Risk aversion and fear of winning in sports betting

Monday, 18 March 2024

Sports betting behaviour is influenced by a lot of psychological factors, often overlooked but their impact can quickly become apparent. Emotional influences, cognitive biases and a host of other factors can help a bettor or stand in their way directly.

foto source: skynews

A punter enjoys the risks, the desire to win and the responsibility. At least, that’s the theory that encourages responsible fun. Of course, practice looks different, and the difference between red and green is often a seemingly big one.

It’s simple: risk aversion, take 2-3 games and make the odds @2.00. Risk appetite: 2 matches and you make odds @600. And the fear of winning is the whip you try to dodge.

Risk aversion – low and “safe” odds

Risk aversion is the psychological basis that makes you somehow secure your betting activity. It is a notion that was defined by Kenneth Arrow in his work on risk and uncertainty theory.

There is a natural attitude of fear, of aversion to risk but also a preference for it. It may seem paradoxical, but your attitude to sports betting is continually influenced and the influences manifest themselves in the decisions you make. You already know that adrenaline can “help” you to make decisions you later regret.

2, 3, 5 tickets won in a row can make you increase the odds played or the number of tickets. In other words, confidence increases your risk appetite. And sports betting involves a dynamic evolution of risks.

winning in sports betting

A ticket at full odds of @2.19, out of 4 bets, small, conservative odds but with estimated chances of success.

Girona – Rayo Vallecano 1X @1.18 + Craiova – Poli Iasi 1X @1.28 + Rapid – UTA Arad 1X @1.16 + Inter – Atalanta over 1.5 goals @1.25.

Fear of winning – “too” high odds for you?

Fear of winning manifests itself best when you take a quick look at the odds listed. Any odds higher than (what you consider to be good to play) X will be one you avoid.

Another case is when you avoid @1.80 odds on PSF2 but take X2&2+ on the ticket. Out of a desire to play as “safe” as possible you replace one uncertainty with two. The psychological impact of odds is hard to dispute. Odds are a punter’s main tool, and you will often tend to be fooled by values that seem too high.

Most expressive in this case is the result of equality. The X usually has odds of @3.00 or higher. However, there are quite a few punters who prefer a ticket consisting of 2, 3 or 4 X’s. A tie result can be synonymous with inaction, indecision. A draw is devoid of glory and this is somehow reflected in a punter’s choices.

However, two X’s chosen in an inspired way lead to a total odds of @10, you can’t easily overlook it.

For a punter, taking risks is an everyday occurrence. Taking too much risk unjustifiably creates vulnerabilities. Risk management in betting is like dancing on a tightrope, but you must always keep in mind the probability and impact of your bets. What happens when you lose a bet, what effect does it have, what happens when you win 2 tickets, how do you act afterwards?

How prepared are you to lose? How prepared are you to win?

Author: Editor

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