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Not Forgetting the Game That is Sports Betting

College Football Betting: Not Forgetting About the Game That Is Sports Betting

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

It is important for us to sink our teeth into the games that we are betting. Getting up-to-speed to the point where you can capably wager on different sports is critical. Information is a big part of what drives our wagers. But that's not the only part of the equation. When we bet on sports, we are also in a game--the game of sports betting. We need to pay that some mind, too.

There are a lot of bettors who are super-informed authorities on various sports. Unless they master the game of sports-betting, however, they're not going to win anything in the world of wagering. Say you have two guys who bet on football. One knows everything about the sport. He can rattle off all the jargon and tell you who the backup center for San Jose State is. The other guy can barely name who the starting QB is on a team, but he understands the art of betting up-and-down. In a handicapping contest, you would take the betting savant over the football know-it-all every day of the week.

That's an extreme example and is not meant to undermine the importance of staying informed. That is really important if you want to be the total package in sports wagering. It's just that a lot of bettors make it all about the game itself and not enough about the betting. It's like a guy who knows the law up-and-down. He still has to learn how to become a good trial lawyer. Being able to apply your knowledge to betting is what it's really all about.

If betting were solely about knowing about the sport, wouldn't guys like in-studio analysts be among the best in the world? They couldn't bet their way out of a paper bag. Again, they have the knowledge, but applying it to wagering is a whole different ball game. The art of wagering is a lot more complicated than memorizing rosters or being able to define what a Tampa 2 defense is.

One of the things that might take some time is the mathematics of sports betting. It can range from simple arithmetic to mind-blowing formulas that require a lot of knowledge and creativity. There is a realm of mathematics peculiar to sports betting to the point where there could be a class called Sportsbook Math. A lot of it is tied up in probabilities, odds, and value.

To be a good sports bettor, you have to know gambling. Success in sports wagering comes from having the gambling aspect of it down cold. In all walks of gambling, the most successful people are able to reduce the house edge to a point where the player can actually have a positive expected value. Some of it is attributable to knowledge and the quality of predictions, but to make it work, the bettor needs to avoid the pitfalls that swallow up the average bettor.


A guy who just knows a lot about sports still needs to understand which bets to make. Some wagers are better than others in the long run, in terms of their value. Some bets exact a higher tax from the bettor. For example, parlay payouts might appear attractive, but the pro knows the house edge is steeper than other wagers he could place. A guy who understands the betting can determine when a team is getting too much credit or when the odds are set because the bookie expects a lot of people to take a particular side.

The capable bettor doesn't put total importance on his prediction alone. An average betting man might look at odds and make a prediction, while the pro has a sense of where the line will move. One telltale sign of a guy who knows his stuff is that he always seems to be getting better value than the rest of us. We're betting $100 to win $78 and he's betting $100 to get $83. We have a team at -7 and he has it at -4.5.

Over time, becoming adept at the art of betting is what pays off. A lot of guys know sports on an almost-Rainman level. So why are 97% of all college football bettors losers? It's not because they don't know enough about the sport on which they are betting. Sure, that can be a big part of it, but not enough to make it so such a staggering percentage of people fail. It really boils down to whether you understand all the many ins and outs of the art of sports wagering--a discipline all unto itself. Bet college football games for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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  • College Football Conferences - List of all NCAA football conferences including the teams that make up each conference.
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