HRB (or anyone else for that matter!), would be really interested to hear you discuss a bit more how you balance or weight more quantitative modeling/handicapping with some of the more intangible factors you stress (start/end of a road trip, effect of early start times, etc.). Do you look at the schedule to see what jumps out at you as a potential play even before lines come out, and then do some analysis to see if your hunch bears it out? Or some other process? Is the approach different for totals vs. sides?
Ok it’s 3:30am so I’ll probably ramble and if something doesn’t make sense feel free to ask questions and I’ll explain in a more clean manner. There will be terms many of you won’t know which I’ll try to explain (if I remember….bc it’s 3:30am)
My process betting sports was derived similarly to how I learned how to become a winning poker player. First I was fascinated by it, then I became obsessed with learning more which I did when I observed the best players, when I got to know them I picked their brain, and I took pieces from each that I could apply and make my own. I don’t run simulations, I don’t use algorithms, nor do I code. Call me “old school” or whatever but I know what works for me and my technological limitations.
Each individual game is its own logic problem designed for you to solve. Some bettors are one-trick ponies in either using a model they created, an algorithm or simply stare at the screen all morning using the top-down approach in taking advantage of books who are slow to adjust lines once the market moves. Others place values on individual players and look to get ahead of the number by watching injury reports. Whatever the method, the goal is to beat the market to the punch and gain CLV (closing line value). Now not all CLV is created equal and there are times when I don’t want it at all and sometimes even want the other side…..best example (and probably only actually) is in the NBA when a star player is out for one game or a team is ridiculously short handed due to load management, suspensions, etc on one specific night. I’ve spoke of this for years as “The Ewing Effect” even though I don’t think this was exactly what Simmons had in mind when coining that phrase. So aside from that anomaly…..you want to be beating the closing line.
I will use top-down primarily for college football on Monday mornings or college basketball from 9-11am. I’ll have my odds screen up, I currently use SpankOdds but there are others, and pay attention to the sharpest books but primarily Circa as they accept sharp high volume action and are quickest to adjust. I’ll give you a real-life example from Monday college hoops. Detroit opened Sunday afternoon on the overnight line as a 6-pt favorite over Oakland. It was quickly bet down to 5.5 and later than night to 5. So right away this caught my eye as a potential mover in the morning once limits increase. Books must be aware of potential “head fakes” made by groups as well as it doesn’t take much money to move the number the night before. It is common for groups to do this if say they want to play Detroit but wish to get a better number than 6. They “could” play Oakland overnight then hammer Detroit in the morning at the better number once limits increase.
Anyway (I told you I’d ramble), I’m watching the screen and around 8:20am to my best recollection, the game begins lighting up across the board. It goes from 5 to 4.5 at a bunch of places and down to 4 at some of the sharp books. It is fairly clear (I say fairly bc you can never be certain shenanigans aren’t going on) that this is a sharp group play hitting with the copycat books moving the lines as well. I have several of my sites up and immediately get to work and hit Oakland +5 on two of them. The game closed Detroit -3.5 so I gained 1.5 pts of CLV and Oakland was up double digits at the half and won my 12 I believe. This approach in todays day and age will either get you limited with legal books or shut off from the local Joe at the corner. As I live in FL where sports betting is not yet legal (DeSantis screwed the pooch bigly on this! I’ll share if there is interest) the majority of my play is with local bookies. Remind me to discuss this later and I’ll share some of my strategies in keeping accounts alive.
I learned discipline and how to use your curiousity in developing and testing angles from Rick Janov, a former trial attorney turned sports bettor. He’s probably mid-70’s now but still sharp as a tack. He had his best season ever Betting football this year at age 70-something! The person who I have learned the most from is someone who has long been considered the greatest college basketball handicapper by many and has become a good friend over the years in Alan Dvorkis who has gone by Alan Boston since forever. He’s an Ivy League grad who is as insane, brash and maniacal as he is caring and compassionate. Arguably the most unique individual I have ever known in my lifetime. I can talk forever about this guy.
Anyway…ramble ramble….getting back to the original question on the NBA. I’ve used Rick’s tool of probing for different angles to find some beauties such as the early afternoon Unders, the first game focus of a long road trip (particularly if it’s a mediocre team), and of course the regular season “Ewing Effect.” Some of these I’m multiple days ahead of but I begin capping the morning before the day of the game to be best prepared when the overnight lines come out….7 days a freakin week. Aside from these angles I have a running power rating that I review after each team has played 2 games along with home court advantage. This is tricky sometimes with so many players out of the lineup here and there…..I have to remain sharp in these ratings and factor in the lineups during those games. I will stress that these ratings are only a guide to begin my cap as I place greater weight on intangible factors than probably anyone. Perfect example of how injuries factor in my rating is Orlando who began 5-20 but I still had them rated middle of the pack when fully healthy as I’ve been discussing since the preseason. If you recall the Magic were just getting everyone back when they beat the Celtics B2B in December.
I’ll close with this. I know many successful cappers who place individual values on a player for injury purposes which adjusts their number. I place much less value on NBA injuries from a pure handicap perspective when it is simply one player and not a star. I do however take star power into greater account when it comes to totals as certain players affect the pace of the game to where it is a significant difference. Guys like LeBron, Chris Paul, Embiid, etc.
- Armenian Italian Mamba Out!