Sports Betting Guide
Confidence in sports betting
What part do you think confidence plays in your betting? Is it a good thing to be confident or not? How does it affect your decision-making, and whether or not it biases your predictions? Answers to these and many other questions will be answered in today’s sports betting guide.
Being confident is generally referred to as one of the most important aspects that define success in sports. Unsurprisingly, the same could be said about sports betting. While being confident can help you make better decisions under stress or not let stress or nervousness affect your performance (both in sports & sports betting), it could also drag you down by simply being overconfident and inaccurately assessing the situation.
Defining whether or not confidence affects bettors more this or that way is hard to estimate. Nevertheless, we would try to explain to what extent it could take you out of your ways and how to watch out for it.
Confidence as a type of bias
Many people think if confidence is called the «confidence», then it has nothing to do with biases. That is a completely wrong statement to say less. It is quite common among punters to get biased, especially if the results happened to be positive. We have already talked about the so-called «hot hand fallacy» in one of our previous sports betting guides. Let’s use it as an example here, since it shows you the most common way the decision-making process of punters and people, in general, is being affected by outside factors, thus being biased.
Psychologically, we, the people, can very easily fall for information that confirms we are right, even if we are not and the information is completely inaccurate. A good example, many punters could relate to is the past performance data. Making your future predictions off such data, assuming it shows a successful winning streak, might be quite tricky and punters could easily fall for the hot hand fallacy, attributing more meaning to it at the cost of neglecting other quite important aspects. Most of the time a successful run by a team or a player has a big share of randomness and other contributing factors that we are simply not paying attention to, or that are hidden a bit deeper in the data set. Many inexperienced punters fall for such fallacy, believing if the team has already won a couple of matches, it should continue doing so. Obviously, we are not trying to say that if the team is in good shape and performs extraordinary well, it is not supposed to keep winning. Such teams might have a solid amount of confidence going into the next matchups, however, punters are feeling the same type of confidence as well, blindly backing the «more confident» side. That creates a situation where the majority of the money on the market is being loaded onto one side, resulting in bookmakers shrinking out the odds for the opposing one, which is already a sign of possible value.
More about how to find value in sports betting could be found in our sports betting guides library. Please, click here to read the tutorial.
In such a situation, it is good to start betting against the confident side, or, in some sense, against the confidence.
Why having confidence is good?
Once again, please, do not take out words wrong. We are not trying to say that confidence is our main enemy when it comes to betting. It could be one, though, if you are using it in the wrong way like, for example, we stated above.
Let us switch it up and talk about how confidence could help you. First of all, you have to answer this one simple question: What does it take to achieve success in betting on sports? Please, share your personal answers down in the comments below. Anyways, the majority of punters would say the following - «tons of hard work». While this is true, it is not entirely the case. Yes, you do have to put a lot of work in to develop your betting strategy, gain necessary skill and knowledge and so on. It is hard to disagree with that, but you are not going to get too far in betting without luck and, more importantly, patience.
In this case, confidence could serve as a great mediator of self-doubting and other similar things when you run into a losing streak or when things are simply not going the way you planned them. Being confident in yourself and your betting model is a must if you are serious about your betting. Simple mistakes and inevitable losses will follow you all throughout your gambling adventure. Remaining confident in what you do will also help you try new approaches and strategies. You could also find more about that here. Besides that, confidence can help you make the actual bet. In general, betting involves a significant share of risk, especially when you are putting your own money on an opinion about some sporting event or whatsoever. This could be seen better when larger sums are entering the game. It is always good to question yourself and your decisions, but there are situations when things might get a bit shaky, and that is where your confidence has to step up to take upon the risk.
Do not trick yourself into thinking that is only the issue of novice punters. Professional bettors have to deal with it even more often since the majority of them are making a living out of it. Imagine staking a large amount of money while being timid about your decision. Such behaviour will never lead you to success. While being confident is very important in such a case, please remember, only bet as much as you can afford to lose!!!
Confidence is like drugs, small doses of it can cure, but too much of it will lead you to undesirable consequences. In the case of sports betting, overconfidence could lead you to constant losses and even gambling addiction. So, what is overconfidence? If you would go look it up online, you will find plenty of definitions. Some refer to it as an illusory superiority when others say it is the «above average effect». However, for simplicity purposes, overconfidence is simply the state of thinking that we are better than we actually are.
How does it find its application in sports betting though? Well, it is quite common that bettors make their betting predictions based on their own perception of things, thus confidence in their predictive ability. This is never a good way to do it. Lots of punters reason such a betting model mainly by their short, successful series of bets, usually at the very beginning. They are quickly getting a feel of it, rocket launching their predictive ability confidence.
Regardless of the model you use for your betting, you are going to have a losing streak sooner or later. This is where overconfidence can do you wrong. Having some losses during betting is normal. However, if you keep repeating the same mistake over and over because of your confidence, thinking you are right, and it is just bad luck, the losses are only going to pile up.
How does confidence affect our perception of others?
While too much or too little confidence in yourself directly affects your betting, it could also be equally harmful for your perception of others. Just remember, when it comes to betting, you are never betting only against the bookmaker but also against the market, which is represented by fellow punters. Being simply overconfident in your abilities and discarding the abilities of others will most likely affect your assessment of the market and its competitiveness. As a result, you will never be able to reach the ultimate success in sports betting. Betting with disregard of others’ predictive ability could play a sick joke on you. Let’s assume that you find the odds that are significantly longer than they supposed to be. Your very first thought would be: «oh, I found some value». Well, this might or might not be the case. However, the only way, though, to be on the safe side is to double-check why other bettors have not already taken advantage of it, and thus, shortened the odds. This is where your confidence could play very much against you. Try to see the bigger picture and question why nobody has noticed yet; are your calculations correct; or is there anything else you forgot to mention? Finding the right balance between confidence and doubts is the key in sports betting, which professional punters happen to master.
While being overly confident in yourself is an issue, showing overconfidence in other individuals or groups could also be harmful, especially in sports betting. We have already discussed this topic in one of our previous sports betting guides, however, we were not talking about confidence. Nevertheless, it is a similar case and a very common mistake among punters. Let’s put it this way, there is no room for feelings and emotions in sports betting. Forget about having your favourite team or player, sports betting is pure maths and analysis. Showing support to one side or another will simply affect your assessment of the likelihood of either side’s winning chances. While it may not hurt you at first, continuing this practice, in the long run, will definitely not end well for your bankroll. If you would like to get more advice about how to manage your betting bankroll properly, please click here.
Whether you believe in the role of confidence in sports betting or not, it is always going to be an integral part of it. Regardless of your level of confidence, it will affect your decision making, the way you bet, when you bet, what you bet on and how much you bet on it. While confidence is innocuous by itself, every punter must be aware of its potential impacts (both good & bad).
It is also worth noting that confidence is one of the biggest sources of biases. Thus, being aware of it and the consequences it could lead to if neglected, could do you a big favour going forward. Take your time and identify the true source of your biases to fix them in order to be able to see and take advantage of the opportunities that are coming your way.
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