Special NFL 2018 Season Week Early Look

Looking ahead at week 1, several trends small trends stand out. The sample sizes are small, but the margins are notable. One of the things the makes NFL one of the hardest sports to handicap is the relatively smaller sample size of most trends that trend-setting sifts to the top. For example:

  • The Browns are 0-17 ATS since Jan 01, 2017 – 17 games but a massive -10.53 ppg average
  • The Packers are 16-0 OU (+12.12 ppg) as a favorite of more than six points vs a team with the same record.
  • The Steelers are 3-20-1 OU (-7.10 ppg) since Oct 13, 2013 as a road favorite
  • The Vikings are 28-8-2 ATS (3.59 ppg) since Nov 07, 2013 at home

Looks pretty good right? 4 solid bets…
Maybe…but then again maybe not. The Vikings are 28-8-2 ATS at home, and that is amazing, but look at what the line was historically: average -1.9 ppg, and we have the Vikings, with zero games under their belts in Week 1 lined now at -4.5

Capping the NFL is more about forgetting what you know, and making an attempt to ride on the coat-tails of the linesmakers. Or…if you think you’re just as savvy and want to overthink that basic strategy, you can more or less fade the public nearly on the blind in NFL. So much more the case than most of the other sports we look at. NFL = Low volume; big public week to week overreactions to nearly meaningless data. Typically, we like the thrill of being right on NFL games, but rare expect as much profit as we might see during say an NCAABB season.

Nonetheless, every once in a while, something notable comes along. We’ll usually have 3-5 of these strikingly simple, 150 games plus sample size, sub 0.05 p-value record, low number of condition situations that appear to have what we need to go hard on.

On the house, for week one, we have a trend that has 127 games in the books, three primary conditions, two minor filters and a record of 78-43-6 ATS (64.5%) — that is a solid standard score of 3.11

Here is the most key condition:

#1. We want a team that didn’t do well last season: 2 games or more below .500 record
Next…
#2. We are focusing only on early season: first half or just week 1 produces a slight lean 765-719-41 ATS for the entire first half, but thanks to a fairly linear trend upwards for our previous season poor-performers, Week 1 alone produces a 149-114-8 ATS record (56.7%)!

It gets better with another logical filter, but for now, the SDQL we’re using to query this is very simple:
SDQL= PRSW<=6 and week=1 ...and we have the following teams as active plays: Broncos, Browns, Colts, Dolphins, Giants, Bears, Texans, Buccs, 49ers, Jets, and the Raiders. Let's try and hone in on the best of that platter: #3. Let's just look at dogs: The record is now 111-79-6 ATS (59.0% ATS) Minor / optional filters: If we take home dogs +6 points or larger and road dogs no larger than 12 points, the record is 78-43-6 ATS (64.5%). Consider taking that to the bank in Week 1 perhaps with a little extra capping of your own or using some of our other active PCG Sports Betting NFL Systems available at the Trend Mart via discount link: http://killersports.com/trend_mart?store=PCG&discount_code=PCG_yH6zz2 Active on the Browns, Bears, Texans, Buccs, 49ers and Jets! Best of luck, PCG (ProComputerGambler.net)

Best Hidden Factor for NFL Futures

WHAT IS THE BEST “HIDDEN” FACTOR FOR DETERMINING NFL SEASON WINS PROPS:

We are quickly approaching the start of the NFL season. What you will be getting mostly now, will be a lot of season wins forecasts. Most of those will be based on the obvious, draft picks, free agent signings, or free agents lost, etc. The numbers will be scrutinized publically to the point of exhaustion, with a lot of “stuffed suits” and so-called experts weighing in. The problem is, they all approach the predictions with similar, if not exacting methodology, as described above, and state their objective view based on how they see it playing out.

Today in the newsletter, we will look at an entirely different methodology, one that sits tucked firmly under the radar, as it sits on an island, awaiting discovery, and in my attempt to always be “stealthy” regarding my handicapping philosophy, I have looked at many, many approaches, out of the main stream, and it is what attributes to my success as a handicapper.

I discovered several years ago, a methodology, that is first and foremost logical, and then backed up the theory with a trial and error highly successful means to the end, with 20 NFL seasons of data, So here we go:

INTER CONFERENCE GAMES THE KEY:

The NFL schedule is 16 games, and 25% of that schedule is comprised of inter-conference games. That is certainly a significant chunk. The beauty of it is, the NFL schedule is such, that these 4 games change every year, as inter-league play is rotated conference by conference through all 4 possibilities. here in lies the most predictive element I have found to forecast a team in the best spot to move up or down.

DOOMSDAY:

Arguably, in the long haul, a team should finish 2-2 in the 4 games straight up. Maybe in a given season, when they face a weak conference they rise to 3-1, or 4-0, and visa versa if they play the strongest conference. This is the key element.

Since the start of the 1995-96 NFL season there have been 49 teams that ran the inter-conference table at 4-0 SU. The theory is, a team that went 4-0 in these games may have had an easy path, and with a more difficult schedule in front of them in these 4 games the following season, it may be quite difficult to reach the same win total.

THE VERIFICATION:

The 49 teams that ran the table over the period, met this fate:

38 of them lost more games

9  of them won more games

2 of them won the same amount of games

34 of the 49 lost 2 more games or more 69.4%

The 38 teams that lost more games, did so to an average net wins over the previous season of -3.95!

So the fact is 78% of these teams lost an average of just about 4 more games the following season!

I’m not sure about you, but I have looked at 100s of season win forecasting tools, and none come remotely close to this!
********************************************************************************************

DOES THE DOOR SWING BOTH WAYS?:

Supporting evidence then should mean, that if a 4-0 team loses a significantly greater amount of games the next season under this hypothesis, then shouldn’t an 0-4 team win a lot more?

It certainly would make this hypothesis a lot truer, and acceptable if that were the case.

PAYDAY:

We now look at the 0-4 SU teams, and reverse what was said of the 4-0 SU teams, and here are the facts:

Since the start of the 1995-96 season, there have been 53 teams that went 0-4 SU in their previous inter-league schedule.

38 of the 53 won more games the next season

12 of the 53 teams lost more games

3 of the 53 won the same amount of games

34 of the 53 teams won 2 or more games the following season (64.1%)

The 34 teams that won more games, did so to an average additional wins of a whooping 4.1!

It certainly spells out the same outcome, and our theory is looking mighty strong!

COMBINING THE 4-0’s and the 0-4’s:

When we put this all together into one, since they are indeed the same thing we get:

Since the start of the 1995-96 season, there have been 103 teams that won all, or went winless in their 4 inter-conference games the previous season.

THESES TEAMS COMBINED TO:

positive theory results in 76 of 102 case studies (74.5%)

negative results in 21 of 102 case studies

neutral results in 5 case studies

The average wins or losses above or below the previous season in the 76 positive outcomes was 4!

Think about that for a second. Out of all case studies, with a positive outcome(75%) the results from the previous year were positive by 25% of the schedule, 4 games up or down!

I can say with certainty, that no one can come close to this stealthy way to forecast a team’s season win totals, using just 1 predictive variable, tested on both sides, over a 20 year period, with stunning credibility.

4-0 teams to play under from last year:

Dallas
Buffalo
Baltimore
Philadelphia

0-4 teams to play over from last year:

Atlanta
Tennessee
NY Jets

Best of Luck,
East

Making Sports Betting Lines Win For You

Bettors take all different kinds of approaches to gambling on sporting events. Some use tremendously thorough statistical data to ascertain probabilities, and then translate their probabilities into odds and pointspreads. Others use situational analysis. They study trends and angles. Many seek the advice of persons they assume to have more expertise and information than themselves. Then there are the palm readers and stargazers. To them, the outcome of a game is a matter of fate.

Whatever philosophy, or combination of philosophies, a handicapper uses to bet sports, he must understand he is fighting a battle on several fronts. He fights for accurate information, for meaningful data, for expanded opportunities. He fights for time, knowledge, luck, a few good calls from the blasted refs. He fights public opinion, probability and -110 odds. Most importantly, and often overlooked, he fights the point spread.

Now, we all know the basics about the point spread or sports betting line:
• It originates in Las Vegas on Sunday afternoons, and is disseminated to legal and illegal bookmakers throughout the country within a matter of minutes of being publicly released.
• It is based on probabilities, and is intended to divide betting between two teams involved in a game. By dividing the action evenly, and charging -110 odds, bookmakers assure themselves of a profit of around five percent.
• Bettors either play the favorite and lay points, or bet the underdog and get points.
• Bookmakers change the point spread according to the betting, and they do so to invite betting on the side that has taken less action.
• Some sports betting line movement is considered smart and should be closely followed. Other line movement is considered dumb and should be played against.

Function and Shape Of Sports Betting Lines

sports betting linesBettors must realize that sports betting lines function in different ways and that they can take advantage of these differences. First of all, the line is viewed differently by bookmakers and linemakers. Bookmakers, in general, merely want to divide the betting evenly between the two sides in a contest. They are not gambling and merely want to broker a deal between two bettors who have opposite opinions.

Bettors take a different view. They are looking for spots where the probability of a certain outcome occurring exceeds the offered point spread, which is generated at least in part by an expected probability. It’s a simplistic conclusion, but bookmakers and linemakers handicap public opinion and attempt to find the pointspread at which half the bettors will bet on one side of a game and half on the other. Bettors, at least good ones, are attempting to find the games in which pointspread and probability do not mesh.

Now, of course, no one is right all the time. Linemakers, bookmakers and bettors all make mistakes. Linemakers misjudge public opinion. Bookmakers change their lines at the wrong time. Bettors use the wrong data to predict probability. Chaos and luck play a part in everyone’s decisions and in the outcome of most contests. Thus, we can see the sports betting lines are essentially created by a variety of decisions made by fallible individuals, and that the shape of the line can take several forms.

Big Game and Super Bowl Betting

Thursday NFL today; I got several emails asking me who I’d pick for the sake of action or “beer money” as some put it. Drinking does a good job of removing the edge if you know what I mean. Anyways, these questions get me thinking about big marquee games like the Super Bowl in NFL and how to bet them. Let’s get back to basics and the tough reality of Super Bowl betting and other marquee games like today’s Broncos vs. Chiefs Thursday night game.

SUPER BOWL BETTING:

There is no question that the Patriots have dominated this game for the past 10 years or so under coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady going an astounding 192-62-0 (+8.71 ppg, 75.6%) SU. In the 2014 Super Bowl, over 65% of the public was betting the Favorite: none other than the New England Patriots over the Seattle Seahawks. It is one thing for the Patriots to win in marquee playoff games; it is quite another for them to dominate it, as they have going 21-8-0 (+6.00 ppg, 72.4$%) SU since 2001 (Brady / Belichick era) . Last year, New England beat Seattle 28-24, and the game before that they crushed the Colts 45-7. Before that they were averaging 26.2 ppg in the playoffs and winning by roughly 6 points a game.

But, with this said, one must still approach this game as he would any other, handicapping the game step by step. Here is the same Super Bowl betting checklist most professional bettors will use as they look at the game:

STEP-BY-STEP ANALYSIS

1. Ask yourself which team the bookmakers need. The line will always be tilted in favor of this team. This means the Seahawks could be the play on this point alone — if that is as far as a handicapper wished to go. Over 65% of the action coming in on the Pats, hence the books need the Seahawks to win and they’ll do what it takes to increase the odds of the Seahawks covering while not passing up an opportunity to cash in with a Seahawk’s win.

2. What is the big-game experience of these two teams? There is something about a classic event in a game such as this that gives a big edge to the team with proven big-game experience. Experienced teams seem to handle the pressure better and are more apt to be able to play the kind of game that got them here.

3. What about injuries to key people? One must assume that everybody is banged up a bit at this point of the season. After all, each of these teams played at least four preseason games, 16 regular season games and two playoff contests. That’s a 22-game schedule and the human body simply is not made to do that. But pay attention to the skill positions, since that is where a player in pain can hurt you the most.

4. In analyzing the injury factor, remember that a team will lose its effectiveness in direct relationship to how many players are really hurt or questionable for the game: A team with one injured player probably can survive; a team with two key people hurt is a bit suspect; and one with three people out is in big trouble.

Super Bowl betting5. How has the coach performed in big games in the past? Top coaches figure out ways to win big games. The game plan Bill Belichick beat Seattle with in 2014 is a textbook lesson in destroying the strength of the other team. Belichick knew Seattle was so explosive defensively that he could never win in the trenches with the limited talent he had on that side of the ball. Thus he designed a game plan that simply kept the ball in Tom Brady’s hands — and it gave him a 28- 24 squeak by win which killed the books and sharps who were all over Seattle (including myself). Really though, the game came down to luck and it was a big ‘shit happens’ thing for the guys who made the right call: the Seahawks who led 24-14 going into the 4th quarter.

6. Which team seems to be better right now? Look at both teams closely and try to make some objective judgment on which is playing the better football. It will mean something in this game.

7. If the line makes it difficult to make a decision as to which side to play, then look for other ways to bet the game. Maybe an over or under is the play?

8. If you like the underdog to win outright, bet the money line on the game. Instead of getting even-money for your bet, you can get the odds, which should be somewhere be-tween 3-1 and 4-1 on the ‘dog. In these tight spread games, the ATS results correlate very closely with the SU results so it is more about picking the winner in most NFL games close to the smaller handles (3, 7).

9. When you look at the talent of each team, determine whether the underdog can win the game if it plays its best football. Forget about the jinx and just match the underdog up with the favorite and ask yourself if this team could win it outright, if it plays its game.

10. Take a look at all other betting gimmicks offered on the game. You will see lines made on which team will have the most rushing yards, the most passing yards, the most interceptions, etc.,. Many times one can make an intelligent and objective judgment on these little things. Other gimmicks, such as who will score first, or who will kick the first field goal, are Sucker bets unless you’re getting significant plus odds because it literally comes down to a coin flip that vast majority of the time.

We know it is difficult to bet against the Favorited mega elite team in the Super Bowl, but if you think the Seahawks/’Dog plus the points is the play, take a stand. The dog seems jinxed, but that will die, and it just might be this year. One thing is for certain: if you take the dog you have two chances to win, i.e. outright or by covering. If you bet the favorite, you only one chance to win, and that is by covering.

Final note: These are just some thoughts on how you might make a small “beer money” wager; however, in the long haul, marquee games are best avoided completely. That includes, the playoffs in any sport, Monday, Thursday, Friday night Football, Weekend games in B2b sports (ie. NBA, MLB), big name school rivalry matchups, etc. etc.. The best bets are usually obscure games that no one is interested in and being right in marquee games is more of an ego thing that doesn’t really get you anywhere in the long run.

Bet sharp!

-ProComputerGambler
Computer Generated Sports Picks

Injury Traps? | Beat the Bookmakers

Bookies’ Injury Traps?

There are some bettors who think that it is bookmakers themselves who put out phony injury reports, hoping to confuse bettors, especially on first inning MLB betting, where the players were beating bookmakers big-time in the not-too-distant past. In fact, some Las Vegas bookmakers would and still will only take a $25 or $50 bet on a prop.

Public Sentiment

The feeling among the betting public is that bookmakers spread lies on any game involving marquee NBA teams for example. Let’s say that, in NBA, an injury report comes out that the Spur’s Tony Parker is injured. Some big bettors were making a killing on the Spurs at one point while you could balance the team on the edge of a knife. However, by saying he was hurt and might not play, the bookies accomplished two things:

1. They could legitimately tell their big bettors who beat the bookmakers and regular customers that they were taking only limited action on an individual game, since the status of Parker was uncertain.

2. They could scare away many bettors who, when faced with uncertainty, merely pass on such games.

Beat The BookmakersRumors

When rumors fly, bookmakers can take a game off the board or put it in a circle and limit the action on it. And, as we said, this permits them to maintain their credibility while protecting themselves from getting hit again by a hot team.

It is highly unlikely that the NBA is going to establish an injury policy; this means bettors themselves are going to have to work harder to take an edge against the lies.

First of all, every serious basketball bettor must have more than one outlet. Maybe if one bookmaker is not taking action on a team, another one will be. There is also the issue of betting lines, especially NBA totals, varying from one betting shop to another. Smart bettors who beat the bookmakers shop for numbers in order to “get” games that some bookmakers are not handling. They also get to see different lines and then place their wagers with the bookie who offers them the best number.

Beat the Bookmakers

By having a number of betting outlets, you will get a consensus opinion on the accuracy of injury reports. You will also be surprised to find that while one bookmaker carried Parker as questionable and would take no action on the game, another one, just a few doors away, was taking San Antonio action anybody wanted to place.

It also is interesting to note that for the first time in many years, more NBA basketball teams are playing to a consistent profile. This means that if a bettor can cut through all the lies and get to the truth each night, he knows that he is wagering on a team which is playing a consistent game.

-Tom Herbert
ProComputerGambler

Information the Bookmaker Has

QUESTION:

Given that most bookies do fairly nicely for themselves, it seems obvious to me that they must know more than we, the bettors, do. At least they must have better advice and more sources of information. What can bettors do to close the information gap with “the Bookmaker”?

ANSWER:

There is so much possible information and misinformation available on any speculative event that we can be overwhelmed with data. It would be a full-time job trying to gather it, let alone sift, sort and process it properly.

Even then, at whatever level of data we accumulate for our own use, we would probably find that our data was compromised by our own biases.

Your area of inquiry parallels the efforts of previous year’s co-recipients of the Nobel Prize for Economics that I can’t recall at the moment. Each year, the Nobel committee recognizes an economist or economists who have made a breakthrough in the field. That year’s winners examined and theorized about “asymmetric information” or, in other words, information that is not balanced or equal but that is still used to arrive at a certain result. Of course, most human decisions are reached after examining a set of factors, none of which are equal in value to the others.

Traditional economic theory held that all sides had the same information, but because they held different preferences or influences their decision processes caused them to arrive at different conclusions. In the “real world,” however, we all know that one side often knows something the other side doesn’t. We would call this an asymmetrical information database.

The bookmakerA good example of an asymmetrical relationship regarding data can be seen in an examination of the relationship between an insurance company and one of its health insurance policy holders. The policy holder will probably know more about his health and his family’s health history than the insurance company will. The insurer, however, knows it is on the low-side in this data acquisition game and adjusts premiums to reflect this potential problem. If the insurer failed to make this assumption it would likely lose money. It’s the same thing when someone purchases a used car. The seller always knows more about the bucket of bolts than the buyer does. It is also true of many other economic relationships that one side has more or different information than the other side.

Sure, a pure symmetrical model based on quantifiable factors would be ideal, and many handicappers act as if their relationship to the odds and pointspreads is easily examined according to a set of factors common to both themselves and the creator of the odds and pointspreads. This situation, however, rarely exists in the “real world.”

Now, I don’t think the bookies have access to more, better or privileged information that the rest of us somehow miss. Remember, the bookie is not picking a side, he is “booking” the “action” of a diverse group of decision makers who often collectively cancel each other out. In other words, the bookmaker attempts to create a symmetrical pattern of wagers upon which he attaches a vigorish that will produce a profit.

The Bookmaker

The bookmaker, through the use of the pointspread or odds, controls the act of betting and can burden any wager with a negative pointspread or lay price on the money line. Using the spread or money line, he attempts to drive the bettors to symmetrical behavior producing a situation where half the money is wagered on one side and half on the other side. This scheme produces an effect in which the bookie has the bucks in his favor and is similar to the economist who tries to guide the pricing policies of the XYZ Corporation. Like the economist, the bookmaker knows that setting the wrong price (or pointspread or odds) can lead to a disastrous result.

Bettors, of course, are selecting a side and, unlike the bookmaker, are not making a decision based on collective decision-making processes. Bettors make their own singular decision based on their lone opinion. A bettor must know he is playing in game where the two sides have different goals based on different information that has come from different sources. Therefore, the bettor is forced to view his situation knowing that he gathers and processes information differently from his bookmaker. Given this, the bettor must hone his skills to acquire and manipulate information in a manner that produces good results. And that’s really the only measuring stick here — were more winners picked than losers and was a profit produced.

Once established, the probability or perceived chance of success is easily convertible to an odds line or pointspread. Therein, bettors look for a predetermined advantage over the “price” (pointspread or odds) and make their decisions accordingly.

ProcomputerGambler

Handicapping Sports Takes Time

handicapping sports takes timeNo one has ever done a time study on how many minutes or hours the average handicapper spends in preparing for a day of betting on sports but you can be assured it is not much. Most bettors think you can grab a local newspaper, spend 45 seconds looking at betting lines that are at least 24 hours old and then pick five or six winners. It is as if they believe they have stored in their brains all the data and informationthey need to beat the game. By simple adding 45 seconds a day of handicapping , they believe they can just spew out those winners.

It is no wonder bettors lose in a world where they have a legitimate chance to win every single day. Handicapping sports is a difficult, time-consuming  business, but you can consistently win at it if you can get past the 45 seconds a day method of analysis.

Handicapping A Big Day…

Handicapping a big day, such as a Saturday, when there are dozens of games from which to pick, you may spend up to as many as 20 hours getting ready for it. Last week, this handicapper spent more than 10 hours on Friday handicapping  the Saturday card, and then put in a full 12-hour day on Saturday doing the same thing.
The first thing I do when I am handicapping a day on which there are a great number of games, which also mean a great number of opportunities, is to completely handicap the card the day before, setting aside all the games in which I think there is some possible edge. Then I come back the next day and do it all over again, seeing if my perspective is the same the second time around. Many times it is not, as later data and information, or insight makes other contest more playable.

What You Pass on is More Important Than What You Play…

After I have decided which 15-20 games offer the best chance to win, I then revisit each game to try to makes a case for both sides. This is a key juncture in handicapping, and it never surprises me when half of the 15-20 games fall by the wayside, since you can truly make a case for both sides in about 50 percent of the contests. Needless to say, if you can makes a case for both sides, the game is a pass.

When the process is all over, I have five or six games which seem to offer the most edges – and those are the games I bet. There was no magic formula involved in any of it – just hours of intense tedious focused analysis.

And, once into the betting arena there still are no assurances you will bet on anything but winners. There is no way to determine in advance that you quarterback would be sacked six times and fumble three times. Also, there is no way to predict the Washington Wizards, a supposedly professional basketball team, would hit 33 percent from the floor. The “X Factor,” the unknown, is always looking over the bettor’s shoulder. But when you work at this business and take the edges, you chances for success increase dramatically.

ProComputerGambler

What To Bet / Not Bet for August in MLB

August tends to be a tough month for most bettors. You come out of July acclimated to the strange phenonmenon of Favorites destroying dogs making backers money on the blind. In August, the public usually gets slaughtered falling into a number of traps including very large chalk as well as home dogs off of a home loss. Consider the following scenario:

1. It is August.
2. You have a home dog of +110 or more
3. Off of a home loss or 1 run squeak by win where 3 to 10 runs were scored.
4. Not the last game of a series.

This team comes out with a false sense of self and a resulting flat performance next game going just 69-168 (29.1%) SU -75.15 units and a huge +19.0% roi to fade.

Keep this one in your back pocket for next month!