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Wagering with Your Heart

College Football Betting: Wagering with Your Heart

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Anyone who is even thinking of placing college football wagers is a person who naturally likes the sport. Part of liking college football is that you have teams that you like. Or maybe there are players you like who are from your hometown, or even just a player on a team who you went to school with. Allegiances can be formed in any number of ways. The most common is the way you feel about your hometown or favorite team in team-sports.

We all have our favorites. The problem is that some bettors can't really bet effectively on their favorite teams. Their vision is clouded. There are too many heartstrings involved. Those things can really foul up your bottom line. It's a real problem area because on paper, our favorite teams should be easier to bet. After all, we know a lot about those teams and not just how a normal fan knows teams. We understand the texture of the team, their tendencies, their tradition, their mindset. It's just that our knowledge of these teams has so much depth, that you hate to relinquish it by not betting.

A few things can happen that are bad for our betting portfolio. We might tend to confuse what we want to happen with what we think will happen, making us bet on our team when the situation isn't really that great. Or it could go the other way. We overcompensate and try to go out of our way to prove to ourselves that we are impartial, so we pick against our team.

Be honest with yourself. A lot of strong bettors are able to deal with their home-team with the same mindset they use to break down any other game. But not everyone can do it like that. There is nothing wrong with you being a fan and you shouldn't feel that you have to go out of your way to turn your perception of sports into an overly-clinical approach devoid of the joy that fans experience.

There are teams we have strong feeling about, but look at the long list of the teams where our views are totally neutral. Being a fan means there are teams you like and those you might not like. A USC fan, for example, obviously loves the Trojans and might harbor some resentment to the UCLA Bruins. That's a small handful of teams, leaving a huge list of other teams he can bet on without having to worry about biases contaminating his analysis.

One good rule of thumb is to never use college football wagering as a form of fan expression. In other words, a lot of guys bet on their favorite teams as almost a show of loyalty and support. When we are placing college football bets, we are doing so with the goal of making money. We shouldn't be wagering as a way to show how loyal we are, or because we want something to happen.

It's hard to forego all the knowledge. You know so much about something. Knowledge is supposed to be a good thing when wagering. It's just that whatever we gain by being knowledgeable about a team we love, we lose by being biased. You would think it'd be good to be excited about a game involving your home-team, giving you energy to fully handicap the game. But how much you know about your home-team is usually nullified by the fact that it dwarfs your knowledge of their opponent. Ideally, you want to have an equal level of knowledge of both teams who are playing a game, not just one of them.

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Being a fan doesn't always lead to being a good bettor. In fact, it seldom does. The sensibilities that govern the mind of a fan don't translate well to the world of betting. You would think they might, but they rarely do. If anything, success in college football wagering can come down to how much you can forget about being a fan. The things that fans and bettors worry about are widely-divergent items.

But no one is saying to stop being a fan. It's a big part of what makes sports fun. A more clinical approach is required when betting, but that doesn't mean you should seek to make college football joyless. At the end of the day, you just need to be forthright with yourself and determine if betting on your favorite teams is something you can do with a level head. If not, just leave it alone.

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  • 2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Odds for each team to win the college football playoff along with predictions of teams that have a legit shot of winning it all, including a longshot pick.
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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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