Coping Techniques for Handling Sports Betting Losses

Man Outdoors With Arms Spread and a Sports Betting Board

Following their Week 10 win of the 2020 NFL Season, Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb ducked out of bounds in favor of rushing into the end zone for a touchdown. It resulted in a 10 to 7 win for the Browns, and bettors everywhere lost money on the spread and Chubb’s player prop.

Now, 99 times out of 100, the player cruises into the end zone, and those who bet on the winning team can go home happy with a profit.

But if Chubb lost you money in such a fashion, you may not have been too happy with the game’s result. Especially when he could have “iced” the game with a 17 to 7 win.

So how do you cope with lost bets you otherwise could have won?

Below are eight techniques.

Workout or Go Outside

If you are anything like me and are a workout warrior who loves to turn the big game on the many big-screen televisions at the gym, then this is arguably your best option.

Not only does a tough workout force your brain to focus on something else, you are also releasing endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine into your brain. Also known as your “feel-good” hormones.

If you workout for just a half-hour and if you focus on that workout, you will surprise yourself just how minor of an issue a lost bet really is. Even if that lost bet was a surefire win before a single player did the inevitable and single-handedly cost you the bet.

Man and Woman Jogging

Are you not a member of a gym?

No problem.

You can always go outside for a run, for a walk, or you can even do some pushups in your living room. If you are into a martial art, biking, or hiking, those are great too. You can also combine your workout with the other subheadings below.

Indulge in Your Favorite Hobby

What do you love to do for a hobby?

Read? Write? Watch movies? Binge-watch television shows on Netflix?

Whatever your favorite hobby contains, it is a surefire winning bet you can welcome positivity into your life and get out of a sports betting slump.

You don’t need to sit and sulk because you lost $100 on a football game. Instead, do something that you find purpose and fulfillment in, and you can end the day with an accomplishment.

Listen to Good Music

Music releases positivity in all of us. And if you are a YouTube junkie, why not combine listening to music with your favorite band’s music videos?

As mentioned in the first subheading, you can combine a good music experience with an intense workout or while you indulge in your favorite hobby.

Man Laying Down Listening to Music

Music can also motivate us to engage in our favorite hobbies or workouts. Nothing beats a good run in the late fall while listening to Brothers of Metal or Thomas Bergerson. Or in the gym, hitting the BlackPink playlist will keep your tempo up during your workout.

Or, you can just chill in your basement while your favorite punk, country, rap, or even classic rock artists play on your phone.

Go Out with Friends

Any time a bet doesn’t go your way or if you are just in a bad mood, pick up the phone and text or call your friends. See if they are up for a night out of fun. To be honest, you can combine this one with the gym experience.

Go out to eat and listen to live local entertainment, then hit the 24-hour fitness center to burn off those calories. Interact with friends and talk about all the good things that happened throughout the week. Sure, you can vent about the $100 you just lost, but you will come off far better with friend interaction.

You can hit your favorite restaurant, bar, activity, or a variety of such. Then, as mentioned, you can easily combine the friends experience with all of the above after an awesome night out on the town.

But don’t sit and sulk about losing money on a sports bet, don’t think of this subheading as an excuse to drink away your problems. It hardly does any good. Go out and forget the stress.

Use the GLAD Technique

Grateful. Learned. Accomplished. Delighted. The GLAD technique is a gratitude technique that puts you right into the present. So after you engage in the above activities, you have a complete day of GLAD to write down before you go to sleep that night.

Here’s an example:

  • Grateful: Friends
  • Learned: How to throw a perfect slant route in Electric Football
  • Accomplished: 60-minute workout
  • Delighted: Favorite band’s new music video

You just had four positives that just happened to you as outlined in the above coping techniques following that boneheaded move by that one player who cost you a spread or a prop bet.

Cool, right?

As you can also see, the GLAD technique doesn’t need to discuss huge things. You accomplished a 60-minute workout. Not flashy. But it sure made you feel great. You watched your favorite band’s music video that your friend showed you when you went out that evening following the game.

Know You’ve Handled Loss

You win some, you lose some. What is the common denominator following every loss? You’ve handled every one of them. Sure, you may have been that “sore loser” but you still handled every loss in the same way. You put it behind you and eventually looked forward.

The same thing goes if a single player shocks you in the wrong way during a sports bet. Okay, so you’re betting on another game next week. You also may have bet on a couple of other games for the current week and won those bets. You’ve put the loss behind you.

The GLAD technique mentioned above is arguably one of the best ways to shove a stake through that losing bet and to just forget about it.

So remember that you have handled every loss before this one by putting it behind you. Either through the GLAD technique or even with one of the coping mechanisms mentioned above.

Record the Winning Sports Bets

We’ve all won sports bets and some of us may have made gutsy bets in the past before coming out on top. Every time you win a close bet or if you bet on a major upset and won, track your sports betting results and make sure it’s close by.

If you lose a close bet because a player made a team-based decision – and not one with sports bettors in mind – pull out that notebook or Word Document you placed the bet in and reminisce about those past wins.

Man With Laptop Writing on a Pad

Oh, and remember that you are bound to win a few more of those gutsy bets. Or a few more of those close bets. The ball doesn’t bounce our way all the time. But when it does, it’s wise we remember the goods while throwing away the bad.

Which leads me to this final point…

Adopt a Positive Gambling Mentality

How do you do this?

It is easier than it looks.

Positive people still have negativity in their lives. Just as much negativity as negative people do.

But there is a major difference.

Positive people see failure as temporary and success as permanent. Any time something unforeseen happens to a positive person, they shrug their shoulders and move on. Maybe they don’t get that job promotion they wanted. Okay, so they weren’t the right person for the job.

But there is a high-paying job out there they are the right person for. And they will find it.

Positive people are those who make things happen. Whether it is positive or negative. Negative people are usually the opposite. Failure is permanent. Success is temporary. They adopt the “things happen to me” mentality, rather than the “I make things happen mentality.”

So when Chubb went out of bounds that Sunday, a negative person said that these things always happen to them when they place a bet.

A positive person will say that Chubb going out of bounds and costing them the spread is a rare occurrence, and perhaps with the way the wind whipped that day in Cleveland, they probably would have been better off betting on someone else.

Notice, the negative individual blamed Chubb instead of taking ownership for their actions. Chubb caused them to lose the bet. A positive individual takes ownership, but also realizes such a thing happening is a rare occurrence, and chances are, they will win that bet.

So whenever you make sports betting mistakes, adopt a positive mentality and move forward, remembering that success is permanent while failure is just part of the process.


There are literally hundreds of ways to cope with a negative experience such as losing a surefire bet. But the eight techniques above are a great place to start. Especially since you can combine many of these together.

And you can use these eight techniques in more than just the betting realm; regardless of the negative things you experience, you can apply these eight techniques to your life. So smash those negative experiences and get some positivity into your life.

What coping techniques do you use if you lose an unforeseen sports bet? Let us know in the comments.