Common Sports Betting Mistakes

Common Sports Betting Mistakes

You won’t be perfect when you bet on sports. Even the best sports bettors miss more than 40 of their picks. But this guide as well as others on can help you avoid common mistakes sports bettors make. This will improve your chances for success and lead to a far more enjoyable betting experience.

Poor Money Management Techniques

”Gamble to gamble another day” is great advice for a new sports bettor. A common mistake that sports bettors make is improper bankroll management. Putting all your money into one game isn’t ideal. Lose, and your bankroll is extinguished. Don’t gamble to win big immediately. The best way to increase your bankroll is to stay in the game, stay disciplined and bet with consistency.

Smart bettors partition a set amount to each wager and stick with it. If you lose, you’ll still have money to gamble.

The idea of instantly winning big is the most common sports betting mistake. Make sure you manage effectively so that if you lose you can continue play. At, you’ll find more than just the best Pennsylvania sportsbooks. You’ll also find betting advice to help guide you in finding value bets and smarter wagers.

Making Decisions Based on Emotion

Going with your gut isn’t awful, but it’s also not smart. A common mistake for sports bettors is wagering on emotion. This is especially true for fans that like to bet on their favorite team. This might be fun, but your odds of succeeding are lower than if you bet using facts, trends and data. It’s fun to throw a small futures bet down on your favorite squad to win a title but you need to know why you are making that bet.

Don’t bet with your heart. Sharp bettors only look at data and trends. Don’t bet against a team because you hate them and don’t bet on a team because you love them. Real money is on the line. can help you use your head and not your heart. Check out our tips on odds, smart betting strategies and more so you can be better educated.

Not Shopping for the Best Betting Lines

As a bettor, you are the customer. It only makes sense to shop around for the best deal. You would do this if you were buying a TV. You are essentially “buying” a bet each time so it pays to be prepared. Sportsbooks offer different bets and odds to reel you in as they compete with each other for your business, so getting the best odds is crucial. You may also come across an “odds boost” from sportsbooks.

An example of this is PointsBet offering an “odds boost” on Kyler Murray getting drafted first in the 2019 NFL Draft. Most sportsbooks had him at -110 or lower. PointsBet offered the bet at +1000 for the first 1,000 customers.

At, you can compare odds at the best legal, licensed and regulated online sportsbooks in the state, ensuring you are getting the most bang out of your bet.

Chasing Losses

As a sports bettor, it’s important to understand you’ll lose bets. So, it’s important to accept defeat. Chasing losses is a huge sports betting mistake caused by betting with emotion.

If a bettor puts $100 down on the Pittsburgh Pirates to win back $150 and the Pirates are about to lose, inexperienced bettors might find the next bet available without proper analysis. That effort to break even right away is called “chasing losses” and it often leads to an even bigger hole in your pocket. Always bet with a plan and do your homework. You’ll get some wrong. Take your lumps and move on to a bet you like on its merits, not to get even.

Not Taking Advantage of Bonuses

Again, sportsbooks are competing for your business. One of the best tactics to get you to bet with them is by offering great bonuses. At, we find the best bonuses at the best legal sportsbooks at Pennsylvania’s top online casino sites and we showcase them for you.

Among the most common bonuses are first-time deposit bonuses and free bets. Most sportsbooks will match your deposit up to a certain amount, assuming you meet certain conditions, including betting your full deposit amount a set number of times with a set period. It is critical that you read the terms and conditions.

For instance, a sportsbook might offer a first-time deposit match up to $500 but require a 2x playthrough on your deposit within 14 days before giving you those funds. That means you need to bet a total of $1,000 within two weeks to qualify.

With free bets promotions, a sportsbook might give you $100 to bet with but impose conditions – for instance, they might prohibit bets on a favorite with greater than -150 odds.

A common mistake from sports bettors is missing on these bonuses when they’re depositing, so be sure to add a promo code if needed. We also recommend signing up at multiple sportsbooks and cashing multiple bonus offers.

We at have all of the information you need on bonuses and other offers that sportsbooks have available.

Betting on Sports That You Don’t Know

It’s never a good idea to gamble on sports that you know little about and this is another common sports betting mistake. Sometimes the best bet is the one you don’t make. Never feel obligated to bet just to bet.

Bet on sports you’re familiar with, especially when you are starting out. If you feel comfortable with several sports, you can broaden your betting options. There’s no reason to jump into the deep end without understanding the sports and the betting lines associated with them.

Betting Too Many Games

Betting on too many games is a common mistake made by new sports bettors who want a lot of action. The odds that you hit every game are low, and either it will cost you a lot of money or you will have to bet such small stakes that the potential payoff is muted.

For those that feel the need to bet on multiple games in a day, you might explore parlay betting. You can bet multiple games and different types of sports bets with one big wager. Keep in mind that every leg of a parlay has to hit to win your bet, so your odds of winning are worse (but the potential payout is higher if every component hits). Otherwise, pick individual bets that you really, really like and stick with them.

Sure, it’s tempting to bet on a bunch of games. But it’s smarter to control yourself and focus on just a few games where you’re confident in your bet. That is the best way to approach sports betting.

Betting Under the Influence

This is never a good idea, as dealing with money and math is best left to the sober. Betting under the influence of alcohol, drugs or even fatigue isn’t recommended.

The best way to approach sports betting is by being clear-headed. That means losing emotion and anything that impacts your judgment. Being under the influence increases the chances of both emotional betting or errant betting, such as betting on the Pirates when you meant the Phillies, or betting on tomorrow’s game instead of tonight’s.

Using the Wrong Betting Sites

Don’t bet on the wrong site – illegal, offshore sportsbooks aren’t regulated and can be extremely frustrating. Payments can be a big obstacle with offshore sportsbooks because banks might provide a road block for bettors who want to get their winnings easily.

Being able to differentiate the regulated and non-regulated sportsbooks is essential for easy and legal payouts. There are two good ways to tell which sportsbooks are considered offshore.

At, we rank and review only the best legal online sportsbooks in Pennsylvania so that you’re sports betting experience is an enjoyable one. Unsure which sportsbooks are legal and which aren’t? If they are on our site they are safe and highly recommended. We never, ever list an illegal, offshore sportsbook.

Also, look at the betting site’s domain name for a sure way to identify an offshore sportsbook. If the website ends in .ag (Antigua & Barbuda) or .lv (Latvia) or something similar, they are in non-regulated markets and therefor are risky. Why risk playing non-regulated, offshore sites? There are many legal and safe sites in Pennsylvania and we review them all at!

Another big mistake is to not win the most by missing out on popular PA sports betting bonuses that are available.



Jim has more than 20 years of experience in sports journalism and covers sports, gambling and the intersection of those two industries for He has worked for publications such as the Tampa Bay Times,, and He is passionate about getting Pennsylvania sports betting fans in the know and finding the latest PA sportsbook promos.

Cited by leading media organizations, such as: