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Money Management Strategy

NFL Betting: Money Management and Bankroll Strategy

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

This just might be the most crucial part of betting on the NFL. A lot of otherwise good handicappers have been snuffed out due to their failure to master this area of NFL football wagering. You can be a scary-good handicapper, but falling short in this category can render your betting prowess moot.

You hear a lot of guidelines about money management and most of it is correct. The one common thread that has become part of every money-management plan is to not bet more than 10% of your bankroll at any given time. It’s certainly not a bad idea. It prevents you from over-extending yourself and allows you absorb losing weekends without getting wiped off the planet. At the same time, not everyone can swing that 10% rule-of-thumb.

It’s doesn’t take into account the wide variation of circumstances faced by different bettors. The 10% rule is a good idea, especially for married men with children to look after. But what about the guy living with his parents? Or the guy on a fixed income? Or the guy heading out to Vegas for the weekend? Or those who don’t even have a gambling bankroll? Let’s face it, a lot of people’s gambling bankroll is their actual life bankroll.

Rather than using a blanket standard like 10%, a more vague guideline might be called for in this situation. And that golden rule states that you should never be in a position to lose more than a level that leaves you feeling comfortable. It’s different for everybody. For some people, there are kids to consider. Others, however, might have less to lose. Rock bottom for one guy might be not being able to get his kid new sneakers, while another guy’s rock-bottom amounts to him not having enough money to go to the Rush concert on Friday night.

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But make no mistake, the lower percentage of your money that you bet--the longer you stand to be around in this game. Betting a low percentage of your money allows you to absorb losses and bounce back the following week. Being poor in the area of money management almost guarantees failure.

We’ve all either seen bettors do this or we did it ourselves. They bet everything. Every week. A guy puts $1000 on games. He loses most of them, then puts his last $300 or so on the Sunday Night game and loses and now he’s done betting football. You simply cannot put yourself in a position like that, where you’re taking a ridiculously extreme stand in sink-or-swim fashion. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

If you’re a guy who never really bets on football and you find yourself in Vegas, you can shoot from the hip a little bit. But if NFL betting is something you want to really try to do, you absolutely must adhere to a strict money management plan. Deviating from it is easy to do and strong management requires strong discipline. If discipline is something you typically lack, you better find some reserves of that trait somewhere within yourself or you are dust when it comes to NFL betting.

And if you’re actually good at betting football, you need to double up on the discipline. Being a winner against the point-spread is only part of the equation. Without the requisite discipline, it means nothing. Because an undisciplined bettor is never too far from total ruin. A bad weekend or two will send an undisciplined bettor scurrying to recoup losses. When they arrive at that state of mind--they are already on the endangered list.

Keeping in mind that this is a marathon and not a sprint, you need to develop a mind-frame that whether you can do this or not is certainly not based on a weekend, or even a few weekends. Establishing yourself as a good or bad handicapper can take years. But you need to give yourself a fighting chance. And the way to do that is to remain disciplined and adhere to your money management plan. You might be in the face of some major temptation to immediately recoup losses, but losing your cool and over-betting your bankroll will lead to devastation. It might not happen the first time or the second time, but if you fly to close to the light--you will eventually get burned.

Speaking of getting burned, there's a good chance that you're unnecessarily wasting your hard earned money. Actually, there's a better than good chance! It's been standard for decades to lay -110 odds on football games. Those days are over! You can now bet at a discount! You only lay -105 on sides and totals when you place your football wagers at 5Dimes Sportsbook! This goes for hoops as well!

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