This is a modernized edition of a story scribed a decade or so ago, “The Ultimate Guide to Being a Wise Guy for Not-so-Dummies.” But as technology and resources for intelligence evolve, it warrants refreshing and modernizing. And here we are.
One of the most customary questions that I get is where do Wise Guys and sharp players get so much intel? Just as the only way to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice, the only way to win in sports handicapping is “information, information, information.”
All you need to get that data is to merely live, sleep, and breathe sports handicapping. Perhaps neglect the slumber advice. Siestas are not much of an option in sports soothsaying. An interminable supply of coffee is essential apparatus as well.
Are you still with me? If so, you are ready to be a Wise Guy.
Do handicappers and high rollers really hold inside information? In reality it depends on how strict your definition of “inside information” is. Didn’t Bill Clinton utter that same line or something to that effect?
Wise Guys and the few authentic handicappers out there do have the time, wherewithal and knowledge of where and how to bring to light useful information. To put it mildly, to win consistently which few do, takes a lot of time. We are the one-percenters.
The Internet is bar none the largest apparatus on the planet for obtaining peerless particulars. Funny, in first edition of this thesis, it was the early days of the information superhighway. Now that decloration qualifies are beyond obvious.
Hometown newspapers and in college so often the teams own SID sites are unbeatable for not-so-inside, but certainly little known to the public facts.
Sites that are catered toward the gambler as well as those accommodating just to the general sports fan can be of infinite value as well. In fact, as we will specify, fantasy sports sites are among the best sites for the speculator as injury facts are indispensable to both.
What is a person to do though for reports on the more obscure colleges? It started with Google News, now infused into the main search engine, almost every newspaper is online and a bonanza of locally generated info. If Fairfield is playing Iona, a sports bettor need just go to news.google.com and enter “Fairfield Iona” and Google can find any news stories from that day searching even the small-town scandal sheets.
Furthermore, this is true with high profile colleges and professional sports. Of course one need experiment when it comes to more generic terms like “Arizona” or “Cincinnati” but by adding one of the teams nicknames or a term like basketball can narrow the information to exactly what one wants.
Between news.google.com and ESPN Insider, it can be a Godsend when it comes to info. Since the article was first written, just simply going to Google is at times just as effective. Action Network is decent, but truthfully, I’ve been disappointed in real meat and potatoes daily betting info. It’s mostly as lead generation for the computer database BetLabs and their odds service, which is good, but still inferior to SportsDatabase. SDQL truly if for next generation handicappers.
Oh my word, those who believe the poppycock that preseason football games are a mere crapshoot are truly missing out on the mother lode. Reading the teams stomping ground ledgers are goldmines for learning which teams are taking the exhibitions most seriously at least from a standpoint of a final score.
It is very commonplace for coaches to flat out state that they want to instill a winning habit in the preseason. This is of course truer with fledgling coaches and young and/or traditionally losing franchises. Quarterback and key player rotations can be found with educated research.
In other cases, a little reading will manifest that there are several teams just concerned with looking at certain young players. It is not uncommon for one team to play its starters much longer than the other squad. Best of all, coaches announce it before the game.
Those with limited time can get decent Cliff Notes just by reading the Associated Press stories found on about oh about a million sports sites. The AP stories are at their best in the NFL preseason, though quality information can be had in other sports as well particularly college football. Fantasy football sites continue to escalate the quality of NFLX coverage.
Every now and then I have even uncovered a treasure from the online student newspapers. While there is a select group of beat writers who I feel comfortable accepting what they say at face value, any potential gem that I get from the student papers must be verified, but one would be surprised at the information that can come from the college media itself.
Considering there is a lot of overlapping information with handicapping and fantasy sports, the fantasy sites are also great foundations of sports gambling information. To put it mildly, the fantasy sites like RotoWire, RotoWorld, etc. are no-brainer for the gambler in the NFL. Nobody comes close to not only giving football injuries but also giving a fantastic analysis of how such will affect teams who the replacements are for key injured players, key match-ups and the like.
Don Best’s expensive Premium Service does the best job of real-time late-breaking information.
Orginally the problem with all of the above sites is that all the reader got was a player name and a status. But unless one knows the accurate scoop on every player on every team and their backups, often those injury sites are at best starting points. What good is Squid State, guard Pika Winner; questionable knee when that is the sole information provided?
Is Pika Winner the conference’s best player on a team that has no depth or is he a part-time starter playing for a team whose strength is at his position? Rotowire does a very good job, originally in MLB, but now all pro sports at analyzing how that injury will specifically affect a team. In college sports, they are very imperfect.
But Wise Guys must research, research, and research. More times than not, the teams SID site will give very good information on the particulars of the player: games started, important stats and ditto on his replacement. The home ground fish wraps must be cross-referenced as well.
What are the particulars that I seek out? I cherish when I hear a player or a coach or better yet players (plural) admitting that they suffered a disheartening loss and have to follow it up with another tough game. Such teams make great go-against plays.
This is most true with college basketball and NBA teams that are not true top shelf teams. For the latter this is especially true if a team is playing back-to-back and/or in the midst of a five-games-in-four-nights trip. Fortunately, since those words were initially penned about two decades ago, the aforesaid software programs enable me to store proven situations and tell me when they apply.
Few situations leap at me more than is hoops when a team is on the wrong side of an 11-2 run to lose outright of course) by a point or two then has to play either the next night or the night after. This is most frequent in the NBA but also occur in the Ivy Leagues and West Coast Conference, which play back to back. Generally the remaining conferences on the left coast including the Pac-10 play Thursday and Saturday; so distressing losses are very important factors to track. Keep an eye on teams that play Saturday and Monday as well.
Luckily out software in some sports includes biggest lead or others margin at the end of a quarter. So yes, we can monitor teams that blew 17-points leads in the NFL.
For the NBA keep in mind that NBA.com in conjunction with CBS Sports will give one a play-by-play rundown of the entire pro hoop game. There are some glitches in their system to be honest, but one can for the most part get a 100% accurate breakdown of how a game ended. Of course, since this article was first written, almost all major sites have such, in fact for all sports.
This also applies but with different criterion in baseball–how much the bullpen was used etc, but that is for a future article. Many sites give pitch-by-pitch breakdowns as provided by Stats Inc.
In the NBA especially and this occurs more often than one thinks, I just get giddy when I read that a few players thought their upcoming opponent ran the score up or was shown up by a gratuitous windmill slam dunk or something to that effect. This is especially true if the team that feels they were shown up was on the road in the referenced game and is playing home in the upcoming game. Yes, software can measure revenge situations.
Also certain beat writers especially in the NFL and college football can be outstanding giving accurate unit versus unit breakdowns. But Wise Guys have the experience to distinguish as to who the heck knows what they are talking about and who is blowing smoke
I regret that Sportingnews.com for several years was a must-visit for college football as they broke down literally every Division I game. However they have reduced that feature. Sadly I guess the budget limited the quantity down to the marquee games and quite frankly the quality seemed to go with it.
As mentioned in previous articles, one of the big keys to handicapping games is spotting deceptive final scores in handicapping or how and why teams really lost. That is why any true handicapper must own a satellite dish or a great cable TV sports package. I won’t leave home without it. Well I guess that’s why I don’t leave home. It is also invaluable as far as scouting mismatches in personnel match-ups.
Sophisticated software now enables me to see how a team does after winning a game in which they had 100 fewer total yards. Sports gaming posting boards are good vehicles for gamblers to share information, if one can sift through the garbage. Some of the top SDQL systems I use came from such.
In a perfect world the best sites would be not be moderated but in places like the sports gambling newsgroup and other sites flaming takes precedence over content and forces valuable contributors to go to the refereed sites.
Much like distinguishing from amongst the good beat writers and the unqualified scribes, one must differentiate between the posting board participants who provide quality and accurate insight and those who cannot.
Utilizing the best databases is essential to triumphant prognostication. There are many out there, both free and pay sites.
Covers.com has tremendous databases for all sports. With 10-16 game schedules for college football and the NFL one must as we have stated have the ability to look beyond the mere data. Not ignore it mind you, but an aberrational game here and there can dilute the statistical significance of football raw numbers.
There, you now know the trade secrets. All you need to do is invest 35 hours a day, 10 days a week, 60 weeks a year. Americas greatest sports service, Joe Duffy’s Picks, anchor of OffshoreInsiders.com has done it successfully for years and so can you. Check out his famed sports betting podcast.