Betting post mortem: Blame it on the pandemic

As they say in those ads for mutual funds and ETFs, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.” That is certainly the case when it comes to sports betting, as I was reminded again over the last two days.

After 152 bets over eight years that produced a 65% win rate, I actually lost money betting the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, going 6-8. If you followed my picks and bet at the $100 level (risking $110 to win $100), you would have lost $280. (Don’t worry: your stimulus check is on the way.)

I’m inclined to believe the pandemic had some influence. For starters, there was no regional play this year because all of the games are being played in Indiana. That meant, among other things, that some teams were spared a cross-country trip to play in their region.

The pandemic impacted at least two of my picks. Georgia Tech, my pick over Loyola Chicago, lost its best player to the COVID protocols. I lost that bet. Oregon, another of my picks, didn’t get to play when Virginia Commonwealth was forced to forfeit because it couldn’t field the required minimum number of players.

Nothing works all of the time, so I’m not ready to abandon a system that has worked eight out of nine years. I’ll be back next season, but you may want to look elsewhere for betting advice just in case.

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