author: andriev   10 January 2021Print page

Online Sports Betting: The nature of the winnings streaks

Have you ever won a couple of games in a row? Have you felt any special? While the idea of Hot Hand has taken over the sport & sports betting worlds, it is nothing else but another overestimated theory and appears to be one of the most common betting fallacies. Read on.

hot hand guide
IntroductionWhat is the Hot Hand?How does it affect your betting?Summary
If you are reading this sports betting guide, then you are most likely familiar with what a winning streak is. That special feeling you get when landing a couple of consecutive bets is actually called - hot hand. The phrase is also commonly used in basketball, where it is widely used by players, fans, couches and experts. Do you personally believe in it? How does it relate to online sports betting, and it can affect your betting? Let’s find out answers to these and many other questions.
What is the Hot Hand?
The term Hot Hand, actually, originated from basketball, where a belief of a player being more likely to knock down their next shot if they have previously scored few was very common among the entire basketball community. Many are strongly convinced the hot hand effect is an actual thing, however, many studies suggest the complete opposite.

In fact, the hot hand is less likely to help us determine an outcome than a pure chance. Studies from a couple of other sports also found zero or very little correlation between winning streaks and the likelihood of their consecutive events. In general, regardless of whether somebody gets on a winning streak and is considered hot-handed, the streak is eventually coming to an end. The player or the team then usually bounces back to their average performances. Interesting, but some studies also found that the higher the skill level & experience of a team or an athlete, the less susceptible they are to various cognitive effects and confidence. Well, if there is so little proof of the credibility of the hot hand effect, why do we so desperately keep believing in it? The reason behind it hides far deep in our genes. We all have this weird tendency, thanks to evolution. Our ancestors needed the habit of looking for patterns for survival purposes - to find food & water and hunt. However, nowadays, it can be frequently noticed in betting, where our brain keeps trying to figure out patterns in attempts to maximise benefits. Another name for this phenomenon is Hot Hand Fallacy, which is one of the most common biases among punters. What is more, that it is very natural for us to believe that something that is happening will keep happening longer regardless of its likelihood.

Nevertheless, there are certain situations in sport where you can see the effect making a difference, but they either must have a high repetitive frequency or a very small number of variables.
How does it affect your betting?
Suppose you are keen to believe in an idea of being more likely to land another wager after successfully landing a couple of in a row. In that case, you should start worrying about your long-term profit right now. A Hot Hand is nothing else but the cognitive bias that can negatively affect your abilities to access risk properly & precisely. After winning a couple of consecutive wagers, our brain automatically starts rewarding itself with dopamine, which subsequently creates a pattern of winning bets, making you falsely believe that you are more likely to win again. Inexperienced punters usually fall for it and place their next wagers without a proper assessment. This is, obviously, cannot lead to anything good. The unreasonable & uncontrolled overexaggeration of your own winning chances is what causes long-term problems.

Another side of the issue comes from mainstream media and its influencers that purposely highlight certain statistics to create a strong misbelieve. However, it can be used in your favour. Assume the majority of the market is fascinated by the incredible winning run of a team or a player. As a result, this will likely steer the vast volume of bettors towards either overestimating or underestimating the team’s actual winning chances. Whenever a large portion of the market bets a certain way altogether, this will force the bookmaker and oddsmakers to shift their odds & adjust their prices to limit their liabilities. Such a situation will likely open numerous value finding opportunities. Additionally, do not forget that teams & players tend to adjust their strategies if they become aware of them being «hot-handed». Moreover, their opponents should be even more aware of an upcoming tough matchup and aim to apply more pressure on their key players to prevent them from repeating their previous results. 

One more thing worth mentioning is that it is crucial for betting success to be able to identify the overperformance and underperformance of each competing side. If your own betting approach offers extra information about the particular sporting event, which can go along or against the winning run situation, make sure you factor that into your calculations to have a better idea of the market state and its prices. Make sure to find as much data about the events you are betting on as possible to increase your winning chances and benefit even more from the information bookmakers & the rest of the market missed out on. However, even the most perfect risk assessment does not guarantee a 100% success rate. Anything is possible in the world of sports, plus there are simply too many variables. With that being said, make sure you have enough patience to be able to tell if your approach is a profitable one or not.

Returning to the Hot Hand Fallacy, there is actually a simple solution to prevent yourself from falling for these types of bias, which is also tightly connected with everything we have already said above. There is one and only one way to protect yourself from such cognitive fallacies as hot hand. You have to start teaching yourself to be more focused & self-disciplined. Remember, you are the only thing that can prevent you from falling for these biases or not. Keep trying to develop good betting habits by continuously repeating the same risk assessment and market evaluation procedures to estimate the real chances of the event occurring and comparing them what the market and top online bookmakers have to offer. Only such an approach will ensure successful long-term betting.
Altogether, cognitive biases like the hot hand fallacy are waiting for you around every corner long your entire betting journey. While it is impossible to eliminate them from our lives completely, the only thing we are left to do is prepare ourselves for such situations in order to minimise their effect. The only way sports bettors can achieve that is by consistent hard work and dedication. A well developed and constructed betting routine is the key to betting success. Every profitable punter started with a well-prepared plan and a fearless desire to create an efficient betting strategy. However, while you are in charge of creating a plan and sticking to it, a betting strategy might not always be working for you. Thus, you must remain calm, motivated, and dedicated to spend additional time analysing your results, fixing mistakes, and readjusting your betting approach for further testing. Only, this boring and repetitive routine will bring you desired profits and that those lucrative betting schemes you can find online on iffy betting forums.

If you would like to learn more about betting & read more interesting betting related articles, please come back and check out our exclusive sports betting guides library.

If you would like to learn more about how to start betting on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and other esports disciplines, check out this esports betting guide for beginners to learn all the fundamental in's & out's of esports betting.
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