It’s pass or fail
with Betting 101

Dec 5, 2006 5:59 AM

A word about the college championship game. The BCS people should have consulted with Las Vegas Sports Consultants and Kenny White, and I’m sure they would have agreed that the Number 2 team in the country is Michigan, and not Florida.

Not only will the line be different, but I assure you the results on the field in Glendale, Arizona could never match the 3-point victory Ohio State had over Michigan a few weeks ago. That game had everything a fan could want.

Which of the two would you bet on a neutral field? I rest my case!

Titans +1½ vs. Houston: Tennessee’s quarterback, Young, is playing old and great. Besides, the Titans’ defense is much better than the Texans. They have the wrong favorite on this game.

Jets -4½ vs. Bills: New York just keeps sneaking up on teams. Buffalo’s offense is almost non-existent.

Chargers -6½ vs. Broncos: A few weeks ago I said the San Diego team looked like a powerhouse. Nothing’s changed.

Vikings at Lions: Looks like a good UNDER if it’s 37½ or better.

Packers at San Francisco: Looks like a shootout if the weather is o.k. Anything under 45 works.

This week I’d like to offer a few guidelines that I’ve accumulated throughout my years as a resident of the greatest city in the world.

Money management: 30 years ago I asked Lem Banker what his secret was for success. He said "managing your money properly was the most important aspect of successful gambling." I was very impressed with his answer and told him how much I appreciated his time spent with me. It’s taken me years to understand what he was saying, but I think I know now.

Don’t make your next bet your last one. It’s a tough rule to follow, as most bettors have what I call a level of interest. The scale can vary from $2 to the sky. If the amount you’re betting doesn’t inspire interest for you why bet it? On the other side of the coin, you can’t put yourself in a position in which losing leaves you without the rent money. Therefore, find a comfortable amount somewhere in between. You know the only two sure things in life and betting on a "lock" is not one of them.

Outside Influences: Don’t listen to a pre-game show and make a bet because of what the announcers say. These guys are in the entertainment business and want you to watch their product. Have you ever heard them say "This game is going to be over by halftime and is sure to be a blow out?" If they did they wouldn’t be working the next week. Can you imagine a guy betting Lee Corso’s picks and not being busted by mid-season? Would Mike Ditka pick against the Bears? Terry Bradshaw, Primetime, Shannon Sharp, and many more are good at what they do, but Comedy Central is not the channel you turn on Sunday morning.

Intelligent Selections: Read and study your stats on both teams before making your mind up. Because Payton has thrown 30 touchdown passes does that mean the opposing team’s defense will allow the Colts to cover? Look at past performances of each team; not just the one you’re favoring. Spend some time during the week watching the Weather Channel so you at least have a good idea of what to expect on game day. You’ll at least know if it will be 90 degrees in Miami, and windy in Chicago and Green Bay or snowing in Denver.

It’s important to know if a field has an artificial surface or if it is natural grass. Light to intermediate rain on an artificial surface helps the offense due to the slowing of the pass rush and the wide receivers knowing their routes and many times the defensive covers will slip down, which leads to less scoring. Wind velocity is the most important aspect of weather and its relationship to scoring is enormous. The back seven defensive players can cheat closer to the line of scrimmage if they don’t have the fear of longer passes. Watch the winds, they are really important; trust me.

Incentives: As the season progresses you’ll find that the hype is "This is a must win game". The facts are that because a team needs to win does not mean they will win. Look at the opposing team that may have nothing to lose. They may just play relaxed and efficiently since they wouldn’t mind winning either.

Trust: Do some or all of the above and form your own opinion. It’s as good as anyone else’s. Besides, nobody I’ve ever come across can predict the NFL on a consistent basis as sharp point spreads determine winners and bad luck determines losers. Hope to win half of your bets and just blow the juice so you can pay the rent next month.