When our winning rate decelerated in 2012, we conducted
an internal audit. We wanted to find if there was a clear-cut pattern as to
when, why, and how our picks won. We studied the records and analysis with each
We scoured over years and years of data, picks, and intel used to
support the bets. Many times we hit 60-70 percent over thousands of games, other
times in the lower to mid 50 percentile.
In short, the most apparent deviation was when we allowed technology to supersede old-fashioned time-proven metrics that we won with on scorephones and though today.
The sport that stood out was college basketball. Our soul searching made it clear that
injuries, especially players returning from such, scheduling dynamics, clear-cut
emotional letdown situations and more are still the key to isolating off-lines.
Technology is great. Super systems, sharp versus square, market analysis are among the valuable tools that we added to our arsenal over the years. But in reality, this information is most affective corroborating old-fashioned time tested techniques.
Examples of strategies that should never be
downplayed would be exploiting scheduling dynamics. Here is from a recent
premium report, “In a schedule where 29th-year head coach Greg Kampe dubbed as
stupid, Oakland is playing on the road in 15 of its first 19 games and traveling
nearly 17,000 miles. OU is just 1-8 this season away from home and have lost
five straight. They are understandably very road weary. The schedule maker has
given us a gift here.”
After a 2-1 spread start, Oakland lost seven of
their next eight road games our clients were informed.
Similarly, the same day we won with UNLV over Canisius. “Canisius is playing their fourth game
in seven days. Two were on the road or neutral at Syracuse and Temple. Now they
are playing 1971 miles away from home. Yes, they will be fat and happy following
the stunner over Temple, but what a tough turnaround heading to Vegas to play
another good team in 48 hours. This is the same squad that lost to Stony Brook
and was blown out of the arena in a short trip to Syracuse, so all signs point
towards following up their best game of the year with a thud.”
We find TeamRankings.com to be the best source for streamlined travel analysis.
Analyzing injuries is not just about which players will not be playing
that night, but what happens in the games (yes plural, not just his first game
back) when key players return. An example, “NIU is coming into form getting key
players back. Abdel Nader is averaging 14.0 points per game in three contests
since returning from suspension. Nader is averaging 27.1 points per 40 minutes
Akeem Springs is averaging 11.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game
since moving to a role off the bench in the last three games. Springs is
shooting 50.0 percent, including 54.5 percent from 3-point range, during that
time; Antone Christian returned against DePaul (Dec. 16) after missing six games
due to injury. In his second game back at Seattle (Dec. 19), Christian scored a
season-high 11 points in just 10 minutes of action.”
So often it takes
time for chemistry to develop and for a player to rid of rust and ease back into
the line-up. That’s why a team’s progress must be tracked two, three, and four
games after a key player returns from a sustained absence.
schedules that have had a disproportionate number of road games will usually be
undervalued. Those who have had substantial home cooking will be overestimated
and are so often fade plays once they hit the road.
Teams’ own SID
releases are goldmines for betting bellwethers. We find them best organized in
the news section of BBState.com. Of course Google and Google News remain daily
musts for searching specific information.
We have a long list of harbingers we keep an eye out for in addition to the aspects above.
Inexperienced teams tend to play much better at home early in the year,
but after about a dozen games start to improve as a road bet just as their road
power ratings drop. Experienced teams start out quickly and are especially
quality road bets. But likewise after ten or so games, they reach a point of
diminishing return and become a bit of a fade, especially on the road.
How do we define “experience?” The “experience tracker” at Statsheet.com
is our favorite cheat sheet for such.
Another common occurrence would be
squads that experiment with different line-ups early in the season, but settle
into a rotation. How have the done with the stability? Are they improving a bit
each game as one would expect?
Technology is wonderful and gamblers must
exploit, but not at the expense of time-proven handicapping golden nuggets.
In hindsight I began to allow high tech toys to overshadow proven sports
betting procedures. Introspection reminds us a proper balance begins by
acknowledging the game itself is mastered much like it was before the
Information Age. So is handicapping.
Written by Joe Duffy of VegasTopDogs.com