By all accounts, we had a pretty decent Friday. We were 6-2 in baseball, including 4-2 with underdogs, and I split my two basketball games, losing the total in the NBA Finals and winning with Minnesota in the WNBA for a nice 7-3 day. So naturally, the only email I wake up to Saturday morning was one asking me how the hell I could have been so wrong on the Cleveland vs. Golden State total.
I wrote back saying yes, it was a crappy pick. It lost. But then asked if he would have felt better if it had lost by three points instead of 23. I never received a response, nor did I really expect to, but the e-mail did serve a purpose in that it shows a number of bettors pay far too much attention to if a game wins easy, losses big, etc. A win is a win and a loss is a loss. It makes no difference if you cover the spread by half-a-point or 40 points. It pays the same. The same goes for losses regardless of what the final margin is.
I didn’t receive a note from my sportsbook saying, “You know, Moody, that Cleveland loss was so bad we’re going to take an extra $100 from your account.” And I certainly have never gotten one saying they were going to pay me a bonus for picking a team that covers by 30 points.
There are going to be impressive wins over the course of the year for a bettor and there are going to be ugly losses. But they still have the same effect on your sportsbook account balance.
If you’re handicapping the games yourself and have had a bit of success with how you’re doing things, don’t give up on it because of one or two big losses. It’s a loss, nothing more or nothing less. Likewise, don’t think you’re really on to something because of one or lopsided wins if your overall results have been less than acceptable.
Those who follow the sections of a public handicapper or a sports service should keep the same principle in mind. Just because a handicapper picks a team that covers by 35 points does not mean he’s the greatest thing around, not does a blowout loss by one of his selections signify he has no clue what he’s doing. Those things are going to happen to any handicapper over the course of a season.
Remember, it’s the final outcome that matters, not necessarily accumulating style points along the way.