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Dealing With Winning and Losing

NFL Betting: Dealing with Winning and Losing

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Sometimes, winning or losing isn't even the key, but it's how people deal with it that really separates the pros from the amateurs. Everyone absorbs their share of triumphs and setbacks. Keeping your cool in the face of both is crucial.

Winning is obviously easier. But there are still pitfalls. The most common is the perception people have of money they won. The expression "playing with the house's money" is one you've heard many times and you definitely want to steer clear of this mentality. People tend to abandon whatever strategy that allowed them to be a winner in the first place when "playing with the house's money."

A healthier way to perceive money that you won is to simply take ownership of it. Does the bookie have any qualms about taking ownership of your finances? So why treat your money with such a cavalier disposition? Once that money crosses over to you from the book, it is yours. Sure, money won might be twice as sweet as money earned, but it won't be that sweet if you blow it all because you failed to truly respect it as "your money."

If you go into a casino and win a quick $1000, then proceed to blow $800 of it because you're playing with won money, you will later say you won $200. Well, sort of. You really lost $800 because you had $1000 and now have only $200. Don't operate constantly from zero. If you're up, that is your money. Treat it as such.

Losing is even more problematic. It can shake you. You start doing things you wouldn't have otherwise done in an effort to get back to even or in the plus-column. We've all been there. You weren't even thinking of betting the Sunday night or MNF game. But after a crappy Sunday, you find yourself betting those games. It might even work. Winning a heads-or-tails bet isn't so hard to do after all. But more often than not, you will find yourself falling even more behind--turning a bad betting week into your own personal NFL betting extinction.

Learning to take losses in stride is the hallmark of any successful NFL bettor. Losing is part of this game. You know that going in. And an afternoon betting on football can be brutal, especially if missed extra-points are costing you your bet or any of the thousand other excruciating things that pop up every NFL Sunday. It's not hard to get sideways and start losing your focus.


This might sound like simplistic advice, but you have to rise above it. And you might have to learn your lesson the hard way. The least effective gambler is one who is steamed from losing. It pollutes your picks. You start straying from your money management plan. And you start going down a very slippery slope that usually leads to ruin. Plan your bets. Make your bets. If you end up down for the week, come back and try again next week. Just like the teams themselves.

And for goodness sake, don't allow losses to turn you into Gloomy Gus. It can be hard. Your team is covering by lot, the other team comes back, and a couple BS holding calls seal the fate. Stuff that happens during the course of an NFL betting Sunday is enough to turn Mr. Rogers into a ranting maniac. But NFL betting might not be for you if the people around you suffer on account of you having a rough go at it betting on football. Your wife shouldn't get yelled at because the Falcons didn't cover the spread.

People do stuff on Sundays. The world doesn't stop spinning because it's NFL Sunday. You might be omni-focused on games, but don't expect the rest of the world to be in-step with your trip. We've all felt like snapping on somebody for waltzing in with :30 left and start babbling about some nonsense. But it's important to remember that just because your life is wrapped up in this game at the moment doesn't mean that everyone else is supposed to walk on eggshells.

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