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5 Common Sports Betting Mistakes

March 10, 2024

Written by    |
Bill Harrelson

Sports betting can be exhilarating, combining the thrill of competition with the potential for financial gain. However, many bettors fall into common traps that hinder their success. In this article, we will explore 5 common sports betting mistakes and provide actionable tips on how to correct them.

Along the way, we will also highlight the benefits of seeking expert advice, such as the valuable insights provided by services like Elitepickz. Let's dive in!

Mistake 1: Poor Bankroll Management

While it may sound easy, bankroll management can be challenging. Especially for new bettors just looking to make their own betting choices based off intuition.

Proper money management is critical to even standing a chance against the sportsbooks, and without it you are almost certain to fall victim to them. In many cases, bad management will lead to total bankroll loss.

No matter how much good research you have done, money management is essential.

P.S. Get our free guide on how to actually profit betting here!

Actionable Steps:

Like all things, there is a learning curve. It is important to know which betting mistakes to avoid.

The first thing you can do to properly manage your bankroll is to divide it into units. For example, if you have $1000, you can bet $20 per unit. Meaning you have 50 units in your bankroll ($20 times 50 equals $1000)!

Then, you set a limit. Maybe saying that you won't bet more than 1.5 units on a one game. Sharp bettors do this (like us), and we recommend you do as well!

Chasing Losses

Chasing losses falls under the same umbrella as poor bankroll management.

Let's say it's football season. You bet on the Detroit Lions at the early games on Sunday, and lost. This does not mean that you should bet on a later game to try and win it back.

No matter if it was a bad beat, or if you see a later pick as easy money, make sure emotions are a nonfactor in betting.

Do your own research, look at the weather forecasts, check different bookmakers (not just one sportsbook), and then if the math all adds up, you are good to go.

Trust us, your sportsbook wants you to chase losses. They want you out of your comfort zone. This is how they begin taking advantage of you.

Mistake 2: Parlays

Everyone and their mother loves taking parlay bets. This is one of the most common betting mistakes you can make.

Seasoned bettors know that parlays are there to drain your account. Casinos will market parlays as a way to break your losing streak, and they set unrealistic expectations by showing you all of the huge winners that others have gotten in their parlay.

To be a successful sports bettor, you have to learn to stop betting parlays.

What To Do Instead

It's simple. Just place single bets only. Especially while you are learning.

Most sports bettors go down this rabbit hole:

Join sportsbook. Place first bet. Win or lose, and then venture into parlays after seeing friends win some or just others on social media. Next thing you know, their account is slowly being drained.

They draw you in by showing you those high potential winnings.

To break this trend, just take the more profitable route (it's still pretty fun) and bet singles.

The sad part is, most people know they should only bet singles, yet they don't do it.

Is It Possible To Win With Parlays?

Let's keep this short and sweet. Yes it is.

Mathematically, if you have an edge on multiple picks on the same sportsbook, you can parlay and net positive long term.

We only say this for informational purposes. We aren't saying you can't win, but if you don't understand the math behind it all and have a proven system, then stay away from the parlays.

Social Media Gurus

We could go on and on about this one. Theres so many unqualified people out there selling sports betting advice. The ones selling parlays are the worst (usually), so let's stick to there for now.

Red Flag 1: Screaming or talking into the camera about their parlay winners and the heater that they are on.

Red Flag 2: No proof of results long term, and insane win rates that are almost too good to be true (hint, they probably are)

Red Flag 3: No knowledge about the math behind betting, let alone bankroll management. Most people showing you $10,000 betting tickets are suckers. I'm actually a winning bettor and I am limited at many sportsbooks. If these guys won like they say they do, they would be limited or banned from betting so much on the same sportsbooks consistently.

We despise almost everyone selling betting advice. There are so few that actually want what is best for people, let alone who actually even understand the markets and are winning.

In the future we will have some videos on youtube or blog posts of us buying these "competitors" of ours and showing you how they do.

Mistake 3: Not Researching

If I had a dollar for every time I saw someone place a bet based off their own intuition or just on their favorite team, I'd be a very rich man. This is again one of the most common sports betting mistakes.

Sure, I believe it is okay to bet for entertainment (with no intentions of winning) if it is based off intuition or on your favorite team.

Where my opinion changes is when people genuinely are believing that this can net a return.

One sport I see this the most in is NBA. So many people will just take a guys over on points just because.

In the NBA, it is easy to pick up on trends, and find profitable models in smaller markets (like our team's picks)

How To Research

The first thing to know is that you always want to find the best odds. This betting strategy is crucial.

If Fanduel has a team at -120, and DraftKings has them at -115, you should ALWAYS bet on DraftKings.

You may not think that the -5 is worth much, but it is.

Long term, it adds up. Trust us. Get multiple accounts!

As for actually researching and finding the picks to make, there are many ways to go about it. There are so many betting sites with great data to help you bet sports. Finding public money vs sharp money percentages can be a decent starting spot for a newbie.

We recommend betting small if you know you don't have an edge, and avoiding placing too many wagers. The betting markets are not kind to newbies, so staying away from big bets early on is key.

Our team uses highly advanced models and software to create most of our picks. We cannot give much insight on that end at this moment unfortunately.

If you would like to skip the work and bet with professionals, you can sign up here to start winning today!

Free Bets

One thing we have not yet mentioned enough is free bets.

Sportsbooks LOVE giving you free bets, odds boosts, and small mathematically profitableedges in attempts to get you hooked.

As profitable bettors, we have to understand that one winning bet and one odds boost doesn't change much long term. Though, these free bets are essential to take advantage of early on!

Mistake 4: Emotions

Not controlling emotions is a huge betting mistake that will also hurt your chances of profitability (a lot).

One wager can completely change some people's mindset. As professionals, we cannot ever let this happen.

A perfect example of this betting mistake is when a sports bettor loses because of a player, and then vows to not bet on them again. Meaning, say a pitcher on your team (that you bet on) let's up 8 runs in the first inning.

As a normal human with emotions, you will likely hold a grudge or be hesitant to bet on him again.

As a professional sports bettor, we must understand that mathematically last games performance tends to have very little impact on the next game in almost all cases.

Meaning, that if there is a value we find on that pitcher's team the next time he plays, then we will be sure to play our edge.

As sports bettors, we must accept that math trumps human emotion. Every. Single. Time.

How To Win With Logic

To win with logic, it is actually fairly simple (in theory). To avoid making a big mistake, we must not make a big deal out of issues that arise. Teams will lose, and teams will win. Such thing will always be a part of sports betting.

The sooner you accept this the better. What we mean is, a team can lose by 1 or by 40. It is still a loss all the same. Vice versa for winning! One company/sportsbook should not make or break everything. You may be crushing it on Fanduel, but losing on BetMGM. This doesn't mean that BetMGM is cursed (as simple as it is, we have to say it).

There is no betting strategy in this. It is simply just avoiding temptation, and NOT letting emotion guide you. It is most simple yet complex of the sports betting mistakes we have covered so far.

P.S. You can join 1800+ other discord members by signing up for Elitepickz. Use code "Welcome" to get your first daily pass for $19.99!

Mistake 5: Not Line Shopping

About 95% of sports bettors have this issue. They don't line shop. This literally can save you about 5% of your money in sports betting.

Steps To Line Shop:

  1. Get 2+ Sportsbooks
  2. Check all books for the best odds before betting
  3. Bet

It's really that simple. You get amazing deposit bonuses from multiple sites, giving you a great starting ground as well. There truly is very little to no downside in beginning line shopping. We recommend that all of our clients do this.

An Example To Save Money

The other night, we bet on some MLB. We found value on one wager -- the Phillies Moneyline at -130 on Fanduel. Our team texted clients to play the Phillies at -135 or better (for a mathematical edge). Thankfully, checked another book in DraftKings, who had the Phillies at -125. Again, a very small difference from -130 to -125, but it will add up!

Meaning that if the Phillies lost, I would have lost $125 opposed to $130 -- saving me money. Now, imagine placing 3 bets per day. Over the course of a year, that is over 1,000 bets. If I lost say 500 of those 1,000 picks, and saved $5 on each loss, that would be an extra $2,500 in my pocket ($5 times 500 losses).

Now that -5 looks pretty big, right?

It Goes Both Ways

Not only can line shopping save you money, but it can also make you money! It works the opposite way on underdogs. For context, we are telling you this just to hammer in how important it is to line shop!

An Example To Make Money

Say you want to bet on the Phillies this weekend again. Fanduel has them at +110. Meaning bet $100 to win $110. By line shopping, you might be able to find them at say +115 on BetMGM! Meaning that you can make $115 if they won, or an extra $5 (because $115 is $5 more of profit than $110).

Now, if you make 1000 bets in a year, and 500 of these bets won, imagine making an extra $5 per bet! That is an extra $2,500 of profit in my pocket yet again! ($5 times 500 wins).

Granted, not every bet will result in a profit or money saved from line shopping. This is just for exemplary purposes. Meaning that bets will push (tie), and bets will also lose on underdogs (lose $100 in both scenarios) and win on favorites (win $100 in both scenarios).

Line shopping is all upside, and little downside. You get more free bets, save money, make more money, and in turn have more fun. More money = more fun (in our opinion). Plus, we didn't even mention how lines aren't always 5 cents off (+115 to +110). Sometimes it can be less or more, say +120 to +110! Meaning there is upside for even further profitability/money saved.


By fixing these five key sports betting mistakes, you can greatly increase your chances of long term success. Eliminating these errors builds your foundation for the future. Sure, you can still lose. But these tips will help greatly reduce the houses edge against you, lead to more fun, and less losses.

Now, if you want to use to flip the odds in your favor by making mathematically profitable bets with our team, then be sure to sign up and get a full refund if your first 30 days finish negative units.

See you inside!

FREE Guide: How we made over $50k Sports Betting and got banned from casinos like BetMGM

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