Pinnaclesports has lately published a very curious article on cognitive biases. The essence of this rather complicated notion is the following: you’ve placed a wager and now you’re watching the match you’ve bet on. Let it be Goffin vs Edmund. As the match is finished you realize that your -6.5 bet for Goffin has won by a narrow margin. At that point you are likely to start analyzing why your “near win” was financially successful.
You justify it to yourself that Goffin failed to tune it at the beginning of the event and Edmund was doing actually playing his best tennis. As for David Goffin, he was making fun of his opponent in order to put off his guard. Anyway, your betting decision was correct. And you would have never changed it. (In our case we would interpret it as our success and would place the same bet over and over again.)
But as soon as you do your best to be impartial you would admit that what really made a difference in that match were a couple of rallies played in the very first game. And shall Goffin made a break then, Edmund would have got in a deep trouble.
But what would happen if your bet lost and Goffin won the fifth set 3:6, 1:6, 6:2, 6:1, 6:3. Your handicap would have lost under this scenario and most probably you would have tried to explain and contemplate it: of course, Edmund is much stronger and he used to be a clay challenger champion and it was evident that Goffin was a bit undercooked and he couldn’t pull himself together.
The point is that it is the same match with the same players and only a few rallies decided the final outcome. But we are not willing to accept it and prefer to interpret it as our own merits.
What is more important here is that it’s next to IMPOSSIBLE to predict a definite final result. It’s more real to think of a number of most probable scenarios of the given match. If they differ from those offered by the bookies, feel free to place your wager.
1. Don’t try to predict the result on the scoreboard.
2. It’s not enough to consider the match results to tell whether the bet was a good one.
3. The sooner you’ll learn to accept your failures, the sooner you’ll become a good punter with good chances for success.
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Kingsley06 Aug 09:01
Very detailed explanation on handicap betting. I have been struggling to understand what handicap is all about. However, my question is, in the example of Rafa Nadal that you used,...