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10 Commandments for the NFL Betting Season

Writer's note: I'm Carl’s intern who made him a bunch of money for years with my independent NFL betting blog before stepping up to Barstool all of last season.

Now that the Barstool Sportsbook app is out, the NFL betting season has officially begun. Given my history of locking down a 57% ATS clip on over 200 documented NFL plays over three seasons, I figured I would give you some tips before you dump money into your account. I give you, the 10 commandments:

I.) Thou shall set a season-long betting budget

II.) Thou shall not replenish the season-long betting budget if funds are exhausted mid-season

If you lose your entire budget before the season is over, maybe you're not good at this. In other words, listen to your lost money.

III.) Thou shall set a season-long betting unit that is no more than 10% of the season-long betting budget

You will have losing weeks and winning weeks. If you lose this Sunday, I don’t want to hear that you blew through your $1,000 budget because you placed two losing bets at $500 a piece. Spread your dollars so that you can withstand any early misfortune.

IV.) Thou shall not increase the betting unit mid-season

I think we’ve all seen this: the guy who goes to a $10 blackjack table with $20 and turns it into $300, then starts playing $100 per hand. This is a swift way to lose money. There’s a reason this guy started at a $10 table in the first place – he’s not that good. In the betting game, you’re never more susceptible to loss than when you feel unbeatable. Avoid delusions and be the guy who keeps his unit at $10 and leaves the table with 2-3x his original bankroll.

V.) Thou shall only place 50/50 bets (no parlays)

If you have visions of hitting an 11-team parlay and swimming in cash, just play the lottery. Similar to a card-counter at a blackjack table, you want to play a game with the closest odds to 50/50 possible, and use your knowledge to create a competitive edge that can incrementally accrue dollars over time. Don’t go tossing inside bets at the roulette table.

VI.) Thou shall not bet the board

Pick your spots. You will not have a competitive edge in every NFL game. I’ve made money because I only pick a few games per week. If that’s not “fun” for you, then please look yourself in the mirror and audibly say “I do not bet to make money. I bet for fun.” I like seeing my dollars go up – that's fun for me.

VII.) Thou shall not chase or place unplanned “bail-out” bets

If it wasn’t a good idea yesterday, I can promise you that it’s not a good idea 5 minutes before kick-off. Take your losses on the chin, and regroup for next week.

VIII.) Thou shall check line movements and betting splits before placing any bet

If you feel great about a bet, and 80% of the bets are going that way, or the line has shifted in the direction of your bet, any value or edge is likely gone. Google this shit to avoid instances when sportsbooks massacre the public.

IX.) Thou shall check all bets with a meatball friend before placing a wager to confirm an opposing viewpoint

If you have a friend who is a mush and seems to lose every bet, ask how they feel about your bets. If they hate them, you should love them.

X.) Thou shall not place judgement on others’ bets after bets have been placed if thou is not betting

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve heard about my bet being bad after the fact from someone who has no skin in the game. For example, in a game where the Colts are down 20: 

“Oh, the Colts were only getting 3? That’s it? Not 21?” 

Yeah motherfucker, only 3, and it was a 50/50 wager placed on a spread that was developed by the most knowledgeable oddsmakers on the planet with thousands of people betting on both sides. If you thought my bet was so stupid, did you bet the other way? Oh, you didn’t? Then shut the fuck up.

I get that these commandments are basically like saying "diet and exercise" to a person who wants to lose weight, but it's the truth, and you can do what you want with it.

Just listen to Dave "responsible gambling" Portnoy and Dan "bet within your means" Katz:

 Download the Barstool Sportsbook app now and let's rack up some cash this season. See you Sunday.