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Giving Yourself a Fair Chance

College Football Betting: Giving Yourself a Fair Chance

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

A lot of beginning college football bettors do themselves a disservice by prematurely jumping to conclusions about their ability do this. The one you might see more of is the guy who is ready to move to Vegas and become a pro bettor after he has a few big weekends. Equally faulty is the bettor who decides he sucks at this after a short run of failure.

Just like it takes a person a long time to determine if he's a winner, it takes a lot of go-arounds before you can really say you aren't cut out for this. It's not over the course of a weekend or even a couple weekends. Failure, just like success, is something that is determined over the course of a lot of bets.

To really determine of you are good at this, you have to give yourself a fighting chance and many beginning bettors simply do not do that. Here is what a lot of bettors do--they open an account and bet it all on a short list of games. Now they're basically at the mercy of whatever happens in those few games. Even if they win, they continue betting most of their bankroll.

In a case like that, the bettor is using a painfully-small window of results to determine if he can make it as a betting man. The goal is to determine if you're good, but it needs a lot of results before anyone could draw a conclusion. Just like anyone can have a good run with 10 games, you could just as easily have come up short. But what does that really tell you? That you had a bad week?

In any form of college football betting, even the professional bettors have bad weeks and even months. The difference between them and the amateur bettor is less about handicapping ability than it is about proper management. The pros bet such a small amount of their total bankroll, that a bad week or even month will never be enough to leave them in peril. The way they bet allows them to absorb the bad runs that will inevitably come.

When betting a robust percentage of your bankroll, you are never more than one really bad run away from the extinction list. Not being able to defend your fortress from even one invasion doesn't bode well for your kingdom. You want to be in a position to be able to defend against the bad runs that come with the territory.

A lot of guys who might be good bettors simply do not give themselves a fighting chance. They're living on the edge. A good run will be rewarding if it goes well. That's fun, but if that enthusiasm just so happens to accompany a bad run of results--it can be the end. It should take more than a small handful of unfortunate results to sideline you and your wagering.

So if you're going to bet on college football, it is incumbent upon you to exercise sound judgment. In the end, a lot of that comes down to money management and patience. We live in a society of immediacy. We need everything now. In college football betting, however, we need to get away from that. We need to be prepared to let the long-haul determine if we are cut out for this. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes control.


You hear all these items about standard operating procedure in college football betting, namely how you should bet an infinitesimal percentage of your total bankroll on individual games. Most people simply say screw that, damn the torpedoes, and they start slugging it out with the sportsbook. Bad move. The way to beat the book is to be a sniper, selectively isolating targets and committing to a course of action that can take months or even years before fruit is harvested. It's a marathon. So you will know the guys who start sprinting right away are not going to make it.

When you start betting on college football, it's OK to be excited. We just need to make sure our enthusiasm resonates in the right way. If it causes us to start making rash moves--we need to cool our jets. We owe it to ourselves to get a righteous result as to whether or not we can do this. The only way we can arrive to that point is by giving ourselves a big enough sample pool of results to establish if we have what it takes.

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