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Betting the Point Spread

betting the spread in sportsThrowing down a little cash on a football game adds some excitement to the game.  Even the most meaningless football games involving 2 mediocre teams from mid-major conferences become exciting when you have money on the line.  I travel to Las Vegas frequently to bet on college football games at my favorite Sportsbooks – Wynn, Bellagio, Caesar’s and lately the Venetian.  When I’m not in Vegas, I’m depositing money into my online Sportsbooks.  I’ve been betting on sports for years.  I know a thing or two about what it takes to turn a profit.  Lucky for you, I’m going to teach you some things I have learned.

Don’t bet on your favorite teams

We all have favorite teams that we live and die with.  Don’t bet on games involving these teams.  We’re not thinking with our heads when our favorite teams are involved.  If you just want to recreationally gamble, feel free to ignore this advice.  But if you want to make money betting on football, this tip is one of the most important tips you will ever receive.  On the flipside, avoid betting against teams you hate.  Emotions should not factor into any sports betting decisions.

The better team usually wins

I constantly hear sports bettors talk about silly factors such as revenge or one team owns the other.  Those do not matter as much as you think.  Generally speaking, the team with more talent and chemistry is going to win.  I’m putting my money on the best teams and riding them until they prove otherwise.  Don’t buy into media nonsense about how a certain player talked smack about the opposing quarterbacks mom.  That won’t impact the outcome of the game.

Bet small early in the year, and more later

We don’t know how good each team will be until we’ve actually seen them play.  I rarely bet much on games the first couple weeks of the season.  My preseason expectations for a team don’t always turn out to be reality.  Watch the teams play, get a feel for how good they are, and then start betting more.

Diversify your betting portfolio

Placing all your eggs into one basket is a no-no.  Even the best sports bettors lose 30% or more of the games they bet on.  You can’t win ’em all, as they say.  If you have a season bankroll of $5,000, don’t place a $2,000 bet on one game.

* The rule I stick to is I never bet more than 3% of my bankroll on any individual game.

Don’t ignore the importance of home field advantage

In football – especially College – home field advantage is generally worth 3-5 points.  There are certain stadiums where teams rarely win.  If you have done your scouting and believe both teams are dead even in terms of talent and team chemistry, add 3-5 points to your game prediction.  If the home team is less than a 3 point favorite, put your money on them.  You’ll end up ahead in the long run.

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