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Quality Over Quantity: Being Selective

NFL Betting: Quality over Quantity--Being Selective

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

The dynamic of NFL betting is very unique. Unlike most forms of gambling, you dictate the field of play. You pick the terms of battle. This is an indispensable tool, but only when used properly. In other words, the book puts out a list of spreads. By picking which ones you want to play, you can focus on what you feel compliments your strengths as a handicapper. You can isolate the action.

It's like being in a room full of guys who want to fight you and you can actually pick which one to mix it up with. Taking them all on is foolish. Pick the guys you think you can beat. In NFL betting, that translates to being selective on which games you bet. Seems simple enough, right? But it's one of the big struggles facing the majority of NFL bettors--how to refine your picks and focus on your strengths.

You're looking for an edge as a bettor. Things like good betting value and other little edges you may have acquired by thoroughly handicapping the game. You don't get that in every game. You might not even get those advantages on an entire weekend's worth of games. A sign of a real thoughtful NFL bettor is one who even takes some weeks off because the edge is simply not available. He may have opinions, but you know what they say about those.

Handicapping NFL games can be like panning for gold. You sift through endless amounts of information, think yourself silly, and try to extract a couple nuggets out of the whole deal. Betting most games might mean you are not being selective enough. You're casually throwing around opinions, while neglecting value and true edges you feel you have when taking a certain number.

There is a certain type of personality that is attracted to NFL betting. We all like action, let's face it. If we were to somehow end up in a situation where sports no longer existed, we'd probably be betting on roaches climbing up a wall. But it's important to really temper that sentiment when we're betting NFL. Never bet for the sake of betting. Or if you absolutely need to bet, make it a nominal sum that doesn't have much affect on your bankroll.


The temptation might be there to bet those big TV games. Sunday night rolls around. We weren't even thinking of that game during our handicapping. It was not bet-able. Now suddenly, we find ourselves making a case for one team. We want action. We're in for the night. Maybe we lost a few bucks, so let's bet it, right? This is one reason why the great majority of folks who start betting on week one are not around come the end of the season. They just weren't selective enough and were too action-crazy.

If you want action--go to Six Flags. If you're a casual bettor in Vegas for a week and want to throw down a little on the Monday Night game for laughs--go ahead. But we want to be serious about our NFL betting and be one of the few to make money. And being an action-oriented bettor just doesn't seem to be a trait we want to have.

So when Monday night rolls around, we just have to grin and bear it. If when you were reviewing the games, it didn't make the cut--go with that. Don't lower the watermark so you can start betting on games just to facilitate your need for thrills.

And when handicapping games, pay no mind to whether or not a game is on TV or if it's an isolated game like a Sunday or Monday Night affair, or even a Thursday or Saturday game. If the line is too tough, we don't want any part of it. And you know it when you see it. You look at a match-up, handicap it, and the line just makes you say "ugh." That's a good time to listen to your first instinct. And since you didn't really have a read on who would cover, you won't be kicking yourself when one team wins. And even if you had a feeling and that team winds up covering, part of being a professional is not getting hung up on the "wouldas" and "couldas" in betting because they will always be there.

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