Dealing With Winning and Losing

College Football Betting Psychology: Dealing With Winning and Losing

By Loot, College Football Handicapper,

When betting in the unpredictable world of college football, you’re going to have some weeks where you win and some where you lose. That goes without saying. At the end of the day, however, what separates the winners from the losers is how well they take it in stride. Being a good winner or a good loser is not as easy at it appears on the surface.

Winning is easier to deal with. At least you’re up. But there are still some pitfalls that plague winners. The main one is the amount of respect you have for money that you won. You’ve heard of “playing with the house’s money” and it’s a bit of a losing mentality. If you’re having fun in Vegas on your once-every-two-years trip, that’s one thing. But looking at money that is in fact yours as someone else’s usually doesn’t lead to sharp betting maneuvers.

If you win on College Football Saturday, that is your money. Once it crosses hands at the sportsbook or hits your account with your online bookie, it is now fully your money. It might be money that you won, but that makes it no less yours. Picture how the bookie regards your money when you lose. That’s his money now. He’s not playing games with that money.

Casinos live off of people having this mentality. You go into a casino and usually you’ll lose. But if you win, now you have license to gamble more. And naturally, that usually leads to more losses. People might strike it big in the casino and give a lot of it back and still look at themselves as winners. Well, they’re ahead from when they set foot in the casino, but they lost their money, in the process because once it was in their possession, it belonged to them.

Losing is even worse. It’s a lot harder to handle. In college football. the players and the teams each plan and then try to execute. If they come up short, they regroup and come back the following Saturday. This is what the betting public should do. You plan your bets. You handicap the games the best you can. And then you let it play out. If you lose, there’s always next Saturday. Easier said than done.

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What often happens is that a losing player will look for quick retribution. We’ve all been there. We had it all planned out to a tee. But after a rough Saturday, we suddenly find ourselves laying 24 points on Hawaii at home to beat San Jose State in the late game. Or maybe we start doubling up on our NFL picks. The temptation is there. It’s hard to let the stink of a losing Saturday stew for a whole week.

But let it stew. Because a gambler who is steamed because of losing is the first type of person a book wants to play with because they’re sideways. They might be decent handicappers of games, but when on tilt–they lose all their mojo. Looking for quick retribution is what causes many bettors who are otherwise pretty good to become casualties. Losing control for even a little bit can render all the effort you put into betting college football moot.

It’s also important to handle losing well from a more social point-of-view. A losing Saturday full of sweating college football results can put anyone in a bad mood. It can take a real Zen-master to rise above the anguish that often accompanies a losing Saturday. You’ll notice most of your key losses are not clear-cut. It might come down to a missed extra point, a coaching miscue, a crappy call by the officials, or any number of things that would send anyone up the wall.

Saturday is a day for fun. And there you are sitting in a dingy room pining over a Akron vs Toledo game. Have a little empathy for others. Betting on college football is no excuse for you to skirt your social obligations. No one is saying to not put aside some time for you to sweat your games, but at least acknowledge that the rest of the world is probably not on the same program.