# 5 Maryland
Betting is 46% on the favorite Maryland with the line moving from -6.5 to -7.5. Variables favor Maryland while models are neutral. This is a close one, however, the move from -6.5 to -7.5 takes it out of the play category. 7.5 is not a good number to lay when the line starts out less than 7. Pretty much takes the edge out of the favorite. So I am passing on the game.
#10 Virginia Comm
# 2 Oklahoma
Betting is 68% on Oklahoma with the line moving from -6.5-106 to -6-109. As I write this it appears that the line might be moving back to 6.5 at some spots. Variables slightly favor Virg Comm and there is a reverse line move at least right now at many books. VC is tempting but there are some strong variables pointing also to Oklahoma. This is a game similar to Iowa that if your handicapping leads you to VC then you might consider this as a filter for you.
An interesting game coming up:
#14 Stephen Austin
#6 Notre Dame
Betting is 58% on Notre Dame and the line has been bouncing around between Notre Dame favored to Steph Austin Favored and now back to Notre Dame favored at most books. Models are neutral and Variables all depend on who the favorite is. If Notre Dame is favored then the Variables moderately favor Notre Dame. But if Stephen Austin is favored the variables slightly favor Stephen Austin. Confusing to say the least:) Needless to say no matter who is favored I am passing on the game.
Saturday things were less hectic as nothing in College hoops looked good enough for me to wager on. We did have 2 1/2 unit plays in the NBA. Brooklyn +8 lost but San Ant Under 220.5 went under by 55pts!
Really the best opportunities are in the Round of 64. But this season it was slim pickings. Typically the under is the way to go during round 1 and the over in round 2. But this season if you are betting those your getting crushed.
In my handicapping I do look at things like that but the weight I give it is not quite what people believe it to be. For me to wager on a game requires everything to line up and even then it’s not a sure thing by a long shot. What you can hope to do with sports betting is to have fun, make some money if you do it right, and get some excitement out of the game. I know regardless of what I wager on a team it still provides an element of excitement.
What I tend to do in gambling is start out with a negative EV. In this case -5%. If you’re the general public it becomes a bit higher than that. If you’re at the dice table its -1.4% and if you play blackjack and do it correctly it’s anywhere from even money to +1.5% depending on your skill level and how fast on your feet you are to avoid casino security:)
So in sports we are starting with -5%. If your lucky enough to have an account on matchbook, it’s much less than that. If you have a book that gives out -2.5 lines then you have cut it in half. If you only make wagers with other poker players then it’s even money.
And then I work on that number and see what I can do to whittle the edge down. Down to a point where for every bet I make there is a positive expectation.
Easy? This approach is riddled with pitfalls and it takes a lot of experience and knowledge to avoid them. And even then adjustments need to continually be made to the ever changing parameters that give you positive EV.
For those of you that have been following me now almost daily for over 12 years (time flies), you have seen the process at work first hand. As I have gone through this process on this site with full transparency both on the results and my thinking.
If you go back to post 1 almost 13 years ago and breeze through them you will learn how the thought process works out. You will see the ups and downs first hand. The year I was in the top 10 in the Hilton NFL Contest going into the last few weeks. Exciting? As you can tell I enjoy what I do. And enjoy the educational aspect of what I do also.
Enough rambling for Sunday morning. Looking at the college hoop games today I see three games that have potential. That is a big step over yesterday. In addition, there is one game that looks almost too good! We will see.
Good Luck Today
RickJ’s Handicapping Picks