Background: A General Introduction (feel free to skip this if you have A.D.D), but DO NOT SKIP if you are a complete (gambling) loser!!!
The very first thing I will do here is tell you that if you’re anything like me and just want to get going, you can can skip down to the section called Techniques. However I wrote this stuff to impart the essence of lessons learned over 30 years. I invested the time writing it with the hope that I can save you some money and aggravation.
So I can tell you that for the past 30 years, I've been schooled in the arena of sports gambling. Man, that’s a lot of schoolin’, and it ain’t free. The good news is I finished my BA (Busted Aplenty) not long ago and now working on my advanced degree. The plan is, when I get that advanced degree, I completely stop paying "tuition" to the good folks who run these institutions. At this writing I’m coming off a winning year, during which I lost my shirt during February - April 2010. I paid the man one last time in early May, then didn’t pay again until September. I finished strong in NFL – especially the playoffs (14-4-1) for the first winning year in a while. This year I’m up small so far. But I think I have a handle on it and will continue to profit. The profit might be slow in coming, but as long as the money flows in this direction, that’s all that matters. I will compile and post my records here
Now I’m no braggart, believe me when I tell you. I’m rather the superstitious type; convinced that the gambling Gods won’t hesitate to put the smack down on me for any unnecessary talk. This is one of many tidbits I’ve picked up along the way, though this is not one I’d pass on if it didn’t come up naturally. Because you see, I believe in a phenomena called karma. You can think of it as a suit you wear through this life. Unique for each of us. It could be worn and frayed on some; silky smooth, suave and slick for others, with lots of grades in between. I’m not going to be any more self-indulgent with that one because it’s a topic for another time and place – maybe another audience. What you should take away from this though is the fact that its there and – when it comes to gambling, recognize your patterns and respect the cosmic forces at work, whatever they may be for you.
So I’ve made my own mistakes, (that's the schoolin' part); started making them awhile back, but then I had to learn from them, which was not so easy. I had to make the same mistakes over and over several times without it even occurring to me that there was another way. Actually there were several other ways – one of which would be to do the exact opposite of what I was doing. How many of you reading this have considered, after a losing week, month, year, that if you simply bet the opposite of what you thought to be the “right” way, you’d be making money? Well if you are a complete and flawless loser (you know who you are) the George Costanza approach might just work for you. But you must not over think it. Make your choice, go to the site and, just as you’re about to check your team, quickly check the opposite side and immediately submit before you can say “screw me”. This is very important because, despite of what you’ve come to believe, it’s not that you’re changing the outcome by choosing the side, but rather its your karma that – knowing the outcome – makes the choice for you.
How we lose (feel free to skip this if you’re not into the subtleties of the Sports Gambling Game)
Gambling works through the mechanism of human greed and self centeredness. You are shown a proposition that is the “can't miss” chance of a lifetime. But then of course, because of your "one time" ill fortune, circumstances come together in such a way that you lose "this one". But the next one comes along, and THIS one is a “can't miss”. No problem now right? Time to recoup the hit you took last time. But then...well you know what they say, shit happens, Repeat this process over and over ad nauseum, with an occasional winner thrown in there - maybe - to keep you in the hunt.
Well one day the light came on for me. I don't know exactly what it took to do that. But I finally realized that there is something systematic that goes on. Some - including me - might say these games are fixed. It’s just easier that way. How else would you explain the fact that when a line moves five points, say from 182 – 187, the actual total will finsh between 182 and 187. While the game is going on, it may appear to the observer that its going to go way under or over that total. But a solid 75% of the time, it will defy logic and finish in that range.
I am writing this to record some guidelines for myself and to inform others out there who want to defy the law of human nature that says "you have to make your own mistakes. You don’t, you just need to follow some guidelines that neutralize the power of vegas.
Basic rules to live (play) by
For starters here are some basic rules to follow. Many of you will recognize these general rules and guidelines:
1. You know how they say "If it sounds too good to be true it probably isn't? Well. if a team sounds like a can't lose situation, your team probably WILL lose. That's just the way it is. Know this and you will save yourself a lot of grief and a lot of cash.
2. Never, never, ever chase. That applies to anything. A line (point spread or total); late game plays to make up for earlier losses or beautiful women. In the end you will always regret it. There is always tomorrow. And you'll meet the new day better prepared if you've kept your cool and not chased.
3. If you’re studying points and money movement, the best situations are a team getting a slight majority of the money, say 55% while also increasing in price by ½ point. One full point is ok, but a half point is better.
4. Sort of an extension of #3; when a line moves 1 1/2 points or more, it is no longer a reliable indicator for what's going to happen in the game. If there's anything to be gleaned from that, the team getting the points will cover more often than not. So I say don't use drastic line movement to predict the game outcome but if you insist on doing it, go with the team that's getting the points
Techniques (for totals plays)
2<sup>nd</sup> Half Basketball Totals Plays (NBA and College): I believe the system I have for 2<sup>nd</sup> half basketball totals plays will hit 65 – 70% consistently. I think there are several people on the CBS board that will attest to this from plays I have posted.
The system is relatively simple, although it’s not as simple as the general rule of thought out there, which is the following:
You bet 2<sup>nd</sup> halves based on the belief that the total will finish at or near the line maker’s number. So, for example, if the game total is 140 and the teams score 50 in the first half, you should expect approximately 90 points to be scored in the second half. So if the 2nd half line is 80, you play the over.
If this is the way you do it, I believe you’re halfway there. Following this system, you should hit about 55%, and you’ll be pretty much breaking even.
But to really make money (i.e. hit at 65%+), you have to do two things. First, you need to do some screening to find plays that meet certain criteria. In order for a game to qualify, the set total has to move at least two points before the game begins. Then watch these games and hope for an aberration in scoring (i.e. an exceptionally high or low scoring 1<sup>st</sup> half).
Game Day Procedure: NOTE: See the links at the bottom for the sites you'll need
Follow A, B and C below:
A. Review the slate of games and identify those that have drastic line movements, you might do well to print it out and circle the games that qualify with this criteria.
B. Watch the game(s), looking for abbreations in total score. With this step you'll be eliminating some or maybe all games on the list. But hopefully there will be one or two (at least) left. So now the games you're still working with should have a total that is noticable high or low when compared to the game total. THESE are the games you will wager on.
C. Now you've got your games that fit the system. Figure out your 2<sup>nd</sup> half bet as follows:
<li class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; color: #333333; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list .5in;">Add up the first half total
<li class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; color: #333333; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list .5in;">Subtract that total from the closing total for the game
<li class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; color: #333333; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list .5in;">Now subtract the halftime total from the opening total (remember it should be at least 2 points different than the opening total.
<li class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; color: #333333; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list .5in;">The final total should finish somewhere between the two numbers.
<li class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; color: #333333; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list .5in;">Calculate and determine the difference between those numbers and the 1<sup>st</sup> half total.
<li class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; color: #333333; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list .5in;">Compare your calculation to the 2<sup>nd</sup> half line and wager accordingly
NOTE: DO NOT EXPECT TO WIN EVERY TIME, BUT YOU SHOULD WIN MOST OF THE TIME!
If you’re still not clear on this, here’s an example:
□ Boston is playing at Cleveland
□ Game total opens at 191
□ Game total moves down to 187 by the time the game starts
□ 1<sup>st</sup> half ends with the score, Boston 45 – Cleveland 39 for a scoring total of 84 points.
□ Calculate closing total (187) subtracted from 1<sup>st</sup> half total (84) = 103
□ Calculate opening total (191) subtracted from 1<sup>st</sup> half total (84) = 107
□ We’re going to project the final total will finish between 187 – 191, which means the teams combined will score 103 – 107 points during the 2<sup>nd</sup> half.
□ Your bookmaker should issue a 2<sup>nd</sup> half total of 95 or 96.
□ We’re going to bet the over with confidence (remember we’re NOT going to win every time, even with perfect situations. But if we can hit 75% we’ll make money, and that, as they say, is the bottom line!
Examining the total trends: Go to http://odds.sbrforum.com/#/odds/nca
Keeping tabs on the line and public $$$: http://www.thespread.com/ncaa-colle
That’s it for now. In the next, and possibly final installment, I’ll provide more details on identifying some additional subtleties and updates on this system, in the interest of increasing winning percentage. Further down the road – probably my 3rd and final installment, I’ll explain the other system I use for calling games based on public money and line movement.