Sure, at its most basic, the return of football is its own reward. But perhaps you’re like me and looking for a way to make even the most uninteresting games have a little bit of excitement and put some skin in the game for you. Enter the glorious world of sports wagering.
Admittedly, sports wagering is not for everyone and there’s more reasons to not do it than to do it, but if you have disposable income and live near a place where this is an option, then combining making some dollar bills with watching some football isn’t a bad way to spend your time. You haven’t truly lived until you have been on pins and needles for a mid-week SunBelt game where a final drive is going to determine whether it’s a backdoor cover or a perfect weekend.
Each week this season, we’ll give you a little gambling lesson and your Mid-American Conference odds, all for entertainment purposes, of course.
Lesson Three: The transition from casual wagering to serious
When I first started wagering, I used it as a way to make a game that I was watching more exciting. Friday night football on ESPN while I was home having a few beers and not going out? Sure, let’s throw a wager down to spice it up a little. That is the absolute worst way to have any kind of long-term success.
In reality, the two things that most semi-successful sports bettors will tell you is of the utmost importance is capitalizing opportunities and bankroll management. We’ll get into bankroll management next week, but today let’s talk about timing.
With anything dynamic, you have to find opportunities to jump on. This is not the “Oh, it’s on television so I’ll bet it” kind of thinking. It’s finding the games that you have a strong feeling about and hammering them. The transition to consistent money-winner for me was when I stopped making twenty small bets and focused on four or five larger ones (size relative to your bankroll).
The other thing about opportunity is that looking at the lines early, mid-week, and late have the benefit of being dynamic. Unlike horse-racing (another sport near and dear to me) where lines at race time are what you get, your line is locked when you wager in football betting. Take Louisville +3 this weekend and then nine Clemson players get suspended moving the line to Cardinals -10? Congrats, you have a 13 point advantage. I usually take a look on Monday morning to see if anything seems odd to me and bet accordingly. Repeat on Wednesday and Friday to see where the betting public goes. Lines will move and that’s ok. It tells you where the money is heading.
There are dozens of strategies to follow and tons of reasons for each and every one of them. The key thing is to have a strategy and stick to it, evaluate it, and tweak it if necessary. That’s when you make the jump from casual sports bettor to “sharp”.
Let’s get to week 3, shall we?
Week 2 Results
FEARLESS LEADER’S WEEK 1 MAC SELECTIONS:
Ohio (-3.5) LOSS
UAB (+14.5) LOSS
Army (-16) LOSS
Michigan State (-7.5) WIN
Eastern Michigan (+5) WIN
Kansas (-5.5) LOSS
Nevada (+9.5) LOSS
Arizona State -3.5 LOSS
Idaho/UNLV over 70.5 LOSS
Boston College -1.5 LOSS
0-3 on the bonus picks, 2-5 on the MAC. That’s.... sub-optimal. For the season, we’re 3-3 on the bonus picks and 8-10 on the MAC. That’s the thing about sports wagering. Some weeks are great. Some weeks aren’t. But we give you the results, good and bad, and ride the wave with realness. Bad weeks happen, it’s a fact of life. And anyone who says otherwise is lying to you. Fade me or tail me, it’s up to you. But I’d bet on a rebound this week.
Week 3 MACtion Lines
There’s nine FBS vs FBS games on the schedule this weekend for MACtion members.
Kansas Jayhawks @ Ohio University Bobcats (-7.5)
Iowa St. Cyclones (-10.5) @ Akron Zips
Northern Illinois Huskies @ Nebraska Cornhuskers (-12)
Central Michigan Chippewas @ Syracuse Orange (-9.5)
Kent State Golden Flashes @ Marshall Thundering Herd (-14)
Tulsa Golden Hurricane @ Toledo Rockets (-8.5)
Idaho Vandals @ Western Michigan Broncos (-21.5)
Bowling Green Falcons @ Northwestern Wildcats (-20.5)
Cincinnati Bearcats @ Miami-Ohio Redhawks (-4.5)
When was the last time you saw MAC teams favored against P5 programs? I don’t care that they are playing at home or how bad the opponent is, that speaks to the quality of teams in the MAC.
Fearless Leader’s Week 3 Bet-kakke Picks
Alright, kids, let’s get back on the winning track this weekend. Some big spreads and some big favorites means big opportunities.
Northern Illinois (+12)
Central Michigan (+9.5)
Week 3 Bonus Picks
12-0, babies. Let’s get rich.