Scared Money Never Wins

By Loot, Sports Handicapper,

Scared Money Never Wins – A Primer on Sports Betting

It’s an old expression about “scared money” that really holds true. Money that is bet by those who are most fearful of losing it always seems to fail. You’ve probably seen it at the casino–the guy acting like he couldn’t care less just seems to be catching all the breaks. Meanwhile, the tense player pining over every little thing is losing. With that being said, “scared money never wins.”

The expression has a lot of nuance wrapped up in it. Scared money might not make no money, but it’s not all about your attitude during the game. First of all, for money to not be scared money, you can’t need it to live. If that’s your car payment you suddenly have riding on the “over” in the Maryland-Seton Hall game, it’s hard for that money not to be scared, even if you are trying to be cavalier about it.

There is just something that seems to create rotten luck when you really need something to happen. First of all, if your house payment is jeopardized when you’re making a bet, you were handicapping that game from a point of desperation. In other words, the picks you make when under the most pressure are not usually your better selections.

We all have different standards in our lives. For some, they wouldn’t want to even entertain having a sports betting bankroll unless their nut is completely covered every month and they have ample savings behind that. Then there are those whose betting bankrolls are their actual bankrolls. Maybe there’s a college kid living at home. He can afford to blow it. What’s the worst that can happen, he has to borrow gas money from pops? But others have lives where blowing it means the family is out on the streets. There’s a big range, so it’s inevitably up to you do define at what level money becomes expendable.

“Scared money don’t make no money” is not an invitation to treat your money cavalierly. Let’s say you have a bankroll and you’re clear-headed about the potential of losing it. It wouldn’t be that huge of a deal. That doesn’t mean start throwing stuff against the wall to see if it sticks. It doesn’t mean start flying by the seat of your pants.

What it really means is to develop a certain level of flippancy about the results. In sports betting, successful bettors (See: How to Become a Professional Bettor) develop as winners over time. They don’t throw a glass across the room when the other team runs back a punt late and costs them a cover. We certainly aren’t looking to lose, but we just accept it as the nature of the beast. If we bet on sports, we are going to lose sports bets. If we know that out of the gate there are going to be some cruel twists of fate that befall us, why be incredulous when it occurs?

Be scared when you should and also know it does nothing to impact the result of a game. If you’re betting with money you need, fear should be in your head. If it’s just another bet, why be scared? And being scared never helps. It only hurts. You can thumb your nose all you want at the notion that “gambling gods” exist. But after making thousands of wagers over the course of decades, you will notice how there seems to be a force, something from beyond, that stymies the guy who most needs something to happen. At the sportsbook, look for the guy who is living and dying on every first down, every strike and ball, and every free-throw. Does he look like someone who is winning to you?

Fear clouds a clear head. Being scared takes a certain edge off your analysis. You’ll even notice some sports teams are like this–playing at their best when at their loosest. When we have the element of fear swimming around in our brain, it contaminates our handicapping. While we should have a healthy avoidance toward losing, it’s not what drives our analysis. No sports event was ever decided on the basis of some random bettor’s fear of losing, so it should never be a part of our analysis.

Don’t be scared. When betting responsibly with money you can do without in the event that you lose it all, there’s nothing to really fear. Operate with a clear-head and make picks based on your best handicapping analysis of all the factors at play. Then make the bet and let the chips fall where they may.

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