Betting 101: How to manage the betting bear market

·Betting analyst
·6-min read

The stock market has been taking a tumble for some time now. Gas prices are up, inflation is through the roof and crypto truthers are a little less content at the moment. In a bear market such as this, it’s not the sexy thing to do but it is the smart thing to do – be like a bear and hibernate until harsh conditions pass. Has the market hit the bottom? Is the worst still to come? Are we one step closer to a recession? These are all questions traders and investors are asking themselves right now as they seek out the next investment opportunity trying to gauge when the low is the lowest in order to buy the dip.

As we enter July, sports betting resembles a similar marketplace. Investment opportunities are scarce right now in sports. Both the NBA and NHL seasons are over, MLB is still way early into the 2022 season, the PGA has only one major remaining, as does ATP tennis, and there are still 58 days left until college football kickoff. Be like a bear and hibernate.

Don’t force it

Tennis’ third major is happening right now with Wimbledon in London. With two weeks of grand slam tennis, surely there are buying opportunities daily. Not quite. I took to Twitter to post that for Day 4 of the tournament. I just couldn’t find anything worth a wager for me.

Were there matches I liked? Yes. Was there leans that I had? Yes. But I didn’t love anything. I stared hard at my screen for what felt like hours, almost trying to convince myself that, ‘Yeah, that could work.’ This is where mistakes are made. Forcing a wager is never the right move.

A time to risk off

The reason I never wanted to pursue poker as a profession (similar to that of trading) is that you are physically tied to a poker room chair having to attempt to make money daily, monthly, quarterly, etc. When you are gridlocked into that, it’s very difficult to constantly be making the correct calls. Investors look for long-term bets that take years to play up. Venture capital could be 10 years, big hedge funds, big index funds, maybe five years during these times where it is a bear market.

You’ll hear, “risk off now.” Does that mean money is not being made? Yes. It also means, however, that money is not being lost.

As a content creator, I try to provide actionable information day-to-day. However, as a recreational sports bettor, I’m here to remind you that we don’t need to wager daily. It’s a slower part of the year where high-conviction betting opportunities are just scarce. Right now, the betting markets are too hard or too volatile. Day 4 Wimbledon lines looked so-so for me so it was a ‘risk off’ day.

What to do in the meantime

As mentioned, football is less than 60 days away. There are a few things you can do from now until then that doesn’t involve risking your bankroll during the sports downtime. Here are a few ideas.

  1. Work on building your record keeping. Here’s what I did for the 2021 football season. I organized my data by college football and NFL and then divided sections by the type of wager made — ATS, underdog moneyline, teasers, totals, etc. There are phone apps you could use but I like it organized exactly how I want it and not by some default setting. Plus, looking at a 16” screen is easier on the eyes.

  2. Take a digital detox. I took a nine-day break last week. The biggest thing I did was delete both Gmail and Twitter from my phone. While I was hiking, lifting, laying out by the pool, I did not have the distraction of endlessly scrolling through Twitter or seeing what work emails were coming through while I was away. This allowed me to be entirely present with the people I was spending time with and appreciate my surroundings. I’m definitely not suggesting a nine-day break if it’s not possible, but perhaps start a nightly practice of stepping away from your phone/laptop for one hour to relax the mind.

We’re not machines. Our brains, too, can be overworked. Our minds and our bodies are like cars needing a tune-up from time to time. Try it out for one week and see how refreshed you feel.

  1. Jumpstart a fitness routine. Just because it’s July doesn’t mean it’s too late to hop in on that hot girl/guy summer. You have 60 days to improve your health before you start your weekly beer and wings routine during the football season. For me, it’s margaritas and queso. Start by getting 10,000 steps daily. You can easily achieve this by walking 30 minutes each morning while catching up on your favorite podcasts. Then be mindful of just walking more throughout the day and just like that, you can get 10,000 steps or get pretty close.

Join a gym, try hiking, go rollerblading, cycle on Saturday mornings, try jiu-jitsu. Whatever it is, find a thing you will enjoy doing for at least a 60-day period. If you hate running, then don’t run. If you enjoy pickle ball, then make plans to play more often during your week.

Waiting for market value

The bear market could very well still be a thing in the upcoming months. Wait for the market to come to you. Like Day 4 of Wimbledon that I skipped. Sure, there were things I would have gotten correct but there were also predictions I was dead wrong about. There are times when you may be right but it’s not the best environment. Either the price is too high or conviction is too low. Instead, skip the day and look ahead. Now is a great time to be shopping around for NFL and college football futures. The Open Championship in the PGA is just a couple of weeks away. Save your dollars now to make a more informed wager later.

Want some advice? If you want to be a sports bettor, understand that you shouldn’t play all the time. Instead, look ahead at what’s to come. Save the action for better opportunities. Those opportunities, for example, are early in the football season when there are 50-plus college football games, NFL, PGA and ATP going on all at once.

A view of bull and bear statues in front of Frankfurt Stock Exchange in the Europe's trade center Frankfurt, Germany on Sept. 16, 2021. (Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A view of bull and bear statues in front of Frankfurt Stock Exchange in the Europe's trade center Frankfurt, Germany on Sept. 16, 2021. (Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)