8 Sports Betting Myths and Truths

Aerial View of BlueJays Baseball Field, True or False Text, Money
When it involves gambling, something inherently based on chance, you can bet there will be some people who think they’ve figured out a system that allows them to gain an advantage. Combine this with the fact that sports gambling has been going strong for more than 2,000 years and it’s easy to see how some myths develop over the years.

With all of that being said, some of those old theories passed down from years gone by actually do carry a good deal of truth. The trick is separating the wise tales from the wise advice.

Ever notice how casinos and sportsbooks always seem to be profitable? That should be a good indication that bettors haven’t yet cracked the code that tips the scales in their favor. In this article, I’ll outline seven commonly believed myths and explain why they don’t hold up.

1 – You’re Betting Against the Sportbooks

You might think that the ideal situation for a sportsbook would be to have the majority of money on one side then have that side lose. While that may be the best outcome, books design their lines and spreads so the money is split evenly on either side. That way, if 50% of the bettors win, they’ll profit on the “juice” without risking losing any money.

The lesson to be learned here is that sportsbooks do their best to ensure they’ll make money… And they usually do.

That’s why it’s a good idea to go against the public. Oftentimes, books will play on the public’s misconceptions or emotions in order to create a scenario where the majority of the money is on the less likely of the two outcomes.

Never be afraid to shop around to look for the best moneyline options. Before choosing a sportsbook to settle on, learn how to choose a US online sportsbook to ensure you’re making the best desition.

2 – You Can’t Win Betting on Favorites (In the Long Run)

The value is in betting on the underdogs, right? This might be true, but that doesn’t mean betting on favorites is a waste of money. It might be hard to rationalize throwing down $100 to win $20, but picking and choosing games with near-certain outcomes does have benefits.

Side View of Soccer Field at Night

The key to betting on the moneyline in games with heavy favorites is to use the strategy sparingly. It only takes one loss to erase several wins if you’re wagering a significant amount for a smaller payout.

3 – Experts Guarantee Success

Gambling is inherently risky, and nobody has the answers that make winning a sure thing. While you may be enticed by an “expert” who claims to have won 60% of their bets over the past year, remember that they’re probably leaving out the part about losing heavily the year before.

It’s true that those who have made a career out of sports gambling have probably devised systems that give them a greater probability of being profitable, but there’s no guaranteed method for betting.

If you can get free advice, it’s worth considering. But don’t go shelling out big bucks to an anonymous online bettor who claims to have the secrets to winning big.

It’s tempting to seek out an oracle who essentially tells you exactly which bets to place when they promise success, but proceed with caution. Remember, if they’re able to convince 1,000 people to pay $5 per month in exchange for their advice, there’s significantly less risk because they’re making money either way.

If you see an online expert touting high win percentages, just be sure to do your research before you hand over your money.

4 – The NFL Is the Best Sport to Bet

Before I get into it, don’t shoot the messenger. I love betting on the NFL as much as any other red-blooded American, but it’s time to set the record straight.

In a sport with such a high volume of bets, sportsbooks pay close attention when setting spreads and moneylines. This is usually not a good thing for bettors who make their money by finding little advantages. Simply put, NFL oddsmaking is about as mistake-free as it gets.

Wilson NCAA Basketball Ball

Because there are so few games each week, sportsbooks can dedicate tremendous time and resources to each one. In other sports like college basketball and March Madness, or even baseball (where there are 10x more games played), you might be able to find a slight advantage.

Let’s be honest, you’re not going to stop betting on the NFL and neither will I, but the return on your bets might be a little higher elsewhere.

5 – Teasers Are Novelty Sports Bets

Teaser bets, those bets where you “buy” points, are often looked at as an amateur move that won’t pay off in the long run. While it’s certainly true that you might be sacrificing money by giving yourself some cushion that may be unnecessary, it can be helpful if you know when to use the strategy.

For example, moving the spread in a football game from +4 to +5 might not be worth the money, but moving it from +6.5 to +7.5 might be worth every penny due to the probability of the game ending in a one-touchdown difference.

Generally speaking, teasers won’t be the difference between a win and a loss in the majority of your bets, but in occasions where a point or two significantly changes the outlook, it’s a good idea to consider.

6 – Stick to One Type of Sports Bet

This one is tricky, because there’s some validity to the idea. It’s smart to find out where you have the most success then try to master the art of that type of bet. However, it’s even more important to gain an understanding of the sport itself and make your decisions based on what you know.

Additionally, sticking to one type of bet puts you at a disadvantage because you might have a better feeling about a different bet you don’t normally utilize.

Crowded Football Stadium, XFL Logo

For example, you might not know who to pick in an XFL 2020 game based on the spread, but you know it’s going to be a windy day, so maybe your money is better used on betting the under. Prop bets aren’t just for fun, they can pay out big time if you choose the right one.

If you’re looking to place bets for the XFL 2020 season, be sure to wager only on the safest XFL betting sites.

7 – “Due” for a Win

If you take nothing else away from this article, just remember to stay away from the gambler’s fallacy. Seriously, as much as your brain might tell you a favorite (or underdog) is “due” to cover, it’s completely incorrect to think this way.

For those who are unfamiliar with the gambler’s fallacy, it when a bettor thinks that since one event hasn’t happened in multiple trials, it’s more likely to come up. For example, if you flip a coin and it has turned up heads four times in a row, one might think it’s more likely to come up tails on the next toss.

Prior trials have absolutely no impact on one at hand. Similarly, don’t try to spread out your bets between favorites and underdogs just for the sake of having even money on both. Never bet a certain way simply because you bet a different way on the game before and you want to “mix it up.”

8 – It’s All About the Players

This one might not be so much of a myth as it is just general advice. While we might be quick to examine the players competing on the field (which makes sense), bettors often forget about coaching.

Redskins NFL

Coaching matchup histories aren’t as visible as previous player matchups, but they can be just as important. In today’s NFL especially, almost every head coach has learned under another current head coach. This fact alone means matchups won’t always be equal, as some coaches might have a better idea of another’s game plan.

Do your research and find out if there’s any information to be gained (that the general public might miss) by examining coaching matchups.


At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to gain an advantage or find a strategy that works. The sad reality of the situation is that it can do more harm than good to put your trust in a theory that isn’t accurate. Like you’ve probably been told at some point, there are no shortcuts on the ladder to success.