On August 19th, Limerick valiantly defeated Galway to take home their first All-Ireland hurling title since 1973. It was one of the best hurling championships in recent history and served as a major win for the underdog. With a young team and a county that hasn’t won the title in 45 years, the odds were stacked against Limerick. They were up against their strongest adversary yet and Galway was set to demolish the Limerick team. However, Limerick beat the odds and proved betters wrong. So, how could you have predicted the win and how can you ensure that you’re making smart predictions from here on out?
Analyze the Players’ Motivation and Confidence
Betting isn’t all about the numbers. Hurling is a human sport and therefore human emotions, needs, and psychology plays into the game. Limerick was left full of confidence and adrenaline after their epic semi-final victory against Cork. This confidence definitely played into the game and allowed them to forge ahead and take down the game-winning favourites. Also, since Limerick hadn’t won a game in 45 years, they were hungry for a win. These human factors should also be considered against the win margins and other tangible match statistics.
Consider Other Factors that Distort Players’ Abilities
When betters generate their statistics and win odds, they tend to look at the most recent information available to them. Therefore, they’ll analyze statistics about previous matches in the championship or the past season. This is the psychology of availability bias. As humans, we tend to focus on recent events rather than facts of the past. However, the past and situational factors are very important to consider when making a hurling bet. Consider how players played in the past. You should also consider situational factors such as how the team played in the same weather conditions, how the team generally plays at home vs away, or how the team plays after a recent win or loss. These are all important to determine how a player or team will play on any given day with any given situational factors.
Avoid Desirability Bias or Jumping on the Bandwagon
One of the most common things that affect hurling betters is that they open themselves up to biases. People who bet on the sport are most likely also fans of hurling, so therefore they likely have their own favourite teams and players. This creates a desirability bias that refers to our tendency to bet on things that we want to happen, rather than what will happen. During the All-Ireland championship, many people were fans of the popular Galway team, which may have persuaded their bets. Also, since so many people were betting against Limerick, other betters simply jumped on the bandwagon. With Galway winning more matches than Limerick, we also generated a loss aversion. People don’t like to lose and therefore tend to bet on the team that has won a lot in the past. The mere fact that Limerick hasn’t won a match in 45 years led many people to shy away from betting on the team simply because they didn’t want to bet on a losing team.
Betting isn’t all about numbers and statistics. Instead, you need to consider the psychology of the players as well as your own biases before placing a bet. When you take control of the mind, you can take control of the match.