The Art of Sports Handicapping

Posted by CAPPERSMALL STAFF on 06.12.2008

How good of a handicapper do you want to be?

Like any other activity in life, the rewards you get from betting on sports will bear some relation to how much effort you put into it. Sadly, time is a limited resource. But you can always increase the quality of your effort – again, if you’re so inclined.

There is both a craft and an art to sharp handicapping. The craft is the skill involved, built through time and experience. The artful side has to do with the way you use (eg. express) those skills. This second aspect is incredibly important for handicappers, because there are no set operating procedures to follow, no inserting Tab A into Slot B. If you want to make a conscious effort to be a better handicapper, you have to treat sports betting as an art form.

The question is, what kind of artist are you? Your approach will be more or less efficient depending on how well your chosen art form allows you to express yourself. If you’re more the warrior type, like Kobe Bryant, then you’ll want to treat sports betting like a warrior practicing the martial arts. If you’re more the poet type, like Shaquille O’Neal, your passion for sports betting gives you the drive to put your shoulder into it.

Both approaches have equal artistic merit. The discipline to have a plan and follow through is a very real quality that can be cultivated, not a quantity that can be measured. At the other end of the spectrum, there is no greater motivational force than the sheer joy you get from doing something you love.

To identify the most efficient, artful and thus profitable handicapping approach for yourself, take the time to do an honest self-assessment. What are your best skills at this particular moment? What specific handicapping activities give you a sense of joy and fulfillment? Ask yourself, and ask the people in your life whom you trust for feedback. Then tailor your handicapping according to your needs.

The best handicappers (and the ideal artists in any field) are the rare warrior-poets who can combine discipline with passion in equal and generous amounts. That’s something to aspire to, but it’s much easier said than done – just like getting Shaq and Kobe on the same page when they were teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers. Be prepared for some infighting.


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