that you weren’t even entertaining before.

You have basically said “screw it,” and are now entering dangerous territory. And the whole time, you know you’re messing up. When being honest with yourself, you realize you are now operating outside the box you established. But that voice gets drowned out by your need to make amends. Betting isn’t the only area of life where this happens. When we experience any kind of setback in life, our urge is always to make it better.


After a heated argument with a loved one, we might feel an immediate need to make it right, when waiting and allowing everyone to cool their jets is probably the wiser course of action. If we have a problem with someone we’re in business with, we want to address it immediately, even though dealing with it when we’re at our most upset point isn’t likely to yield the best results. So when you make a wager based on losing and getting upset, you know it’s probably not the best wager.

Another bad sign is over-confidence. It’s a fine line, being that we should feel confident about the wagers we place. And if we’re betting on a 6-1 favorite on the money line, we should be fairly confident. But when we’re wagering against the spread and feel like there is no way we can lose–that’s not really a good sign. You’d think it would be, but our hubris is probably a result of same massive oversight we made. The book isn’t going to be that far off. There is no -110 wager that should be perceived as a lock. If you’re not scared of the opposite side, you might have a problem.

That strikes against the advice that you should only bet on things where you feel you have a robust edge. But there is a difference between feeling good about a bet and failing to give the other side its due respect. If you are not at least semi-fearful of the chances that the other side will win, you have probably arrived at a point where you have failed to handicap something properly. Over time, you will notice that you do better with wagers where you are not utterly certain about the result, while your “locks” tend to not fare as well.

At the same time, too much uncertainty can also be a bad sign. We’ve all had games like this. At the beginning of the week, we liked one side. Then over the course of the week, we might look at a few things differently or perhaps someone gets in our ear and now we’re wavering on our selection.

In cases like that, it’s usually better to just forget about it. Sure, we might win the bet. But if we lose, it will carry a little extra sting. We’ll be thinking “I knew it.” There are going to be enough bets where our selections are more clear-cut and we can deal better with being wrong. When we’re torn between two sides of a bet, we’re asking for trouble by just going ahead and wagering on it anyway. The thing is we need to listen to our internal voice. It may be our best ally in sports-betting, but to make proper use of it, we need to actually allow ourselves to hear it and then act on it.

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