Sports Betting Tips: Breaking a Slump

In an industry riddled with corruption, here is some real advice you can use to help turn things around when those inevitable losing streaks rear their ugly heads

Regular season betting is sure to come with its share of highs and lows and Week 22 of the NHL campaign (March 2nd to 8th) was about as bad as it could get for yours truly. I was coming off a solid 5-1 run the previous week, sitting at plus-money for the year and both sides and totals were hitting above .500 but in this business, you`re only as good as your next win. All it takes is a bad beat or some bad judgement to sway the tide and in betting, sometimes how you deal with losses can be just as important as handling the wins.

It all began with the Toronto Maple Leafs at Florida Panthers matchup on March 3, when Florida lost both of its goalies to injury during the game. I had Toronto`s team total to stay under 2.5 and the Leafs ended up winning 3-2, the winning score coming against a hobbled Al Montoya whose butterfly stance had been reduced to a crumpled moth after tweaking his groin. Fast forward to Sunday and I was sitting with 1-7 record for the week. Yes, 1 and 7.

That might be bad but for one thing, I was still up on the year and for another, my record this week is 4-2 for +265. Here are the notes I made Monday morning as I prepared to regroup. Have a read; you might learn something.


Last week was bad but walking away from pucks with a month left in the regular season is an unrealistic option. The gameplan from here is to be more selective with plays and keep a closer eye on the lines.

– I stepped up my wager to 3 units on NYI TT UN at TB one night. It lost and that hurt my bankroll badly. With moneyline sports, I think 1-2 units should be the max and even the 1.5/2’s should be rare.

– STAY AWAY from the juice! I played two team totals last week at -140 each and they both lost. Yes, the TOR TT was a bad break but that’s the kind of thing that happens in sports all the time. You can’t always anticipate every bad beat but YOU CAN prevent yourself from being exposed to the unlucky bounces by avoiding high juice.

Note: My six other bets of the week were -105, even, -120, -110, -115 and +135. Not bad, but it reinstates how significant the 3-unit loss (at -120) and the two -140’s were.

Think of it this way; if my five ‘normal’ bets (low juice, 1 unit) had all won (+535) and my record for the week was 5-3 (.625), I would have still finished in the negative thanks to the -360, -140 and -140 from the three losers (-640). When the net balance of a 5-3 week reads -$105, that’s when you found a formula that doesn’t work.


After going 1-5 through Thursday last week, I took Friday off and then on Saturday-Sunday, with limited handicapping, I wrote down all of my first level plays, or ‘leans’. I only ended up making one play for each of those two days and they both lost, but for the sake of curiosity I tracked the record and net result had I made all 18 plays. Saturday’s 13 leans went 7-6 for a small loss and Sunday went 2-3. The difference between going 0-2 (-215) or 9-9 (-160) is insignificant on this small scale but the point I’m trying to make here is that when a bettor finds himself stuck in a slump, they have a choice to make. The first option is to carry along the same road, betting the same number of games or even more (you’re luck is sure to change). The second is to scale it back and be more selective, and the third is to walk away completely; a few days off, reload the online account and get back to work as if nothing happened.

Each route appears to be pointing in the same direction but from my experience, the most effective method for breaking out of a cold spell is to take a step back and look at things from a broader perspective. If you walk away from the game completely, you may come back refreshed and full of vigor but there is a strong likelihood that you will soon wind up in the same unfortunate predicament by falling back to old habits. Increasing your action at the pinnacle of a cold spell, either by size, frequency or both, can lead to a twisted path full of frustration and second guessing. The choice of staying involved, reducing action and looking at the big picture provides a low risk opportunity for you to continue following the sport you enjoy while taking time to note the finer points, whether those include the game itself or simply your approach and handicapping process.


For more handicapping advice, follow @JarvisSimes on twitter and stop by the Pick Sixty Sports facebook page. Good luck!