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Tip # 2: Don’t always believe what you see

Sports betting in general, and college football in particular, is based on a whole lot of random events.  The ability to filter out this randomness and objectively separate it from your handicapping routine is where you can gain an advantage over people that fall in love with their own eyes.

10-80-10 Theory

Several years ago a friend of mine introduced me to his 10-80-10 theory. Simply stated the 10-80-10 theory means that 80% of the time a team will play their typical, normal game, 10% of the time they will play above their perceived average abilities and 10% of the time they will play below average. However, instead of looking at the 80% of a team’s overall body of work, people tend to get hung up on one really good win or one bad loss.

The theory goes on to state that since there is so much luck involved in a given game it is impossible to definitively pinpoint the factors involved in why a team played so much better than they normally do, or why they seemingly just didn’t show up. Therefore, it is important not to overreact to such performances and results.

Unfortunately I am still guilty of this myself. I am constantly passing on games where the stats suggest the point spread is incorrect. However a previous poor performance on the team I want to bet on, or an exceptional performance a week or two earlier by the team I am thinking of betting against is fresh in my mind.

  • Don’t give up on good teams just because they had a bad game, and don’t overreact to a team after an exceptional performance.
  • There are so many things that can happen to make a final score look better or worse than it actually is.
  • Sometimes teams just have bad or good days and so do their opponents. It is impossible for any team, in any sport, to play at an exceptionally high level week in and week out.

In summary there are so many outside factors that cause these teams, comprised of 19 and 20 year old kids, to play up to their full potential 10% of the time, play their typical game 80% of the time, or lay a clunker (or two) throughout the season. Simply stated, in most cases a team isn’t as good or as bad as they appeared to be the last time you watched them play, so try not to overreact to a great win or a bad loss.

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