A question I seem to get quite often is how important is it to sign up with a professional handicapper early in the season. I believe the answer lies in the question in itself. After all, it is a challenge to process all of the information available and determine what is relevant and what is not. A large portion of the betting public will usually go on-their-own during the first month of the season. No man likes to think he doesn’t know enough about football to pick winners. It goes against our inner core beliefs. It’s part of the bro code. It is only after they’ve seen their bankroll shrink that they determine the possible need for some help. If it is going well, then they won’t feel the need for a professional and will continue on their own. Makes sense, doesn’t it? So the answer to the question is if you feel the need of a pro, then sign up immediately. The obvious reason is you could be saving your bankroll early before it’s gone. Another is that you will likely get a discount on a season package. Many handicappers offer them to first time subscribers. If they don’t make you money, there is usually a guarantee that they will carry you until they do. You could get these if you sign up mid-season as well, but why not get the full value all season. A third advantage involves the hot streak. Many handicappers will promote these streaks as an enticement to invest. While streaks always happen, remember there are cold ones as well. You won’t see those advertised. The reality is a good season is hitting 54 -56% overall, with best bets in the 58 – 60% range (about 20% of the plays). So if someone is promoting a 12-2 run, realize that there could have been a cold one right before or a reversion to the mean about to come. Always look at the long term success, not just the last 7 days or so. Starting with a handicapper early will get you some other benefits as well, like a solid preseason analysis, or access to a newsletter or podcast. But the most important is that the best value is found in the first month of the season. It could take a few weeks for the odds-makers to catch up. Yes they are smart people, but there are a lot of teams out there (32 in the NFL and 128 in college). Remember, they are setting the lines to draw action on both sides. The general public will usually base their decisions on preconceived notions and biases based on the prior season or what they read in the media. I can’t tell you how many teams that were double digit underdogs in week one that would be favorites four weeks later against the same opponent. TCU of last year is a team that comes to mind. Florida St is another , though in the opposite direction. As always when selecting a handicapper, no matter what time of the season, make sure they can verify their record with a sports monitor or a 3rd party source, provide an analysis with their selections so you can evaluate their philosophy and competency, and that they provide value for the money you will be paying them.