It seems like all we are waiting for now is the traditional coin flip; and we all know that seems like it takes forever. Football season is indeed just around the corner and while some have been preparing for months already, others are just waiting for the outs to post lines so they can take a quick look at what they like and risk a few dollars.
Whatever your motivation, whether you play for the recreation, you seriously try to make a few extra bucks or you are the few that play for a living, there is one thing that is common to all that step onto the football handicapping field. “The game is Chess, Not Checkers”
What does this mean? In short, no matter what your motivation for gambling on football is, you want to enjoy the entire season. From the first preseason game, to the bowl games, through Super Bowl weekend, nothing could be worse then having an empty bankroll come October.
As children growing up, most of us were quickly able to learn how to play checkers. It was quick, exciting, and fast paced. Few however, took the time, had the patience or desire to play the snail paced, strategic game of chess. It seemed daunting, un-rewarding and often times not exciting at all. If we think of gambling in this context we quickly realize that most handicap and gamble the “checkers” way as opposed to the “chess” way.
The excitement that opening weekend brings is unmatched year in and year out. With this excitement comes renewed hope of victory in the world of football handicapping, a sense of invincibility, and a belief that this year will be the most profitable season ever. Often time these feelings lead us to rush things. We play with a sense of urgency and without a sense of bankroll management. Most play big on week 1 for the simple reason that they have not played in six long months. Every game looks so appetizing, all the lines seem soft and every play appears to be a sure winner.
What we forget is that for the first time, in a long time there is “next week”. While most gamble on football with a sense of urgency and quick moves, much like checkers your selections should be well thought out, pre planned, extensively researched moves – like chess.
The goal is not to double jump your opponent and bank a bunch of units early. Rather the object is to move forward slowly and strategically position yourself to attack the bookies week in and week out and show a tidy profit at the end of the year.
The rush that an individual gets from this activity is often indescribable. Both the highs of victory and lows of defeat are heart-pumping emotions that many cant resist. But, in the long run, coming out with the bigger bankroll come season’s end is what we should strive for. This time of season we should look to remind ourselves that short-term gains should not be a goal in this game. Play slowly, play wisely, and utilize cautious aggression when making your plays and look to reap the rewards at seasons end and not necessarily days end.
No matter what your approach is, whether you study your games week in and week out, you follow a respected handicapping service, or you follow a few fellows on the internets sports posting forums – heck you could even follow Jimmy Kimmel – the key is to try to be consistent with how you make your plays and strive for that one day at season’s end when you call your offshore account manager request a pay out and yell out “check mate!”
Set up your bankroll properly. Get multiple outs to line shop. Find trusted sources for information and always play within your means. The odds makers are there to take your money. The books do their homework. They know how the game of chess works. They have all their pieces in place. If you try to beat them playing checkers – the game is over before the first move – its inevitable. Play with patience and exhibit some football handicapping management. Enjoy the 2002/2003 season and Good Luck!