Saturday, February 24, 2007

Change of direction

I have had some new thoughts on how I am going to be setting up my handicapping. First I am going to be collecting mass amounts of data and putting it into a database. Unfortunately, there is not one source for that. I am slowly accumulating that be doing searches on Google, Yahoo, and a browser add on called Stumble Upon. You can get there by going to You can search for websites on a particular topic and it will take you too related sites. If you like it, you hit the 'thumbs up' icon, if you don't like it, the 'thumbs down'. It then modifies the next 'stumble' based on your responses. I have found various sites that would not come up with Google Or Yahoo. I will be posting the sites for how and where I got the data. Might be from 5 or more sites. In particular, I am collected stat data for NFL and College Basketball. Those are the two wagers that I like. For football, I want game detail, by player, since 2000. I want game summaries with score, date, home\away team, line and Over Under for as far back as it can go. For basketball, just line history at this point. I will be posting sites.

As far as the game today, I like Indiana -6 at MSU. The line has moved up recently due to the roll MSU is on, I think it way Over Adjusted.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Game Pick and Recap of Last Nights Loss

Don't have time tonite to go over much more than pick a game tonite and then look at my loss of last nights game. First things first, Wisconsin did not cover in last nights game and ended up losing by 10, while they gave a 1.5 points. SO on the surface this looks like a lopsided loss. But with 4 and half minutes left, Wisconsin was up four and had two positions where they had wide open looks from three, which they did not hit, but would have put them up 7 and in the driver's seat. Drew Neitzel then made two threes, once bounced almost over the backboard and in, and a off handed shot in the lane that rolled in. Bottom line, it didn't cover, but it wasn't as bad as the final score indicated. Tonite I like Texas A&M giving 4.5 to OK St. Seen Texas A&M a couple of times and they can win on the road. Love Acie Law, and they play great defense. OSU has been struggling lately.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

When developing my methods of deciding which games to bet on, I decided not to be arrogant and try to develop one on my own. So I started to do some research on some websites, just going to google and typeing in 'Sports Betting' or 'Sports Handicapping'. As you might expect, there are many resources, both good and bad, that are out there. Some are free, some you have to pay for. Most sites give you all the same information, just layed out differently. I didn' t find anything earth shattering but I did find a couple of sites that were of interest. One in particular that caught my eye was
This sight gives a little different spin on betting analysis. It gives statatistics taken from different online betting sights and gives percentage of who is betting what side. It's a very interesting dynamic. It also shows the opening line and a list of lines from different sportsbooks that are realtime. One other feature I like about the site is it shows how many bets are placed on the game. Obviously the bigger name teams are taking more bets. This is an interesting dynamic. Remember, Vegas and oddsmakers are in business, they want as many bets as possible, they are know which teams typically get more action than others. This effects the line of those games. This is a free site for some general analysis and charts, it does require you to setup a user name and password and asks for email. Advanced features can be purchased. One thing that I did do a long time ago, is setup a 'Dummy' email. I created it in Yahoo and made it something really obscure. When I sign up for anything that I know I don't want spam or other email from, or I don't trust the site to use my info elsewhere, I use this dummy email address. Just my preference. I will be giving other sites out, but this one was of 'outside of the box' from the other sites that I had seen.

The other thing I did was look on to find if there were any books written on the subject. Suprisingly, there is. I created a 'wish list', since I didn't want to buy 50 books on the subject and then only read one and half books and the others be crap. So I decided on one that I thought would be the best for a starting point. Its called Investing In College Basketball' by Larry Siedel. I picked this one becuase I liked the Term 'Investing' instead of gambling and it dealt with College Basketball, which is one of my favorite sports, and it's getting really close to March Madness. I will confess that I go out to Vegas every year for the 1st round of the NCAA tournament, and will again this year. I recommend the book to those who are in a similar situation as me, not for gamblers who have their own 'methodology' on betting games. I give him credit for giving me the framework of what I am going to use for my own analysis. He is a very big believer in 'specializing', particularly in particular conference. I also like they way he integrates hard statistics (quantiative) and subjective stats (qualitative). He advocates free statistics off of web sites and putting them into a quote 'Database' for part of the analysis, then using notes from the games themselves (such as injuries, suspensions, foul trouble.. stuff that does not show up in the box score or hard stats) for each game. I do have a secret weapon, in that in my day job, I work with Databases, and getting the data from a website to a database, and manipulating the data is something that I enjoy and can get done quickly. One thing to be wary of is having to many statistics and taking to much time analyzing them. Only those statistics that can help you predict future game outcomes will be needed. In the next couple of blogs, I will detail some of the qualatative and quantative statistics that should be looked at.

I did win the Marquette \ Villanova game last night as Marquette comfortably covered the spread. Villanova jumped off to an early lead, but Marquette tied it at halftime, and used their advantage at the guard position to pull away. Tonite, the game that intrigues me the most is Michigan State Vs. Wisconsin. From the 'Sports Insights' website, this game is the most wagered on game as of right now, 83% of the wagers going for the badgers (** of note, this is the NUMBER of wagers, not the $$. So more money is likely going toward the Badgers, but probably not exactly 83%, as the $/ wager is not equal on every bet). The starting line was Badgers giving 1.0, now it is 1.5 in some books and as high as 2.5. I think this line is low as well, and would take it if I could get it at 1.5 and maybe buy the half point. I think Wisconsin is a good 12-15 points better then MSU on a neutral court. The home court advantage does mean points for MSU, as they are very good at home this year and in the past. I think the reason it is so low is that MSU needs the win more, just like last night with Villanova. MSU does not have a NCAA bid locked up, and Wisc does. Also, it could be a 'look ahead' game for Wisconsin because they play #1 OSU on Monday. The reason I like Wisconsin is I don't think they are looking ahead, they need this game to keep even with OSU for a shot at the Big 10 title, they also play MSU again the last game of the year, which at that point I could possibly see a letdown if Wisconson already has the Big 10 wrapped up. Wisconsin is a veteran team and Bo Ryan is a solid and stable coach, there is a reason why they only have lost 2 games this year. If all I am giving is 1.5 points, I'll take that bet. MSU will have to shoot the lights out and get some production from someone else than Drew Neitzel. I see Wisconsin getting up early, with MSU making good run and maybe even taking the lead in the second half, but Wisconsin will pull away at the end.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Where to Begin

The first time I looked at a betting sheet, and looked at the numbers, I was perplexed but intrigued about how they came up with the numbers. I, like others, falsely thought that this was the way Vegas (or those who set the lines) predicted the ACTUAL outcome of the game. This as I soon found out was not the case. Vegas is trying the split the bet, meaning it wants to see equal bets on either side of the spread, in order for it to make money from the 10% or so they take for handling the bet. They try to match the gambling public's perception of the game, not the actual outcome. It is sometimes hard to differentiate between the two.

If you realize this, you then have to determine which game to bet on. Since we are getting close to March Madness, I will use college basketball as an example. There could be 50 games to bet on in a given day, all are from different conferences, all play at different venues. Teams are coming in with different momentum from previous losses and wins. Teams with different styles, different head coaches and different histories. Is Hofstra in a rebuilding year? Does Duke's star player still have an ankle injury, does it effect his jump shot? Does Cincy really think they have a shot at the tournament? There is so much data to analyze. What is more intimidating, is that you get the feeling that someone 'knows' this information, and you are just a sucker making a bet against Vegas, who knows ALL the information. The fact of the matter is, they might know ALL the information, but it is not all reflected in the line. What Vegas tries to do, is to have the line reflect what the general public knows and how much this knowledge will reflect the line. So in essence, your not competing against vegas, you competing against other gamblers. If you know more than the average gambler, then you have the advantage. Vegas doesn't care if you win, they care if for everytime you win, someone else loses.

My philosophy then comes down to this. Specialize. Because of the number of teams and the amount of data, both raw numbers (ie wins, losses, against the spread and straight up, field goal %...) and subjective factors (venue, momentum, injuries).. you need to specialize. Now, there are more and more types of bets, for example 1st half wagering, over\under.. I am sticking to full games against the spread. When I mean specialization, I mean picking a paticular group of teams to follow, the easiest way to to do this is pick a conference. In the example I am going to pick the MAC (Mid American Conference). There are three major reasons for this. 1.) Not a major conference. The games will still be on the board( meaning you can bet on them, some smaller conferences don't have games you can bet on a regular basis), but not a great deal of people see them on a regular basis. If I can be an expert on them, there is more of a chance that I will know more about it then say if I picked the Big Ten or ACC, where there games are covered and replayed on sportscenter everyday, plus injuries and other reported on a wide variety of medium, so that it levels the playing field. I want the playing field to be uneven with the advantage being in my favor 2.) They are small, but the conference plays to win. It is a competetive league, and most teams come into the year with a chance to compete in league play. I don't want a conference where some teams are not competetive on a nightly basis. It's tough to determine the outcome of games when one team is motivated and the other is not, or if the spread is 20.0+ points 3.) They are local to my area. I live in Ohio where 6 of the teams reside. I get plenty of information on the teams through local outlets. Plus, I can visit the arena's and get a feel for the home courts and what kind of advantage it brings.

In conclusion, when looking at the gambling lines, realize you are not betting against Vegas, you are betting against other gamblers. I am taking the stance of becoming an expert on one particular conference, that I will make my wagers on. I do this so I have an advantage on the general betting public. I also want to pick a conference that is competetive, will have their games on the board to bet, and have plenty of resources to use in my analysis.

Next Blog I will be detailing some of the resources that I have been putting together in order to start doing my analysis.

I will be periodically picking games at the end of the blog, at least one to start. Some MAC games, some not. At this point, I am doing this purely by looking at the lines and giving my best guess one who will cover, no analysis is being done other than using what I generally know about the teams as a fan and a quick glance at their ESPN home page. Tonite, I like Marquette -2.5 points against Villanova. This line is low to me, and I think it is because the perception is that Villanova needs the win against Marquette, where Marquette already has a tournament seed locked up. The reason I don't think it will play out like this is becuase Marquette has lost it's last 3 games and it needs to stop the slide tonite at HOME, because it has two more tough games at ND and Home to Pitt. Villanova has wone 4 of 5, but lost it's last game, and the four previous wins were against non ranked teams and 3 of the 4 at home. Perception is Villanove is going up and Marquette is going down. I am going against perception. I would look for a line at 2 or by the half point if I had the chance. I think it will be close.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Technorati Profile

Setting up Shop

I am a addict, not for elicit drugs or loose women..I've gotten over that. Its a sport addiction. Luckily it is a seasonal addicition, but the seasons are getting longer. While I as thinking of a way to capitalize on this addiction, meaning, I spend hour upon hour and money to get the HD satellite channels and big screen TV, why not try to make a little money on it. So why not start to wager on them?? So I did. I started to do well, then lost my disicipline and cashed out before I started to lose big money. I then began to research, and dig deeper into what needed to be done to be a successful gambler (although, I would prefer to call it investing). So I am now in the process of developing a process to become a handicapper and start 'Investing' in sports betting. I will be documenting my methodology throughout this blog, which will help me with two things. 1.) My thought process, both in betting certain games and why I did it and why I won or loss, 2.) Document my picks, so if I am successful or at least improve, I have it published so I don't become one of those internet guru's that gives some inflated pick percentage. I will have it all published online. Tomorrow, I will go through my thought process of the sports that I picked for this venture.