Posts Tagged ‘betting’

The time of the year is here. What time of the year is it? It is time for
100’s of Handicappers to spit out their 2010 College and Pro Previews and
keeping up with the Industry in which I am part of, I feel it is important
for me to do the same. A lot of Handicappers spend a lot of time doing
this exercise every year and for the most part, all of the one’s that are
out there to the general public are all the same. The fact is, most are
copy and paste jobs from other Previews and the info derived from reading
these are about the same as well. The Title of this piece might be misnamed but since everyone loves these Previews I thought I would would title it this way to get you to read it. If you let this sink in, this piece will make you a better handicapper though.

As we know, Oddsmakers set lines based on Public Perception. They do this
so that they can balance their books as closely as possible. Their only
goal is to set the numbers so that equal, or about equal betting action is
on both sides of the number can be had. There is no doubt that they want
to know what Bettors are thinking and these Previews help them do that.
Yes, that’s right. They read these Articles too and that means good things
for us. It means that they know that they are more than likely going to
get more action on the teams that are featured as “Gonna Score a lot” or
“Gonna Have a Great Start” or “Gonna Have a Great Year.” Since all
Previews are about the same, I would suspect that they don’t read them
all, as there is no reason to. Just like everything else in this industry,
most Handicappers derive their plays based on the same standard
handicapping methodology that has been around for decades. That is where
the “Under the Radar” Guy comes in.

Each year we have a number of these and Oddsmakers don’t know what to do
with them. What are these situations? Certainly one of those would be the
various Coaching Changes that we see every year. I am not absolutely
talking about the Head Coach and in fact, more gain can be had by looking
into both the Offensive and Defensive Coordinator shifts in both College
and Pro Football. Not only can these changes dramatically improve a team,
they can damage one as well. That is especially true in the College Ranks,
and that is especially true in the first couple or three weeks of the
season. I covered some of this in “Handicapping Our Children” and the fact
is College Athletes are NOT Grownups. Some of them are brilliant students,
but learning new ways of doing things sometimes comes with growing pains.
While Coaching Changes are designed to make things better, in the
shorterm, they often do not. Looking for teams in this special situation
can do your bankroll well. Key changes at key playing positions can also
mean good things for teams but they too can mean disaster in the shorterm.

Read. Not those 100’s of Previews being put out by those Handicapping
Services. I personally spend a few hours a week reading local newspapers,
school newspapers, Team Forums, Blogs, and I subscribe to any alerts or
new articles that come out from these sources so that it comes to my inbox
on a daily basis. Today alone, I will have some alerts and notices to read
that have come my way, and many offer info that can’t be found anywhere
else. Of course, you can’t believe everything you read, so it is always
wise to verify with as many sources as possible the info that might come
your way. This is by far the best way to know what is really going on with
the very many Division 1A schools in the land. In my many years of doing
this, I have also met and chatted with some really sharp people who follow
their favorite teams and they are there to answer any questions that I
might have prior to the season opener or during the football season. You
just can’t replace this with any other kind of info on the web or printed

September has always been my most profitable month of the year and I guess
it always will be. Oddsmakers scramble every year to figure out setting
correct lines and they fail miserably every year. It is always fun stuff
for me to go back and read some of last year’s Previews to find out how
poorly the recommendations were because many squads that are expected to
be “Hot Shit” do not pan out, and some that are expected to be “Doodly
Squat” do pan out. Teams with new offensive schemes often struggle a great
deal in the early going and that creates some really good Total
Opportunities for us. It also creates some Total Wins Futures as well. It
is also important to note that returning starters on defense is probably
the most important aspect of knowing who has got it and who does not.
Sheer numbers of starters returning is less important than a good nucleus
of better one’s. This is where your sources can come in handy, because
many know how well replacements will fit the program. As always, I will
have 4 to 7 Futures Bets this year and as always, they will do swimmingly
well. You can look for those in late July to early August.

Much like Major League Baseball, digging into the numbers can make you a
lot of money at this sport. Finding ways to find winners is more than just
using the standard handicapping practices, and the various handicapping
sites on the web. Knowing the mindset of teams, the Special Situations at
the beginning and during the season, and thinking outside of the box will
put you way ahead of those guys in the Big Buildings in Vegas who eat
Goose Liver almost every day. Why not accept the challenge this year and
be be the best that you can be? I promise you that if you do, you will
never go back to what you are doing now.


Ok, since the name of this piece is “The Four M’s” lets go ahead and get what those are out there so you won’t be skipping past all of the important stuff to see what they are. They are Momemtum, Motivation, Money, and Mo D. Now I know that Mo is not really a word and for that matter neither is D. But I was looking for a Cool Title so just humor me on this so that I can have 4 M’s. These M’s can and will give you a quick jumpstart on who is going to fair well over the next few weeks.

This first one is kind of tricky because momentum does not necesarily mean a team that is coming into the Tourney winning a bunch of games, is going to be a good play. The fact is, often it can mean getting a better number because of this and betting against those teams because they are too overvalued. Oddsmakers are not stupid people, although we would like to think so, and as a handicapper I often do call them that. That is just simply a “Wanting to be cool Thing” going on with me so you have to overlook it. There are, however, some squads that do have a lot of momemtum coming in, and one’s that are peaking in their capabilities, but are not getting enough respect for that because their overall record for the year is not all that spiffy. These are the one’s you will want to find, and these are the one’s that you might will want to bet, if the number is a good one. The phrase “Under the Radar” comes to mind here.

Some College Basketball Teams just want to win more than others. Finding those teams can be very good for your bankroll, but who are they? Why are they more motivated? While it is not a written rule, generally we have to have two things in place to have a motivated squad. We almost always have to have a group of Kids on the court that have been here before. It’s the Ole, been there, done that thing. But more importantly, it is teams that have a junior and senior laden roster. These guys are getting what might be their last chance to be the team cutting down the nets. In some cases, they have no real chance of doing that, but that does not mean that they will not give it the Ole College Try. These squads do not have to be the Big Boys of this Tournament, they can be the Winthrop’s, the Northern Iowa’s, the Cornell’s. These Guys are not going to go out without a fight, and in some cases they will be getting an inordinate amount of points from those Stupid Oddsmakers. Whoops, I said it again.

Ok, here is another tricky one. While many might not agree with this statement I will throw it out there anyway. The NCAA Selection Committee wants to put the best teams on the court, but they also want the Tourney’s to make money. Including too many Big 10, Big East, and Big 12 squads in the group of 64 means that there will be high TV Revenue, high attendence, and more money. Oddsmakers know this too because these are not stupid people. (See Above) They know that we bettors as a whole, are going to bet these High Profile Teams and so they set lines that are maybe just a bit out of whack. That gives us some real bargains to work with, perhaps with those squads that are more motivated to win. You know, the junior and senior laden teams and the one’s that do what is written about below.

Mo D
No, this is not the name of a Famous Rapper. Well let me correct that. This might be the name of a Famous Rapper because I am not really up on the current one’s past MC Hammer. This Stands for More Defense. While overused a bit, it is a fair statement to make that Defense wins games. This is true in almost any sport but maybe more true in this tournament. Teams that allow less than 40% shooting are already well on their way to being competitive, especially in the Big Games, and let’s face it, all of these games are Big. You would be hardpressed to find any NCAA Champion that did not play Mo D than the rest of their opponents in these games. Mo D creates turnovers. Mo D creates fewer better quality shots by opponents. Mo D creates more fast break opportunities. The Simple fact is, Mo D allows for Mo O which gives teams Mo Memtum and therefore Mo Tivation late in games.

Mo Thoughts
The Tip of the Iceburg has been covered here but it is important to note that level of competition is also important. Not only who teams beat, but how often they played quality teams throughout the year and how they faired against them. Oddsmakers would like for you to believe that the Missouri Valley, CAA and other smaller groups of teams don’t play a good level of competition. They want you to buy into the fact that if they say Wisconsin is 10 points better than Wofford, then they are. These Oddsmaker Guys are not stupid. Have I said that yet?

Last night prior to going out for the evening, I was at my Livingroom Window gazing out at the Mighty Mississippi River and casually mentioned to my Significant Other that I had a Big Bet on an NHL Game. Without blinking an eye, she picked up the Television Remote and exclaimed, “Is that game on TV?” I was in total shock of course since she had not expressed any interest in the NHL ever. The Olympic Hockey had peaked her interest in the sport and she had become a fan almost overnight. We did not watch the game, and instead went out for some oysters and beer. That game was the Capitals/Lightning OVER the Total and it was an easy winner with 9 goals being scored.

But What does this Mean?
This means that there is a whole lot of interest in the NHL right now and the games following the Olympics have seen a lot of new faces in the stands. This always happens after the Big International Tourney and NHL League Officials are taking note. They want to keep these new faces coming to the games, they want higher TV Rankings, and one way to make sure they obtain this, is to make sure that the games are entertaining to the newcomers. How do they do that? That is simple. They Showcase the Talent in the League by having them Score a Lot of Goals. Sports Fans love to see scoring and that is true in every sport. The NHL is no different and low and behold we are seeing a lot of goals here in the early going following the Olympics.

Why Are We Seeing a Lot of Scoring?
Sometimes it pays to have good contacts when betting sports for a living and I happen to have a very good NHL Guy that gives me info from time to time. He is a very good source and most reliable. He tells me that over the weekend, NHL League Officials sent a note to all NHL Referees strictly enforcing holding and interference penalties as set forth in the rule book. The Note pretty much said that this has not been done as it should have been done this year and that they expect it to be done now. It does not take a Genius to know that more penaties mean three things. (1) More Power Plays. (2) Less Defensive Intensity. (3) More Scoring.

Let’s Look at the Results So Far
Prior to Last Night’s Action OVER in NHL Games have hit at 19-4-2 since the break. That is more than just a small abberation even on the small sample. Whether this trend continues remains to be seen but one thing is for sure. Oddsmakers might be slow to react since the NHL does not get anywhere near the volume of bets that other sports do. That is going to be especially true with the NBA coming down to crunch time and NCAA Touneys here upon us. So are this Odds that Oddsmakers are putting out going to continue to go Under the Radar. Certainly not. Vegas will, if not already, take note of this trend. However, they have not yet to the most degree. That might give us some good opportunities until this well runs dry and they start re-adjusting Totals upward.

Some Final Thoughts
This does not mean that we should bet all NHL Totals OVER without looking into the games further. This does mean that we should consider these changes when we do look at the games. Perhaps that Under Play you thought might be a good opportunity is not. Perhaps that Over Play you like, might be bumped upward. As a Professional Handicapper, I am always looking for an edge, whether that be longterm or shorterm. This might be a good shortime Edge for sure and already has been. Incidentally, the Capitals/Lightning game last night featured only the 11th time this year that we have seen a Posted Line at 6.5 Goals. With last nights win, OVER is now 11-0 in those games. Is that an Edge? I think so. It looks like we will be watching some NHL here at my house with the Peaked Interest that my mate has for it. I just hope that I am not zapped with any holding or interference penalties during the games. (smile)

On Sunday I got a really good question by email on the difference between a Sharp Book and a Square Book. I thought the information was worthy to be here so I am posting my response below.

A Sharp Book is one that is best described as one that takes Sharp Money,
or Large Bets. The Greek for instance brags about the fact that they will
take a Million Dollar Wager. Sharp books don’t cut you off if you are
winning because of the large number of players they have, you are still
helping even out their books. Sharp Books have sharper lines which usually
means that they tend to favor Underdogs and UNDERS. Watching line moves at
the Sharp Books can usually tell you where the Big Money is going.

A Square Book has limits as to what you can bet, with most having limits
of $5000 or less on Side Bets and less than that on Total Bets. Square
Books regularly single out some bettors and decrease their wager limits if
they are winning over an extended period of time. In some cases they even
terminate accounts.  But there are a ton of these books and one can always
find one or two more if cutoff by any of them. Square Books have Square
lines, meaning that they favor the Favorites and OVERS. Watching line
moves at Square Books can usually tell you where the Square Money is

The Bottom Line is this: In many if not most cases, there is going to be a
1/2 to 1 point difference in the Posted Betting Line at a Sharp Book
verses a Square Book and having that advantage is Huge, depending on
whether you are playing the Favorite/Dog, Over/Under. A case in Point was
last night’s Best Bet with the Playing being Georgetown/Rutgers UNDER
139.5. I actually got 140 at one of the Square Books but I could have
gotten as low as 139 at one of the Sharp Books. If I had decided to play
the OVER, I would have done so there. The Game Ended on 139 and at certain
points of the day would have been a push at most Sharp Book. Instead we
had a winner. It is almost Uncanny how many times games end right at or
near the Number and having more betting outs at differently described
books is going to better your bottom line. For a list of Sharp/Square Books feel free to email me.

During my 20 Years of Running a Handicapping Service, I have talked to a lot of Bettors who have lost a lot of money and are searching for the answer to their problems. In almost every case, they did not have a plan of action, they were betting too many games, they were following too many handicappers, and they were using poor Money Management Practices. The fact is, in some cases, after they subscribed to AAA Sports, and after I had a Nice Winning Month, they told me that they were going to have to quit for a while because they had lost that month overall and could not afford to continue. What? Nothing surprises me anymore and I know why these Bettors are never going to win substantial money, or any at all unless they change their Betting Behavior.
You Must Have a Betting Plan
Most Bettors haphazardly go from day to day without a plan for success and that is probably 80% of their downfall. They just don’t know what they are doing. They bet varying amounts of money per game, based on how they feel about that investment, and in many cases based on how much they have won, or lost, that week, or even that day. I wish I could count the emails that I recieve from people asking me to give them “ONE BIG GAME” because they HAVE TO WIN tonight, or they have won some money and want to “DOUBLE THEIR WINNINGS.” That does not work Folks. Those people are going to lose. They are going to go through life being miserable and in many cases, they are going to blame someone else for their problems. I can’t help most of these Bettors but I do try and in some cases I succeed. Betting sports is exactly the same as playing the Stock Market. You can’t Day Trade, you have to do the Longterm Investments and the one’s that pay off everytime. You must also be willing to cut your losses and realize that everyday is not going to be a winning day
Following Hot Handicappers
How many times have I seen somebody in a forum say something like “Hey I found a Guy that is Hot! He is 13-4 in his last 17!!” Big Freaking Deal. They then jump on this guy and he promply losses his ass over the next 20 to 30 plays. Everyone has Hot Streaks. Everyone has Cold streaks. That is the nature of this business. Seeking longterm winners is the key and in most cases, a minimum of 200 to 300 Plays tells you whether someone has the ability to continue to be a winner or not. Simply put, you have to do your homework. You have to search for those guys that can hit 54% or more for an extended period of time. There are not many that can, but there are some that do. Avoid Hot Streaks at all costs and you are well on your way to beating this game.
Managing Your Bankroll
I have already covered much of this in this segment and there is a really good Money Management Program on this site. While there are many theories about how much to play per play, the general rule is 2% to 3% of your current Bankroll. However, as your Bankroll grows, you are allowed to bet more but you must set clear goals as to when you bet more. This Program gives you a step by step approach for doing this. I have for the last 9 years and I promise you that it works. If you can only afford to lose 5 Grand, you can’t be betting $500 per game. By playing 2% to 3%, $100 to $150, based on a $5000 Bankroll, you are going to weather the cold streaks, and you are going to prosper during the Hot Streaks. I always tell my more degenerative clients that if you have to have some money on other games that I don’t pick, play them for 1/2% of your Bankroll. That gives you some “Action” without doing much or any harm to your overall goal.
Reaping The Benefits of The Plan
My best suggestion is to find 2 to 3 Handicappers that have Longterm Winning Results. Ideally one’s that can each find 1 to 2 plays on a Daily Card. Play those games at 2% to 3% of current Bankroll. Follow sound Money Management Principles and have some fun playing much smaller amounts on games that you like. You will have much less stress knowing that you have a Winning Approach, you will make money, and in some cases, depending on the advice you are recieving, a lot of money. This is not an Advertisment about becoming a AAA Sports Member. There are plenty of solid handicappers out there, both paid and free. It is about getting your situation under control and becoming successful. I can safely say that I have helped 100’s of people find their way through the difficult process of converting how they invest, and if I can help you do the same, I am as close as your email. Can you make a Living Betting Sports. DAMN RIGHT YOU CAN.

The Best Bet Was a Winner last night as Villanova went to Morgantown and whipped the Mountaineers. The line movement in that game was very interesting and I thought that this would be a good time to talk about why lines move, who’s moving them, and how we can capitilize on them when they do. Let me just say that there are so many misconceptions about line moves and some of those come from who are considered Good Handicappers and people in the know. They just don’t. I have a very unique situation in that I have access to two good friends who work for Books. One is a very large book in Miami, the other one is offshore. I am allowed to pick their brains as to why a particular line moved and where a potential on is going. That gives me a lot of ammunition that most bettors don’t have.

The History of Line Moves
Back in the day before the internet, lines moves were about as fast as those at Walmart on Black Friday. We as bettors just did not have the tools to know where they were and what they were going to do. Much like Wall Street is now, we have access to every single move, and that is why stocks have more upward and downward moves as does betting lines at the various books. Because of that we usually get the best betting line if we are diligent and we have enough outs. I suggest getting at least 2 sources to bet at, and preferably many more. I have 6 myself. I also suggest you have at least 1 Sharp Book, like Bookmaker, The Greek, or Pinnacle, and at least 1 Square Book like Carib, Bodog, or 5Dimes. That is going to give you the Optimum chance of having the best number just about on every play.

The Line Movers
I often watch some comical conversations about who is moving lines. Most believe that it is by what most people call The Wiseguys. You know, the guys that wear the Trenchcoats and Hats and all talk like they are from New Jersey. (Future Blog Post on who actually are the wiseguys) The fact is, there are a number of things that can move a line and it does not have to be a guy or a group of guys named Vito, Bruno, or Carmello. Books often move lines simply based on what they feel will be the action if they do not. That was the case with Villanova yesterday as it opened at West Va. -5 and quickly moved to -5.5. It did so not because of huge money being poured on the Mountaineers, it did so because early betting suggested that there would be. The TRUE OPENING LINE therefore was -5.5 and that was exactly where it closed. However, because the books did what they did, many bettors jumped on the STEAM TRAIN and drove it quickly up to -6. That is when I released my Villinova +6 play. That is how you play the numbers. By gametime the line had stabilized again and back to -5.5. The Books were balanced, and my clients won money. Handicappers move lines well. There are probably 5 to 7 of them that have a great following and when they release a play, books automatically re-adjust. Not because of the money but because of the perception of many that that side or total is the right play.

Don’t Fall Into The Trap
There is much more that I am going to cover on this subject but for now let me just warn you. Just because a line moves, that does not mean that BIG MONEY is being played on that side. That does not mean that you should follow that play. There is much more to it than that, and if you are only following the line adjustments, then you are going to lose more than you win. I am going to be talking about Reverse Line Movements, another misconception by most Bettors very soon so stay tuned for that.

Is Vegas Trapping You?

Posted: February 5, 2010 in basketball, Blogroll, football, sports
Tags: ,

Help!! Vegas is Trapping Me!!

I am handicapping the Card this past Tuesday and while doing so, I notice on some forums that people are talking about a couple of games going that nite, Rhode Island at Lasalle, and Kansas State at Nebraska. In both instances guys are saying that the lines of Rhode Island -4 and Kansas -3 at “Vegas Traps.” The conversation makes me sick to my stomach as I know there is nothing of the such. Vegas DOES NOT try to Trap anyone and those that continue to believe so are missing the boat. There is a scout line that comes out early at a couple books in Sin City and Big Bettors are always there to capitilize on a good number. It is a time for the various outs to find out where the betting line is going and what is going to happen with the market if they move the number. In both cases when they moved this line further toward the favorites, Big Money stepped in to bring it back down. By the time you got a chance to bet the contests the market has already set the number and the books know what will happen if they move it. While Books are willing to take a position on a game, they ARE NOT willing to be Killed at any time. By the way, both favorites covered easily so The Trap People missed a good opportunity if they were scared off the Mythical Trap Theory.

Nice Best Bet goes tonight and you can get onboard by going to AAA Sports.