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Week 3 MACtion Bet-kakke: Sports Gambling Lessons and Picks

Slight bounceback in week 2, and crushing the Play of the Week and the Bonus Picks

Photo credit: Baishampayan Ghose | Flikr; illustration work: James H. Jimenez; images through Wikipedia Commons

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 3: The Transition from Casual 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 2 MAC Selections:
Michigan (-28) WIN
Purdue (-16) LOSS
CMU (-4.5) LOSS
Notre Dame (-34.5) LOSS
Buffalo (+4) WIN
Bowling Green (+16.5) LOSS
Utah (-10) WIN
Miami (+2) LOSS

Play of the Week: Buffalo +4

Bonus Picks (because I feel bad about the bad week 1)
Oklahoma State (-32) WIN
TCU (-21) WIN
Stanford (-5) WIN

So here’s the bad news. 3-5 on the week for the MAC slate. Not great. Let’s blame the weather in West Lafayette and the CMU loss is virtually unexplainable. But here’s the good news: That’s another Play of the Week correct (2-0 on the season), and a perfect 3-3 on the Bonus Picks. We talk above of choosing your spots wisely. This is that principle in action, boys and girls. Overall this season we’re sitting at:

4-9 on the total FBS/FBS MAC Slate
2-0 Plays of the Week
3-0 Bonus Picks

Week 3 MACtion Lines

Ball State Cardinals @ Indiana Hoosiers (-14.5)
Kent State Golden Flashes @ Penn State Nittany Lions (-34.5)
Miami-Florida Hurricanes (-10.5) @ Toledo Rockets
Central Michigan Chippewas @ Northern Illinois Huskies (-13.5)
Miami-Ohio Redhawks @ Minnesota Golden Gophers (-13.5)
Ohio Bobcats @ Virginia Cavaliers (-5.5)
Eastern Michigan Eagles @ Buffalo Bulls (-3)
Akron Zips @ Northwestern Wildcats (-21)

We’ve got MAC on MAC action this weekend, home MAC underdogs, and several upset opportunities. We’ve got off to a rocky start but I feel it. We’re doing it and we’re doing it big.

Fearless Leader’s Week 3 Bet-kakke Picks

Ball State (+14.5)
Penn State (-34.5)
Toledo (+10.5)
Northern Illinois (-13.5)
Minnesota (-13.5)
Ohio (+5.5)
Buffalo (-3)
Northwestern (-21)

Play of the Week: Northern Illinois -13.5

Bonus Picks:
New Mexico (-3.5)
Georgia (-33.5)
South Florida (-10)

Feeling it. 11-0. Let’s get it.