If there was one factor that prevents people from handicapping the games on a regular basis, it would be time. Not having enough time to study the games is why many bettors will follow the selections of somebody else or handicap the games with less than desired results. Having time constraints is certainly understandable; most people have jobs, family and other things that are going to come first by necessity.
The simple truth is a method that takes 45 minutes a day and picks 54% winners is going to be more valuable to the majority of sports bettors than a 57% method that takes five hours a day just due to time available for handicapping.
But there are some things you can do to find a little more time to spend on handicapping the games. For many people, the best time is actually the night before, especially if you’re one of those who has to watch any game you wager on. There’s nothing wrong with doing a little work and watching a game at the same time. Not all of your attention has to be riveted on the television and you can do a little of both.
There are certain people who are night people and certain people who are morning people. I fall into the second group and am usually up at an ungodly hour each morning, as I can work faster and with a clearer head than if I try to work late in the evening. Depending on what type of person you are, try to spend what time you can afford to during your peak hours. If you’re a morning person get up a few minutes earlier than you have been and look at the stats or handicap the games in the manner you typically do. If you’re more of a night owl, after the games are over may be the best time for you.
If you’re allowed a lunch break at work, that’s another opportunity to get a little studying in and also a good chance to look at the latest line moves and possibly check on the status of any questionable players.
Those who live on the East can spend a little time as soon as they get home from work on handicapping the evening’s games. Those on the West won’t have the same luxury, but do have the advantage of having early starts for everything and can handicap the next day’s card when all of the games are complete.
There’s nothing wrong with specializing in a particular conference or league if you’re pressed for time. Eliminating half of an NBA, MLB or NHL schedule, will give you more time for those games you do handicap. It’s practically impossible to handicap an entire college basketball card, especially on a Saturday. Having a couple of conferences you follow religiously may enable you to form a solid opinion of the teams within that conference.
If you’re going to concentrate on one conference, it makes sense to concentrate on the one closest to you. If you live the West, focus on the Western Conference in the NBA or NHL, while those who live on the East would want to stick to the Eastern Conference in the same two leagues. College sports conferences should also be close by, as you may hear something worth noting on a local sports talk radio station or by reading your local paper.
Time constraints are going to hamper everybody who handicaps, from the first-time bettor to long-time pros. All we can do is our best and look for little opportunities to help us gain any sort of advantage over our fellow bettors and the sportsbooks.