Toss me the Tums, pass the Prilosec, stat! Gut-wrenching waves of nausea accompany writing such tripe, even if it is a parody to emphasize the ludicrous nature of such claims.
Most of you know all too well that such claims are the rule, not the exception, among sports services, AKA touts. “Reputable sports services” is often found listed high on those e-mail lists of oxymorons that circulate about the ‘net, and not without good reason.
The unregulated nature of the sports service industry provides a fertile breeding ground for scam artists and their boasts of “locks” and “70% winners” over several seasons. Why the holy halibut would anyone who can promise locks and 70% winners be anywhere but on a plush tropical isle sipping a cool one while being serviced by a bevy of beautiful babes?
The cold hard fact is that locks are crocks, steam games are dream games. The Vegas lines are usually razor sharp, and with ol’ man vig lurking amidst every wager, success doesn’t come easy in this endeavor. As I’ve harped on in the past, anyone who can consistently pick 55%-60% winners over the course of several seasons is doing one helluva job.
Should you wanna read more about the sports service industry, read Len Toth’s relatively inexpensive paperback “The Better Bettor.” Also check out chapter 9 of Trace Fields excellent publication, “College Football Handicapping: A Professional Approach.” Both are available at the Gambler’s Book Club in Vegas, 1-800-634-6243.
The Importance of a Long-Term Strategy
If you measure success, or lack thereof, based on your performance over the course of a week, a month, or even a single season, then you have one of the main ingredients for sports wagering despair (see recipe below.). College football, like most other sports, has uncontrollable factors that don’t lend themselves to being handicapped such as turnovers, injuries, unforecasted downpours, last minute suspensions, and bad calls by refs (I’ll never forget that ’96 USC-ASU overtime “fumble instead of incompletion” call.) Because of this, even the hardest working, most reputable football handicapper can have a bad streak or even a rare down year.
Wizard Weygint’s Recipe for Sports Wagering Despair
- Measure your success, or lack thereof, based on your performance over the course of a week, a month, or even a single season.
- Don’t employ a systematic approach where your selections must meet several well-established criteria in order to become playable.
- Firmly believe that college football handicapping isn’t that hard, and takes only an few hours or so each week to be successful.
- Don’t set a realistic goal for how much you’d like to make by the season’s end. Harbor expectations such as 60-70% winners each year.
- Fail to set aside a designated “wagering bankroll” and don’t employ a money management strategy based on your beginning bankroll and aforementioned goal.
- Bet at least 8-10% or more of your bankroll on each of your plays, and not the 5-6% (and up to 8% for highest rated plays) as the Wizard recommends.
- As the basis for your selections, use what guys like Danny Sheridan and ESPN announcers have to say about the teams. Or better yet, subscribe to a $349 per season sports service that sends out 4-page color brochures and claims to have hit 68.8% over the last five years. Be especially enticed by those with reader testimonials that read like “Thanks to your consistent winners, I just moved out of my studio apartment into a 2500 square foot penthouse.”
- View shopping for lines as a waste of your precious time and energy.
- Wait until mid-August to begin your handicapping. Who wants to spend their summers pouring over spring practice info and returning starters anyway.
- Bet on your favorite teams and teams that are fun to watch.
- Spread your handicapping focus across sports. Simultaneously handicap college football, college hoops, playoff baseball, the Nothing But Arrogance (NBA) and hockey.
- Keep close track of the preseason and weekly polls, and use those rankings as a key handicapping ingredient.
- Pay no attention to line moves during the week, and certainly don’t take the time to investigate the reason(s) underlying the movement.
- Wager on all the televised games and play lots of teasers and parlays. Make the majority of your plays on home favorites and teams that are in “must-win situations.” Play most every game on the card.
- If you are down early in the day, increase your wagering amount on the late day/evening games. Hold steadfastly to the belief that “my luck has got to change.”
- During games in which you are covering (especially if you’re in a Vegas/Reno sports book) loudly boast to others about how easy that bet was and express wonderment that so few others saw it. Also use the phrase “money in the bank” when it appears you’ll easily cover, but the game hasn’t ended.
- Don’t incorporate fun and a sense of lightheartedness into this often difficult task. Your shrink will be secretly overjoyed, as will your pharmacist.
Mix some or all of the above the above ingredients over your football season, and I guarantee you’ll meet with despair by season’s end, likely much sooner.
The goal of the “recipe for despair” is to help you make better decisions with your handicapping and to emphasize the need to take a long-term approach. Anyone, including Wizard Weygint, can have a down year. If anyone tells you differently, they are full of the same shit as those who offer lock and steam games.
If I could guarantee 55% winners or above every season I’d be on that island I mentioned with Mary Ann and Ginger types (in their heydays) at my beckoned call. That sounds a lot better than putting in the numerous hours of not exactly glamorous work that keeping up a website entails.
If you are not comfortable with the thoughts and the advice that I’ve offered above, please think twice about subscribing to WWCFM (Wizard Weygint’s College Football Magic).
Now back to the handicapping grind stone….