Sports Betting Advice: The Dangers of Greed

By Loot, Sports Handicapper,

The dangers of greed in the human race goes back to the beginning of time. We all know the pitfalls of being greedy, though sometimes we all battle with containing it. Greed can cost you in a lot of areas of life. But as you can see, greed is actually rewarded on certain levels. In sports-betting, however, it will cost you. An inability to contain greed is almost a certain preamble to total failure in this business.

Greed can manifest in any number of ways. A betting man can begin wagering with an abundance of greed, causing him to neglect the patient approach needed to succeed in sports-betting. He wants to hit the ground running in a big way, so he starts firing with both barrels in a misguided effort to see his bankroll swell.

He starts betting large amounts and even if he has initial success, his bets are so big that he’s never that far from ruin. When betting a large percentage of your bankroll on different games, no one is really more than one bad run away from zeroing out their account. That brings us to our next point–how initial success, while a good sign, can actually have a detrimental effect on your overall wagering in the long-term unless you’re careful.


Some of us may start wagering with noble enough intentions. We resign ourselves to be patient and keep our eye on the big prize–the long haul. So we start betting a small percentage of our bankroll. We have a $1000 bankroll and start making $20 and $30 bets. We get on a hot streak and in our first week, we go 16-4. We’re up almost $300. Not bad.

While we might be doing well, where we take it from there is really what it comes down to in the end. Do we start raising our bet amounts proportionally in relation to the growth of our bankroll? Or do we allow greed to settle in? We may figure, heck, we’re winning–why not win more? So we start betting $50 or $100 per game. Let’s say we still manage to do well and after another few weeks, we’re up to $2000.

Now that greed actually worked, we’re really on a slippery slope. We start hammering games at $200 a pop. We think we’re good at this after going 24-7 in our first 3-4 weeks. Eventually, we cool off. The flip side to the coin starts to reveal itself and we get on a bit of a cold streak. After a few weeks, we’re down to $600. Even though our overall record is 27-17, we’re now down from our original starting bankroll.

What happened is that we lost respect for the difficulty of this. We had a good mini-run and started reading our press clippings. If we had stuck to the script, we would still be showing a profit. But we allowed initial success to poison our outlook. We stopped doing the same things that led us to have that initial success in the first place.

Greed is really an insidious thing in sports-betting. It might contradict with some advice you’ve heard about sports-betting, little mottos like “scared money don’t make money,” or “you have to be willing to die in order to live.” While there might be some truth to those slogans, being conservative and adhering to a plan is not “betting scared.” It’s betting smart. This is not a contest to see who has the most heart or guts. This is about making money in an area where precious few are able to do it. And the reason they can’t do it is because they lack discipline. Greed is the chief enemy of discipline. No discipline in this business equals no success.

At no point should we lose respect for what we are up against. We’re battling bookies, large betting syndicates, ourselves, and then the actual games. If we start thinking thoughts like “this is easy” or developing even a dash of disrespect, we need to check ourselves quickly. Hubris begets the fall. Success in sports-betting is a good thing, but it’s up to you to make sure it’s a good thing. If it leads to complacency, not doing the work anymore, or greed–you might have been better off beginning with a cold streak. Be happy with your success, while never letting it manifest into greed.

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