7 Reasons to Stop Gambling on Sports

Strike Out Symbol Over Various Sports Balls and a Sportsbook Background

I enjoy sports in many different ways. I like to watch them, I used to play many different sports, and I like to bet on them. I’m not alone in these things, especially when it comes to gambling on sporting events.

The sad fact is that most people who gamble on sports should quit. This is because most sports gamblers aren’t doing what they need to do to win money over time.

Here’s a list of seven reasons why you should stop gambling on sports. And there’s also some information about what you can do to improve your odds of winning if you’re not ready to quit.

1 – You Can’t Beat the Vig

I want to share a secret about gambling on sports with you. Using the point spreads published by the big sportsbooks, you could break even in the long run by flipping a coin to pick winners if you didn’t have to pay vig.

When you make a bet using a point spread, there are only three possible outcomes. You can win or lose or tie. When you win, you receive your original bet back plus the amount you won.

When you lose, you don’t get anything back, resulting in a loss of your original bet amount. When you tie, in most cases you get your bet back.

NCAAF Quarterback Throwing the Ball

If you’re able to bet $100 to win $100, all you have to do is win 50% of the time to break even. And you can win 50% of the time blindly picking sides of the point spread to bet on.

The main problem is you can’t bet with the sportsbooks on an even basis. You have to be more than you can win. This is generally 10%, so you have to bet $110 to win $100.

Most sports gamblers can’t beat the extra charge, called a vig. If you’re not beating the vig, you should stop gambling on sports.

2 – You Don’t Spend Enough Time Handicapping Games

The main reason why most sports gamblers can’t beat the vig is because they don’t spend enough time handicapping events. The problem is that just putting in more time isn’t always enough. Handicapping sports games is a challenging skill to develop.

Here’s what most sports gamblers do: They look at the lines at the sportsbook and either bet on their favorite team, quickly guess which team to bet on, or spend a couple minutes looking at the standings and a few stats, and then they make a wager.

All of these tactics are basically the same as flipping a coin or throwing darts to pick a team to bet on.

You have two options when it comes to betting on sporting events. You can either dedicate enough time and effort to each game to give yourself a realistic chance to profit, or you should simply bet on the team you want and not worry about anything else.

The reason why I say you have two choices is because if you’re not handicapping games correctly, there’s no reason to even try to get an edge. You’re not going to get an edge any way except thorough evaluation and handicapping.

3 – You Bet on Everything

While it’s true that some of the top sports gamblers in the world place wagers on a wide range of sporting events, the truth is that you’re not good enough to do this. You can’t make profitable wagers on every sport offered by the sportsbooks.

You have to pick one sport and/or area to focus on if you want to have any realistic chance at profit. You can’t bet on everything if you want to win.

Many sports gamblers are what I call action junkies. They feel like they have to have action on games every day, so they basically bet on everything.

You can’t afford to be an action junkie. If getting action is more important than winning, you should simply give up on the idea of being a winning sports gambler.

4 – You Rely on Luck or Hope

I mentioned in a previous section that you can either properly evaluate sporting events or forget everything and just pick whatever team you want. It’s a complete waste of time to do anything in between the two extremes.

NCAAB Minnesota Players Celebrating

Hope and luck are two of the most dangerous words a sports gambler can use. Anytime you hope something happens or rely on luck, it’s a sure sign that you either need to quit betting on sports or you need to invest more time evaluating the games you want to place bets on.

Every sports gambler hopes that they get lucky. But almost all of them lose. Forget about hope or luck. The best sports gamblers never have to rely on hope or luck, because they develop sports betting systems that help them secure long term profits.

5 – You Refuse to Use a Bankroll

If you aren’t using a dedicated bankroll for all of your sports gambling activities you either need to start using one immediately or stop gambling on sports.

This might sound like a harsh or extreme statement, but professional sports gamblers use a bankroll. Amateur sports gamblers don’t use a bankroll. Some professional sports gamblers make a profit, and very few amateur gamblers make a profit.

Using a dedicated bankroll won’t make you a profitable sports gambler, but it’s one of the things you need to do if you’re serious about winning.

Your bankroll is a tool that helps you win. A dedicated sport gambling bankroll helps you track your profits and losses and helps you determine proper bet sizing.

6 – Poker Strategy Is More Straightforward

Advantage gamblers have found ways to make a profit. Gambling on sports is one of the ways that some professional advantage players make a profit. But it’s not necessarily the easiest way. In this section and the next section you’re going to learn about two options that might be better than gambling on sports.

Three of the main areas where advantage gamblers can get a profit are gambling on sports, playing poker, and playing blackjack. None of these are easy, but with the proper amount of work and strategy you can make money in each of the three.

Poker strategy is more straightforward than sports gambling strategy. Poker strategy is still complicated, and most players never learn enough to be profitable. But it’s easier for many gamblers to learn how to beta poker games than it is to learn how to beat sportsbooks.

The truth is that if you’re willing to do the work and put in the time you can use any of the 3 gambling areas to make a profit. But you have to pick one and stick with it. If gambling on sports isn’t working out for you, consider focusing on poker.

7 – Blackjack Is Easier

If sports gambling and poker aren’t working out for you, blackjack might be the answer. In fact, if you can learn a few advanced blackjack strategies and how to get away with them, it’s a good reason to stop gambling on sports.

Closeup of a Blackjack Player Placing a Bet

Real money blackjack is easier than handicapping sporting events and learning poker strategy. It’s still not easy, but if you’re willing to put in enough time and practice you can learn how to win as a blackjack player.

You just need to learn 3 things to be a winning blackjack gambler.

  • Learn the rules
  • Learn basic strategy
  • Learn how to count cards

The rules and strategy are simple. You can even get a card that lists all of the best strategy plays and use it when you play. But it doesn’t take long to memorize blackjack strategy. This leaves learning how to count cards.

You can find articles about counting cards on this site or by reading a good book or two. Once you know how it works, all you have to do is practice.


Should you stop gambling on sports? In the end this is a decision that you’re going to need to make. If you’re not profitably gambling on sports yet, are you willing to do what you need to do to change your results?

If you’re not willing to make changes, you should probably stop gambling on sports and find something else to do. Poker and blackjack are both options that some gamblers use to make profits.

If you still want to gamble on sporting events after reading the 7 reasons why you should stop, then it’s time to get busy. Learn more about handicapping sporting events and start putting in more time and effort. This is the only way to start making money gambling on sporting events.