College or pro football strategy: Invest wisely

Aug 6, 2013 3:00 AM

Football season is about to begin, and there’s no better time to look at betting on sports.

Football is the most popular sport to bet on in the sports book. College and pro make up the majority of money bet. Football brings in the crowds and that’s a major part of what makes it fun to bet. Watching college or pro football in a sports book is magical, so much so that I used to plan trips to Vegas around the schedule.

Let’s step back from the magic and look at gaming. I’m a gambler and willing to take risks. The casino is not the place for me to “invest.” I’m a smart gambler and usually want to minimize the house advantage when I can.

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One of the harshest gaming lessons I’ve experienced comes from the sports book. Betting on sports is a very different discipline than gambling in the rest of the casino. One of the most important parts is managing your money properly.

I never managed my sports betting budget well. I just bet whatever amount I was in the mood to bet. That’s not smart and I learned the hard way.

A few years ago I went into the college football season with a budget in mind but not a bankroll management plan. I allowed myself to bet whatever I wanted on however many games I chose each week. My handicapping was flawed and my college football budget was gone after the third week of the season

I was upset with myself but not for the right reason. I was upset that my handicapping was wrong and not that I mismanaged my bankroll. Had I managed my bankroll properly I would have been able to bet a few more weeks before my flawed handicapping caught up to me.

Thankfully, I can still enjoy the games without betting them, but it’s definitely more fun to have a little bit of “skin” going.

Since that time, I’ve tightened my belt a little and practiced my own form of bankroll management. There are a variety of ways to manage your bankroll but you should only be betting somewhere between 2 to 5 percent of your total bankroll per game.

This helps ensure your gaming budget will last as long as possible. At first, the amount you’re betting per game may seem small, but the size of the bets will grow as you win. If you lose, your bets will decrease so your money lasts longer.

Now that I’m managing my money properly I’m able to make it through full seasons of each sport. Discipline isn’t usually fun but being in the game is. Ultimately, we’re all in the casino because we want to have fun.

Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gambling and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Follow Marc on twitter @eastcoastgamblr. Check out his blog at Contact Marc at [email protected].

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