By: Josh Gamble
Photo courtesy of theborgata.com
Suffice to say it has already been a crazy week one of NFL action. If you had the clairvoyance to bet Washington (+210), Jaguars (+275), and the Cardinals (+260) you would be walking away with some serious coin. Take that a step further and the bettors that are completely out of their mind would have cashed just over $4,000 on a $100 moneyline parlay. You may be asking yourself the question, "how do people do it?" Well, I surely did not have those bets but my goal in this blog is to equip people with the tools and knowledge to make informed decisions on where to put their money. Let's take a dive into my overall philosophy when it comes to sports gambling.
Making the Right Bets
First and foremost, make the right bet. Once you decide that something is right, make it. Many gamblers spend way too much time over analyzing and obsessing over their picks. This is when mistakes happen. Sometimes you make the right bet and it still loses. It is going to happen. Just this past Thursday, Chiefs/Texans under 53.5 was the right bet. That bet lost. The Chiefs returned an onside kick down to the Texans 20 yard line and kicked a meaningless field goal from the one yard line with 30 seconds left up 11 points. While it is always upsetting to lose money, you have to take solace in the fact that you made the right bet, it just didn't work out. Make the right bets and they will work more often than not.
Photo courtesy of wallpaper-house.com
Bankroll Management/Unit Placement
The biggest key to any successful gambler is to use your bankroll to maximize your profits. You should never use more than 10% percent of your gambling bankroll any given week. Digging back into your bankroll after a bad day is a death sentence for any gambler. If you use your weekly allotment for college football on Saturday and lose all of your bets then you are done. Do not reach back into your pocket to pull out more money for NFL Sunday. Take it on the chin and start preparing for the next week. This is what separates the professionals who make money and the weekend degenerates looking for the next thrill.
So how do I use my bankroll? Two words. Unit Placement. What is a unit? A unit is a general descriptor for whatever is your standard bet. For some people it's $10, for some $100, and for people who make a lot more money than I do, it can be $1,000. For the purposes of this blog, we will use my standard bet amount of $100 as being 1 unit. Almost as important as managing your bankroll is proper placement of your units. Professional handicappers will have a success rate between 60-70%. With that being said, the pros will have profits that far exceed their actual hit rate. For illustrative purposes, we will have an allotment of 5 units for the weekend. If there are 2 games I love, I will bet 1.5 units on each game with the remaining 2 units spread out to 3 other games (1 unit, 0.5 unit, 0.5 unit). If we win those 2 games that we consider a "lock", we have already turned a profit regardless of the outcome of the other 3 games. Anything beyond those 2 wins is now gravy.
Next week we will take a look at factors to consider when choosing which games we want to bet. Also, stay tuned later this week as we will take a look at this weekend's college football and NFL games including all of my picks for the week. I will leave you with my own personal motto, "Life is too short to bet the under".