The art of handicapping sporting events and other games of a similarly competitive nature has been around almost as long as the games themselves. And also like the sports they cover, handicapping involves much more than what it seems to on the surface .
In the realm of gambling (for entertainment purposes only, of course), sports handicappers utilize a virtually infinite number of variables in order to calculate the amount of advantage one contestant has over another. A handicap, then, is a significant component impacting a game in such a way that it is likely to play a large role in its outcome.
Sports handicappers are in the business of risk management. And it is quite often other people’s risks that they are in charge of managing. So, with that in mind and their reputation at stake, sports handicappers spend long hours researching any and all of the major and minor factors involved in each game on which they are making bets (again, for entertainment purposes only). Some of the major categories sports handicappers take into consideration include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Weather (for outdoor sporting events)
- Player suspensions
- Player fines
- Injuries to key players
- Individual matchups
- Team matchups
- Win-loss records
- Location of game (Home team vs. Away team)
Fool’s Gold: Sports Gambling Systems
Just as sports betting has been around as long as the sports themselves, so has sports betting systems. These so-called sure thing or can’t miss solutions are the bane of the sports gambler. The primary intention here is to provide you with a unique edge, which no one else supposedly knows about, giving you a sure-fire way to increase your sports betting profits. More often than not, however, these systems, while they might succeed in the short term, they eventually fail, causing crushed hopes and empty pocketbooks.
Practical Sports Handicapping
One of the best ways to sensibly manage the level of risk in your sports handicapping is to reduce the amount of unpredictable factors involved in the outcome of the event on which you are wagering. Since you have no control over elements like the weather, player injuries and individual matchups, you should focus on the one thing you do have absolute control over: the size of your bet. Most reputable sports handicappers will tell you to manage your bankroll by only betting a percentage of it and then keep to that percentage, regardless of win-loss ratio. Then, once your profits are relatively stable, take another look at your bankroll and adjust your betting percentage accordingly.
One last factor to take with you the next time you are handicapping some sporting events is to not panic. Coolness under fire is not just an important trait for an NFL quarterback to possess, it is also crucial for you as a prudent gambler. If your bankroll begins to sink during a losing streak, do not reduce the amount you are wagering. Stick to the percentage you set initially and ride out the storm until you start winning again.
About the Author
Mark Nielson writes for several sports and gaming blogs. Try using Sports Handicappers for gaming fun.