I get asked this question a lot, so here are some thoughts and some ways I use the picks we have in Upset Watch. I am loath to say 'always bet a certain way' because it is often based on how much risk you want to absorb.

For some of you, that will be a lot, for others, a little less. My main thing is to only risk what you can afford to lose, because no column, expert, sharp or system can guarantee wins. There will be weeks where you lose, that is how life works.

Tip 1: Only risk what you can afford to lose

This should really go without saying, but I'm going to be very clear here: You should not be staking hundreds of dollars unless you are happy to lose that money.

The NFL - and every other sport - is hard to predict. I picked the 49ers in the NFC title game last year, and what happened? 49ers QB Brock Purdy got injured on the 6th snap, and their backup got injured soon after. That, as they say, is life. Look at Aaron Rodgers playing 4 snaps for the Jets, or Tom Brady in 2008 getting injured in the first game of the year.

So the moral of the story? Anything can happen, and although we do pretty well with Upset Watch and generally avoid big losses, nothing is guaranteed in life - and anyone who tells you that it is, is lying.

Tip 2: Don't use us for a full Pick'em slate

Upset Watch is incredibly focused on underdogs. We are trying to maintain a rough winning streak of around 45-50% of our underdog selections - wins and covers - that generate a profit on those selections alone.

Because it's been asked for, we also cover the other games in the week too (the ones where we think the favorite will win). I would suggest that in most cases, you are better off looking at the best experts in our money line/straight up picks than Upset Watch if you want to win a pick'em league, and only using this column to decide on games that are closer in your mind than the experts think.

Tip 3: Scale up and down

On Upset Watch, I use a scale of $100 per bet. That is because it is super easy to see whether we're winning or not using a scale that American sportsbook odds are based around too.

But this is illustrative. If you start with $10 per bet, then you can get comfortable with how things work. Once you are in a position where you feel more comfortable, you can move up to $20 or $30 per bet, and work out if you like our method.

Tip 4: Stay the course

I'm sure that if I showed you a chart of our weekly record last year, there were points that were lower, and some where it was incredibly high. For example,if you joined in week 2 of 2022, you'd have made a small loss that week of $100, and it'd be easy to assume that Upset Watch picks aren't for you, when actually, if you stuck around for the next week, you'd have made a $500+ profit on that week alone. See the table below:

Like I said, there are no guarantees in life, but there are a lot more peaks than troughs for us, because we know that underdogs pay off if you can pick them with any regularity.

We're the only column that picks underdogs with this degree of success on so many picks, and we post honest records, that you can verify yourself. So even if things seem like they're stalling, our methodology will likely pay off at some stage if you stick with it.

Tip 5: Double or Treble parlays

We've talked about the idea of Round Robins before - these are bets where you combine selections into multiple parlays, that cover all of the different combinations of wins. A simple example is below:

Bet 1
Bet 2
Bet 3

A round-robin of doubles (two-fold in some places) would see you place parlays on

Bet 1 and 2 to win
Bet 1 and 3 to win
Bet 2 and 3 to win

That means you'll place 3 bets on two team parlays. The more initial selections you have, the more combinations there are, so it can be quite costly if you have many teams, but the more wins you hit, the more it can pay off. I often use parlays like this if I think there are big opportunities, but I should add that they are not factored into the Upset Watch published record, which is based purely on individual selections.