Behind every action or decision is a psychological reaction. Whether you realize it or not, psychology controls us and creates who we are. In a much more micro-sense, those mindsets are in charge of our good and bad habits and influence how we think and what we do.
In sports betting, making the right decisions and having discipline are two of the most important things that you can do. These things may not always lead to cashing in on a big payday, but they will set you in the right direction and prevent you from making dumb mistakes.
In this article, we break down the psychology and the mindsets that create positive betting habits and how to keep you out of trouble at the same time.
First: Why Do We Bet on Sports?
Let’s understand this basic concept. Why are so many people around the world interested and excited to bet on sports? There has never been popularity like there currently is to wager on different events. While the bulk of that boils down to the accessibility and availability of legal betting, there are other factors that our brains react to which have made it so we like to bet on sports.
Many are betting on sports because it makes the event more interesting, it’s more fun to have a side in the game, some like risk while they engage in a typical activity like watching a sport, some need a thrill in everyday life, some want to make money out of something they know well, or maybe it’s just a social hobby that keeps you close with friends. These are all great reasons and things that make the brain tick.
According to the UK Study from a few years ago, there are three main reasons why people bet on sports and we can break all of these down. There are pros and cons to these three behaviors and we have to check these things at the door to be successful.
Betting Makes Watching the Games More Interesting
There is more excitement when there is a little something to play for in a game. When you are betting you feel like you have a leg in the field; engagement is what keeps us interested. This is true in many aspects of life. When you are engaged in a relationship, it fuels your heart. When you’re engaged in a work project, it fuels your ego. When you’re engaged in a sports bet, it fuels your fire.
The big pro of this is that the game itself becomes more exciting. Every snap, every pitch, and every moment that you watch is more interesting than if you were watching without a bet on the line. In general, this can make the experience more enjoyable, or less depending on how it’s going for you. Our brain watches with intent and with purpose when we are watching this. It makes us feel busy and useful. This can benefit a bet because pride is taken in that.
When there is more excitement, it can cloud your vision. When there is more interest, it can cloud your judgment. When you are interested in a team, it can be tough to bet on them because biases exist. The excitement is great for a casual feeling, but it isn’t good when you are trying to win. If a lawyer is walking into court to defend you, do you want him to feel excited and wiry or do you want him to feel confident and calm? I am picking the latter. That’s the same in a sports bet. You want to be unbiased and cool. You cannot let what makes you excited determine who you gamble on and how you do it.
In-Play Betting Boosts the Game Intensity
Similar to the last reason to gamble, more stake equals more fun and more interest. But this factor is a little bit different. Intensity can derive from risk which fuels adrenaline. No, placing a sports bet is nothing like jumping out of a plane, riding a bull, or surfing a massive wave, I guess unless it’s for enough money, but there is quite the rush when watching a game and there is a little something on the line.
The intensity can create a positive experience when watching an event. There is something incomparable to pulling off a massive parlay, hitting on a big-time underdog bet, or stacking together a big ole winning streak. Similar to your favorite sports team, there is sometimes the same thrill with your bets. This can keep you on track, keep you daring, and wanting more from the wagers that you are placing.
In the same stroke, that can be a dangerous thing. As you get more comfortable with more risk, you are standing to lose more money. That’s just the way it goes. But our brain begins to crave that action and we have to distinguish between betting for that thrill and betting because we believe that it’s a great wager that can be profitable. More intensity can lead to more compulsion and unwise decisions. That’s what we hope to avoid as the brain becomes more likely to turn to wild bets and bigger payouts.
Betting Puts Our Knowledge to the Test
This is a big one for gamblers who double as massive sports fans. Who doesn’t want a job that can double as a way to watch sports and make tons of money? I for sure can’t think of a single person who would turn down that gig. There is so much sports knowledge sitting in all of our brains and for the most part, it is just sitting there going to waste. That’s why sports betting can become such a great outlet for that info.
When you know something and you are knowledgeable in it, your brain wants you to learn more and become a master in it. Gamblers are often very crafted and skilled in knowing what sports they are betting on and you can strive to know more and more to make your bets more successful. Harnessing that knowledge and knowing where to look for the correct info will make you more successful down the line.
Sometimes we can mistake sports garbage for sports knowledge There is a lot that you can know about a specific team, a specific defensive scheme, which players are likely to score on an NFL Sunday, or which matchups present excellent opportunities for certain teams, but that doesn’t mean this equates to winning bets and creating meaningful trends and patterns. The psychology behind knowing this info is wanting to use it all and sometimes we don’t need it.