Sports Betting: Mind Trap Games Reading a Line

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Finalizing a daily or weekly betting board is an art in itself. Bettors have their own style to a degree but one that never strays is a review of a line itself.

In prior ‘School of Handicapping’ videos I discussed different elements that can lead bettors to a poor or rewarding outcome.

Rounding out a board on certain weeks can be extra difficult. In the NFL season it can be a root cause as simple as extra teams on bye weeks, and in college football there can be difficult marquee matchups to read.

Within a routine bettors become accustomed to betting a certain amount of games. One may be a game away from their normal board that they seemingly can’t pinpoint what final game to take.

Some bettors may go into the betting day and wait to get a feel for the games before adding a play. This way of betting nine times out of ten will lead to a losing bet. One simply can’t get a feel for ATS value while watching current games with bets in progress; it’s just not possible.

Another avenue bettors fall for to finalize that final game is reviewing a games spread simply because of the number. All of us have fallen victim to it.

A steep underdog or a prime favorite gives the appeal bookmakers want. The draw of thinking why is a number what it is.

You’re suddenly just as bad as a bettor scooping up an odds sheet at a sportsbook. Drawn to the number instead of the matchup.

A prime example of this in college football last year was the Miami Hurricanes final regular season game against Clemson. The number did not stop rising prior to kickoff, which had some people thinking the value was on a 10-1 Hurricane team. Instead they were blown out 38-3.

A recent example in baseball would be the Arizona Diamondbacks with Zach Greinke on the mound as a steep favorite over the Giants and Madison Bumgarner. The line continued to go up on Greinke’s side with the end result being the Giants in a landslide road win.

In it’s own way these types of games should be referred to as mind trap forced bets.

Once you place the wager you’ll be thinking why did I bet a game that was not on my initial finalized board.

You don’t have to force a play to get to your weekly routine goal. Take each week in stride and you will have more plus weeks than negative.


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