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Acting Like a Professional

NFL Betting: Acting Like a Professional

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Let the fact that the players we are betting on are professionals give way to us adopting a professional outlook, as well. What makes a good professional athlete makes a good handicapper, as well. Having the innate talent helps, but a lot of talented people don't make it. You need to have other traits too--namely, an ability to work hard and handle defeat.

There are other elements to professionalism, but if you can master those two, you already have a leg up on your fellow bettors. One way to look at it is that anyone can get on a good run. Over the years, countless individuals have killed it in the area of NFL betting. How many of them are around today still putting shivers into the sportsbooks? Not many and it comes down to maintaining a level of professionalism. Not everyone can do it.

Think of any line of work. What does it mean to be a pro? A new teacher who doesn't have his act together might fly off the handle in the face of an insolent student, whereas experienced pros would keep their cool. An experienced teacher is well-planned and organized to deliver the lesson plans, while a more amateurish educator might just wing it.

Transfer that sentiment to NFL betting. It requires a certain disposition. And if you're a person prone to losing your cool at the slightest provocation, NFL betting might send you into an insane asylum. It really requires a certain personality fit. You can't be a ranting lunatic and hope to hold up emotionally while betting on the NFL.

You need to be cool. More Fonzie and less Ralph Malph. Because betting on the NFL will test your inner resolve in a major way. Poise is an indispensable trait for the successful NFL bettor. Having that trait is what separates the NFL bettors who succeed from the ones that come and go. Anyone can handle winning, but how you handle setbacks is the real crucial point of concern.

We've seen the winners, strutting through the sportsbook, talking about how much lobster they're about to eat. That's all fine and dandy. But look at him when he's losing. What happens then? Do you see him at the craps table with sweat glowing from his brow? Is he at the video poker machine hoping a royal straight flush will bail him out?

How you handle losing is really what it's all about and it forces you to call on all your professionalism. You know this a marathon, not a sprint. Success is proven over years, not a couple weekends. That's why the smooth operator is able to psychologically shake off a loss or series of losses and continue about his business. He's not canceling dinner plans because he's in a crappy mood. He isn't snapping at people because the Browns didn't cover.

Take two guys. They start picking games. If one is a pretty good handicapper and has poise and professionalism, he will inevitably outlast the handicapping whiz who has personal control issues. Years from now, the merely pretty good handicapper will still be at the book doing his thing, while the supposed genius is handing out escort cards on Las Vegas Boulevard.

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And professionalism also extends to the work you put into this. You need to set time aside to do a proper analysis. Find time when you're less likely to be bothered and approach it like you're in a clinic. And don't forget to do the little things. Not all vital information is on ESPN.com. In the old days of limited information--you had an excuse. You don't have any reasons now to not be thorough. Look at local papers of the teams you're betting on. Find someone, a writer or whoever, who has their hand on the pulse of the team, or is maybe an insider.

It is important to process the information correctly--how to prioritize certain data. But it requires hard work. And a real pro puts in the work--no matter what. Bettors need to develop that same type of doggedness. Not to imply that it's harder to bet on the NFL than it is to play in it, but some of the same traits that make good NFL players lead to good handicapping and success in NFL betting.

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