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Burke: It's all about the news right now

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

December 21, 2021 11:15 AM
USATSI_17203093

The art of handicapping has basically morphed into a race to see who can get to news the fastest. These last few days have been really tough for bettors that don’t have the ability to loiter on Twitter or stalk the betting markets for breaking developments. Lines are lighting up on the betting board because of COVID updates and opt-outs rather than sharp action and statistical breakdowns.

Well, I should clarify, it is sharp (to a degree) to be able to follow the right people for news and react before the oddsmakers have the chance to do so, but this has been a frustrating time of year for a lot of bettors, who may be thinking about taking a holiday break or a COVID pause of their own. The overwhelming majority of bettors don’t have the chance to get to the news before others and then lines end up running out. Then you have to weigh the risk-reward of playing along with a line that still may not be adjusted enough, but also taking a much worse number than you could have had.

Any outlet worth its salt in this business preaches about getting the best of the number. In light of recent developments, that has been virtually impossible and a lot of bettors are just chasing the point spreads and totals, forced to get the scraps after bettors grab good numbers and books adjust on the news.

Don’t let your frustration push you into bad situations. We all know how it goes. You’re sitting at a blackjack table, running bad with a shoe, and you just throw your last $50 out there when you’ve been betting $10 a hand up until that point. Part of your brain wants to double up and the other part wants to go broke just so you can get up and leave.

One of the biggest challenges as humans is accepting what we are unable to control. Believe me, as a control freak, I know that all too well. Because of the spread of Omicron, everything is so fluid in sports right now and we don’t really have any control over what happens from a betting standpoint. It might be a good idea to lower your bet sizing or your volume, unless you have that ability to track the news for long stretches of the day and get some line value as a result.

Living to fight another day is really important for your bankroll. Slide your chair back, grab your half-empty drink and take your $50 up to the cashier’s cage to deploy it at another time. There will always be another blackjack table. There will always be another game. If your frustration is forcing you into bad bets, take the initiative to walk away.

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