The biggest hurdle for sports bettors is often fighting ourselves.
Each week we’re faced with the dilemma of questioning our own thought process. Are we over-thinking things, under-thinking them or simply thinking about them adequately?
As the college football regular season wrapped up this past weekend, I spent some time reflecting on moments in which my wise ideas turned into utter stupidity on a weekly basis. I found out the hard way that opinions which appear to be smart can often get derailed by dumb ideas soon after. Week 1
Smart: I bet on LSU +2.5 vs. Oregon in the Cowboys Classic.
Dumb: I bought out of my LSU +2.5 wager and took Oregon instead.
Result: LSU won 40-27.Week 2
Smart: I told myself, “Oklahoma State -14 vs. Arizona is my absolute favorite bet this week!”
Dumb: I didn’t realize OSU played Arizona on a Thursday instead of Saturday. I missed the bet.
Result: OSU won 37-14.Week 3
Smart: LSU as only a 3.5-point chalk vs. Mississippi State seemed like free money.
Dumb: Or maybe it was a trap? Everyone was on LSU. I decided to sit out.
Result: LSU won 19-6.Week 4
Smart: I believed Texas A&M would be able to score on Oklahoma State with relative ease.
Dumb: I didn’t consider that Oklahoma State would be able to score on the Aggies just as easily.
Result: OSU won 30-29. Week 5
Smart: Alabama seemed far superior to Florida, so I bet on Alabama as a 4-point favorite.
Dumb: I parlayed Alabama with the Under 43.5.
Result: Alabama won 38-10.
Smart: I considered blind betting all of the AP Top 10 teams since they were covering at a 70 percent-plus clip.
Dumb: I decided blind betting on a trend is stupid and stayed away altogether.
Result: Eight of the AP’s Top 10 teams were in action and each covered their spreads. Week 7
Smart: USC was only a 3-point favorite vs. Cal. The Bears, mind you, were God awful at this point in the season. I bet on USC.
Dumb: I should have put my entire bankroll on this game.
Result: USC won 30-9.Week 8
Smart: I bet the Over 61.5 in the Arizona vs. UCLA. The Bruins and Wildcats combined to score 49 points in the first half.
Dumb: I thought the Over was absolute gold at halftime. Unfortunately, it was not.
Result: Arizona won 48-12. Week 9
Smart: I bought USC up to +9 vs. Stanford in a parlay.
Dumb: I recommended to others that USC +7.5 would be fine. “Line movements rarely matter,” I said.
Result: Stanford won 56-48 in triple overtime.
Smart: I bet on Hawaii as a 3-point favorite vs. Utah State thinking the Aggies could not hang with the Warriors. Hawaii built up a 21-point halftime lead.
Dumb: Then, the Warriors blew it. Hawaii is now facing allegations of point shaving.
Result: Utah State won 35-31.Week 11
Smart: I planned to go big on Oregon as a 2.5-point favorite vs. Stanford during the weeks leading up to the game.
Dumb: I listened to Stanford propaganda and completely wussed out. Instead of a new Louis Vuitton bag, I had to settle for Coach.
Result: Oregon won 53-30.
Smart: I thought LeBron, Melo, CP3 and D-Wade attending the Oregon vs. USC game may wind up being a distraction.
Dumb: I figured Autzen Stadium would still propel Oregon to a win.
Result: USC won 38-35.Week 13
Smart: I didn’t love any games this week.
Dumb: I was bored, so I took Notre Dame +7 vs. Stanford anyway.
Result: Stanford won 28-14.Week 14
Smart: I assumed Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State was going to be a blowout.
Dumb: I thought the Sooners would be on the winning end of the rout.
Result: Oklahoma State won 44-10.Week 15
Smart: I’m not going to bet on Army vs. Navy.
Dumb: Of course I’m going to bet on Army vs. Navy.
Til next time, cover the spread.
--You can follow SJP on Twitter @SarahPhilli.