Monday, October 17, 2022

Bettor Education is So Difficult

I was listening to a betting podcast last week, and the two protagonists spoke about how difficult it was to educate sports bettors on some basic ideas. In this case, it was line shopping, i.e. getting the best price (or the lowest juice). 

The pod guest runs, which is a cool resource that curates all lines and gives you the best deals for the side or total you want. He noted (from countless conversations and comments) things are going better, but he still sees this reticence of buying in to how important it is. 

We see a similar reserved view in horse racing when it comes to takeout. Or ticket construction, or odds lines, or getting the best of it. 

We're all not dumb. We can do basic math. We know if we get paid $110 on a bet instead of $105, over time we will be many thousands ahead. 

We also know that almost every person who is a success at sports betting or racing concentrates on such things. And again, unless we have some sort of mental block, we know following the process of successful people is smart. 

Why is this so hard? I don't know for certain, but I can think of a few theories. 

I think many of us are so used to losing, we can't see how just getting a fraction better price can make a difference. 

I think many of us are paralyzed by liking an opinion so much, we are unable to grasp the probability it will lose. "I'll bet that game at any price!"

And, I suppose, many just want action. Price is this weird thing those betting geeks look for. 

I think - and this is particular to racing, but also applies to sports betting with wild bets or parlays - with exotics we can make a score that was not a mathematically a sound bet, but since it hit we repeat the process, hoping to hit again. We take a lot of false signals as bettors and make them immutable truth. 

I believe whether we're betting horses or sports, setting the table properly gives us a chance to win. 

That means taking advantage of deposit bonuses, signing up for multiple books, getting rebates, betting low takeout and passing on the high, and working on making proper tickets. I think those provide us with the habits needed to get the best of it, enjoy the game more, and at the end of the year have more money than we started with. 

I know that's hard, and many of us struggle with it, but in my view it's the only path that makes any sense. If we're not trying to get better at betting, we're doing ourselves a disservice. 

Have a nice Monday everyone. 

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