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The A-B-C's of Beating the Book

Football Handicapping Guidelines
August 7, 2017. Author: Dennis Stagliano, CEO Gridiron Gold

Truly amazing. Unbelievable. When you stop to think about it, the amount of money wagered annually during football season would boggle your mind. Millions of dollars laid down by tens of thousands of bettors, excited to distraction by the irresistible attraction of that ever-elusive quarry, the point spread winner. "If the three singles win and I pop on my parlay, Ill take home this much, and then I will buy this, that or the other thing for the wife. Or maybe I'll pad the bankroll and up the ante a little next week, or maybe..." There is only one ‘maybe’ that never seems to be considered: "Maybe I'll lose." Post-game symptoms, however, cannot be denied. The lump in the throat, the nausea, the nervousness, anxiety and depression, wondering where you’re going to get the bread to feed your man. It's never easy to face reality of a dream, which has been shattered, of the money, which has been lost. Sound familiar? All of us have endured that kind of disappointment at one time or another. How many have learned from the bitter experience? How many have used it to help build a better "football betting foundation?” Losses should at least win experience for us. We need to question ourselves when we lose. Ask ourselves not how did I lose, but why did I lose. Rather than worry about the fumble at the inopportune moment or the blown call by the zebra or the lack of instant replay, which might have "cost us the game," we need to concern ourselves with what led us to choose that particular game in the first place.

The answer for the average sports gambler can usually be attributed to a deficiency in one or more of three critical areas: Knowledge, Preparation Time, or Expertise.

The A-B-C's of Winning

What constitutes adequate knowledge? How many hours is sufficient preparation time? Who can measure expertise? These are tough questions. And you can't get the answers in any school...except the College of Hard Knocks. Fortunately, that happens to be my alma mater. I've done more than a few rocky semesters at that tough little university. Perhaps the insight I have gained can help you to avoid some of the pitfalls of handicapping. Over the course of a football season it is almost impossible for the unknowledgeable to win. That unbelievable set of numbers they call the Las Vegas line is tough to figure - and tougher to beat - even for the knowledgeable hard working, dedicated professional. To help you acquire the necessary knowledge, I have devised a set of handicapping guidelines. Read them, and digest them. Cling to them like a diabetic to his insulin. Consider them preventative medicine, a vaccination against the kind of handicapping diseases mentioned above. Close adherence to these guidelines can be the kind of prescription, which causes those sicknesses to remit completely, never to return. And remember, I don't speak from a pulpit or a pedestal. I know whereof I speak for one reason and one reason only - because I've been there. And I won't con you. Understand from the start that the guidelines will not guarantee a winning season. What they’ll do is establish discipline, understanding, and a proven methodology. There's a right way and a wrong way to tackle a running back, and the situation is much the same in sports betting. It is of the utmost importance to know and to abide by the right way
.

Handicapping Guidelines

1. Understand Your Opponent - You're the underdog. You're the one who's laying 11 to 10 to your friendly bookmaker. This initially gives you a negative expectancy of 5%. It's a substantial challenge. The vigorish, or juice, can indeed be overcome, but it is not to be taken lightly.

2. Knowledge - Study and understand the game, don't just watch it. This will provide a necessary basis for insights into determining trends and developments in a team's performance level.

3. Preparation - Long-term success can be attributed to hard work and working smart. There is no way you can neglect the preseason preparation and season long update. The lure of "easy money" should be recognized as a mirage. If you think it's easy, you really don't know enough about it. Read all the pertinent information about football; know each team's personnel, strengths and weaknesses. This involves reading newspapers, periodicals and online information on a regular basis.

4. Be Objective - When you're watching a game, look at what's happening-not what you want to see. Being objective will add to your overall knowledge and help you in selecting your college football picks and nfl picks.

5. Money Management - A very critical part of sports betting is money management. Any successful money management method requires that you bet more when you're hot and less when you're not. Do not double up when you are losing. In essence, do not send good money after bad money. Be patient because no one wins every day or week. Accept the fact that good or bad days are part of the game and that winning and losing streaks happen in cycles. If you are utilizing good handicapping methods and are on the right side, you will undoubtedly come out ahead at the end of the season.

6. Be Confident - Have confidence in your selections. If you have an uneasy feeling or negative thoughts after making your selections than I suggest you back off. You should be confident and relaxed.

7. Utilize Discipline - This is probably one of the hardest guidelines for the average gambler to accomplish. You must be selective man. It's impossible to win if you bet every game on the board or a game just because it is televised. There always seems to be a nucleus of teams with high rankings and TV exposure. Thus the trap is set to catch the unsuspecting football bettor betting on the big name teams, which are overrated because of their reputation. The bookmakers realize these and set exorbitant prices on those big names. It may be more profitable to look for the underdogs anxious to prove that they can be competitive with anyone and this appearance is their "12th man on the field".

8. Don't Bet in the Dark - Check for injuries, weather conditions and the effect the substitute may have on the team. The public puts too much emphasis in injuries in pro sports and bookmakers are aware of that when they make the line.

9. Evaluate Home vs. Away Performance - Remember that a team may have an entirely different personality on the road than at home. You must be able to recognize the difference in home vs. away performance. Over a given period of time a team will form a pattern. Trends in college football seem to keep right on rolling along even though the characters change, so keep an eye on these throughout the year
.

10. Shop Around - Use as many bookmakers/sportsbooks as you can. Their lines will vary some and you might as well take advantage of a point or two differences in your favor. You might even catch a middle, a situation in which you're risking $1 to make $20 or you may side the play and get $10 for your risk of $1. It's amazing how many games fall near the number, so this definitely warrants a shot. With the introduction of offshore books, the opportunities of middle situations increased and I love it. An offshore book is an excellent place to shop and with the convenience of home. Hey, dynamic line movements from offshore books often open middle opportunities. This will make a substantial difference in your bottom line. Be careful, I have heard many horror stories. You have the same concerns with a Sportsbook as you do with a Sports Service.

11. Find Trustworthy Books - After some investigative analysis, get yourself ready and secure with a few good bookmakers. I tell my customers that the sports book explosion is the best thing that could have happened for the smart bettor. I personally use offshore books in addition to other outlets and go where the price is right. Hey, middling can be a big boost to your season ending bankroll. I strongly urge you to consider looking for middle opportunities.

12. Professional Help - If you’re intelligent enough to realize that you do not possess the knowledge, preparation and expertise to be a smart bettor, then a good, reliable expert football handicapper or honest sports service can be a boost to your bankroll. Make certain you will be refunded for unused service if you decide to end your subscription. If the service is unwilling to do this, then back off and find one that prefers to earn their fee. Also, I recommend that you look for a service that has been around for a while and has proven credentials. I was a pioneer (1982) in the “pay after you win” service. Now we “post guaranteed football picks at kickoff time”. This ensures honesty and integrity leaves no doubt that we’re professionals. All Gridiron Gold records are open to the public. Performances are documented and monitored by a tough group of watchdogs, otherwise known as our clients. We will always post our selections and results. In fact, I INSIST on it. A service that posts selections opposed to one that does not post selections, hmmm, now who you going to trust? Never ever, never ever, one more time so you don’t forget, never ever allow them to squeeze you! It's your hard earned money that's on the line (no pun intended), so take control.

13. Tools to Help You Win - Gridiron Gold membership with trends, angles, schedules, free line sheets, las vegas odds, team logs and ats records and free football picks every week and more. Gridiron Gold was formed in 1981 and is one of the most respected sports services in the nation. For expert football handicapping advice, visit Gridiron Gold at

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