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Assessing Sports Betting Risk (Part 2)

Aug 17, 2007
In the preceding part of this discourse I concluded that (a) the greatest hazard for you as a typical, well-balanced sports Bettor is that you may continually lose more than you win and thereby regularly exhaust your betting funds, and (b) to thoroughly analyse the likelihood of that happening you need to properly address the following questions:

(i) What things could possibly go wrong that would cause you harm?
(ii) How likely is it that those things will go wrong for you?

The most commonly occurring reason I have found for people consistently losing money at sports betting is that they have no "game plan". The most essential elements of a good game plan for betting purposes are a valid, proven Selection System and a proper Staking Plan. The Staking Plan alone won't cut it; first and foremost you must employ a worthwhile Selection System.

If you are employing neither of those two elements, then the risk you run of eventually losing your entire Base Bank is 99.99%. On the other hand, employing only a good Selection System would not only reduce your risk closer to just 10% maximum, you would also have up to a 10% chance of making money. This would mean that the Bookies would suddenly be faced with a 10% possibility of losing to you long-term, rather than a 99.99% certainty of taking your money from you. Throw in a proper Staking Plan on top of that, and you will have increased your chances of winning to as high as 20%.

From the above, therefore, you can see that finding a good Selection System and sticking to it is the only way to go if you are truly serious about making money at sports betting.

So, having established that using a good Selection System is an absolute must if you want to make money from sports betting, how does the average Bettor actually go about making his/her betting selections? My research shows me that, in the main (ignoring the extremes), there are generally two approaches taken:

- The more conservative group looks at the "Short Odds" calls, and plays safe by selecting only those matches where they themselves feel very confident about the outcome.

- The more adventurous group analyses the matches and odds on offer, and then makes selections based on their own gut feeling about how the matches will turn out, making sure that the odds match their concept of a "value" bet.

The important thing to note here is that neither of the above approaches is "systemised", although those in the first group believe that they are limiting losses while increasing their winning chances. But what the majority in that first group generally do not take proper account of is how the Bookies have fixed the odds to ensure that they, the Bookies, will come out on top in the long run. What this means is that if you only bet on "favourites" you will eventually lose all your money, although it is true that you will enjoy a much longer period of betting before you kiss your last buck goodbye!

The second group fares a lot worse because, unfortunately for them, the variance in the "value" range will be different for each of them, and it will also vary considerably from bet to bet, making the concept of value mere words (and therefore meaningless). The reality is that the majority of people do not have any means whatsoever of identifying "true" value bets.

The problem is, most people wouldn't know where to begin if they had to devise their own worthwhile Selection System, and those clever enough to be able to do so simply wouldn't have the time to do it (it is an arduous task). In fact, there are only two groups of people who do bother to spend the time and money to do so properly: (i) Bookies and (ii) sports tipsters. However, while you can be 100% sure that all Bookies operate a good Selection System (but they won't share it with you), you can be sure that 99% of so-called expert tipsters don't. The number of tipsters doing a proper job on the Internet can probably be counted on the fingers of just two hands.

Nonetheless, the reality of the matter is this: if you don't have a Selection System that is sound in every respect, then you are just as badly off as if you had no Selection System at all! And even if you find a good tipster service, you must still exercise a great deal of caution in making your final selections and look carefully at their success rate for the specific type of tips they are offering. If you fail to do this, then you can be certain of one thing: you will lose all your money somewhere down the road!

Another important subject I must briefly refer to is "catch-up" staking. If you find that you need to employ this tactic regularly, it means three things: (1) your Selection System sucks, (2) you haven't got a clue about what constitutes a proper Staking Plan, and (3) you have turned your chances of regularly and quickly losing your Base Bank to a 100% certainty!

And finally, in the first article in this series I mentioned being honest with yourself, because one of the biggest lies I have found that a tremendous number of Bettors are guilty of is denying to themselves how many times their Base Bank has been busted! If you too are guilty of this, please remember that until you face up to the truth with the determination to do something about it, you can't expect to turn the situation round in your favour.
About the Author
Woz Salmon is a specialist in risk analysis and mitigation techniques, whose primary aim is to help the average football bettor significantly improve his/her chances of winning more money from the Bookies. Woz Salmon runs Predict A Win ..Helping you bet to win!
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