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Football Betting Myths: Debunking Misconceptions And Superstitions


There are so many abnormal, intriguing superstitions among gamblers. While some are adamant that they pay off, it can be fascinating to witness the trials and tribulations gamblers endure before they place their bet. Deconstructing and ultimately debunking these myths aren't the most challenging task in the world, but today we're going to examine the psychology behind superstitions, why they're intrinsic in millions of football bettors, and how these gamblers assemble a whole range of different, fluctuating variables to try and gain a spiritual edge over multi-billion dollar sports betting companies.

Gambling Superstitions That Work

Interestingly, gamblers will predict with certainty that the following number in roulette is guaranteed to be a red, or it'll be between 19-36, or maybe it'll land on their lucky number, 36. Roulette is a game of pure luck, a mathematical set of probabilities, and the breakdown across the table is precisely the same. In theory, the number 22 could come out five times in a row, and it's got as much chance of coming out on the sixth go as any other number on the table; it's not a game of form; it is a game of chance.

However, this isn't the case for all casino games; poker is an excellent example of a game where technique can come into focus and help you immensely. For instance, some adept professional poker players use a range of superstitions before sitting down at a table and playing million-dollar hands. If you take the time to understand how poker works, you will understand that the top players' methods involve elements of strategy. Poker strategy and technique cover a whole range of methods, but there is some knowledge and technique that pays off for those with an innate ability for the game.

Some top players will have a lucky chip, or a certain way they hold their chips or even a lucky ring, necklace, or bracelet they wear during a game that they believe gives them good luck. However, the strategy will win the game, not because they have their favorite shirt on. Unfortunately, superstitions do not work; poker is all about the player's skill. If it helps you get that little bit of mental clarity, then this is obviously a benefit, but the superstition itself has zero reflection on the final result.

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Do Superstitions Work At All In Football?

At some level, they help elite players get into the right mindset before a game. However, there's evidence at all levels of the game that superstitions can be a hindrance just as much as they can help channel mental focus. Infamously, Leeds United chairman Massimo Cellino back in 2014 relieved goalkeeper Paddy Kenny of his services because his birthday was on the 17th, and he considered 17 to be an unlucky number.

Upon closer inspection, it appeared that Kenny was also the second-highest earner at the club, which might have been a more logical reason to send him on his way. While this might be one of the more bizarre examples of superstition, there are a lot of other examples that players will integrate into their pre-match warm-up, like Gareth Bale cutting holes into his socks or Sir Alex Ferguson's lucky underpants.

While they might be humorous and bizarre in equal measure, and despite the phenomenal careers of Sir Alex Ferguson and Gareth Bale, this is predominantly because of their incredible natural skill and not so much down to their superstitions. From semi-professional players right up the scale to elite talents like Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, many players will implement some form of superstition into their pre-game routine. Although these pre-match rituals would have helped them get into the right frame of mind before a big game and helped sterilize some nerves, the overall impact on the game's outcome would have been minimal.

Do Superstitions Help Gamblers In The Same Way?

Although the impact of superstitions might give the world's greatest players and coaches that extra 0.01% of focus during critical moments of big games, and some poker players might find a similar edge, other gamblers will not be as fortunate. This is especially true for gamblers who place football bets, as there is nothing you can do from a superstitious perspective that will give your bet any sort of numerical advantage.

In a team game, there are thousands of different variables to consider. It could be the quality of the team on paper, home advantage if a player gets injured, or if a player gets sent off. So many things are out of your control that what you do from a betting superstition perspective is futile.

If any superstitions worked, millions of people would be doing the same every week and becoming rich, and unfortunately, that's not what's going on.

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