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Week 4 MACtion Bet-kakke: Sports Gambling Lessons and Picks

Still killing the bonus plays. So there’s that.

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 4: Bankroll Management

One of the things that sets apart the casual bettor and the consistent winner is bankroll management. If picking winners is the most important thing for a bettor, making sure their bankroll is protected and spent wisely is easily number two. Your goal should be to minimize risk while maximizing payoff over the course of a season.

Different gamblers have different theories. Conventional wisdom says that anywhere between 3% and 5% of your bankroll should be the size of your normal bets. I’m a big fan of that number and it has proven well for me. I don’t vary the amount on bets no matter how confident I am on them. If I’m wagering, I trust my pick and then I trust my system. The worst thing you can do is increase your bets when you’re winning because you have more to play with, or the even worse thing of betting bigger to recoup losses. This is bad. Don’t do this.

The real thing about bankroll management is that you should really consider bets you make as lost money. If you go into it with that kind of attitude then you’re likely to never really get too upset or too down after a bad weekend or gameday. I’ve been upset about bets not going my way, but never angry or down because I couldn’t afford food after a loss. Which sort of brings us full circle to the disclaimer of “don’t risk what you can’t afford to lose”. It should be fun, it shouldn’t be a stroke-inducing ball of worry because you don’t know how you’re going to make rent after Eastern Michigan failed to cover.

Keep in mind that in this sort of entertainment, a professional who goes 55% to 60% over a season is a phenomenal result. So it’s likely, if not outright guaranteed, that you’re going to lose at least some (if not an outright lot) of the bets you’re going to make. By betting consistent amounts across the wagers you feel the most secure in you’re giving yourself the advantage and letting your bankroll work for you.

So now that you know how to manage the bankroll, let’s build it up a bit, shall we? Week 4... let’s go.

Week 3 Results

Fearless Leader’s Week 3 Picks:
Ball State (+14.5) LOSS
Penn State (-34.5) WIN
Toledo (+10.5) LOSS
Northern Illinois (-13.5) LOSS
Minnesota (-13.5) WIN
Ohio (+5.5) LOSS
Buffalo (-3) WIN
Northwestern (-21) LOSS

Play of the Week: Northern Illinois -13.5 (Loss)

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

Well, that sucked. 3-5 on the MAC selections, lost the Play of the Week, but did go 2-1 on the bonus plays. Hang your hat on the positive, I guess.

Season Stats
7-16 on the total FBS/FBS MAC Slate
2-1 Plays of the Week
5-1 Bonus Picks

Week 4 MACtion Lines

Kent State Golden Flashes @ Ole Miss Rebels (-28.5)
Buffalo Bulls (-6) @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Akron Zips @ Iowa St. Cyclones (-19.5)
Ohio University Bobcats @ Cincinnati Bearcats (-7.5)
Nevada Wolf Pack @ Toledo Rockets (-10)
Western Michigan Broncos (-7.5) @ Georgia State Panthers
Miami-Ohio Redhawks (-6.5) @ Bowling Green Falcons
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers @ Ball State Cardinals (-3)
Northern Illinois Huskies @ Florida State Seminoles (-10.5)
Eastern Michigan Eagles @ San Diego State Aztecs (-12.5)

Three home dogs this week. Dare we pick them? DARE WE?!?

Fearless Leader’s Week 4 Bet-kakke Picks

Ole Miss (-28.5)
Buffalo (-6)
Akron (+19.5)
Cincy (-7.5)
Toledo (-10)
Western Michigan (-7.5)
Bowling Green (+6.5)
Ball State (-3)
Northern Illinois (+10.5)
San Diego State (-12.5)

Play of the Week: Ball State -3

Bonus Picks:
Mississippi St. Bulldogs (-9.5)
Georgia Bulldogs (-13.5)
Clemson Tigers (-16)

We need a big week. Feeling it. The bonus picks have been on fire this season, so do with the above what you will. As always, don’t risk what you can’t afford to lose and always be cashing.