Betting Experts Answer: Biggest Biases in Sports Betting? | Part 1

Welcome to the 13th question in our series: “Betting Experts Answer The Industries Biggest Questions.”

This week we are taking a dive into the psychological side of sports betting, as we asked seven betting experts:

Q13: What is the biggest personal bias you have had to overcome to create a long-term edge in sports betting?

Check out Part 2 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of former odds compiler - Matthew Trenhaile, pro sports bettor - Anthony Kaminskas and the founder of The Smart Betting Club - Pete Ling.


The fear of being wrong and not trusting my methodology. Some sharp bettors may experience a kind of reversed self-serving bias, with an excessive attribution of negative outcomes to internal causes. Underperforming expectation and a blindness towards the law of small numbers can lead to irrationally and prematurely questioning the efficacy of a good betting system. It’s much easier to doubt yourself after a series of consecutive losses than a series of consecutive wins, even though in statistical terms they may have similar occurrence probabilities. This is the psychology of loss aversion. The cure is to ignore your results, at least in the short term, and make use of proxy measures of expected value like the closing line to tell you whether to trust your methodology.

Follow @12Xpert on Twitter & check out the 12Xpert website here.


The main personal bias I've had to overcome is that derived from being on the receiving end of significant betting flows while working at Bet365 as a bookmaker, and not letting those flows cloud my judgement in my approach to finding an edge. Specifically, after a while you're able to anticipate significant imbalanced betting flows, but often they're not informed flows, yet it is easy to let them impact your judgement nonetheless. It took a while to overcome this bias.

Follow @edgealerter on Twitter & check out the Edge Alerter website here.


Not sure about personal bias, something I struggled with initially was losing money in the short term. Remember losing £50 in a day and being gutted, then your threshold increases and it takes a £100 loss in a day to feel annoyed. In order to keep growing you have to take on more risk and accept that you will have days where you might lose £500 - £1000. That was probably what I struggled with most in the past and still struggle with going forward. Understanding that if you want to win more long term then you also have to accept the bigger losing periods that come with it.

Follow @SmSportstrader on Twitter & check out the Smart Sports Trader blog here.


Confirmation bias has tricked me so many times, I would say you really need to be cautious of early success. My famous saying is “a guy swims to you from across the lake and when he gets to you on the beach you tell him he doesn't know how to swim.”

Follow @Spotonparts on Twitter.

Check out Part 2 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of former odds compiler - Matthew Trenhaile, pro sports bettor - Anthony Kaminskas and the founder of The Smart Betting Club - Pete Ling.

Love getting the opinions from experts in the betting industry? Then subscribe to the Trademate Sports Podcast, where we interview the most important people in the sports betting industry.

Here are the other questions we have got our industry experts to answer so far:

  • Q1: Top 3 tips for betting beginners? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q2: How do you define “finding value” in betting markets? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q3: How do you determine whether your betting results are based on luck or skill? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q4: Kelly criterion or flat staking: Which stake sizing strategy do you consider to be the best and why? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q5: What is the best method to use to make money from sports betting? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q6: How difficult is it to beat the sports betting markets? How efficient are the odds? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q7: How to manage risk when betting? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q8: Is there a best sport to bet on? If so, what is it? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q9: Assuming you have an edge, at what point can you start accurately evaluating your results and say that variance has played out? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q10: What is the one thing you would like to see change in the gambling industry? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q11: How to overcome emotions in sports betting? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q12: What are the top 3 mistakes people make when betting? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
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