Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you've done all the research, studied the form, know the team news, found your value bet, yet something is just telling that not to pull the trigger? That's your gut instinct kicking in.
One of the irritating things about gut instinct is that none of us know what these feelings are born out of. It could be a product of a harmful process that'll damage our chances when betting, or it could be a product of the subconscious.
Just for a second, imagine that instinct when betting actually comes from some collated knowledge or factor that we haven't thought of. While there might be an interesting philosophical argument to be had here, if you can make money betting with a nothing but a good strategy, what do you need gut instinct for?
Pros and Cons of relying on gut instinct
It can be easily argued that trusting your gut instinct all the time could be a bad betting strategy. There are many occasions when you don't know if your instinct is being ruled by head or heart, and poor betting decisions can be a result of emotions being involved. Betting should be a case of analysis, but opinion counts. Below are a few pros and cons of allowing your gut instinct to be a factor.
- Pro - Betting isn't just about analysing numbers and nothing else. There are other factors that need to be considered, and sometimes your instinct does know best.
- Con - Trusting your gut instinct too often can lead to poor results. Betting is a matter of probability, value and other factors. Your instinct alone cannot detect these things.
And to sit on the fence...
It depends how you listen to your gut instinct, but in some cases, it may be right. Listening to your gut instinct can turn you away from losing bets. Equally, trusting it too much after doing the correct leg work can lead to not placing winning bets.
As a new bettor, you may still be discovering what are good habits and what are bad habits. One trap new bettors fall into is staying within their comfort zone. This might be betting odds on, backing the Over betting market or sticking to backing the favorites and home teams.
You may research a game and discover the Under looks more likely than the Over, only for your 'gut instinct' to lead you believe this could be the one that goes over.
Well, it might be your gut instinct, or it might just be you looking for an excuse to bet within your comfort zone again. Another issue that arises it whileyou will likely remember the time your gut instinct was right and you feel you should have listened to it, you're less likely to remember the times it was wrong.
Why sports bettors might want to ignore gut instinct
Gut instinct is no different to any other factor like certain personal opinions that you may choose to exclude from your betting strategy. Particularly in cases where you search for value, you'll find yourself betting on big odds fairly enough. Your gut instinct will likely be telling you that you're uncomfortable betting on such best odds, but your good betting strategy dictates you persist.
A good bettor with a good betting strategy holds a strong belief that they will make profit over time. There's no need to worry about short term performance or any other factor, providing the bettor does believe they have a solid betting strategy that will make money over time. The train of thought is that everything will even itself out over time, so gut instinct doesn't matter anyway
It's hard to write off entirely the role that gut instinct can play in betting, but there are some reasonably strong arguments that almost do so. You will find there are occasions where your gut instinct is correct, but over the long term you'll find a good, solid method of analysis will win the day.
The belief of a high level or professional bettor is that when seeking value and placing bets, things will even out over time. If you're willing to ignore other influences and just trust your method of betting, then you should see the rewards in the long term anyway. There's also the risk that trusting your gut instinct too much can lead to poor decisions that overlook the true influences of an event's outcome.
Gut instinct is something to be wary of and while listening to it from time to time might not do too much long-term harm by itself, it is important not to let it dominate your betting strategy.
Ready to learn more? Why not get to know the different betting terminology used by the sports betting community.