Action Jackson Gambling Diary Vol. 8: Big, Basic, Bets
Follow along as I, your friend Action Jackson, dip the pen every week here at The Odds Factory and try to make enough money gambling to afford legal fees after I’m sued by LaVar Ball.
Beginning Balance: 15 Units
Last Week’s Balance: 24 Units
This Week’s Balance: 24 Units
Last Week's Performance: +0 Units
Action Jackson Scale: Hot Dogs For Every Meal
This has been a roller-coaster week of putting a lot of action on a lot of different sports that brought me a big fat zero. It’s time to go back to basics, focus on what I know, and trust my new and improved “Big, Basic, Bets” system, affectionately called the BBB in my household (I don’t think LaVar Ball trademarked this, but if he did – I’m sorry LaVar. I’m sure The Odds Factory will cover my legal fees.)
Last Week’s Performance: +0 Units
Last week was one of the most classic gambling weeks of all time. A LOT of ups and downs, a significant amount of stress, far too much yelling at the TV, and ultimately, very little payoff. I felt like Patrick Mahomes in this year’s Super Bowl on pretty much every pass play.
He’d drop back to pass, then immediately have to spin out of a sack, run backward 15 yards to avoid the second rusher, jukes a guy, makes another guy fall, and then chuck it 30 yards downfield, get crushed immediately, and have his receiver drop it. Basically, a ton of work for zero yards and a lot of pain.
My Previous Strategy
For the first 5 days of last week, I was putting action on absolutely everything. Three-team NHL teasers. Single-game NBA parlays. Mountain West college basketball matchups at 9 pm on a Thursday night because I was bored and it happened to be on ESPN2. And was it fun? Absolutely not.
I won less than 40% of my bets overall. Even worse, because I was spreading my bets so thin, the bets that I did win were very small plays with minor payouts. Going into Sunday, I was down 9 units and emotionally drained. A lesser man might have quit and blamed the world. But I turned inward and realized something important – I wasn’t being true to myself.
There are plenty of people who love parlays and having money on every single game, but that’s just not me. As a bettor, my strength lies in having deep, intimate knowledge of the sports and teams that I’m betting on. Sure, it’s fun to bet on hockey, but guess what? I don’t give a flying fuck about hockey, and I don’t even think it shouldn’t exist as a sport. What I do know and care about is the NBA, and specifically, watch and follow 10-15 teams that I can (somewhat) predict how they’ll perform on a nightly basis.
So, I shifted my strategy from “Bet on Everything That Moves” to “Big, Basic, Bets.” Let’s break this down a bit.
BBB: Big, Basic, Bets
BIG: I’m doubling my unit size (though keeping the original units to track performance for the sake of this series) and making larger wagers each time I bet. While it seems counterproductive (since I kept fucking losing), I’m making the important tweak of being far more selective with what I put my money on. I’m letting go of the need to have action on EVERYTHING and focusing on the bets I feel confident in. Which leads us to part two…
BASIC: I’m swearing off parlays, teasers, and all the other bullshit bets that suck me in with the big payouts. I’m focusing two kinds of bets:
- Moneyline, Spread, and Over/Under for games that I am confident in, in ONE SPORT (the NBA). This is where the TomBox betting algorithm comes in handy as an important data point in my decision-making process. Now, I don’t follow it blindly, but I use it as a temperature check. For example, last night I was really big on Grizzlies +1 over the Wizards. I checked the TomBox betting algorithm, which had Memphis winning by 5, a big discrepancy that I hammered. I put 4 units on it and pulled myself out of a hole.
- 1 Boosted Odds Player Prop a night. I touched on boosted odds last week, but having 3-4 options for strong odds helps narrow the range of betting options available. (If you wanted to, you could bet on points, rebounds, or assist totals for pretty much every NBA player.) Having a little action on these can help keep you alive if that player's team shits the bed but they have a good night on their end.
Objectively speaking though, the reason these payouts are strong is they’re not always likely to happen, so it’s important to stick to 1 a night if you decide to bet at all.
Pros to the BBB Strategy: Big Wins. Higher Winning Percentage. More Happiness.
Cons to the BBB Strategy: Big Losses. Less Overall Action.
Luckily, the strategy shift paid off. And I was able to claw my way back to zero over the past two nights. Moving forward, I’m all in on my BBB strategy and fortunately, still have 24 units in the bankroll to weather any losses I might have. Plus, let’s be honest. Not only is it easier to win 4 bets a week instead of 40, the adrenaline rush associated with winning a big bet is way better than the stress that goes along with tracking a million different games throughout a night. It’s the only thing that makes me feel alive anymore.
The Week Ahead
I’m sticking to the NBA and BBB strategy next week and just have to stay disciplined and weather the storm. Everyone knows that the easiest way to come back from a big loss is a big win. And with the BBB, all you need is one big win and you’ve got a one-way ticket to achieving the American Dream – buying The Odds Factory, renaming it ActionJackson.com, and using the rest of the money to buy the trademark for BBB from LaVar Ball.