Mental Aspect of College Football Betting

College Football Betting Strategy: The Mental Aspect

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

Sit down all day watching college football with a bunch of bets and you’ll see it’s not easy to keep your head all the time. It can test the limits of anybody. Sometimes, winning and losing isn’t what it comes down to in the end. It’s how you handle it that ends up determining your long-term-success.

It’s hard to not become opinionated as your expertise in college football grows. But it’s important to withhold judgment until an analysis is made. It’s natural to look at a point-spread and have some thoughts flood your brain. But it might be wise to silence those voices to an extent. You don’t want to arrive at a premature conclusion and then have that feeling guide your analysis. There might be games where you lean towards a team, but don’t let the carriage lead the horse.

You will see a point-spread so you try to do the best you can with your analysis. You form what amounts to an educated calculation. But let that happen after you do the analysis. You need to look at it like you’re in a laboratory–somewhat devoid of opinion and allegiance. You might be inclined to bet on certain teams more than others, but that can be dangerous. Even though you go through the motions of handicapping a game, you really knew which team you were going to bet on the whole time.

Keeping a level head in the face of winning or losing requires a special brand of humbleness. If you start winning at college football, your mind could start acting up. You get a big head. You keep winning and now you’re acting like a big-shot. Well, if you can do that for five years, maybe you have reason to think you have what it takes. But if you find yourself in this headspace after a good month, you are suffering from delusions of grandeur.

Becoming a proven college football winner ATS is something that is cultivated over years. So when you find yourself thinking this is going to be your new job after a few good weeks, you will know what adjustment you need to make. You’re getting away from what got you here. When you started, your handicapping was sharp and hungry. You didn’t think you were “the man.” Start reading the press clippings from the newspaper in your head and you will inevitably deviate from what allowed you to have a little success in the first place.

The real sharpies in this game stay on-point. They know they’re good, but they also realize if arrogance starts taking the place of solid handicapping, then they’re as good as done. A lot of bettors start out strongly, but are unable to maintain the edge. Usually it’s because they allowed the success to change the way they operate.


Humbleness is also important when losing. A lot of bettors get thrown on tilt and a lot of that has to do with pride. You might be a good handicapper, but some result of happenstance will cost you a winning bet. It’s easy not to feel personally offended. Some Conference-USA ref blows a call and now your well-thought out bet is a loser. It happens. But you can’t take it as a personal insult. You need to develop the ability to look at a game like that the same way as if you had just missed the spread by two touchdowns. A loss is a loss. Take it like a champ and move on to the next week. Grown men can be rendered into children with a “now, now now!” mentality after a rough Saturday. You feel you handicapped well and got snake-bitten. Your pride might be calling out for immediate redemption, but your bankroll will thank you later if you refrain.

Another interesting point is how to handle what could be interpreted as messages from “the gambling gods.” I found out the hard way–the most graphic example being when I was waiting for a friend at a San Diego-area Chili’s thinking about taking Oregon State on Saturday. Right at that moment, a woman at the neighboring table said “I think she’s going to Oregon State.” I almost fell off my stool. Three grand later, I realized God wasn’t trying to tell me that the Beavers would cover. A good rule of thumb is to let your handicapping of the games be your guiding light.