The power of “if-then” in betting

There are various different strategies and approaches people take to try an achieve success in betting. While some of these can be complex and difficult to implement, there are many simple concepts that anyone can apply. Read on to find out the power of using “if-then” when placing a bet.

A common mistake bettors make

Sports betting is incredibly personal and the use of the pronoun “I” tends to dominate the majority of the conversation.

Think about it.

Watch almost any handicapping video, listen to any betting podcast or read any write-up and there will be an abundance of the following,

“I think.”

“I like.”

“I expect.”

“I predict.”

During the game in-play, the most common phrases heard from bettors are,

“I need.”

“I hope.”

After the result is determined, nine times out of ten – win or lose – one of the following is said,

“I knew.”

“I thought.”

“I am glad.”

“I can not believe.”

The personal connection to a bet stems from a human desire to control the future. Bettors often use the word “I” to believe that it was their own doing which determined the outcome of the bet, rather than luck.

No bettor wants to admit to being lucky, but every bettor wants to get recognition as being smarter than other bettors – especially when it comes to sports betting.

I would be lying if I did not admit to being guilty of using any of the terms above. However, it is the fact that so many others will agree with this article that confirms my belief that there is a clear edge in betting markets simple by changing one’s mindset to remove personal bias.

What is the “if-then” approach?

The easiest way to remove yourself from a bet is to use the “if-then” thought process when handicapping games.

The use of “I” encourages a bettor to believe their explanation for a handicap without any validation or comparison.

Omitting the personal pronoun “I” and replacing it with “if-then” is the easiest way for a bettor to shift a losing mindset, into a winning one. The use of “I” encourages a bettor to believe their explanation for a handicap without any validation or comparison.

“I think that the New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl because Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots organisation are more experienced than Jared Goff, Sean McVay and the Rams.”

The use of “I” leverages the credibility of the speaker over the substance of the handicap. The validity of the handicap becomes dependant on the level of respect those listening have for the speaker.

An “if-then” approach would immediately invalidate the handicap above. The power of “if-then” is the forced evaluation of both sides. Handicapping both sides of a bet is something that all professional bettors do exceptionally well because making a case for the upside and the downside allows for accurate risk assessment.

A valid handicap using an “if-then” may look something like this,

“If the Los Angeles Rams can generate pressure on Tom Brady in the pocket, then the New England offence will have a difficult time keeping up to their season average due to Brady’s passing numbers against pressure.”

The upside of the handicap is that the Rams generate pressure. This supporting statement is the “if-yes”. However, with this mindset, there is always an “if-no” side of the equation which must be addressed to complete the handicap. The downside of the handicap is that the Rams can not generate pressure.

“If the New England Patriots offensive line can negate the pass rush of Los Angeles, then a Rams secondary which has underperformed league average will need to play well above expectation to contain skilled New England receivers.”

From a simple thought of the Los Angeles Rams getting pressure, the “if-then” handicapping style introduced three other points of analysis in which to assess risk. By carrying out the process for other critical matchups in the game, a bettor can build a concise list of pros and cons to weigh against market pricing to determine a wager.

Changing “I” for “if-then” requires a lot of dedication and extra work. However, the time spent researching answers to acknowledge the upside and downside of “if-then” handicapping will reduce the rate of forced wagers and encourage sharper risk assessment.

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