It’s the most exciting time of the year for sports bettors across the country. The brackets have been set and the games begin at 12:15 EST on Thursday. 16 games on Thursday and 16 games on Friday – 32 total games within a 36 hour time frame, that’s a lot of action. It can go either way for you, but I’m here today to tell you a few things you should not do so that you don’t lose all your money during the first round, or first day for that matter.
So let’s enter the mind of the average bettor on Thursday morning. Here are some of the thoughts:
“What a day for a parlay, look at all these favorable match ups, there’s no way any of these top favorites are going down today.”
“I don’t really like any of the early games but fuck it, if I lose, I’ll just make my money back on the evening or night games.”
“This game seems like a toss up but I need to get some action in so I’ll just flip a coin and take whoever.”
“I’ll take (insert big name school here) against (insert little known school here) because there’s no way (big school) loses to these guys, they have a much better program.”
Fast forward 3 hours:
“Fuck! I’m 0-5 on the early games so I better double down to make my money back on the evening games.”
If you are reading this article, you probably know some of these thoughts all too well and you have most likely experience one, actually all of them. So what are some things that you SHOULDN’T do this week to avoid losing a lot (or all) of your money.
Don’t bet just to bet.
A lot of people will bet on games just because it’s on and they want the action. This is a terrible idea and it’s a great way to lose money. If you aren’t confident in something and you don’t have any stats/trends to back up your bet, you should not be betting on that game.
Don’t play any parlays more than 3 teams.
It’s SO easy to start building parlays with all of the possibilities that you will have on Thursday and Friday. SO many games that look like locks. When you are putting a parlay together it’s easy to add one more because, “they won’t lose” and then another because “I don’t see them getting knocked off this early.” Before you know it, you have a 10 team parlay that you are riding. With all of the madness that goes on in this tournament, you DO NOT want to be riding a 10 team parlay. The odds of that hitting are so low it’s really not worth it. That is of course unless you know you probably aren’t going to win but like the potential of what you could win. Then again, there’s people who bet to win and there’s people who bet to have a chance to win. I’m telling you that if you want to win this weekend, you want to keep the parlays to 3 teams at a max. You want high percentage plays to win, not a 4% chance for a huge payout. I know some of you place parlays and you know you are going to lose as soon as you submit it. What’s the point of that?
Don’t break the day up into different betting periods (Early, mid, and late games).
This is a big mistake and I know a lot of people do this. What happens when you do this is you are accepting the fact of losing because you think you can just make it all back on the next round of games. I have a better idea, how about not putting yourself in a hole just because you want to take the early game because it’s on during your lunch break. Don’t look at the games in betting blocks, look at the games for valuable lines. If you only see value in 4 games, wait for those games to come on and win money.
Don’t bet to chase your losses.
0-4 on the early games and your 5th team is down 10 with 2 minutes left? Shitty feeling right? The worst thing you can do in this situation is double down and bet on the next round of games just to make your money back or triple down to try and turn a profit. Before you know it, you are in a huge hole with little chance of getting out.
Don’t bet on a team because of their name.
I’m not going to give any specific example here but you know what I’m saying. Do your homework on the games you are betting before you take them. Don’t just throw money on some team that’s a known powerhouse taking on a team that you don’t know. Every year is different and you might now know what you are getting yourself into. When you do this, you end up taking a trip to, as Dickie V would say – “UPSET CITY BABY”
Set a bankroll limit each day.
You should set a bankroll limit for each day with an amount that you are comfortable losing all of it. Obviously the goal is to win money but for this tip, you want to set your bankroll at an amount that you are comfortable losing. Why? Let’s say you do lose, once you reach your limit, you end your day there. Let’s say someone sets their limit at $100. That person is down $100 by 7 p.m. but that’s as much as they lose. Another person who doesn’t set a limit doubles down and they are down $200 by 9. Then down $400 and blackout drunk by 11:30. When you are in these types of situations, you make poor decisions and that leads to losing more. So set a bankroll and stick to it, win or lose.
I hope this article prepares you for the first round of March Madness and you have a few tips to prevent a tough day. It can be fun and some will win, some will lose, but you want to make sure you aren’t one of the guys who loses it all.