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Bad Luck

Football Betting: There is No Such Thing as Bad Luck

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Getting tangled up in superstitions when betting football is a loser’s game. It’s as if guys really think a game across the country is coming down to whether they put their right shoe on first. It’s insanity. It’s really important to not spend energy on superstitions when betting football. There is no connection to covering the spread and whether or not you adhered to some superstition.

We can only mock the overly-superstitious to a certain extent because even sharp bettors have certain behaviors they will avoid that really uses the same kind of mentality used for superstitions. To some degree, there are “gambling gods” who will rain hell down in some situations.

In Kenny Rogers’ song “The Gambler” he mentions how you never count your money while you’re sitting at the table. While that might be faulty poker advice, we should adopt it for football betting purposes. Banking on a victory with an underdog team winning by 4 touchdowns late in the 4th is one thing. But if you find yourself counting on a win in the first quarter or after a big halftime score, you’re asking for it.

It seems ridiculous to infer that you sitting there big-headed over an unsettled wager would have any impact on a game. Punt returners in St. Louis don’t start dropping balls because a guy on his couch in Oregon is over-confident. But it’s just an invitation for disappointment. It’s bad mojo. Your bet might look all the world like it’s going to be a winner. You start thinking like it’s already a foregone conclusion. And when that mentality sets in, it almost seems like your team hits a wall. The other team comes back and the lead evaporates.

Observe football bets unfolding with measured levels of optimism, rightfully tempered with the sentiment of trepidation. At the drop of a dime, your team can lose momentum and despite being up, will start circling the drain in a battle against the clock.


Some bettors make bets in their head based on unfinished wagers. That can be a real jinx move. Usually, it’s a better idea to make your bets ahead of time and let them play out, rather than making bets on the condition of other ones winning. When you’re doing that, you’re asking for the first game to hold and cover and now you’re going to need another game that hasn’t even started to win for you end up ahead.

Asking for too much is bound to irritate the gambling gods. Each game is a grind against the spread. If you can win a few more than you lose, you’re doing OK. To be flippant and treat any ATS wager as a foregone conclusion will cost you in the end.

There are superstitions people have while watching a game, some matters of habit and others made up on the spot. Sometimes if a team you bet is not doing well, you might stop watching. As if your attention is somehow stifling a team’s progress. Or you might just watch the defensive stands and change the channel when the offense is on the field. If it seems that a team does better when you’re not watching, even a loose grip on logic tells us there really is no connection.

You might even think a certain person is a jinx on your wagers. You might have a girlfriend who calls at untimely moments. Whenever you and her are on the phone, the opposite team puts up touchdowns. While there are some gamblers who will swear by the fact that certain people poison their bets, it is nonsense for the most part. Right? It has to be. Because if it isn’t, that means the Broncos offense got going because some guy’s girlfriend in Anaheim starting pestering him.

Thinking that any little things you are doing or not doing at your house somehow affect football games is sending a bad message to your brain. You are perhaps preparing ready-made excuses for failure. You might try to subconsciously convince yourself that your father calling you on the phone is why the Falcons didn’t cover when it’s having more to do with your NFL handicapping. We need to remind ourselves sometimes that this type of thinking is largely how losers think. The real players in this business don’t bat an eyelash if a black cat crosses their path right after they make a big bet.

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