What To Do When Losing

MMA Betting Advice: What To Do When Losing

By Loot, MMA Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

We have discussed at length some of the mental pitfalls to avoid when losing, like chasing, losing your cool, and lowering your wagering standards. Perhaps you are already pretty solid in these areas. You might not be doing very well at the moment, but your issues are more tied to your actual handicapping of fights and less to how solid of a gambler you are.

These are actually fixable issues so consider yourself fortunate. It’s better to suck at picking fights a little than to be a degenerate gambler. At least the struggling handicapper can be retooled and eventually make it as a successful MMA bettor one day. A degenerate gambler who is a gifted fight-picker is just going to blow it all anyway.

Analyze what is making you select the fights you are losing. A losing poker player’s issues could come down to table choice. Maybe the players he is trying to beat are just a little too tough. Similarly, in MMA, there are fights that are just too tough to call with the line that is posted. Not all fights are supposed to be easy, but some are particularly devoid of value. Engaging the book along these lines can be a real grind and coming up short isn’t so much a ding on you as a fight predictor. It’s an issue of your selectivity.

This can result from a number of different things. Perhaps you bet on the more marquee fights–the really big events with a lot of fan and media interest. It just so happens that those fights have the toughest odds to beat. Those bouts involve well-known quantities. The better-known and more successful a fighter is, the more his betting value generally decreases. If you are habitually betting on highly-established and successful fighters, you are likely getting significantly shortchanged in the value department.


You may indeed have a solid handle on the fighters. If someone asks you to describe even a marginal-level fighter, you are able to describe him to a tee. That’s important information. But if not cultivated, it can become useless knowledge that gets us no closer to winning wagers. We need to make sure we aren’t merely able to identify what fighters can do well or not so well, but rather how that contributes to the all-important component of the match-up itself.

This isn’t ice-skating or gymnastics. We can’t simply assess individual pros and cons. We need to able to at least fathom how that affects the fight. The number of different styles is endless. Even within the same genre are many subtle variations–specific strengths and weaknesses. So when we’re losing wagers, we need to ask ourselves whether or not we’re falling into the trap of doing this. It’s not a pose-down of who has the better or worse qualities as a fighter. It’s a clash, not a comparison.

Look for trends in your betting, as in being stuck in a rut. A successful MMA bettor has a lot of different ways he can win fights. He can pick fighters no one ever heard of. He will also win on well-known guys. He bets underdogs, but also bets favorites. He picks wrestlers, strikers, BJJ practitioners, and any kind of fighter.

There are times where we start making strong leans toward betting a certain way without knowing it. When we keep solid records of our betting, we can see when we are stuck betting the same way and that’s a good cue to start diversifying your betting portfolio.

Betting underdogs is a key for any bettor, but that doesn’t mean to go overboard. Some of us tend to do that, especially if we manage to get on a little win streak. We might become intoxicated with underdogs, going out of our way to make a case for betting them. Rather than looking for solid underdog spots, we start doing it as a matter of habit, thus depriving of its good value.

The key is to not fall into patterns. A good sign that you are being thoughtful with your predictions is when you are picking fighters all across the board–regardless of style or odds. You are looking at fights with equanimity and not falling into the textbook trap of forming knee-jerk predispositions when predicting the outcome of a fight.

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