Where do your opinions come from? Most people believe they are formed as a result of years of experience. The truth, that’s not always the case as we are all susceptible to confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias is the tendency to remember or seek data that supports a hypothesis we already have while ignoring facts that contradict our opinions.

This is a common mistake made by casual sports bettors. If you Google “Super Bowl betting trends” you are just as likely to see trends favoring New England as you are Atlanta. Yet a Patriots fan is more likely to focus on articles that support Tom Brady and Bill Belichick winning the title, while a Falcons supporter will remember the pieces that suggest Matt Ryan will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

Confirmation bias can cause gamblers to make bad decisions. So how can we lessen the effect of confirmation bias? Challenge what you believe, use multiple sources of data, avoid small samples and look stats and analytics before making your decisions.

Biases are part of the human condition. As gamblers we cannot fully eliminate them but being aware of their impact can improve our performance and lead to greater results.

For more tips on becoming a better gambler, check out our article on the importance of sample size.

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