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Keeping Your Expectations Realistic

College Football Betting: Keeping Your Expectations Realistic

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

A lot of beginning college football bettors are led astray or have a cock-eyed view of what success in sports-betting really entails. They think winning at college football betting means winning almost all of your bets. They picture their bankroll fattening up quickly. Success in this business is a lot less-glamorous than that.

First and foremost, you need to completely tune-out the "scamdicappers." You hear these guys on radio commercials and online claiming 90% winners and offering you their latest 100-Star pick. It's understandable why someone who isn't terribly familiar with sports-betting would be taken in with these wild claims.

At root, these guys are gigantic liars. No one ever hit 90% of their college football wagers over the course of a lifetime. And they certainly didn't do it on sports with a point-spread, where either side of the bet has a 50% chance of winning, theoretically. It has never happened. So when you hear a commercial of an alleged college pigskin betting genius making grandiose promises--forget about it. It's a lie.

We're trying to hustle so we don't want to get hustled. If someone is really good at college football wagering, there is nothing wrong with following him here and there, but we don't want others making all our decisions for us. And we certainly do not want to put ourselves in the hands of unethical "super-handicappers." None of their claims of grandiosity can be substantiated. If they were that great, they wouldn't be in the business of selling picks anyway because they'd be too busy making money. A lot of them will tell unsuspecting players to call for their 100-Star pick, then give players different picks, so that at least some of them will think he knows his stuff.

It boils down to maintaining realistic expectations. And part of being realistic means accepting the fact that you will not only lose bets, but lose many of them. Forget all these people talking about how they've managed to remove losing from the equation. Losing is a part of betting and we need to accept that.

In fact, we're merely trying to win a little more than we lose. That's it. That's the goal. Sure, we'll get on some hot streaks, where there are little stretches where we're hitting something like 80%. But all that does is make it a little easier to absorb the inevitable cold streak. Then at the end of the season, we hope we've won a little more than we've lost. In sports with a point-spread, a rate of 60% winners would be incredible. Even something in the high-fifties would work tremendously.

The problem with some bettors with overly-high expectations is that they are ill-equipped mentally to handle the bad swings in this business. If you picture college football betting incorrectly, these things are more likely to bother you than the even-tempered bettor who understands how it works. Sure, there are going to be hot streaks, but a good sports-bettor is not going to be like a guy who's hot at the craps table. Winning in sports-betting is a gradual process. At the end of the season, we hope to be ahead. That takes months and that journey will have it's peaks and valleys.


When betting on college football, where our bets are in the hands of very young and unpolished athletes, picture yourself as a train chugging up a hill. The progress is steady, but slow. And before you know it, that train has covered a lot of ground. It might not have been very fast, but over time, a little progress can equal big profits. Success in college football betting requires you to have a long-term vision and part of that includes not getting carried away over short-term results--whether they are good or bad.

Very few people actually succeed at NCAA football betting. So before you begin, that needs to be fully acknowledged. A lot of smart people and guys who knew a ton about sports couldn't make it work. So before we take the plunge into the world of sports wagering, we need to develop a healthy respect for what we are trying to beat. You need to beat the "house," something that isn't typically easy to do. Then we have to be careful not to defeat ourselves, which is what happens to a lot of otherwise decent sports-bettors. And part of the reason they come up short is by having over-inflated expectations.

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