Betting on sports is based on luck, not knowledge

Newbies, rejoice! Amateurs in sports betting, betting with employees around the office on the outcome of "March Madness," may have just as much chance of success as sports fans who are familiar with the nuances of the game, a new study claims.

"Betting players seem to think they are the smartest among gambling fans. They think that with experience and knowledge - about player statistics, coach habits, weather conditions and stadium capacity, for example - they can predict the outcome of a game more accurately than the average person," notes study co-author Pinchas Dannon, a psychiatrist at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Strategic gambling

Most people know that casino games - such as slots - come down to luck (and the casino always wins). But bettors often believe that their own success depends on skill or knowledge of the sport.

To determine whether this is really the case, Dannon asked 165 people to guess the final score of 16 Champions League soccer games organized by UEFA. Of those, 53 were professional bettors, 34 were soccer fans who did not bet, and the remaining 78 knew little about soccer and had never bet on sports.

Soccer knowledge had little impact on betting success. While lack of experience did not necessarily help, knowing all the nuances and details of the game did not improve performance either.

In fact, the two participants who performed best by guessing correctly seven out of 16 times were never fans of the game.

The study results demonstrated that not only are avid bettors likely to lose out on office wagers before "March Madness," but they also have a harder time responding to standard gambling addiction therapy.

"Casino players are more appropriately described as obsessed because they have less faith in themselves, and they know they will lose sooner or later. But they play anyway because they know they have to," Dannon pointed out in the study's findings.

In contrast, bettors may need individualized cognitive therapy to rid them of the belief that they have more power over the outcome in their hands.

"Pari Mach" offers its readers exclusive and free sports forecasts from professionals. Opinions of our experts will help you make a choice in favor of the right bets.

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