Learn To Win at Betting By Losing


Last Updated: 2017-05-01

Of course I’m not talking about losing a bet intentionally, but let’s face it, they happen. Whether it was a terrible handicapping job or a close one that could have gone either way, we’re going to lose. In fact, we know the magic number to win against the -110 is 52.38%. That’s just it. That means we’re going to lose a lot of games.

For me, the first thing I do after (and sometimes during) a loss, is look back and see what I missed. What I missed might be quite obvious, or it might not even be on paper. It could be a situation that was missed. Regardless, there had to be something. We have to find “that something” before we go forward so we don’t make the mistake again. Honestly, I’ve learned much more from embarrassing losses than great wins.

Everyone has great wins, but that doesn’t mean “we got this”. Everyone has bad losses. And by that I don’t mean “bad beats” where we could/should have won. There is no such thing as a “right side” losing ticket. It cashes or it doesn’t. But, it’s always what we do next that matters the most. Don’t lament the past, use it to your advantage.

You win more money by eliminating mistakes than you do by making really good calls, trust me. All you want to do is put yourself in the best possible position to win, day after day. So on Sunday I learned something. We won three and lost one MLB game, and I am far more focused on the Rockies losing in 13 innings than I am on the three easy ones.

Looking back, they had their chances as most teams do. They had the bases loaded with no outs and didn’t score. They had a leadoff hit in extra innings and didn’t even attempt to bunt. So, although they had more chances that Arizona, they just didn’t execute. That’s what we learned, so what we do is move them down the list of teams we trust. It doesn’t mean we don’t bet on them, we’ve just got to look harder at their games and see if they can get away with sloppy execution. My quick conclusion is that yes, they can get away with no being their best, but not on the road. At least not for now.

I found that to be the case with the Rays not long ago. It has already made me money by not costing me money. I did not bet on them today in Toronto, as bad as Toronto has been, even with Archer pitching. Honestly, I leaned to the under which cashed, but I didn’t bet it. That’s OK. That just means we have a good feel for them now, too.

After a loss, it can make a person too emotional. After a win, it can make a person emotional. Take it out of the equation. You’ve simply got to treat it as you would your job or your business and get better every day.

So, when you lose there’s often no need to reinvent the wheel, and when you win it doesn’t mean you’re good to go and should be moving to Nevada. The truth is almost always somewhere between the two. Stay focused and learn from the losses and you’ll win more, or lose less. If you follow someone, ask what they missed – it’s the only way to get better, whether you’re doing your own work or paying someone else too.

Dave is a professional bettor/handicapper on Pregame, featured on EPSN, CNN, Fox Sports, and more.

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