Dealing with a cold streak is tough. It makes you question your competence, your intelligence, even your manhood. It’s kind of like getting dumped; actually, it’s exactly like getting dumped.
And you’ve probably heard the clique “you got to get back on the horse” more times than you’ve heard the other equally tired clique “you drink too much,” but you need to get back on track … the right way.
The key ingredient here, the one that really stirs the pot, is poise and poise alone. Here are some things that a wise bettor should avoid doing:
1. Don’t become too emotional
Let’s be honest; we are emotional beings. And for many of us, sports and money elicit more emotions than anything else. (Girls are a close third). So, not surprisingly, cold streaks in sports betting can produce quite the emotional, self-destructive disaster scenario. Nobody wants to bet a game more than immediately after they just lost. Unfortunately that is absolutely the worst time to place a bet, and it will place you in an inescapable quicksand pit before you even know it.
If you weren’t going to bet a game before you just lost, you definitely should not just bet it in a feeble attempt to gain back the money you just lost. Remember quicksand: the harder you fight, the harder it is to get out.
2. Don’t come on too strong
After losing a string of bets, or a long-time girlfriend, your first reaction may very well be to make a strong move to make up for the gaping hole the loss just left you. Two common mistakes are to bet more frequently and to bet more money on each game, and both warrant their own breakdowns:
a. Betting more games
Imagine this: Person A is dumped by Girlfriend X. Person A then proceeds to jump back into the game like Jordan with the 45. To make up for getting dumped, he makes it his mission every night to get with any girl he can. He forgets the game he used to get Girlfriend X, and he loses all standards and self-respect. This individual is persistent, desperate and not surprisingly, unsuccessful. Do not become this individual.
b. Betting more money on each game
Similar to betting more games, in the midst of a losing streak many feel the urge to bet double or even triple on one game to help erase their debt. You have seen enough Vegas or gangster movies to know that this is not your best strategy if you value your kneecaps or face symmetry.
3. Don’t doubt yourself
Some say it takes a village. Ron Burgundy says it takes a news team. But when it comes to dealing with a cold streak, the worst thing you can do is to start to defer to others’ opinions and beliefs. Listening to Joe the Plumber or whatever other overused, nonsensical term for the average guy you prefer, will not help you turn your luck around.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. The second you lose the confidence in yourself to evaluate the game, weigh the risks and rewards and make the pick you believe in is the second you should erase your bookie’s number from your phone.
Staying poised and sticking with your game plan will help you become as classic as Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting. And being Matt Damon isn’t so bad, because you’ll eventually get to hear these magic words
Quick Picks (Last week: 2-2)
Saints (-3.5) @ 49ers
The classic “this team is unstoppable” vs. the “no one believes in us” matchup. It worries me that the entire betting public will be on the Saints and the sharps will be on the 49ers. Having said that, I will never put money on Alex Smith; will you?
Broncos (+13.5) @ Patriots
You likely learned that it is no fun betting against Tim Tebow the hard way, as the Mile High Messiah plays out a real-life version of Angels in the End Zone. The Patriots will have trouble stopping the run, and I expect Demaryious Thomas to make a play or two against the Patriots’ smaller cornerbacks. I’m calling for this Tebow thing to continue despite logic and conventional wisdom. Also, having 13.5 points is nice to have in your back pocket, just in case.
Texans (+9) @ Ravens
These teams are closer than many people believe – great defenses, great running games and below average quarterbacks. The Ravens have the home-field advantage, but nine points is a lot of points to lay for a team with an overrated defense and a turnover-prone quarterback. The Ravens win by a field goal but fail to cover.
Packers (+9_ vs Giants
The Giants have become the darlings of the postseason with their revitalized pass rush and elite quarterback-wide receiver play. Doesn’t matter. Aaron Rodgers is sick of hearing about Drew Brees and the Giants defensive backs have trouble making open field tackles and covering wideouts downfield. Manning keeps the Giants in the game for a while, but Packers run away late.
The Biggest Lock of a Teaser since last week (Ahh Bengals):
Saints (+9.5), Broncos (+26.5), Texans (+22) and Giants (+22)