Availability Bias Explained & How to Avoid it


Betting on football as one of the most commonly bet on sport of them all is a great example to show that betting – as a process in general – involves emotions.

You can have the best betting strategy possible or the deepest and most insightful knowledge of a team’s performance, form and squad status, but it will all count to nothing when brain meets the heart at that particular moment just when you are about to confirm the selection.

The heart has a funny way to mess up with your brain and disrupt your betting thinking process. Letting emotions get in a way is never a good idea in betting as they will often trick you into believing that likelihood of an outcome is much higher than it actually is.

It is the matter of the availability bias and reshaping of your intuitive perception.

Availability Bias

What is Availability Bias?

To put in a definition and confine it to psychological terms – the Availability Bias is most directly described as a heuristic notion.

A notion that makes people put weight and significance to their decision-making simply based on their most recent memories and available information rather than a well-thought and supported facts and proofs.

Why Does Availability Bias Happen?

The human mind is programmed in such a way as to always provide us with answers to different questions regardless of the subject.

What your brain will do here is that it will replace a difficult question with an easier one in order to deal with an immediate situation or a problem. It is not necessarily a trick, but rather a natural instinct that makes your break react in pressure situations.

But when it comes to betting, such brain function can be more detrimental than beneficial.

Faced with a dilemma dealing with a question of whether Liverpool can beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, your brain will give you an answer that finds solutions in your most recent memories of Liverpool instead of answers in terms of probability.

Why is Availability Bias a problem in Betting?

The aforementioned probability is arguably the most important thing in betting as evaluating it correctly provides you with best chances of securing a win.

When you face betting odds – on Liverpool in our example – they do not represent the actual chance of Reds winning and question you want to ask yourself is whether Liverpool really have 65% chance of winning a match against Chelsea.

Your intuitive mind will try to find alternatives to go around this difficult question, but there is a way to deal with it.

How to Avoid Availability Bias?

Making your heart work for your brain is crucial in order to defeat the Availability Bias. All you have to do is to be rational with betting decisions and not allow your heart block your view when you are looking for value in bets in front of you.

Presented odds can often represent betting operators’ availability bias which happen with square money in big-profile betting events such as the one we have in our example.

Pick reasons, back them with evidence and find actual probabilities for an even before you actually submit your final bet. That is how you beat it the best.

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