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Sound Handicapping

College Football Handicapping Tips: Sound Handicapping and Consistency

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

Sound Handicapping

In college football, we can’t watch all the games. No one has that much time. One result of this can be overly-depending on stats and rankings. And while those are important elements to consider, they alone should not be our guiding light when making picks.

When handicapping a game, we are besieged with stats, rankings, scores, and other data we might over-value when making a selection. In college football, it is hard to be ahead of the game by over-acknowledging obvious facts and figures. The real sharps in the world of NCAA football wagering rely on keen pieces of insight and observation to gain an edge. They don’t just go onto a website and start aimlessly pouring over stats and scores. It’s a lazy way to handicap.

You might have an inkling for a team in a particular game, so you look at the scores of their games this season. You try to look for comparable match-ups, when your team played a team at roughly the same level. Then you might conduct an elementary analysis of the stats. You will notice things like a weak passing “D” facing a robust passing attack, or a tough run “D” facing an offense known for its running prowess.

What ends up happening is that we start shading a game a certain way based on information that has already been accounted for by the bookie. Anything you may have noticed while conducting a face-value review of stats and rankings was already noticed and meted out by the book and reflected in the point-spread. Then you come along and start giving teams more or less credit for things that have already been expertly evaluated. It doesn’t work.

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Another technique that never seems to work is betting blindly on games. Sometimes, you will look at the long list of college football lines and for the most part--everything will seem in order. But then something will make you tilt your head quizzically. A spread or total will just strike you as being out-of-line. And your first instinct may be to make a bet to exploit what you determine to be a soft line.

A lot of times, we go with a feeling based on what really amounts to half-baked observations. Maybe you watched a game the previous week and saw a team play a tough game with a conference opponent. Now this week, they’re 34-point underdogs to a national power. You figure they looked pretty good last week and should be able to beat a 34-point spread, so you make the bet.

We need to understand our limitations. We’re not experts on every conference. And in addition, we’re not likely to outsmart the oddsmakers with casually-made observations that required no real insight or information. And if you do win a few of these, just remember--you picked a heads or tails. If you succeed at it over a few hundred games and then maybe you can brag.

Wagering Consistency

A lot of bettors also make a common mistake of being all over the board with their bet amounts. A lot of handicappers will give out picks, urging you to bet different amounts. But maybe betting the same amount on every game is the way to go. First of all, it simplifies things. You can look at a potential bet in one of two ways. Either it’s a bet you should make or it is not. Simple. It’s hard enough handicapping games. Betting different amounts forces you to also handicap your own picks.

Betting the same amount might seem like drudgery, but Rome wasn’t built in one day. Use your ambition to bet bigger amounts as motivation. If you can build up your bankroll to a certain level, you will be able to go ahead and make those larger bets you dream of making. But that takes patience. It requires you to build up slowly and not put your bankroll in jeopardy.

Even if you are temporarily successful by risking most of your bankroll every week, enjoy it now because it’s only a matter of time before fate catches up to you. If all it takes is one bad weekend for you to be in shambles, no amount of success matters because you’re always teetering on disaster. Stay within your pre-determined framework. Don’t allow ill-timed, super-sized bets to destroy your progress.

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