The Anatomy of Winning and Losing Streaks

One of my unsolved conundrums in my 4 decades of handicapping sports is why groups of narrow (or lucky) wins, or losses, seem to congregate.  This is a major contributing factor in winning and losing streaks.  Statistical analysts claim this is nothing more than inevitable statistical variance.  Those with a more zen-like approach find it to be inevitable.  Whatever the reasons I NEED TO FIND THEM for in so doing I believe I will be able to perpetuate more winning streaks and eliminate lengthy losing streaks.  I have experienced them enough to understand they are inevitable.  Yet, my hunger to know why they congregate continues to mystify me.  Here are the conclusions that I have made about these streaks.

Winning streaks are the results of good handicapping, solid game selection management, and a congregation of close or lucky wins.  The winners seem to “jump off the page” at me and are easily confirmed by my proven handicapping methodology.  It is easier to make contrary plays and unlike others, I do not feel compelled to “limit my selections to protect a streak”.  In fact, I firmly believe that the willingness to push a winning streak is a major contributing factor leading to an aggregate of the most net wins since 1979.  When I am “in the zone”, I feel that it will never end. Yet my experience has told me that when the streak reaches 80% or more of 20 or more plays, there is an inevitable turnaround.  I am unsure why this continues to happen.

At the other end of the spectrum are the, what seem to be, inevitable losing streaks.  If the reasons for the winning streak as outlined above are accurate, then it makes sense that the losing streaks involve poor handicapping judgment, improper game selection management, and a series of close or unlucky losses.  When this happens, I must fight the tendency to look for “easy winners”.  For I know that those are the games in which there is little value and where public opinion resides.  Those have clearly proven to be negative indicators.  Once I feel a losing streak beginning, I try to pull in the reins, give fewer selections, and tighten the handicapping model.  Yet the close or unlucky losses continue to congregate.  Just as the winning streaks above, should they reach 80% or more on 20 or more selections, I have repeatedly seen the turnaround take place.  Once again, I am mystified by why this occurs.

These are the things I do know about streaks.  The thoughts that follow make up my best advice on how to handle them.

USING SOUND MONEY MANAGEMENT, OPERATING WITHOUT EXPECTATIONS AND IN FULL ACCEPTANCE OF THE RESULTS ARE CRITICAL.  You must replace expectations with hope, allow your money management to take your emotions out of the equation and accept the results.  This allows for a clear mind giving you the best opportunity to handicapping the games with optimum efficiency.  Only by following this model will you give yourself the best opportunity to maximize your profits and minimize your losses without allowing emotion to cloud  your judgment.