By Cliff Knox of CrushtheBook.com
It’s Friday evening, and you’ve resigned yourself to some “serious handicapping” before your big football weekend. Said handicapping consists of an hour or two of studying the past week’s injuries and line moves, and the past month’s trends. You allow time for intermittent snack breaks and other unexpected disturbances, but when you sit back down in front of your newspaper/computer/sports weekly, you’re all business.
Fast forward to Sunday night. After watching your games and highlight shows, you ask yourself over and over, “What went wrong? I put in some quality handicapping time, and was confident in my wagering. Why am I only at 40 per cent?”
If the above scenario sounds even remotely familiar, be assured that you are not alone. You are a part-time handicapper with unrealistic expectations of yielding huge profits. Handicapping NFL and college football is an exercise in discipline and time management. To put it plainly, you reap what you sow. If you’ve put in an hour of handicapping for the week, your results will reflect that. Some handicappers feel that cramming is the best approach: spending an entire evening studying all available info and stats. However, the most successful method is to build a schedule around your work and family obligations, allowing yourself a substantial amount of uninterrupted handicapping time each day.
On Monday of each week, your timetable should include reading full accounts of the past Saturday’s college games and Sunday’s NFL games. Your local newspaper’s brief summaries won’t cut it. Online resources provide full play-by-plays of each game, which will give you vital information on a given team’s performance, regardless of the final score. Monday should be spent exclusively on bringing yourself up to speed on everything that’s happened during the past two days.
Tuesday’s agenda should be dedicated to looking at the stats and numbers from games played, in addition to studying relevant trends. Pay particular attention to turnovers forced and committed, and to rushing and passing yards.
Mid-week, occupy yourself with reading quotes from coaches and players, which will give you an idea of how a certain team is doing both mentally and physically. The NFL’s injury report is usually made on Wednesday. Be cautious though, because some teams are more forthcoming with injuries, while others can be somewhat deceptive. Midweek articles can also be very valuable. Gain insight into a team’s upcoming performance based on comments made by coaches and players.
Your Thursday schedule should include checking out line moves. Factor in injuries, illnesses, and suspensions, as well as public opinion based on hunches. If, by early in the day, you’re not feeling confident about the evening college game, save your time and money for the upcoming weekend games.
By Friday, you should be down to tying up loose ends, while remaining up-to-date on any last-minute injuries and line moves. By now, you should feel confident in your picks and wagering amounts.
On Saturday and Sunday, be sure to watch as many games and game highlights as you can. No amount of stats or articles can replace an actual eyewitness account of how a team played.
By following a strict daily schedule for handicapping NFL and college football, you should see a definite improvement in your wagering revenue. Handicapping is hard work, and very time-consuming, but if you resist the so-called “short-cuts” and put in a significant amount of studying time, you won’t find yourself shaking your head on a Sunday night, wondering, “What went wrong?”