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The Importance of Your Lifestyle

NFL Betting: The Importance of Your Lifestyle

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Lifestyle? Yes, believe it or not, this can play a big factor in your bets. No, we're not talking about the athletes we're betting on--we're talking about you. There are factors that exist in our lives that can greatly impact the success of our wagering--both in a positive and negative way.

If you look at successful NFL bettors, it's clear that a spartan lifestyle is not required to succeed in this game. Let's face it--most of them look like Vic Tayback, not Jack LaLanne. It's not the most fit lot. But eating and exercise habits are not the only points of concern. But just for the record--try to have something in your stomach when making picks.

A lot of us like to have a good time. There might be nights where imbibing takes place. Try to plan your handicapping to take place during a time where the partying is not happening. Don't burn the candle at both ends on Saturday night and then stumble into your house and try to pick games for NFL Sunday. There is a reason why casinos try to funnel alcohol down your throat when you're at their establishment. The old gambling mantra "Alcohol is hazardous to your wealth" exists for a reason.

And being hungover doesn't do your handicapping any favors, either. Many people are at a diminished mental state following a night of partying. You want to be hitting on all cylinders when trying to outsmart oddsmakers. It's hard enough to do straight-sober, but you're really going to be a disadvantage if your head isn't screwed on right.

And that goes for anything. Things pop up from time to time in life that severely compromise our concentration and insight. Maybe you're up late at 1 in the morning handicapping games and your son who was supposed to be home at midnight still hasn't arrived home. Your mind might start to wander. Maybe a family member or dear friend is in the hospital. Your mind will be distracted. In cases like these, just wait for another time to go over the games. If that chance never comes in the face of a rough week, just forget about it. There is no rule that says you have to bet every weekend.

Domestic issues can have a horrible affect on your wagering success. If you're constantly bickering with your girlfriend or wife, you have to be one cold dude to block that all out and somehow remain unaffected. If you're like the rest of us, domestic squabbles can be hard to remove from the forefront of your mind and trying to pick games in that headspace usually doesn't work out.

It's important to understand that life throws some things our way from time to time that make handicapping football games almost impossible. You need to be able to sit down with a clean mental and emotional slate when conducting an analysis as deep as what's required for picking NFL games. But if you can't--it can be frustrating. Try to keep it perspective, though. Just because you're involved in a mentally-taxing undertaking doesn't mean life starts making allowances for you.


There are scientists working on cures for diseases, politicians trying to make decisions that could affect millions, or college professors planning out lessons. They all have life kicking their butt from time to time. If guys like that are unable to find constant ideal conditions for full concentration, why would football handicappers be able to? The world doesn't stop spinning because we're trying to break down the Steelers-Browns game. Get over yourself.

The rule of thumb is to handicap NFL games when you're in a peaked mental state and allowed to focus. You know when that time is for you. There are times where you might feel very active mentally. That's a good time to sit down and make your picks. There might be a time when everyone in your house picks up to go to the mall for a day and you have the house to yourself. That's a good time to focus. A lot of us just pick the wrong times to concentrate. If a crew of workers are in your house installing a granite countertop, how much concentration can you righteously expect? Choosing when to formulate your picks can almost be as important as the picks themselves.

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