A Question for Sports Bettors About Superstition

Other Feb 14, 2021

Do you believe in jinxes?

Apparently, many of us sports gamblers are quite superstitious.  This not only goes for casual small-stakes bettors.  It includes almost everyone.  Even experienced sports gamblers I know who typically are very logical people and numbers-based in practically everything they do can exhibit astonishing displays of irrationality.

Consider one frequent example that I encounter a lot.  It's called "jinxing" a team before the game is over.  The superstition goes something like this:  Showing confidence in a bet while the game is happening is a no-no in many gambling circles.  For example, if your team is ahead in the fourth quarter, but the outcome still remains undecided, you aren't supposed to mention it.  In other words, saying to your buddy his bet is looking good is strictly verboten.

Frankly, I've done that countless times.  And, it really pisses some people off.  A few otherwise really smart bettors have gicen me the death stare for doing that.

"It's not over yet!  Don't jinx my bet!"

A few years ago, a close freind who is a serious bettor had big money riding on a football game.  His team was up big and I told him the money might as well have been locked.  Well, you can probably guess what happened next.  The other team scored three times in the final five minutes of the game and my (ex) freind lost his bet.  Afterward, he came running up to me.

"See what you did?  You shouldn't have said anything!  Don't you know that?

I didn't know whether to apologize to him or laugh in his face.

Yeah, so it was my fault Seattle fumbled the ball with a minute left on the clock and they lost to the Rams?  Let me put it another way.  If I had these amazing superpowers to jinx teams do you think I'd care about sweating your wimp-ass bets?  I'd be doing a very convincing Billy Walter impression, without the prison time.

Anyway, that's the superstition I encounter most often.  

Others include making the wrong bet (by accident) and deciding to let it ride.  For instance, pressing the wrong button when betting online or announcing the wrong rotation number to a teller at a sportsbook.  It's somewhat common for bettors to think the mistake happened for a reason.  I've even known bettors who didn't  bother to correct the mistake.  They were under the presumption "the error was meant to happen."  It's sort of like missing the flight of a plane that ends up crashing (yeah, like that happens all the time).

Other strange sports betting superstitions I've witnessed included refusing to bet Week #13 of the NFL season (really, I know people who skip this).  Another taboo act is counting your money while watching a ball game.  That one is probably from poker, which advises us -- "they'll be time enough for counting when the dealing's done."

Anyways, it sure looks like the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to win the Stanley Cup this year.  Oops!  I better not say that.


Do you know of any sports betting superstitions?  If so, share them with us.  We'd love to hear about it