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Lent begins March 1, which is a time for fasting leading up to Easter for Christians, as you are probably aware. 

If you grew up in a Catholic household like I did, you may have had to give something up for Lent – often a guilty habit like eating chocolate or fighting with your brother. 

So out of respect of this time of year, here’s a look at eight sports betting habits you may want to give up for Lent: 

1. Blaming others for your losses

You ask your betting bud who he likes. You scour Twitter for a hot pick of no charge to you. You visit forums and finally settle on the one you like with the best reasoning. Then you spew venom at the bettor you tailed when it loses. This is sinful betting behaviour. Repent and stop doing it.

2. Not keeping the faith

If you’ve ever visited Las Vegas, you’ve probably seen a ticket fly like confetti through a sportsbook before the buzzer goes. But crazy things happen every week. Look at the Patriots’ Super Bowl comeback. Or the Oscars fiasco when underdog Moonlight was pulled like a rabbit out of a hat after -1000 favorite La La Land was announced. Keep the faith. Staying positive will help you remain confident even after a loss.  

3. Betting against UConn in the AAC tournament

UConn is 8-2 straight up and against the spread in the AAC tourney going back four years. This team has a long history of loving March. Bet against at your own risk. 

4. Betting on Duke in the ACC tournament 

Duke is 4-4 straight up in its conference tourney over the last four years but just 1-7 against the spread. Blue Devil spreads tend to be inflated this time of year. 

5. Betting without a goal

If you have no idea what you are trying to do as a sports bettor, then you are just wandering the desert with no direction. It’s one of the biggest mistakes I see bettors make. Your goal could be anything as small as “betting to have fun” or as grandiose as “to win enough money to fix a Serie A soccer match.” Without one, though, you’re just throwing your money at a sportsbook with no idea when to cash out – or to stop funding your accounts. 

6. Betting in-game like a marble

Don’t be the guy who lays his bankroll on the Cavs 32 seconds into a game simply because LeBron makes his first two shots. Sportsbooks love the overreacting bettor. Your eyes will deceive you, so go in with a strategy based on your pre-game bets or know the numbers that support your decisions. For the NBA, I like to bet the OVER/UNDER before the game and look for double-digit middles in-game.  

7. Taking the Florida Panthers as a puckline fave

The Panthers are an NHL-worst 5-27 as a fave on the puckline this season as of Feb. 28. That’s a loss of $1,645 for anyone who bet $100 on the Sun Kittens for each one of those. 

8. Overreacting to injuries

The Raptors are 3-0 straight up and 2-1 against the spread without Kyle Lowry. The Minnesota Wild beat the L.A. Kings Monday night 5-4 without Zach Parise and Jason Pominville due to the mumps. The Clippers were beaten soundly by the Spurs in Chris Paul’s first game back. Don’t rush to make bets simply because of injuries, especially in the pros. This is sports betting, not DFS.

Follow me on Twitter @JonnyOddsShark