The Role Of Probability & How To Avoid Its Pitfalls

One of the biggest challenges for sports betting handicappers is understanding and measuring the underlying probability of sporting events. The same mathematical equations apply equally for all kinds of recreational situations like board games or game shows as well as real-life situations like criminal trials or health diagnosis. It’s important to understand the role of probability in order to avoid its pitfalls when it comes to betting on sports.

The Early Years Of Probability

It’s incredible to look back now and realize that up until the 17th century probability wasn’t really taken in to consideration. It wasn’t until the most famous and fundamental bet of all time in Pascal’s wager that we really found the first case of measured probability. Blasé Pascal theorized, “Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wager that God is… If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.” By using this theory, he arrived at the position that believing in God provided superior expected value than not believing and therefore, it was better to hedge his bet. This was the first famous case of probability and it marked the beginning of a new era in human life.

Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Probability

Everybody understands the role of randomness in card games, lottery tickets and playing cards. However, even in those cases it’s important to be able to assess the probability of winning in order to know when to take chances and when to play more conservative. The same is true in sports even though the majority of bettors can likely improve their odds of winning by putting in the necessary time and research with any given event. Sometimes the recreational bettors overlook the actual probability of their wagers because they are focused so much on the idea that they are right and that is when they can make crucial mistakes.

Understanding Chance Events

While we can take steps to improve our chances of winning in sports betting, there is no definitive way to lock in a guaranteed wager unless we have inside information that an event is fixed. This is true for most things in life and it’s important to understand these chance events. By taking the time to understand the range of possibilities and the likelihood of each occurring we can increase our potential for profit in sports betting.


Some times it makes sense to take chances in sports betting and sometimes it makes sense to take a more conservative approach. You might feel happy if you are convinced that a specific wager is guaranteed to hit but if you put all of your money down and it actually loses then you will have lost all of your money because you didn’t realize the potential to lose. In sports betting as in life, the role of probability should play an important role in the decisions you make. You want to be confident when you place your bets but you don’t want to be too cocky and think that every wager will go your way every time. Take the time to understand the role of probability and you will avoid its pitfalls.