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Acting Like a Professional

College Football Betting Advice: Acting Like a Professional

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Just because the players you’re betting on are not professionals doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adopt a professional outlook on your handicapping. Picking games is only part of it. Anyone can pick a winner. But the sharps in this game who have been around for a long time will tell you that dealing with college football betting in a professional manner is what separates the guys sitting in suites eating shrimp from the guys trying to accumulate enough couch change to buy a 40 of Olde English.

If being successful at college football betting is something that interests you, put down the stats and point-spreads for a second. And instead focus on the headspace that you will need to adopt in order to succeed. Think about the movie Casino. You want to be like the Robert DeNiro character, not one of the guys asking to borrow money from Joe Pesci.

In the movie, DeNiro plays the role of Ace Rosenthal--one of the greatest college football bettors of all-time. And DeNiro nailed it. Take note of the character’s demeanor, temper, and overall disposition. He’s unflappable. You never see him sweat. Sure, he’s a handicapping genius, but his overall emotions in life is what allows him to reach the top. It would be hard to imagine his character steaming off a bunch of money. Or making rash picks to make up for losses. That’s how we need to act. But boy--it’s hard.

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A lot of us are just emotional people. We are happy when we win and upset when we lose. And sometimes when we lose our wagers, we lose our heads. Regardless of whether or not we are good handicappers, this is one element that cannot be compromised. Again, a lot of people can pick games well. But every season, a lot of good cappers disappear from the college football betting landscape. Precisely because they do not act professionally.

Betting on college football is not for easily-thrown off people who jump out of cars at stoplights to confront a guy for cutting them off in traffic. If you are prone to flying off the handle, beware of the extreme provocation you are in store for when betting college football. Think about the Karate Kid. You need to be like Miagi and not the dude who runs Cobra-Kai.

And don’t forget about the professional aspect of hard work. It’s important to work smart in this game, but working hard is just the nature of the beast. There is no substitute for putting in the time. In the old days, it was hard. You needed sources in every city and be tapped into a wise-guy network to get the information that is now at your disposal with a few clicks.

The Internet allows you access to enough information to almost become an insider. Sure, it would be nice to have a student at every university--seeing who is showing up to class high and who is staggering on the streets drunk at night. And if you have a friend or a brother of a co-worker who is tapped into the party scene at Michigan State, take advantage of it. But with the plethora of teams, how can you really pull that off? It’s ridiculous.

So tap into the wells of information on the web. Many of us spend a lot of time sifting through the stats and injured lists that can be found anywhere. We see if a low-ranked run defense is facing one of the best backs in the nation--stuff like that. But if you tap into some good message boards or find some insider info, by all means take advantage of it. The information that shifts games lies both in facts you can find on ESPN.com and ones that are not so readily available.

There are certain characteristics that all successful handicappers share. Anyone who is good at this puts in the labor. They know how to value information and hone in on the pertinent data. But beyond that, they realize that college football is a turbulent market. Things can and will go bad. And true professionalism is measured less when things are going well than how one handles himself in down times.

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