The vast majority of people who bet on sports are first and foremost fans of the particular sport in question. They are likely to have accumulated knowledge about tennis, football, rugby or athletics long before they sought to make money from their predictions about it. It is partly for this reason that many sports bettors rely on their intuition when it comes to backing their forecasts with money.
Relying on instant reactions or gut feelings can be useful when you are trying to work out if someone is annoyed with you. However, it is not an ideal tool to rely on in the world of sports betting – in part because of a phenomenon known as the halo effect. This term refers to a cognitive bias in which our (often incomplete) impression of a person affects what we think about their character. For instance, we are more likely to associate positive characteristics with a photograph of a good-looking, smiling individual in a magazine than someone who is scruffily dressed and scowling, even though we do not know anything at all about the personalities of the people in question.