All posts by Joe Duffy

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 12

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 12
Joe Duffy (www.godspicks.com)
Listen to the Oddsmakers
When I first got into the handicapping business years ago, I was a knowledge sponge. I’d seek out advice from tested, proven, battle-scarred high rollers. One nugget that applied decades ago and still does in the modern offshore line era is “the oddsmakers often tell you something”. We’ve discussed numerous examples of using the oddsmakers’ knowledge against them. A huge case in point is when a team has a long winless or undefeated streak and the posted line contradicts the donut. There have been three screaming examples this year of as Oscar Dooley likes to say “there has got to be a reason why”, two in consecutive days. Despite having the nation’s longest road losing streak at 24, Baylor was a road favorite. That would qualify as a major proclamation by the line chefs. Were you listening? Baylor wins by five and covers.
Michigan ranked No. 25 in the nation was a three-point road favorite to Northwestern ranked No. 21 at the time. They destroyed the higher ranked home dogs 33-17. It is very rare a lower ranked team is ever a road favorite to a higher ranked team, much less a field goal. Another statement by the books and we were all ears. Our worst non-pick of the year was the next day when the Houston Texans, the NFL’s last winless team was a favorite to Cleveland. They win and cover. We learned from our huge mistake. Bad handicappers whine how their losers were “right plays”. Good handicappers consider loses valuable lessons.
The big exception is teams as a favorite trying to snap a huge series slide, especially in college sports. We’ve discussed numerous times about teams having mental whammies over their foes and that supersedes the above theory. But an overwhelming majority of the time the oddsmakers tell you a drought or prosperity will end, chances are the almost always small favorite will cover.
To paraphrase an old commercial, when the oddsmakers talk, wiseguys listen.
Upside Down You Turn Me
Two magic buzzwords in handicapping are “upside” and “downside”. The deeper a team goes into the season, the more the odds are based on their performance to date. Teams that have underachieved are generally good spread teams for the remainder of the year. On the other hand, underachieving teams are by and large great fades. However this is merely a part of square one in handicapping and far from a lead pipe rule. In our popular essay, “It is Good to Pick Bad” we discuss how the public has a lot more comfort betting on good teams rather than poor teams. In addition to the reasons discussed in that article, simply put a team with a .800 winning percentage has a lot more downside; while a team with a .200 winning percentage has the upside. Again one must analyze each team individually, but these are very good rules of thumb.
As an example I am a big fan of running games in the NFL. I believe it sets up the pass more than visa versa, though the other is true. Furthermore a running game keeps the defense off the field. There is no question Jamal Lewis is a much better running back than he’s shown this year. Baltimore’s running game would be a perfect example of an upside.
Duffy’s plays are part of the Dream Team at Godspicks.com. 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. Today’s free winner, news, notes, articles, sportsbook bonuses and more are at http://betonsports.blogspot.com

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 11

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 11
Joe Duffy (www.godspicks.com)
This is the latest in a series of articles in which we give you a Godspodge of sports betting tips, strategies and more.
Fair and Balanced
We have touted Foxsheets as our favorite commercial statistical source. However they are far from perfect. Their update times are extremely inconsistent and always dead last of the major sources to bring up to date their database. This is especially detrimental in getting an early start in sports like the NBA and especially MLB when teams play in back-to-back days. It’s principally excruciating when there is day baseball or March Madness conference tourneys when there are afternoon games involving back-to-back action.
Also several systems are poorly written where some can be counted twice, especially when dealing with totals. For example if an NBA system reads, and we will essentially rewrite their confusing algorithmic language, “If a team is off a double-digit SU win as an underdog, it goes over at a 173-76 rate”.
Occasionally this system would apply to both teams. The problem being with Foxsheets, they count the system as 0-2 or 2-0.
Selling Plays and Advertising Sportsbooks
A popular FAQ is whether or not there is a conflict of interest in selling plays and accepting sportsbook advertising. Funny how long-term clients never ask that question.
While I don’t know of any scientific number comparisons, the number of clients who bet at sportsbooks is enormously higher than the number that purchase sports service selections. The biggest sportsbooks are looking for volume. They can adjust the line to ensure that there is enough square money to balance the sharp money. Ideally a sportsbook would love to have 50 percent action on each side in every game. Hence half the money wins every game. To be brutally honest, there are a lot more crap handicappers out there than good ones and the crap handicappers send clients to help sportsbooks get balanced action.
There is a famous radio host who likes to say, “I am equal time”. Not that we want to sound too braggadocios but we are balance to the commonplace sucker play.
We always urge line shopping, but we would only recommend a sportsbook that we personally place bets. Having a reliable sportsbook that pays, helps our business not hinders it.
Truthfully, the ethical reasons aside, I don’t think there are realistic benefits to putting out a lousy product and somehow trying to “win for losing”. We have the largest number of repeat clients in the industry. We are paid on referrals by sportsbooks and would never, ever accept a commission on losses. Those handicappers that do accept commission on losses arguably have crossed the line.
And finally if anyone really thinks a sports service is giving away ruse plays to benefit the books, just bet against the plays. It will be fool’s gold if you do it with Godspicks, but ultimately we are only responsible for the plays we release, not how you bet them.
Key Numbers in Football
We always stress the importance of line shopping, but this so much more true when it comes to key numbers. Key numbers are in short a disproportionate margin of victory falls on that number. In football, the top two key numbers are three and seven. Historically about 1-of-6 games in the NFL have a margin of victory of three points. Hence the difference between getting or laying three and 3.5 is much more significant from a line shopping standpoint then 3.5 and 5.5.
However the aforesaid latter move is important too as four is a minor key number. In college the margins can be larger, but any numerator of three, seven and ten are key numbers.
This is why sportsbooks prefer to adjust juice on a key number, especially three in the NFL rather than move the line. In other words if most of the money is on a favorite of three points, instead of moving the line to 3.5 the books an overwhelming majority of time will move it to -3 (-120) instead.
An NFL move off of three points, except in the case of injuries, is now almost unheard of.
Sharp shoppers and players must be responsive to the ramifications of a line move that crosses a key number. A pure steam move (no injury or extenuating circumstances moved the line) that puts a game on or off a key number will effect the probability factor of a game covering. For us it often turns a bet into a pass or passing on a game into a play. But always shop so you won’t have to drop.
Duffy’s plays are part of the Dream Team at Godspicks.com. 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.
When it comes to beating the NFL odds, college football odds and the sportsbooks in baseball, college basketball and the NBA, Godspicks.com is the nation’s premier sports service. Free spread winners daily are at Godspicks.com.

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 9

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 9
Joe Duffy (www.godspicks.com)
This is the latest in a series, a Godgepodge of sports gambling discussion.
Another Tool in Home Field Advantage
We’ve said many times that home field/court advantage is far from equal. “Good starting point” is the term that always comes to mind with the power ratings discussed in a previous Tid-bet. But the ability to look outside the box is imperative in all facets of handicapping and analyzing the extent of HFA on a game by game basis is high on the list.
Rivals.com recently wrote an article with the not-so-original title from my favorite movie, “There is No Place Like Home”. Though the article is limited in scope, it’s one we’ve saved because it does have usefulness to the gambler in accurately saying which stadiums are the toughest to play in and most importantly why and under what circumstances.
They of course tout the popular theory about LSU’s home field advantage increasing at night because the fans love to tailgate and get more juiced, literally and figuratively by the time the sun goes down. The article brings attention to why the Wisconsin “Fifth Quarter” tradition keeps the fans into the game even in fourth quarter blowouts, something to consider in large pointspreads and betting 4th quarter lines.
We’ve always said there is no more important handicapping statistic in all sports than home/road dichotomy. The article brings into focus a perspective that goes beyond the useful but far from perfect power ratings and raw statistics.
Look-Ahead, Letdown and Sandwich Games
For the gambling newbie, the definitions of the above terms are fairly self explanatory. Look-ahead games are contests in which one opponent may not be totally focused on their current game because a bigger competition is on the horizon. Letdown games are when a team may not be emotionally ready after playing one of their biggest games of the year or perhaps following suffering a heartbreaking loss, stunning win or any circumstance that can have a team coming out flat.
Sandwich games are just that: a game that is in between a letdown game and a look-ahead contest. They are much more prevalent in college football and basketball at least percentage wise. However in the five-game-in-seven-nights drudge that can be the NBA, we’ve found under proper circumstances, pro basketball situations present themselves too. Most importantly because of the preponderance of games, those contests sneak under the radar, visible only the sharpest of players.
Far and away the most common parameter when an opportunity arises is a big favorite overlooking an inferior team. Sandwich games in college football are generally the games that most often hold true to expected form for the capper. A big favorite coming off a defining victory and facing a watershed game the following week is the exact set of circumstances that we exploit most often, pouncing on the live dog.
In college football, both winning and losing teams off of a multiple overtime game gets a long look from us as a possible go-against the following week in a letdown situation.
Stop Teasing
We often get questins about the viability of teasers. Teasers prey on the psychology of the square player who craves the (facade of) an extra security blanket. The only circumstance that sharp players consistently play teasers is 10-point teasers in the NFL. Thanks to so-called parity in the NFL, blowouts are rare and often it’s the dog that wins. So for example making a seven-point dog a 17 point pup is the one type situation that some sharp players have exploited on a consistent basis in the NFL.
We don’t like parlays either because—here’s a shock–the best handicappers don’t hit 100 percent. We simply win a lot more than we lose. But going 4-1 and losing in a parlay nullifies good handicapping. The lure of low risk/high return is yet another enticement the books create to help you lose money fast. Joey Bagodonuts pays Frankie at the office $10, picks four games and feels like he bet $100.
Do yourself a favor. Bet the traditional way to win money and have a totally separate entertainment bankroll of disposable income. Use that to bet $10-20 per week on office parlay cards to get that lottery ticket vicarious feeling, but stick to straight betting to experience the thrill of actually winning money.
Duffy’s plays are part of the Dream Team at Godspicks.com. 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 www.godspicks.com are widely respected as the biggest play in the handicapping abyss.

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 7

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 7
Joe Duffy (www.godspicks.com)
Tip Sheets
I’m often asked about the value of tipsheets. For football handicapping they have some value as a starting point. Sports Reporter, the Gold Sheet and Northcoast are among the best and Doctor Bob has some good technical angles but I still rate them light years behind the hometown newspapers. First of all the hometown papers have writers who cover the team full-time and specialize. Secondly the tipsheets still make a lot of money from their hard copy publications. This requires early week deadlines as they don’t have the circulation efficiency of the daily rags to get their publication to the newsstands within hours of going to press. The sheets have their place, and have value for midweek bullet points, but a quality handicapper has so many other more ripely and particularized informants.
Be the Prosecutor, Defense Attorney, Judge, Jury and Executioner
I had a debate class in college. In said classes you are given an obscure resolution and are instructed to argue on its behalf. You then have another debate where you argue against it. Who said I was wasting my time? Okay I did. But little did I know that many years later I am using that same mechanism to consistently pick winners.
I’ve heard inferior gamblers claim intense research is a waste of time because if you look hard enough “you can find enough reasons to justify either side”. No kidding. If it were not true there would be such things as a “sure thing”. Hence using the legal analogy above I can’t argue any of my plays are “beyond reasonable doubt” but I absolutely apply the civil law standard of proof “preponderance of evidence” or as it’s often called “more likely than not”.
If a good handicapper could not present at least some type of evidence for each side, there would be true locks and in reality there would be a few teams that would go undefeated and I’m not just talking in a 14-game NFL season ala the Miami Dolphins.
But what we do is objectively present facts supporting each side. Any play in which the prevalence of facts points towards one side, it becomes a premium play. But anytime we can make a strong argument for both or neither side, we must pass on making a bet on that game.
The best handicappers are their own devil’s advocate. The only exception is our “competition consensus plays”. I will be blunt, there are only a very small number of handicappers whose opinions I respect. But if one does have a very strong play on a side that I leaned towards but could did not pass our empirical test, I will make a play on it. However these plays are few and far between as I must at least have already had a preference for said selection and the list of elite handicappers who can influence my opinion is very short.
Oh and one other thing. You must be a little more open minded than Nancy Grace.
Poker a Sport?
Clearly the line just keeps getting fuzzier between sport and game. While we agree with anyone who says the WSOP is not a sporting event it certainly is sport more than the dog shows, spelling bees and hot dog eating contests that are televised on the so-called sports channels.
But Texas Hold ‘em making a screaming ascension into the mainstream I believe will continue to allow gambling in the US to go from taboo to a vice and now to the accepted form of entertainment that is should be. For gambling to gain full legality closed minds must first be opened. The WSOP is a huge step in eliminating ignorance. When that happens then elected officials like John Kyl can stop worrying about controlling where you invest your money and worry more about oh say protecting our borders.
Duffy’s plays are part of the Dream Team at Godspicks.com. 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 www.godspicks.com where daily sports handicapping information is available to crush the sportsbooks. Godspicks.com has daily sports betting free winners, news, notes and trends. Media inquiries and all questions: godspicks@bellsouth.net. There is no better source for sports handicapper free information to crush sportsbooks than Godspicks.com.

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 8

God’s Tid-bets, Vol. 8
Joe Duffy (www.godspicks.com)
This is the latest in a series, a Godgepodge of sports gambling discussion.
How Powerful Are Power Ratings?
Power ratings are certainly part of the equation but only, repeat only if one fully takes into consideration the means that are responsible for the ends. Power ratings do not take into consideration how injuries are reflected in past performance. As an illustration, let’s say Priest Holmes is leading the league in rushing and total offense but in the fourth quarter of game six goes down with an injury and misses four games.
In games seven through ten, the cumulative statistics of the first six games become irrelevant in and of themselves. Along the same token, if Holmes returns healthy for the 11th game, four of the previous 10 games are also tangential because the factors have changed immeasurably.
Even more important is by random chance KC’s opponent in their last four games played a much inferior Chiefs’ team than the fist six opponents did. Those results are included in the computer models of their foe’s power ratings but not filtered out when those players are back again.
There are just too many game results that are effected by injuries either to a team or its opponent. Assuming “they all even out” is a death knell for bad handicappers. We have emphasized the importance of home/road variables but perhaps by stroke of fortune played mostly healthy teams on the road and a lot more injured teams at home.
However the quality handicapper will make proper adjustments. So computer modules can be a valuable tool as so long as they are weighed against other essentials. Far and away the best source for power ratings is Massey Ratings (www.masseyratings.com). In his “rankings comparison” the weaknesses of each reputable power rating can be canceled by the strengths of the others. Massey calculates both the mean and median rankings.
Again we give shout out to a competitor when it’s due and Jim Feist’s site has power ratings that can be directly compared to the point spread. As far as game simulators the Statfox Game Estimator is the pre-eminent model.
Tipsheets Followup
We did get a few inquiries from a previous Tid-bet about what specifically we look for in the tipsheets that we gave lukewarm recommendations to. To answer the most common question, no we do not pay any attention to their predictions. The breakdowns do have some helpfulness but the predictions are forced and are based on limited affirmation. To embellish on our legal analogy from a previous article, based on the early week information, we would disregard the predictions on inconclusive evidence. However “inclusive” does not render the sheets irrelevant. They can serve as an early week primer of what to look at for in the hometown newspapers.
Beat the Screen
Don Best’s premium odds service has become the alpha for sportsbooks when it comes to line move information whether it’s steam moves from the major books or breaking line-up and injury information. However frankly the books have become too dependant on Best and this opens up a window of opportunity for the sharp player. This is known as “beating the screen” that is getting steam, injury or weather information before the books do.
When Best comes out with their overnight injury report, they do not conceal the fact that their information comes from our favorite source of up-to-the-minute information: the hometown newspapers. It’s amazing how quickly and almost synchronously the odds are adjusted once Best sends out their initial report.
However the early bird get the worm simply by waking up nice and early and getting the injury updates from the same source before Best sends them out. Generally said resource sends out the compilation once completed at approximately 10:30 A.M. EST. This is hours after the same information is available to Johnny-on-the-spot bloodhounds.
I’m surprised at how dilly-dally the books are about football weather. The lines go haywire once Best sends reports altered weather updates. Yet this information is far from classified as one can get live weather radar on a number of sites such as weather.gov or weather.com.
Predicting line moves can be done by those who get their intel earlier.
If You Are So Good Why Do It For a Living?
Over the years I’ve heard a lot of blanket proclamations made about handicappers. The industry has more than it’s share of bad apples unfortunately, but all-inclusive statements about all members of any group be it a religion, race, gender or occupation should be categorically disregarded.
This single most preposterous rhapsody is when somebody bloviates, “If you are so good at what you do, why don’t you simply bet your plays instead of selling them?” This is so asinine for many reasons, but appears to be built on some nutty belief that betting plays and selling them are mutually exclusive.
I would normally not answer a question with a question, but when one amounts to “why do something for a living that you are really good at doing” can best be responded with “of all the professions, why would sports handicapping be the only one on the nine (or is it ten?) planets in which if you are actually good at it, you should not do it for a living?”.
Don’t let the bad apples blind you to the fact that you should take comfort not distress in the fact your handicapper is good enough to do it full-time. True there are more people who do it for a living than are actually good enough to do it for a living, but the only people who benefit from unconditional biases against adept handicappers would be the bookmakers.
Joe Duffy of Godspicks.com 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, the Meat and Potatoes gambling show, Grogan’s Fantasy Football show, Radio Baseball Muse and Finn on Sports. Formally of the famed Cadillac Club 900 number, his plays can be gotten one and one place only: part of the Dream Team of Godspicks.com. Media inquiries and questions for future Tid-bets can be sent to Godspicks@bellsouth.net

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 5

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 5
Joe Duffy (www.godspicks.com)
How New is New?
There is a common belief among gamblers that first year head coaches are safe to bet on in the preseason because they are going to be eager to impress. There is a functional truth to it, but the oversimplification of this tenet can and is naive. We won’t argue as a general guideline new coaches might be more eager to get that “W” under their belt more than a senior counterpart in a inconsequential contest but the “newness” theory goes beyond the head coach. Even if the head man returns, new coordinators who are in charge of play calling, new schemes that do happen even with returning coaches and new key personnel are often more important to handicapping, however it’s not because of a desire to win a meaningless game.
When major changes are made from the previous year, key players will play longer in the initial preseason games and play calling will be much less vanilla. Basically the more changes made, the more the preseason is needed to evaluate even proven players.
The NFL coaches have their own website, appropriately NFLcoaches.com that lists all changes from head coach, to coordinators to position coaches. However the ultimate source for how the changes will and will not effect the spread outcome is still the hometown newspapers which are extremely accurate for playing rotations and how sophisticated schemes and play calling will be.
The new coaches creed is not false, but much further inspection is required before blindly betting. Of equal emphasis is cognition that the theory does not begin and end with the head coach.
Handicapping Umpires
More and more databases are carrying sophisticated statistical analysis of umpiring statistics especially how they relate to the over/under. Backtracking I have found no statistically significant time tested value.
In fact, Baseball Prospectus does a breakdown from a different standpoint than many of the gambling sites. Too often we find that for example an umpire’s ball/strike ratio does not correspond into more or less runs. In other words, arranging a list of all umpires based on which call the highest number of strikes is much too dissimilar to that of which umpires games result in the highest number of runs, slugging percentage and batting average. Cross referencing with over/unders on the gambling sites, there is even less correlation. Random chance will have umpires behind the plate with unequal power and pitching matchups to their counterparts.
One must also realize that umpires are constantly evaluated with consistency topping the list of criterion. By no means would I suggest there are no variances among the umpires but they are much closer to being uniform than starting pitchers, bullpens, ballparks, defenses, weather conditions and other factors.
If an umpire were blatantly a pitcher’s or batter’s umpire, he won’t last long in the Show. Acknowledging they had been lax, baseball took corrective steps in 2001. According to Ralph Nelson, MLB’s Vice President, Umpiring, “Beginning with Opening Day there should be a recognized and consistent application to the strike zone, but it may not be as drastic as some may have anticipated.” He continued, “Major League Baseball does not feel that players or teams should have to adjust to individual umpires.”
Hence even if there was an edge to the gamblers in the early years, this advantage has been lost since baseball is taking extra steps to insure uniformity. Sorry folks after an in-depth and objective harmonic analysis we conclude trying to handicap umpires is pseudo science.
Waking Up is Hard to Do
We discussed in a previous Tid-bet how and why mid-season coaching changes more times than not have short-term benefit essentially because it lights a temporary fire under a team. Teams more and more often simply go through the motions and it takes some type of stimulus to put and end to it.
Though years of experience tells me replacing the coach is the ultimate short-term wake-up call, it’s not the only one. Kenny Rogers’ well publicized attack on a cameraman was followed by the Rangers ending a funk with an impressive winning streak. Making a few monetary units riding that streak ourselves, we knew it was no coincidence. The proverbial “players only team meeting” is another instance. Always keep an eye for falling teams to have something to rally around. It need not be positive, in fact often is not. Sometimes in baseball for example it’s a manager shuffling the batting order on in basketball a coach changing line-ups.
In basketball there can be major ramifications as often changes mean a quicker line-up that means more scoring or it could mean a defensively challenged team makes corrections in that area. As we’ve said intensity or lack thereof shows up more on the defensive end in hoops. Hence as another rule the rebirth generally makes evident itself in lower scoring games.
Joe Duffy of Godspicks.com 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, the Meat and Potatoes gambling show, Grogan’s Fantasy Football show, Radio Baseball Muse and Finn on Sports. Formally of the famed Cadillac Club 900 number, his plays can be gotten one and one place only: part of the Dream Team of Godspicks.com

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 3

Just Pick the Team That Wins Outright?
So often we warn gamblers about the mortal sin of using inductive rather than deductive reasoning. The quintessence of that is the rapid circulation of the insipid illogic of “all you have to do is pick the straight up winner of a game and chances are you will have the spread winner.” It’s always followed by some stat where the outright winner has covered 80 percent of the time. Duh.

When an underdog wins they cover 100 percent of the time. The favorite cannot cover unless they win outright. It’s impossible. The only scenario in which a team can win and not cover is when the favorite wins but by a smaller margin than the spread.

Not shockingly the numbnuts who perpetuate unscientific preposterousness almost always quote stats relevant to the NBA or NFL. In college sports there are more mismatches and hence larger spreads where the margin is larger for a favorite to win and not cover.

If a team is a 3.5 point favorite the only way the team that wins will not cover is for the favorite to win by one, two or three points. Any other result will have the team that wins covering. At what percentage do these half-wits think a team should win and not cover?
Obviously the stupidity of this widely circulated inductive blather can be refuted from now until eternity. Or at least until an underdog wins but fails to cover, whichever comes last. But to those who subscribe to it as if there is any logic, thanks for keeping the books in business for the rest of us.

Weather or Not?
We do plan on writing an article on how weather effects our football handicapping. But to be honest it’s only a minor part of baseball soothsaying. First of all most of our baseball selections are side plays anyway. While bad weather would generally effect a speed team most, we believe in the proverbial adage of both teams having to play under the same weather conditions.

As far as totals, wind would be the biggest factor. One could argue about rain or bad conditions hurting an offense or defense more, but when it comes to wind conditions it’s hard to argue that wind blowing in from center will benefit the pitchers while if it’s blowing straight out it will help the offenses. We won’t argue that if wind is blowing out to left field and one team has a left handed pitcher facing a predominately right handed line-up, while the other team has a right-hander on the hill, the team facing the lefty may have a slight edge. But we look at it this way. How often do you hear a manager scratch a pitcher simply because of the wind direction? So if baseball managers seem to think for the most part it will effect pitchers pretty equally we consider from a standpoint of picking sides weather advantage is negligible.

Obviously wind direction is important in determining whether the weather benefits an over or under, but wind speed determines how much. Generally 15 MPH and “gusty” is when sharp players should start paying attention.

In football weather is a much more important factor with both sides and totals but we will address that in a future article. I had a nun teacher who used to say, you change your mind as often as the wind blows. I wonder if she bet baseball totals.

Databases
We are often asked about our favorite handicapping databases. I don’t mind giving shout outs to our competitors when they deserve it, especially when I am quite confident that I employ said data better than their in-house handicappers do. Vegas Insider, Covers, Jim Feist, Sports Data Bases (which is on Freescoreboard.com) all have the vital information that a handicapper desires. For the most part it’s not so much what each source has and does not have, but how it’s organized.

However the mac daddy as far as we are concerned is Foxsheets, which is the Statfox premium service. It has pretty much what the other databases have plus systems and is more in-depth than any of their competitors.

Covers and Feist assemblages actually do unique calculations that is specific to their site. Feist’s site does direct comparisons of major offensive and defensive categories. For example if New England is playing Philadelphia in the NFL one can see the well organized contrast of which team has better yards per pass statistics on each side of the ball in football or in college and pro basketball shooting percentage both offensively and defensively and the exact margin of difference.

Covers does margin of cover which a lot of sharp players consider essential. We prefer the first cousin once removed theory that we call dichotomous ATS and straight up streaks. For more information consult our previous articles. But like the “margin of cover” it does appraise which teams are undervalued and which are overvalued.

Ultimately the old “garbage in, garbage out” theory applies. The indispensable datum is widely available but the time and knowledge on how to apply it is possessed by only a learned few.

Joe Duffy of OffshoreInsiders.com  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, the Meat and Potatoes gambling show, Grogan’s Fantasy Football show, Radio Baseball Muse and Finn on Sports. Formally of the famed Cadillac Club 900 number, his plays can be gotten one and one place only: part of the Dream Team of OffshoreInsiders.com

 

Free Picks, Thursday Feb 2

Thursday, February 02, 2006

 

To make your decision easy about our early bird March Madness package, The Center of the Handicapping Universe Godspicks.com goes 9-3 yesterday with our Western Conference Total of the Month on Denver-OVER.  Three CBB Wise Guy plays and three Majors go tonight.  It includes our A-10 ESPN2 Game of the Year.

EXPIRES TOMORROW: In order to ensure you get every play in every sport, including March Madness conference, NCAA and NIT, plus sample our MLB dog prowess, we are temporarily extending our two-month package to 75 days! This comes out to $7.98 per day.  You will renew because unprecedented winning is contagious. Begin the rest of your gambling life now before we come to our senses.

Go 6-0 Thursday. The ENTIRE card is just $17 at www.godspicks.com.  We now take virtually every credit card, PayPal and eCheck.  Also we now have yearly and other packages available via Western Union. Every play, every sport for a year is $2,450.  Email us at godspicks@bellsouth.net to make arrangements.  Advanced news and notes, picks articles and more FREE www.joeduffy.net     

In location comparison (home team’s home stats, road team’s road stats), which team has an astounding 12.5 percent advantage in offensive field goal percentage and also a decent 1.7 advantage on defense? Because of scheduling intricacies which game has it sneaking way under the radar that the road dog has five road conference wins to the home team’s one home victory? Find out at The Center of the Handicapping Universe www.Godspicks.com

NBA

GOLDEN STATE +7’ San Antonio

Because of the injuries as mentioned at www.joeduffy.net, we can’t make this rise to premium play, but it’s tough to not go against a Spurs team that is 2-5 in the second of back to back games.  That makes them 34-5 when rested. 

Star Tim Duncan whose only weakness is he has taken some wear and tear has placed significantly poorer in such situations.  We look for a good Warrior team to protect their home court especially with the line reflecting the Richardson injury.

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