Having it Right But Getting it Wrong

College Basketball Betting: Having it Right But Getting it Wrong

By Loot, NCAA Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Betting on any sport is a bottom-line business. You either win or you lose the bet. It’s pretty clear-cut. As you get to the point where you have made a lot of bets, however, you will begin to notice that not all losses resonate the same way. There will be losses where you were just way off. It was evident early on that you weren’t even gonna get close. In other losses, it takes some cruel twist of fate for you to lose.

One might think getting close but losing on some weird wrinkle is better than losing in a lopsided massacre. After all, it shows you were more on-target, as opposed to your calculation being way off the mark. This is true from a handicapping angle, as it does indicate you are calling it right, even if you lost. Psychologically, however, there is more harm that can come from being close and losing than just being completely off.

When you are just off, you can come to grips with the loss easier. By the time the lopsided beating is over, you have already fully processed the loss. Taking a loss when you thought you were going to win the entire time is more difficult to process. In an activity like NCAA college hoops betting, keeping your head is of pinnacle importance. Something about losing those close ones can just wreak havoc on the mind.

The key is to try to take solace in your losses where you had it right and really should have won. When betting on a sport like college hoops, where you have a bunch of teenagers running around the floor, weird stuff is going to happen. You will have called the game beautifully. Your calculations were on-point and your handicapping was almost expert, but something quirky got in the way.

It can be anything. Look at all the hundreds of college hoops teams. That means hundreds of referees. Some are really good, while others are not. Calling a charge when it should have been a block late in the game or a phantom foul can really throw your bet into a vortex. It’s part of the game. It’s part of doing business. Don’t go to the beach and complain about the sand! We know going in that referees are going to botch calls that might turn a game from a winner into a loser. Bet on college hoops and it won’t take long before this happens to you. But you knew that right out of the gate, so how you handle it is really the only thing within your control.

Speaking of this being “college” basketball, we need to remember that these aren’t the pros. It seems simple enough, as everyone knows that. Then why do bettors hold college hoops players to professional standards, as if kids don’t ever make mistakes? With professionals, there is a certain level of basketball know-how you can expect to see night in night out.

Boneheaded play is part of a player’s development. So we can’t be too incredulous when we see a college player do something we’d never see at the professional level. Think back to when you were younger. There is a list longer than your arm of things you did that still have you shaking your head in disgust. You didn’t have it all together by the time you were 19. Neither do these kids.

Sometimes, it comes down to the old adage of “that’s just the way ball bounces.” A lot of games will have results that were decided by pure happenstance–things you could not have ever really predicted or made any meaningful allowances for. The ball just bounced a certain way that led to you losing a bet. It can be anything. A late shot rims out, a late scramble on the floor leads to the team you bet against getting a key late possession, or an apparent three-pointer is called a two with a player’s foot straddling the line ever so slightly.


In games like that, where the stars just so happen to align in a way that leads you to lose a bet, it is imperative that we chalk it up as part of betting on college hoops. Losing that way is frustrating. Negative thoughts can easily begin setting in–especially the notion that why should you even bother handicapping when you do it right and still get screwed at the end? We need to keep our eyes on the long-term picture and be secure in the knowledge that even though we lost today, that our solid handicapping will pay off over time.