Online Betting 101 How To Avoid Availability & Optimism Bias

Sports Betting 101: Avoiding Availability & Optimism Bias

First and foremost, what is optimism bias? Well, it’s generally seeing the glass as half-full when there are more legitimate reasons to see it as half-empty. While being a positive, ‘half-full’ kind person is generally a really good trait to have in life, that’s not always the case, when you’re being ‘unrealistically’ optimistic, in fie, or in the sports betting world.

For example, I know a gut that while he ran five miles a day, he stopped taking his cholesterol medicine for over a year, and then, at the ripe old age of 50, became a first-time cigarette smoker following an acrimonious divorce. The guy thought, ‘I’m invincible’ since I’m an athlete that runs five miles a day. Needless to say, following a sudden and utterly shocking heart attack, his foolish optimism bias has been changed forever. For you to avoid optimism bias with your sports betting hopefully you won’t need some sort of cardiac event to help you come to your senses. Here are some expert online betting tips that can help you to avoid falling into a trap that countless sports bettors have fallen prey to over the years.

Remember, No One is Perfect, Not Even the Greats!

Outside of the ‘braggart supreme’ Floyd Mayweather Jr. and oh year, Rocky Marciano, no athlete has ever been completely perfect. Not Michael Jordan (He was close), not Muhammad Ali, not Michael Phelps, not Joe Montana and not even Tom Brady won every single time they competed, even if it seems that way.

Look for Reasons Against Your Picks

It’s all fine and well to find reasons supporting your pick. For example, let’s say you like the Patriots in Week 1 as a 7-point home favorite against the Kansas City Chiefs. Well, you’ve got plenty of good reasons to believe Tom Brady and the Pats will cover. First, they’ve got a Hall of Fame quarterback and a Hall of Fame head coach. They’re also playing at home and gave up the fewest points per game defensively last season.

However, to avoid optimism bias, you need to look for reasons why New England, in this example, may not cover the spread. Maybe it’s Kansas City’s excellent defense. Maybe it’s the fact that the Chiefs have an excellent head coach of their own in Andy Reid or maybe you like the fact that veteran quarterback Alex Smith doesn’t turn the ball over very often. The point is, if you find more reasons to go against your pick, you probably should – and you’ll avoid optimism bias at the very least.

  Remember, your picks may be smart and well-researched, but you’re never, ever in total control when doing sports betting.  

Remember, You’re Not in Control!

No matter how much the Green Bay Packers look like ‘locks’ to pound the lowly Chicago Bears and cover the spread, a timely interception, or fumble can always happen to run one or two of your picks. Remember, your picks may be smart and well-researched, but you’re never, ever in total control when doing sports betting.


Getting all of the fact that you can about any game you plan on sports betting on will also help you avoid optimism bias. Get the SU and ATS trends for both teams as well as the O/U Total trends. Who’s healthy and who’s not? How about the weather/ is a star player or key backup mired in a funk or is someone on either team playing out of their mind? I can’t stress it enough, but doing all of the requisite research will help you avoid optimism bias in a big way.