Date: 18th October 2022 at 7:50pm
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Sports bettors frequently uncover suspiciously appealing wagers, the “too good to be true” syndrome, where it appears that the bookie is baiting them with an enticing betting opportunity. Unfortunately, many betters fall for the gambit and lose money. Although it initially looks attractive, it ultimately produces goose eggs and proves itself to be nothing more than a “free bets trap” that should be avoided.

The insidious nature of bet traps is that they use the rational inclination of sports bettors to search for good-value wagers against them. Before they know it, their bets morph into losses through sophisticated sleight-of-hand gimmicks on the line or spread to separate gamblers from their cash. It can be argued that more experienced participants are less inclined to fall for such bets, but that’s the point. To dupe less experienced gamblers into losing positions on games instead of presenting good value and fair odds for all.

This kind of trickery often happens with NFL football sports betting. Bookies count on a bettor’s understanding of crucial numbers to thwart them. People familiar with sports betting know the spread of games falls across specific margins, for example, 3, 7, or 10 and 14. It just so happens that football scoring naturally falls within those boundaries. So, when bookies post +7.5 for a team, bettors get excited because they perceive that there’s fair value in the wager. Another example with when a favorite team is laying 2.5, landing the bettor exactly in the rage of a 3-point margin.

Obviously, everyone wants the numbers to work in their favor, gamblers and bookies alike. It’s naive to think bookies will knowingly give anything away for free. Yes, it’s nice to see a +7.5 instead of +6.5 and -13.5 rather than -14.5. It’s great to stay on the winning side of numbers like that. But bookies know that’s how gamblers evaluate the stats and do everything possible to use that knowledge against bettors. It’s the responsibility of gambles to determine if they’ve found good value or if a carrot is being dangled before their eyes to lure them into a trap.

Stumbling across these hyper-attractive bets like a bonus of £60 from Betfred occurs regularly. You may even think you’re looking at a typo and feel the urge to jump on the opportunity before the bookies discover their mistake. But it’s not an error, it’s a lure, and they want you to fall into the trap. The proper response is to take a step back and objectively evaluate the bet to determine if it’s genuinely a wager offering good value or if you’re being led down the primrose path. Remember, all that glitters isn’t necessarily sports-betting gold. Usually, the bookie knows something that you don’t, and they’re enticing you to chase a piped dream.

Before bookies can manipulate you into chasing bet traps, they must get you through the door first. Especially if the betting platform has a shaky reputation or they haven’t been around long enough to build a reputation. Therefore, they go the extra mile to offer incentives that sound enticing initially but usually come with many strings attached. When you see absurd incentives being offered to new bettors that established bookies don’t, you should instinctively hold on to your wallet because there’s a pickpocket in the house.

A final trap to avoid is overpaying for lines and odds. If bookies hit you with -110 odds on side and total bets, there’s a good chance you should be paying only -105. If that doesn’t sound like much, then consider that difference can save £5 for every bet to win £100. Over time, it adds up to significant dollars, depending on how often you bet. That’s how the large betting houses win by taking small amounts from bettors over a long time. Now, you can play the same game.


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