There were howls of derision when Brentford Chairman Matthew Benham introduced a new ‘continental’ structure with a head coach, director of football and reliance on performance statistics such as ‘shots in the danger zone’.
But football luddites should take note – Benham is not someone to bet against.
Firstly, there is the fact that he has already applied this structure at his Danish club FC Midtjylland, who are leading the Danish Superliga and on course for the first title in their history.
Also, Matthew Benham isn’t your average football chairman. He’s also a professional gambler and founder of the highly successful SmartOdds betting syndicate.
When asked by Midtjylland manager Rasmus Ankersen whether Brentford would get promoted from League One, his reply was typically devoid of emotion: “There is a 42.3% chance that we will go up”.
Imagine Harry Redknapp saying that with a straight face!
Four Ways Matthew Benham Can Improve Your Betting Profits
Thinking in terms of probabilities has been one of the key factors behind Benham’s successful betting career that has seen him earning millions in betting profits.
Whether you are applying your own mathematical models like Benham or following a professional sports betting tipster, it’s the ability to control your emotions and focus on the probabilities that is key to success.
The great news is that you can think like this too, as we detail in our Betting X Factor Special. Here’s an extract from this special edition, detailing four ways that thinking in probabilities like Matthew Benham can increase your profits:
1. Detachment From Results
The probabilities bettor understands he is neither right nor wrong on any one bet. His vision is long-term, any individual bet is irrelevant in the macro world in which he operates.
Thus even if we have a belief system that says being “wrong” is bad and that we must be “right” all the time. That belief will not play out if one of our bets loses because we weren’t wrong to make the selection – it was consistent with our betting strategy, our money management rules were adhered to, we accept losses as a necessary function of winning, we have the long-term in mind and our edge is assured.
Ruth Barros Roosevelt wrote in her book Habitudes of Highly Successful Traders:
“Detachment from trading results is a subtle emotion. The attitude of a successful trader is not indifference, nor is it intense concern. The attitude of detachment is something like alert and interested unconcern”
We will still naturally be interested in our overall performance over time. We need to take an active interest in the feedback our results give us in the long-term. We need to be flexible to change approach if long-term results (i.e. the probabilities) dictate that it is necessary. These approaches are not at all inconsistent with being detached from day-to-day results.
2. Neutral Expectations
The probabilities bettor will have no expectation about a particular result.
Having unrealistic expectations, or having realistic long-term expectations but expecting them to play out in the short-term, is certain to bring disappointment and pain.
The unrealistic expectation creates a vision in our mind of what the future will hold. We feel sure it will happen, we’ve imagined the feeling of joy we will experience when it does happen, and we’ve already tasted it in our mind.
We are expecting the winner of the 2:30 at Ascot to be Shergar ridden by Lord Lucan. When it doesn’t materialise the way we envisaged it in our minds we have an unfulfilled expectation. The degree to which we expected it, the joy we anticipated, will be the degree to which we feel the pain when it doesn’t materialise.
In short, the mind screams like a banshee about how wronged it was!
3. Seeing Drawdowns As Temporary
With the confidence of knowing we have a genuine edge and keeping the long-term in mind, a drawdown does not have a negative influence upon us. We have not defined ourselves or our success by one bet or even one day’s betting results. We and our betting results are part of a much bigger picture.
Thus a drawdown loses its influence to overly concern us. We do not become discouraged. We remain optimistic because we know that as sure as night follows day, so does an upturn follow a drawdown.
Thinking in probabilities allows us to have the mental discipline to follow our betting system and money management principles. The consistency we have in our mind is the rudder that keeps our betting ship on course, while the randomness of the betting markets might otherwise throw a lesser vessel off course.
How To Think Like A Pro
So these are four very real advantages to thinking like a pro, but how can you adapt your mindset?
Author Mark Douglas suggests that we adopt the following five constructs to improve our betting mind:
1. Always believe that anything can happen: Never bet your house on something because you believe something is guaranteed – Who would have thought that Bradford would beat Chelsea!
2. Understand that you don’t need to know what is going to happen next in order to make money: You take a position on something uncertain like the result of football match, but you can’t control the outcome.
3. Keep in mind that there is a random distribution between wins and losses for any given set of variables that define an edge. Even a coin flipped 10 times could come up heads every time!
4. Remember an edge is nothing more than an indication of a higher probability of one thing over another. Just because you backed a horse at 6/1 when it should be 4/1 doesn’t mean it will win! It’s still a 4/1 shot!
5. Finally, accept that every moment in betting is unique. You’re never ‘due a winner’ and just because you nailed your football bets last weekend doesn’t mean you do it again this weekend.
These five mental tips are just a sample of the many ways our Betting X Factor special edition can help improve your betting. If you want to learn more, sign up today to gain access instantly!
We can’t promise you’ll become a successful football club chairman, but it will help you win the battle of the betting mind.