Whether you’re the sharpest sports investor or the world’s biggest degenerate, losing streaks are a certainty.
Running cold can take a negative toll on your emotions, and even worse, on your ego. If you pride yourself as an MMA expert, yet every fighter you bet finds a way to lose spectacularly – it feels like a threat to your identity.
While I’ve had a very profitable 2018, during April and May I went on the worst losing streak of my gambling career. I lost money on 5 consecutive UFC events for a total of 26 units – ouch!
No bettor can stop bad runs completely, but if you’re equipped with the right knowledge, you can ensure your losing streaks are shorter and less frequent.
The immediate moments following a bad loss are what separate the boys from the men. Especially if you’ve just lost a bet due to an improbable act of misfortune, it’s crucial to remain calm and composed.
When you’re fired up and aggrieved over a loss, this is when you’re most likely to wager on a poorly researched bet or one that doesn’t have value.
Remember, sports betting is a marathon not a sprint. Embrace the nights when your calculated, well-researched bets don’t come through and give yourself a pat on the back for not chasing. If you’re a good handicapper, it’s inevitable you’ll come back to winning ways – don’t rush it.
Lower Your Stakes
When a losing streak gets extremely brutal, it’s hard to trust yourself. Your analysis is way off and it can get to the point where betting against your natural inclinations actually feels like the smart thing to do.
Everyone’s handicapping skills go down the drain when their confidence is shot. If you’re hemorrhaging money, drop your unit sizes until you can predict fights with accuracy again.
A unit represents 1% of your bankroll and you should never bet more than 5 units on a fight. Even a 5 unit bet should be reserved for when you’re supremely confident.
The worst thing you can do on a losing streak is increase your unit sizes. This will lead you to wipe out your bankroll quickly.
Consider Paper Betting
If nothing is going right, consider dropping the real money wagers for a few weeks. Don’t worry, the UFC isn’t going anywhere!
Placing “paper” bets simply means you record what you’d like to bet on and how many units, but you don’t use real money. This allows you to analyze your results and refine your strategy.
Oftentimes, paper betting is useful for determining whether you’re merely experiencing bad luck, or if you need to improve your handicapping.
Adapt Your Approach
It goes without saying, you should be tracking all of your bets in a spreadsheet.
When you have the data in front of you, it’s easier to draw conclusions about what’s working and what isn’t.
You should know whether you’re more successful with straight bets or parlays, and whether the UFC is more profitable than smaller organizations.
When recapping after an event, write some notes on whether each fight went as you envisioned. If not, what other factors came into play that you didn’t account for?
Analyzing your losses as well as your wins will help you to evolve your betting strategy.
Take a Break
Spending all of your time capping fights is exhausting. It’s hard to think straight if you’ve been up all night watching combat sports and you’re immediately back to handicapping as soon as you wake up on Sunday.
A few days without MMA on your mind will help you to feel fresh and revitalized. When you get back to it, your head will be clear and you’ll be ready to make a profit.
If you don’t have the stomach for losing, this game is not for you.
While a losing streak can affect your confidence, the longer you’ve been profitable – the less of an effect it has. If you have years of positive results under your belt, it’s easier to accept a negative run without feeling like you’re a fraud or a bad handicapper.
Keep researching diligently (even when it isn’t paying off) and looking for lines with value – a swing in fortune might be right around the corner.