Burke: Challenge your mind and your thinking

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December 13, 2021 10:54 AM

One of the most successful sports bettors I know trusts his instincts, but not before opening his mind to get a full picture of what the groupthink is about a game through podcasts, articles and news stories. Getting a wide variety of perspectives can be helpful, especially if you are able to separate the stuff that has legitimate value from the stuff that is just noise.

We know that sports betting content is produced and consumed at the highest levels of all-time. A lot of what gets written is garbage. Media companies have put unqualified people in positions to talk about gambling and social media has given everybody a platform. Breaking down a game is one thing and any analyst, ex-player or otherwise, can do that. Betting is about more than just the stats, coaching matchup and the schedule situations. It is about having a feel for the market and knowing when to get in at the right price. It is about knowing what amount to bet relative to your bankroll size. Those are things that mostly come from within, but seeking out advice on the best way to do those things can be really beneficial to your bottom line.

One of the things that bothers me the most about this industry is that a lot of people act like they know it all. I’d be the first to tell you that I don’t and that I learn something new every single day in the business. I’ll get a different perspective on a game from somebody who played like Mike Pritchard. I’ll have a thought confirmed or debunked by a system that Josh Appelbaum has researched. I’ll hear a stat or a breakdown from Gill Alexander that I hadn’t previously considered. I’ll get advice on the NBA, a sport I don’t really handicap, from Jonathan Von Tobel. I’ll ask a question to Andy MacNeil about the NHL and get an answer I wasn’t expecting or didn’t consider.

Having that sort of support system and network has helped me exponentially, not just with my colleagues here at VSiN, but with previous jobs and other friends and allies along the way. Some people feel like being independent and doing it all themselves is the best way to go. They don’t want to be influenced by outside thinking that creates biases. Me? I want to be a sponge, soak it all up and then make my decision from there.

It is important to keep an open mind. Maybe somebody is seeing something that you are not or has a different perspective that you don’t because you locked in on a side or total and didn’t want to waver.

We get tunnel vision. We think, “This can’t possibly lose!” We talk in absolutes when we shouldn’t. I find that I’m at my best when I have the time to not only process my own thoughts, but consider the thoughts of others as well. Spend some time this week thinking about what really works for you and how you can mature and improve in this business and you may find areas you can address and ways you can get better by just simply listening.

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