The Initial God’s Tid-Bets

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 1
Joe Duffy (
Most of the articles I’ve written are one basic concept or theory discussed in great length and detail. But this is the era of the Internet blogger. Random thoughts are in vogue. Of course we have our daily “blog” in which we amass news and notes compiled from websites and hometown newspapers from around the county.
But consider this my “evergreen” blog, a synopsis of recent discussions, debates and questions that I’ve had on gambling theory.
In response to a question about crowd sizes and homecourt advantage—in this particular case it was college hoops:
There are endless quotes from players and coaches alike who have spoken of which are the toughest arenas in which to play. There have been many articles written by said participants.
Back when Penn State played in their gym, it was considered one of the great home court advantages in all of hoops. Ditto for the West Virginia Coliseum. Sharp players are very aware of home/road dichotomy. The even more acute look beyond the stats and scratch the surface. It stands to reason that home court advantages become even bigger when a sell-out crowd is on hand.
I’ve spoken in the past of a handicapper who while I admit at times is blinded by what he calls intangibles. I must confess that I used to laugh when he would go nuts over such things as a team with their first sell-out in three years or first game on national television, etc. But in hindsight, these nuggets can have some use, though unlike the aforesaid handicapper, I prefer to use it as part of the preponderance of evidence rather than basing a huge play on solely it.
I have found home court advantages are much less when students are on Christmas break or particularly in the smaller conferences on Spring break because of the condensed crowds. This has been especially true in the NIT where many teams host games while students are on Spring break.
Using revenge in handicapping:
Revenge is among the most misused angles in selecting winners. It seems 95 percent of the time I hear someone touting “revenge” it’s predicting one team (almost always a favorite or at least virtual pick ‘em games) annihilating their combatant
But in yet another example of what separates the discerning from the “dis-earning” is knowing where retaliation pays its biggest dividends. Year in and year out, we have found ill will is a huge factor when a big dog is avoiding being thoroughly embarrassed again.
For example if an inferior team lost by 40 points to a superior team and is getting 15 points in the rematch, the dog is much more motivated to preserve one’s dignity by avoiding another whitewash.
There is no better motivation to have a big underdog provoked to keep a score respectable than to have previously been obliterated by their opponent.
Top teams taking out their frustrations following a loss:
John Q. Public loves betting on a top shelf team following a rare loss. In the elongated NBA or MLB seasons, often it would be an embarrassing loss needed for a wake-up call. We are not minimizing this consideration, but knowing the public embraces this theory, oddsmakers can ready for the square who blindly bets it. However win, lose or draw, the unsophisticated gambler disregards this dogma after the ensuing game.
Especially in college football, basketball and the NBA, we have found top shelf teams heed the lesson and take out their anger for several games.
The premier teams did not become that way by subscribing to a philosophy that one win cancels out a loss. There is more spread value in riding preeminent teams two and three games following a loss. In fact in our daily news and notes, so often we give you nuggets like “Since their loss to Acme State, Generic University is 4-0 with the average margin of victory 23.2 points.”
If you would like to ask a question or suggest a topic for future blogs, please email us at Duffy’s plays are part of the Dream Team at He is perhaps the most published and respected author on sports gambling theory and has been featured as a regular guest as the handicapping expert on the Rick Ballou Show on Sporting News Radio, Gamblers Zoo national radio show, the Meat and Potatoes gambling show, Pro Fantasy Sports Internet radio and Grogan’s Fantasy Football show. His Wise Guy Plays available exclusively at are widely respected as the biggest play in the handicapping abyss.

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