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Betting a Hunch

Sports Betting: Playing A Hunch

By Loot, Sports Handicapper,

Most of our wagers are based on strong analysis. We look at a slew of different factors and try to extract a few good nuggets each week. Hopefully, things pan out well. But when we get in the business of betting on sports, there will be other bets we make--bets that are not steeped in sound analysis, but rather a hunch.

A hunch can manifest in many different ways. There are aspects within a hunch that are in fact valid. A hunch could just be a voice deep within us trying to tell us something. Sometimes, we should listen to those voices. It’s just that when we become a slave to our hunches, it can be hard to differentiate between the good and bad ones.

The thing about hunches is that we tend to remember the times we were right. With sporting events, we see the result of our hunches. Other hunches in life, like if a girl would go out with us or if a business idea would work--we never know the result. With sport betting hunches, we get to see if we were right. And when we are, it carries a little extra sting.

The first thing about hunches that an aspiring serious bettor should know is that sport wagering is a bottom-line business. We either make the bet or we don’t. In other words, we don’t cry about moves we didn’t make or rejoice about the ones that would have failed. There is no such thing as coulda/shoulda. We either do or we don’t.

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The thing about hunches is that a lot of them don’t work out. We might kick ourselves for a year for not betting the 10-1 underdog in a fight. Meanwhile, we tend to forget all the times we had a hunch and were way off-base. That’s human nature. You might have stood by a roulette table and had a voice in your head screaming a number at you. You don’t bet it and it hits. That’s a memorable incident. Not so easy to remember are the other 50 times since then that you had the same hunch and the number didn’t hit. We tend to remember the one that did.

We don’t want to blow off hunches altogether. There can sometimes be elements within a sporting event that are more of a visceral feeling. We can’t put it into words, but we’re trying to tell ourselves something. That might be useful in cases where something within us is telling us not to make a bet. Our analysis strongly supports taking a side, but there is this looming feeling that just makes it seem wrong.

It’s just that once we get too in-tune with the hunch part of our consciousness, it can be hard to turn off that voice. That part of us can go into overdrive. At that point, it’s hard to tell what hunches are worthwhile and which ones are just garbage. When we look at a sporting event and try to determine if it’s worth betting, we don’t want to start just pulling out picks out of the thin air. We can’t win at sports betting by throwing stuff against the wall to see if it sticks.

Sure, there will be times where we had a feeling and then, sure enough, the big underdog wins. Over time, however, depending on sound reason will always win out over hunches that are devoid of analysis. There will be times where we will be kicking ourselves, as the picks we solidly handicapped fail, while all our hunches would have won.

It’s funny, but with hunches we don’t bet, we actually root against them. We’ve all been there, close to pulling the trigger on a wager, only to leave it alone. Then we watch the game and hope for the other team to cover the spread or for the other fighter to win. It’s a little silly. When trying to win money at sports betting, you don’t need all that nonsense floating around in your head.

No one is saying to never play a hunch or to abstain totally from betting on things where your reasons lie a bit outside the normal realm of handicapping. Once in a while, a hunch will be like a glaring neon sign in our head and we just can’t refrain. Or maybe you’re thinking of betting on Florida State and Bobby Bowden walks by you. There might be those kinds of things. But for the most part, we don’t want to get into the messy game of trying to decipher hunches when it comes to sports betting.

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