This is the best time of the year to be a sports fan, but it can be a tough time for sports bettors. There is just so much going on for bettors – NFL and college football are in full swing, the baseball playoffs are underway, the NHL is about to drop the puck, and the NBA is getting close to their debut as well. Bettors who aren’t focused and disciplined can find themselves pulled in many directions, and that can mean that their bankroll can disappear. In order to keep on track and keep your bankroll fat and happy you need to be conscious of what you are doing, and you have to avoid traps that can cost you money. Here are five things for sports handicappers to keep in mind to handle the pressure of this great time of year:
Pick your spots carefully – Just think of how many games there could be to choose from and bet on during an October weekend – 50 or 60 college football games, 14 NFL games, 15 or 20 NHL games, the same number of NBA contests, and six or eight baseball games. That’s a whole lot of betting action – the most of any time of the year. If you try to play all of the games that are reasonably attractive then you won’t be able to do any of them justice. You should always be picky about the games you are going to play, but when there is so much to choose from you need to be even choosier. With so much action available there is no reason to make a sports bet unless you are certain of your edge, and that edge is significant.
Prioritize – As a handicapper, you can’t pay attention to every sport at this time of year, and you probably don’t want to – at least not in any detail. What you need to do, then, is prioritize the sports in terms of importance for you. In my case, college football is king when it comes to betting, so it gets the bulk of my handicapping attention. The baseball playoffs come next, followed by the NFL and then the NHL. The NBA doesn’t really do it for me – I’m a college basketball bettor. Because I have that priority set in my mind it is easy to look at where to direct my attention and what I don’t really need to care about. It sounds simple, but it’s powerful.
Only bet what you can handicap – This one should be obvious – you should only place bets after you have carefully handicapped the game and found a good reason to make that bet. With so much going on, though, people can let this one slip. That’s a big mistake. If you don’t have time to properly handicap a game then you just can’t bet on it – at least not if you are serious about being a long term winner.
Assess and discard quickly – With so many games on any day – especially on the weekends – you need to be very good at quickly separating the promising betting games from the ones that don’t hold any opportunity. The faster you can get the potential games down to a manageable number, the better your chance of finding the real wagering opportunities from among them. There is no one way of doing this properly because the games you eliminate depends entirely on how you select the games you bet on. What you need to do is look for what most of the games that you bet on and win have in common, and then find a quick way of determining which games also have that in common. You don’t want to be too concerned about being precise here – you just want to get rid of games that are clearly going to waste your time as a sports handicapper looking to make cash..
Adjust bet size according to volume if necessary – The biggest challenge to this time of year can be the strain that it can have on your bankroll. Good bankroll management typically means that only a small portion of your total bankroll is in play at any given time. With so much action going on, though, active bettors can find that far too much of their bankroll is in action at once. Having a big part of your stake in play at once can be great if you win everything, but you realistically can’t expect to do that, and a single bad day could annihilate your whole bankroll. When there are so many betting opportunities, then, you really need to think about your betting size. If you are an active bettor who is going to be betting on a lot of games then you may want to decrease your bet size so your bankroll stretches further and your exposure on any single day is lessened.