Posts Tagged ‘sportspicks’

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.

HOW CAN WE BENEFIT FROM THIS PHENOMENON?
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.

THE SPECIAL SITUATIONS
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.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO GET A JUMPSTART?
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
publication.

THE FUTURES AND EARLY TOTALS
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.

WINNING AT FOOTBALL IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
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.

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