Sports Picks

What Goes Up Must Come Down
Posting boards have very limited value as far as worthwhile handicapping information. However every now and then I peruse them for entertainment, at least once in a while a seed can be planted for topics for our tid-bets. Also to be brutally honest, it=s a great source for contrarian datum as there are plenty of Joey Bagodonuts giving their point of view.

One of the most entertaining posters happens to be a vocal not to mention self righteous critic of systems. He also loves to vent his spleen by whining every one of his losers was Aodds defying occurrences@. Therein lays a direct cause and effect. One thing that is odds defying is how many times I actually had the other side ‘the wrong yet winning play he=d argue) because of statistically overwhelming system plays.

The reason is that quality handicappers can anticipate when over achieving teams will level off or when underachievers will regain their form. Luckily the algorithmic programs have shown time and time again there is a common thread of parameters that indicate when the gambler can Abuy low and sell high@ so to speak.

As we mentioned in previous articles our most fruitful systems disproportionately favor going with sinking and/or bad teams ‘and pitchers in MLB) and/or against rising and/or top level teams. My clients pay me to defy the odds. Fortunately there are computer programs that have found indisputable common threads to lend support to me in doing just that.

I have been handicapping a long time and even before the Information Age revolutionized what we do, I had a great deal of success with educated instincts. Basically when a team ‘and pitcher in baseball) was in Auncharted waters@ was when the reverse of fortune would occur.

An example would be a perennial underdog becomes a significant favorite based predominately on recent rather than long-term data. The same two teams with the same personnel met six weeks earlier in the same location, yet the four-point dog has become the two-point favorite. In that example in most cases going against the newbie chalk is the way to go. In the NBA we see it happen with sides and totals within one series.

But luckily there are enough non-believers who think anytime a seemingly superior team loses to the inferior team it=s merely an Aodds defying occurrence@. They keep the books in business for the more learned.

Last Impressions: Poison for the Square Player

I’m sure you’ve seen me on the top sports betting blog mention previously that my only other passion besides sports foreboding is dining. The most common term assigned to restaurant nerds like me is Afoodie@ essentially the wiseguys of restaurants. We know that even the best eating establishments can=t go Aundefeated@. The kitchen will occasionally put out a sub-par meal or the wait staff gives bad service. If it happens to me, I won=t disregard all the great opinions I=ve heard from trusted sources. Many of my favorite restaurants I may not have returned if I based my patronage solely on my first experience.

However I often hear non-foodies ‘the square eater) say they tried a highly touted restaurant and were disappointed. All the contrary opinions they=ve heard become irrelevant. It matters not to them that the chef may have been on vacation or the restaurant got slammed with business at once and an off-night resulted. Any and all extenuating circumstances and opposing testimonials are immaterial. Their aberrational experience nullifies all other facts.

This is exactly what the uncultivated gambler does. AI saw them on TV the other night and they looked terrible@ is a justification I have heard so many times as the singular rationalization for the great unwashed betting a specific play. Long term data becomes inconsequential to what the innumerate bettor eye witnessed.

We just alluded to extreme line changes that can happen in NBA playoff series with the only dynamic that changed significantly is the results of the one or a few games previous. When there are dare I say it, Aodds defying occurrences@ it often results in overcompensation that becomes a goldmine for sharp players to exploit.

The 2005 NBA Finals are a quintessential example. Game 1 had a total of 176. A minuscule 155 points were scored. Anyone with even a primordial knowledge of public betting tendencies knew the masses would henceforth salivate over betting the under. Pre-emptive of this, the oddsmakers posted the total in Game 2 at 170’. As we=ve mentioned many times the lower the total, the more significant a variation is. In other words a total moving four points to 220 is much less of consequence that a four-point move to 170. Hence this 5′ point move from one game to the next in the Pistons-Spurs was whopping. The next five games went over the total with the over/under never rising above 173. Game 7 saw the highest total since the opening game thanks to five overs. It went under.

As is often the case the five lowest totals went over and the two highest went under. The oddsmakers don=t blunder very often. Temporary abnormalities in game results are much more common. Full knowledge of this simple fact is imperative when we mull over short term results that contradict the more dependable long-range.

The cure is to not have your basic cognitive process blinded by one game that you watched from start to finish. Long term data is a much better representation.

Put Charles in Charge
Charles Barkley at least had the courage to state the obvious when NBA Commissioner David Stern ruled out an NBA franchise in Las Vegas as long as Nevada allows NBA betting.

I just think they’re hypocrites. People are going to bet on sports. Vegas deserves an NBA team and I hope they get one here. It should have been done already. Gambling and sports go together. That’s the reason football is probably the most popular sport.