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College Football Betting Advice

College Football Betting Advice: Do Not Over-Emphasize Wins and Losses

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

A few things happen when we judge college football teams. We might see a team have a really good or bad game a time or two and jump to premature conclusions. The tendency is to place too much stock in what we see, while paying less mind to what we didn’t observe first-hand. As a result, we might develop some faulty analysis.

In college football, there are going to be some teams that we only see once or twice. Frankly, there might be teams you never see. A person can only watch so many games when there are over 120 teams. Many times, we will see a team when they are either playing very well or poorly. If we don’t readily acknowledge our limited scope of vision, we might poison our own analysis.

There can be varying levels of play among college football teams. Relying on the observations from only a game or two can lead us far off the trail. In the same vain, relying on the observations from games where a team was either great or terrible is a sure recipe for bad bets. It’s not easy because the human memory registers events differently. Whereas we might forget a 14-10 game, our mind surely remembers a 56-7 blowout. We don’t necessarily recall the time a team covered by two points, but we definitely remember the time a team covered by 30 points.

If you were thinking about when you went away to college, for example, what would stand out in your memory? You’re not going to remember the mundane. Your mind will invariably focus on the more memorable instances. It’s true in all aspects of human reflection. The more graphic it is--the easier it to remember.

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Let’s say someone were trying to determine what kind of person you are by isolating a few of your very best and worst moments. Would that produce a fair characterization of your worth as a person? We need to be careful not to do this with college football teams. We’re never as good as we appear in our most triumphant moments. Conversely, we’re never as bad as our worst moments would suggest.

We need to go into this knowing teams are not usually as good as they looked coming off an ultra-dominant win or two. In doing so, we realize that a surging team will arrive at a point where they are actually getting pretty crappy value. The media is fawning all over them. Fans’ minds are filled with happy thoughts about that team. They are flying high and everyone is onboard. At some point, great value can start being found on their opponent.

Some teams are not all that bad, but in the one or two games where they played in a high-profile TV game, they didn’t do so well. You might see the media coming down on this team and general public opinion can get quite low. The only time the great majority of people saw this team, they looked horrible. But the scope of vision that created this characterization was very limited. A lot happened that wasn’t in such plain view of the public and that information gets neglected in lieu of what everyone saw with their own eyes.

The tendency on the part of many is too put a lot of extra credence in only the things that cross our field of vision. What we see becomes our personal experience. Obviously, there is a whole lot of other stuff going on that we don’t see. You can’t just pop in on a team and hope to get the whole story.

Sure, some times there will be isolated games you see where you can get a pretty good read on a team. But what about when someone pops in on you? Aren’t there times that are better than others? Sometimes your house will be clean and everything will be orderly. Then there will be times where you’re due to clean the house, the kids are acting a bit wild, and everything is a bit out-of-order. Usually, it’s probably somewhere in the middle. But if someone saw your house when it was at an extreme moment, they could get a completely backwards read on you.

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