Tag Archives: sports handicapping

Basketball Free Handicapping Pick

We win again last night. I am 32-22 in the NBA playoff and went 3-2 in MLB last night Best in the biz, Joe Duffy has NBA side Wednesday.  It is the strongest day of the season for our rage-of-the-industry baseball totals system. Eight MLB winners caps off a sensational day.  Get the picks now


NY YANKEES (TANAKA -105) Arizona (Kelly) at Bovada

Road teams on a nice series run under specific circumstances that apply today +86.04 units for a solid 5.4 ROI.

NBA sharp money today and all future games: Toronto

Baseball sharp money: Miami, Pittsburgh

  • Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts will be rested today

Top sports service bets

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college conference play is where regional and conference specialists rise to
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Central Michigan-Purdue Betting Preview

Central Michigan takes on Purdue in
the Motor City
bowl. The Boilermakers are an eight-point favorite with a total of 71.5-72, so
shop around at our vetted sportsbooks.

Taken from our sports betting
from articles around the Internet, Purdue players have expressed
how they want to go out on a high note after losing their final three regular
season games including to rival Indiana (a GodsTips.com
Wise Guy winner for sports bettors.

This is a rare bowl rematch as Purdue crushed the
Chippewas 45-22 back on Sept. 23.

The Bowl
told you that offensively, this is one of the more evenly matched
statistical battles. Purdue gets just .4 more first downs per game but CMU gets
27.4 more yards per game on .4 more yards per play. The Boilermakers get 22.2
more yards per game in the air. The biggest edge is on rushing yards per
attempt where the Chippewas get .9 more. While Central accumulates .2 more
passing yards per attempt, it’s Purdue earning .3 more passing yards per

Purdue’s defensive superiority is across the board, but
not by dominating margins. They allow 3.4 fewer first downs per game on 64.7
fewer total yards. They also allow .8 less yards per play. The biggest upper
hand is with pass defense, allowing 1.7 less passing yards per attempt and 1.3 less
passing yards per reception and a passing percentage against of 7.9 better than
CMU allows. In turnovers and rushing yards per attempt the teams are nearly

CMU went 7-2 straight up down the stretch and 5-3-1 against the spread during that
span. They also exceeded the total in seven of their last eight. Purdue went
3-6 against the spread to close out the regular season, including three
straight losses outright.


Controversies and Scandals Have Lessons in Handicapping

Recently sports have seen minor controversies to major
scandals that all have direct or indirect handicapping lessons. In short, they
can be summed up in what we preach time and time again. The key to successful sports betting is
getting an edge as often as possible.

This is exactly why coaches are notoriously secretive
about the injury status of key players and also why we sports bettors exercise
every source to get the accurate lowdown.

Coaches believe the more he knows about the injury status
of his and his opponent’s key players, the more of an edge his team will get.
It’s the same way with gamblers against their sportsbook opponent.

It’s precisely the reason the now infamous scandals of
disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy and likely soon-to-be former Texas A&M football coach Dennis Franchione are so significant.
Investing is sports scores is much like Wall Street betting. “Inside
information” that coaches and refs have access to is the sports broker’s
version of insider trading.

So is the lesson for the sports gambler that if we don’t
get the state’s evidence directly from a coach or referee that we are out of
luck? The answer is absolutely not. “Inside” information is far from the only
way to get the upper hand on betting the odds.

A lot of valuable insight is out there. Just because
information is public does not mean it’s widely circulated.

So often the keenest intelligence comes to light after the
odds have been posted, often somewhat limiting how sportsbooks can act in
response. We’ve long touted Google News as our favorite aggregator of sports
betting information such as injuries, expert analysis on how teams match up,
motivation recognition and other very useful bullet points.

However, Topix and ESPN have also teamed up to try to
compete with Google News. Replacing their “Sitelines” section, ESPN has
partnered with Topix to create “ESPN local”. This new feature aggregates
articles of interest to the sports fan and gambler. That being said, Google
News still reigns supreme, but the ESPN/Topix synergy has potential for the

We move on to a minor controversy, but certainly an
example of a coach pulling out all the stops to get the leg up on the
competition or more accurately to counter the eminence of their foe.

finally ended Florida’s series
domination in college football. In said game, the Bulldogs had a choreographed
excessive celebration penalty after their first touchdown. Head coach Mark
Richt admitted he told the team, “I expect you guys to celebrate to the point
where the official will throw a flag for excessive celebration.”

Richt said his instructions were intended to fire up his
team because he felt they needed to play with more passion. He did not
specifically verify, but we strongly suspect that the fact that Florida
had won 15 of the previous 17 meetings was motivational factor No. 1.

The handicapping ramifications are to never underestimate
the importance of emotion and the psychology of sports. Of course most players
on both Florida and Georgia
were being potty trained when the domination started. Each team has gone
through several coaching changes during the era. Despite all that, clearly
Richt knew that a well publicized one-sided rivalry leads to swagger from one
team and a “culture of losing” from the other.

Sports bettors should not completely disregard historical
data even if the period precedes every player and coach who will affect that
outcome of the game being handicapped. I honestly believe if Georgia
had the 15-2 series edge, Richt would never have felt the need to manufacture boastfulness
and confidence.

Then there was the short-lived, though periodic
speculation about the Indianapolis Colts piping in crowd noise during home
games. For our purposes, the veracity of these accusations is not as relevant
as the fact that there is a reason why opponents care if the Colts are bending

Again, crowd noise can give a home team—we will say it
again—“the edge”. Few coaches or players will dispute the affect of the “12th
man” in football or the “6th man” in basketball.

This is why we love it when we read that a team has for
example “only the third sellout in two years” or that the small town mayor held
a noon pep rally the day of a big

Not that a game or pointspread is necessarily going to be
affected by a pep rally, but such seemingly innocuous events are symptoms of
how significant a specific game is and how passionate the hometown crowd is going
to be.

In college, we always keep an eye out for when the
non-elite college basketball teams are playing home games while the student
body is on winter break. The level of home court and home field advantage is
fluid and will vary game-to-game, especially with lower profile schools where
sellouts are far from a given.

What the average gambler takes for granted, the sharp
player yearns for. No edge is too banal for smart money players. Best of all, one
need not always have access to a private booster newsletter or collude with a
rogue official. So often the most indispensable information to the gambler can
be in the fourth paragraph of a squad’s hometown newspaper or within the official
team press release.

Joe Duffy’s sports betting selections are at www.GodsTips.com He is former General Manager of the
Freescoreboard scorephone network and CEO of OffshoreInsiders.com,
the premier hub of world-class handicappers and free sports betting

Kentucky-South Carolina Sports Betting Preview

Kentucky-South Carolina gives sports gamblers one of the
best betting opportunities of the year for a nationally televised game on ESPN according
to several professional gamblers.

have South Carolina as a 3.5
point favorite with an over/under of 58. The premier sports
betting expert
Joe Duffy of GodsTips and CEO of OffshoreInsiders.com
has explained how elite gamblers exploit statistics
the media rarely talks about.

So let’s take a look at those key betting numbers. Kentucky’s
offense has been remarkable averaging 5.8 yards per rush against teams normally
allowing 4.9 and 7.7 passing yards per attempt against teams normally allowing
6.7. Overall they get .7 more yards per play than their opponents normally give

The Wildcats defense is actually better than many would
think. They allow just 5.7 yards per pass to teams normally getting 6.9 and
they hold opponents to a full half-yard below their normal average.

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South Carolina,
meanwhile, gets 5.3 yards per play against teams normally allowing 5.0, but in
what is not so Steve Spurrier like, it’s the defense carrying them. The
Gamecocks allow 4.4 yards per play to teams normally getting 5.0.

Not surprisingly, USC is a better team at home, averaging
34.7 points per game in three contests while allowing 12.7.

is your one-stop shop for college football. We have the latest live odds, plus CFB
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Preseason Publications Help Isolate Overvalued and Undervalued Teams

Joe Duffy (www.OffshoreInsiders.com)

Many a professional handicapper is publishing his
preseason college football predictions. Unfortunately, these prognostications
can have limited value to the pointspread bettor, even if the conjecture turns
out to be spot on.

For example, all of the touts I’ve seen have forecasted
USC to win the Pac-10 and Stanford to finish dead last. It is quite conceivable for these
prognostications to be flawless, yet the Cardinal could still finish with a
better record against the spread than the Trojans.

We take conference foreboding an imperative step further.
Borrowing the research done at Stassen.com, over the years we have compared and
contrasted the consensus predictions of the respected preseason college
football publications to the offshore odds.

While this has proven enormously valuable for placing
futures bets, it is even more advantageous in compiling a “cheat sheet” of
overvalued and undervalued teams entering the season.

First of all, let’s set the simple criterion. Stassen
takes 12 preseason publications and uses a basic point system to compile a
consensus. If a periodical predicts a
team to win their conference, they are assigned one point. Two points are given for a second place
prediction, three for third and so on.

Of course the consensus is formed by ranking teams by lowest
point total to highest. Better yet, the specific point compilation helps us
“rate” teams (see previous articles about the difference between rating and
ranking). We compare the Stassen research to the odds to win a conference or
division as posted by BetUs Sportsbook.

Major dichotomies are noted and teams are graded as
overvalued, extremely overvalued, undervalued, extremely undervalued, or at

For example, the Miami Hurricanes are modest -115
favorites to win the ACC Coastal even though Virginia Tech at even money is the
unanimous choice to win according to the preseason magazines. Yet, GA Tech is
at +775 even though they are dead-even with Miami
according to the 12 modules. We flag
Virginia Tech as “at value”, Miami
as “overvalued” and GA Tech as “extremely undervalued”.

By no means do we gaze at just the top or for that matter
the bottom of the standings for an edge.
For example Illinois is
the second long shot in the Big 10 at +3500. However, they are a comfortable
seventh (remember there are 11 teams in the Big 10) in the compilation. We grade the Illini as “undervalued”.

Remember that the offshore odds take public perception
into account. No publication is perfect,
but we have found the rated assemblage of the numerous sources to be more
accurate in distinguishing the talent levels of the teams.

Even the most accurate conference predictions can be
flawed to the gambler because betting odds are the great equalizer. Our system
of contrasting the data with the betting odds gives sharp players the premier
preseason sports betting cheat sheet.

Joe Duffy is CEO of OffshoreInsiders.com,
home of free picks, live scores and odds, sports betting databases
and the famed Tailgate
, news and notes of interest to the online bettor compiled from
hometown newspapers.

Sharp vs. Square Betting, WHIP, NHL Betting Myths

This is the latest in a series of a Godgepodge of sports betting strategy and other sports handicapping and gaming issues.  

Sharp versus Square FAQ

As clients know, we have had enormous success with sharp versus square plays. That means most of the sharp players are going one way and most of the sucker players the other way according to our offshore, Vegas and “outlaw” contacts.  We go with the sharp money.  Our article “Sharp Players Don’t Disappear, They Just Fade Away” explains why such data truly works. 

It was a question from a loyal client who made us aware we were a bit fallible when we said “money” rather than “players”. Sharp players are almost always high rollers, but they are greatly outnumbered by the square investor, who covers a wide profile ranging from a $5 player to the $5,000 a game degenerate.

It’s “one man, one vote” as far as we are concerned.  Contrarian information from a $10 four-team parlay player can be as valuable as, and in most cases arguably more valuable than that from a dime player.  Also parlay selections are tabulated the same way individual plays would be.

As enlightened above, parlay players are a contrarian kingpin’s best friend. 

Can’t Claim Any Myths in the NHL

We’ve made a lot of money over the years exposing myths in sports betting.  Many of the false convictions, as we point out, are examples of inductive rather than deductive reasoning.  However in the NHL playoffs, a hot goalie and quality special teams are the big X-factor.  The difference between the two elements is that overall not recent performance would be most important when handicapping power play and penalty killing.  But the common idea it true, nothing is better than a netminder who enters the postseason “in the zone.”

WHIP it Real Good Baseball Handicapper

We had written an article that many of you raved about as being enlightening on ERA versus WHIP in baseball handicapping. Add one of the sharpest minds in sports handicapping history, Stevie
Vincent of OffshoreInsiders.com to list of sharp players who believe WHIP is the most underutilized tool in handicapping.

Vincent, a veteran actually uses walks/hits per game as his official stat.  It’s the same statistic just calculated over a full game rather than by inning. Vincent was using it before WHIP became chic by the roto geeks. Hence the slight difference which is nothing more than semantics. 

Vincent in fact believes “picking baseball totals is now the easiest way to win in any type of gambling: horses, craps, poker, blackjack, you name it.” Vincent weighs walks/hits per game first with each starter, using last three starts, last seven starts, year to date both overall and home/away, and then he utilizes each starter’s career stats in the game day ballpark.  Like us, he prefers bestowing a pitcher’s cumulative batting average against to the opposing team’s current players much more than the more widely used pitcher’s career stats against that team.

“That way if an AL pitcher came from the NL and faced Gary Sheffield when he played for the Braves, Dodgers, Florida, San Diego and Milwaukee, those stats are factored in.”  As Vincent points out, when lesser handicappers would instead simply use a pitcher’s career stats against the Yankees, it may take into consideration players who are no longer on the Bronx Bombers.

He acknowledges that can be the case when he uses ballpark stats, but as he points out “that’s what I want to measure, if a certain park caters to a pitcher’s strengths or exploits his weaknesses.”

Vincent says otherwise the ballpark stats would in many ways simply overlap with a pitcher’s lifetime stats against an opponent. “Gamblers’ double jeopardy” he calls it. Vincent than says that bullpen must be considered, but reading the boxscore from the night before is mandatory in knowing the availability of relief pitchers for the next day. 

Joe Duffy’s premium plays are available exclusively at OffshoreInsiders.com. Get his exclusive news and notes from his own clipboard at JoeDuffy.Net home of the Handicapper’s Sampler rundown of top sports service plays. 

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 18

Click Here For The Wall Street Journal

God’s Tid-Bets, Vol. 18

Joe Duffy (JoeDuffy.net)

This is the latest in a series of a Godgepodge of sports betting strategy and other sports handicapping and gaming issues.

Professor Wolfers’ Response

Our previous article “Bad Conclusions about Fixing Need to Get Fixed” took to task University of Pennsylvania professor Justin Wolfers’ contention about college basketball games having a shocking number of games involving point shaving.  Here on the Duffy Factor, we let the guests have the last word, so here is the good professor’s:

Thanks for sending me your article.  I must admit that I’m a bit puzzled by some of your criticisms – some are obviously fair, and some seem to me to be off the mark.  I’m not sure if you have read the underlying research paper, but if you do go and read it carefully, I think you will get a stronger sense of precisely what the argument is, and hence which of your criticisms are more and less valid. 

Specifically, the evidence about whether long favorites cover, is less relevant than the asymmetry – just covering versus just failing to cover.  And your interesting discussion about strong favorites being overbet is also explicitly discussed in the paper. The argument is essentially that if it is simply an artifact of the Duke’s of the world being overbet (thereby making 14 point favorites 16 point favorites), then one should expect 16 point favorites to win less often than one might expect for a team this heavily favorite. Figure 4 in the paper suggests that this isn’t true.

Professor Wolfers original paper: Point Shaving

Easier to be the Hunter than the Hunted

Our Wise Guy winner on Florida over George Mason in the 2006 Final 4 is far from the only example, but certainly as high profile as any, of a theory we’ve ridden for years. Teams that have the glass slipper for a variety of reasons will fall prey to the law of diminishing return and in fact reach a point of negative return.

When a team (or in baseball a pitcher as well) is playing above their head, chances are they will return to their level, but their value will be much higher on the betting line. Furthermore, they face the burden of high expectations.

Ironic, we just spoke of the University of Pennsylvania, because in 1979 they opened our eyes to this.  Once a team goes from dark horse to contender, we red flag them as possible go-against teams, pending other factors.

In college sports, a team that enters the Top 25 either for the first time ever or the first time in decades is the epitome of such team. The mid major college team that pulls off a few upsets in pre conference play (remember Gary Trent) is another commonplace occurrence.  Perhaps the archetype is the several-times-a-year-example of a MLB pitcher who comes out of nowhere to look like the second coming of Cy Young in his first four or five starts.

Handicappers should never forget the adage, “It’s easier to get to the top than to stay on top”.  

It’s Right for Some Stats to be Left Behind

In 2005, Cleveland was 42-20 on the road to right-handed starters but 8-12 to lefthanders. So they obviously were better against right handers. 

Or then again, no. At home they were .500 to righties and five games above to southpaws. The Cubs were much better on the road to lefties in 2005, but at home, significantly more successful to right handers. Washington was the exact same way.

In fact the number of teams that statistically were much better on the road to one type of pitcher and just the opposite at home greatly outnumbers those teams that showed a clear tendency both at home and on the road.

My point is that one of the most overrated stats in baseball handicapping is lefty/righty stats. First of all, most teams will face left handed starters roughly 38-52 times a year.  So with such an unbalanced number anyway, stats can get distorted and many other factors including random chance enter the equation when explaining right/left fluctuation.

By no means are we suggesting such stats should be ignored.  Lord knows there are many managers in the Hall-of-Fame that are so-called “situational” managers.  But then again that’s what they do—adjust to the situation and counteract any imbalance that existed in the starting line-up.

If for example one handicaps that the Cubs are much better against left-handed pitching and the team they are facing is starting a left-hander, what happens if the top three relief pitchers on the team they are facing happen to be right handed pitchers? Those stats go out the window in a tie game late once the other team goes to the bullpen and can make mid-course corrections.  In fact, the stats can then go polar opposite.

Randy Johnson has been facing top-heavy right handed line-ups his entire career. Here’s a secret: he mows them down too.  Need I say more?  Unless a team or pitcher both home and away has demonstrated beyond doubt to be significantly better to righties or lefties, let the handicapper beware.

Even if a true angle is uncovered, it’s the job of the “situation manager” to adjust.  We use such numbers, but do so with caution. It’s the “right” thing to do.


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