Respecting the Bottom Line

College Football Betting: Respecting the Bottom Line

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

Betting on college football is a cut-and-dry business. Bettors should respect the bottom line, whether concerning a result of a sporting event or whether or not they bet on that event. The element of closure is key in helping us seamlessly move on to the next wager with a clear head and no emotional baggage.

There will be an abundance of college football bets where you feel victimized. A bet lost, not because you made a bad move, but because officials botched calls. Or players choked or a coach started making all the wrong moves. It’s amazing how many bettors think the bulk of their losses stem from bolts of bad fate from beyond. Then there are bettors who waste energy sweating wagers they didn’t even place. None of it is good.

No sport is immune from being decided by incompetent officiating. In college football, the referees can become bigger problems than the actual opponent. In team sports, a few bad calls can turn a rightful winner into a losing bet. How we handle these setbacks emotionally is key.

On the heels of misfortune, we need to summon the strength and insight to realize that it’s part of doing business. All sports have results that are subject to the human element. Humans are not infallible. While recent advances in the implementation of replay technology have helped, we’ll never be able to remove the judgment of human beings from sports and its results. Therefore, we will need to deal with the component of human error.

We know that going in. In other words, we really have no right to complain. Sure, it’s going to sting when you see some of your wagers bite the dust on the basis of bum calls, but we can’t really protest. Lest we forget that some of those bad calls should also favor us. Naturally, those are more difficult to remember. The phantom holding call on a critical possession in a college football game that goes against our team late is about 100X more memorable that the one that actually went our way.

The healthy way to look at it is that we shouldn’t cry over spilled milk. It does us no good. On some level, we have to respect the bottom line. We don’t have to like it, but we definitely need to come to grips with it. Otherwise, we will be thrown off-center, as we try to right the wrong. We may get away from our bread and butter.

When we dwell on the concept that we were wrongfully victimized, it gives way to a slew of bad thoughts and none of them seem to enhance the bankroll. Refusing to acknowledge and accept defeat leads to bad moves. First of all, what right do we have to be bitter? We lay $100 on a game and a bunch of bizarre officiating, coaching, or whatever it is leads to a loss that is hard to swallow. But beyond a furrowing of the eyebrow, carrying on about it doesn’t do anyone any good.

We need to remember, there are people with considerably more money on the game than what you’re betting. In addition, there are coaches and players, whose professions are being impacted by the bad officiating mistakes or other cruel twists of fate. So when we start stomping around over losing a small amount of money, it’s a little ridiculous.

The veterans in this game know how to accept a bad result. At the end of the day, it’s all about the score. A team either covered the spread or they didn’t. A result is a result and regardless of how it came about, it registers more or less in the same way. You either win the bet or you don’t. Respect the bottom line.


We need to develop the same mindset when it comes to whether or not we placed a bet. A lot of bettors waste a lot of mental energy and torment themselves over bets that were not even placed. It’s understandable. A lot of bets we don’t make were right on the cusp. We almost pulled the trigger, but didn’t. When those bets end up winning, it’s important to not drag yourself down with feelings of regret. Again, it’s a bottom-line business. We either bet or we don’t. It doesn’t help to sulk over moves we didn’t make. There are two categories–bets we make and those we don’t make. It’s an either/or equation. It’s difficult enough to emotionally negotiate the wagers we made, without getting stressed-out over things that didn’t even happen.