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Pitfalls of Picking a Bad Sportsbook

College Football Betting: The Pitfalls of Picking a Bad Sportsbook

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

You can do everything a good college football bettor should do--handicapping, looking for value, managing your money, etc. But if you’re dealing with a disreputable sportsbook--it can all be for naught. And there is a certain cruelty to not getting paid when it comes to college football betting. You sweat through the results and handicap your butt off, only to get stiffed by some scammers. It can leave you deflated and a lot of good cappers have been relegated to the scrap-heap after having a horrible experience with a bad book.

When looking at the terms and conditions of each corresponding book, it can be difficult. Some of them are like novels and who really reads those conscientiously? But maybe we should. Some books actually have a clause that gives them the power to pull the rug from under you. Be wary of these types of clauses. If a book states that they can take your money based solely on suspicions--pick another book.

Obviously, having the contents of your account confiscated is the biggest hazard you will face, but there are other layers of dishonest practices that are the staples of low-ranked sportsbooks. And all of them can have a bad affect on your game. Some books are at least up-front with it. They offer ridiculously-bad juice, with some college football sides both going off at -120. Some books have even been caught offering different spreads on the sides--a gigantic red-flag.


Then you have some books that are asleep at the wheel and then make you pay for their sloppiness. Let’s say there is a line, but something happened to move it, so most sportsbooks do just that. Stanford was -7 to beat USC, but is now -9. But the dopey book still has Stanford at -7 and if you bet it, they might not even honor it! And they might even wait until after the result to tell you, giving you the impression that they were free-rolling your wager.

And if you consistently beat the closing line at a book, they could label you a “pro.” And some books have stipulations that they can take your money if they merely suspect you are a “pro.” Chances are that you are not a pro, but are simply winning--enough to draw the ire of a disreputable book.

Generally, if a book allows you to place a bet, they should honor it. If it were an improper bet, they shouldn’t have allowed you to make it. Sometimes there will be a “bad line,” a mistake by the book. In that case, a reputable book will likely alert you prior to the event to tell you about the cancellation. Other ones will just wait for you to win the bet before telling you it will not be honored.

The scams are too numerous to list. One of the more sinister ones was a sportsbook that was in cahoots with a handicapper who sold his picks. You sign up for this guy’s picks and then he tells you what to bet. And the games he recommended had inflated spreads with the book he was working with. He’d tell you to bet on Notre Dame, for example, who was at -9.5 for everyone else. But for the players who linked up to the book through this guy would be getting Notre Dame -12. That’s downright ugly.

Another perk of dealing with exclusively the top sportsbooks is the bonus angle. The more dodgy the book, the more difficult it will be to fulfill the conditions of the bonus. Even the bonuses at the more reputable books can be a little tricky to deal with, but forget about it with these lower-end books. The conditions are impossible to understand and there’s a thousand different ways they can screw you. One of two things will happen. They will give you the bonus, knowing it doesn’t matter since you’ll never get paid anyway. Or they will always find a way to deny you.

As you can see, it’s best to deal with only the top books. What was described here is only the tip of the iceberg. Let other people learn their lesson the hard way. As of now, there is enough data available so that there is really no excuse for not picking a book that will treat you fairly. Winning at college football is difficult enough. You need a book that you can trust.

Note: The principles of the Lootmeister site have been around the industry dating back to the late 90's. We don't advertise garbage here or deal with risky organizations. When you're playing with a Lootmeister recommended online sportsbook, you're betting at a site that is ROCK solid!

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  • College Football Conferences - List of all NCAA football conferences including the teams that make up each conference.
  • Heisman Trophy Winners - A complete list of Heisman Trophy winners (college football's best player award) in chronological order, dating back to 1935.
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