Select Page

Betting 101 is not for the experienced sports bettor

Nor it is for someone who is builds spreadsheets and works out probabilities using math skills that I do not possess. Betting 101 is some common sense advice for the novice. I mean ultra novice. As in: The guy who doesn’t even know who Jimmy the Greek is. 

Betting 101: Chapter 4


This is where you can do yourself a lot of favors. The first half is is an under-appreciated market. For instance, if you’re looking around for a play with value, you can do a little research and find teams that are incredibly competitive in the first half.

Last season you would have cleaned up laying points with Alabama in the first half where they were covering left and right before they would take their foot off the gas in the second half and cruise to a victory.

First half plays are one of my favorite ways to juice a weekend when my read is that the game will be tight early before one team or the other wears out. Think about a team playing for pride against a long spread and grab them and the points in the first half when they still think they have a chance. Look at home dogs and dogs in rivalry games. Snatch those first half plays up and you will be positioned to cash in.


Winning is great, but it can also give you an inflated sense of what’s happening on the board. Cashing a couple big bets can actually get you in trouble if you then decide to go for broke and double your profits in one fell swoop.

It happens all the time. You nailed it on the Colts covering 12.5 on the road and hit a parlay to the under. You’re feeling good and all of your earlier reads have gone out the window because your literally just-last-night recency bias has you convinced it’s the weekend of the dogs.

So you roll over those winnings on to the Browns at +3.5 on Monday night even though everyone you know is either laying off or is loading up on the Niners and you get creamed and end up giving money back because of the vig. 

Which leads me to my next point: 


Sometimes the best bet you make is the one you didn’t. At the end of a really good or really bad week or even in the middle of it, it’s usually a good idea to lay off. Take some heat off yourself.

As a friend of mine says, you don’t have to bet every game. Seriously, you don’t. It’s okay and actually advantageous to sometimes take a step back and look at the action. 

For instance, let’s say you’re in the middle of a really good run.

You have some profit. You’re deep in your analysis. And you’re finding yourself either crunching numbers or thinking about spots, situational advantages and trends. Now you’re bouncing them back and forth and getting too far inside your head.

That’s the perfect time to put the charts and stats down and sit back and just watch a game.

Seriously, just watch the game…

Lay off the afternoon or the Sunday Night game or the Monday Night game or whatever and just enjoy it. Then you’ll be able to see how the teams are performing, you can give yourself a breather, and also not be wrapped up in what’s happening. 

It’ll give you a chance to get back to a 30,000 foot view of what’s happening and also give you a chance to eat a meal. No, seriously, eat something. You look like you haven’t eaten in a month. Drink some water for God’s sake and get into the gym.

Football can’t be the only thing you care about! 

For previous chapters of Betting 101 and my weekly NFL Picks, visit

Must be 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER if you have a gambling problem.