Having the Right Headspace

NFL Football Handicapping Tips: Having the Right Headspace

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Mixing Different Forms of Gambling

Keeping your NFL football betting bankroll separate from other forms of gambling is critical. Any NFL betting veteran has battled with this–both in the face of winning and losing. You sit there and spend all that time handicapping NFL games–pouring over stats, evaluating line movement, and making clever insights. And in the end, you put it all at risk over a blackjack hand?

NFL betting is pointed gambling. You have a choice. You pick one of two scenarios as being the more likely to happen. It’s a calculated bet. When you start dipping into blackjack, slots, video poker, or even regular poker, you are now exposing yourself to things completely out of your control. A flip of the card can spell ruin and there was no way to predict it. It was just up to the gambling gods.

If you’re going to bet football, try really hard to make that your only form of regular gambling. If you win money at playing poker, then by all means play. Just not on the weekends or you’ll be looking at tickers instead of focusing on the game. A lot of poker players have steamed off chips, tilting from losing sports bets more than anything happening in the actual game they’re playing.

It just doesn’t make any sense to conduct a thoughtful analysis on a game or series of games if at the end of the day, you’re going to put it all at risk on a gambling event that is more or less random. If that’s how you want to gamble, then just always play that way. But you have to decide one way or the other. Either you gamble on forecastable events or you’re the kind of player who just likes to spin the reels and see what happens. If you’re going to be the former, you can’t do the latter.

People Messing Up Your Mojo

When betting NFL, you might have to develop some thick skin. Say you’ve been concentrating on a game and everything looks well on its way to a cover. Then your wife shows up telling you she’s leaving. Maybe she’s a little long-winded in her explanation and during her spiel, a pass is run back for an interception and spoils your bet. It takes a real zen-master to not end up in a fight in this spot.


Or maybe you’re betting against your home team. Whether or not you have a good weekend is coming down to this one game. You took the Raiders and after the Chargers score late, your friend texts you “Go Chargers!” You might want to tell him something profane. We have to let stuff like this roll off our shoulders. You’re in your little world, betting on the NFL. Are people supposed to walk on eggshells because you laid a bet on the Seahawks? It can be very difficult–but be nice.

This Should be Enjoyable

Betting on the NFL should be something you enjoy if you’re going to do it on any kind of a regular basis. Sometimes, it starts to become drudgery. If that’s the case, there is nothing wrong about stepping away from it for a while. If you have other stuff to do, go ahead and do it. You’re gonna miss your daughter’s dance recital to stay home and break down the Browns-Bengals game? That’s preposterous.

It doesn’t even have to be that big. Maybe instead of breaking down a game, you just want to watch TV with your lady. Or you want to sit there and zone out and do nothing. It’s OK. Sure, serious handicapping should be done with some level of professionalism. Point blank, you need to put in the work. But if it becomes a source of acute stress and ceases to be enjoyable, then what’s the point?


If you told someone who knows nothing about this that you gamble on NFL games, they will think that sounds fun. It should be. That doesn’t mean to gear your betting around action and thrills. But at root, it should be enjoyable. If it is getting in the way of things in your life and causing you to stress out, your picks will probably suffer. So if you can’t properly handicap over a dozen games, perhaps just focus on a game or two. Do what you can without making it a burden.