Superbowl, NE/Rams Roadmap

Superbowl Sunday:

NFL – 2/3/2019
6:30 PM
101 NE-T Brady0-110 -2-108 0-119 -2-110
102 LAR-J Goff 59o-108 56u-114 58.5u-110 56u-110

Public % 72%NE 28% Rams: No Edge +

Models: Slight Edge Rams

Variables: No Edge

Let me start out by giving my typical caveat. Gamblers tend to not only think they have to have a wager on the superbowl, but they also tend to wager more then what is a typical wager for them.

Its sort of like when the World Series of Poker comes to town here in Vegas. Players that you could not talk into moving up from 8-16 to 15-30 Omaha 8 find themselves sitting in a fast moving 75-150 Omaha 8 game:) Its just human nature.

Now, first lets take a look at how the public sees the game. First, top on their minds is Brady and Belichick. How in the world are you going to beat those two in a big game? And less than a field goal? Time to back up the truck as the Rams should not even be in the Superbowl, and are only there because of the call costing New Orleans the game.

Now lets think about it from a more sober perspective. Remember, and never forget, the line makers are the masters at making the lines. Especially in the NFL. When they put the line out as a pick, who did they think the public was going to pound, NE of course. And yet, a pick? So right off the bat that is a red flag that perhaps the public may be a bit delusional in their thinking here. 

The bookmakers have had to move the line 2 pts as of this morning to -2 because of the heavy action on NE.

Now lets look at it from another angle. What is your gut telling you right now. NE of course, as that is exactly what mine is telling me:)  I am thinking from the gut how in the world can you even take the Rams in this spot.

Well, lets look at the numbers.

The models all point to NE being overvalued at -2. My models show the game at anywhere from a pick to Rams -1.5. But there are no key numbers so keep that in mind. The public is 72% on NE as of this morning. That is a pretty high number for the Superbowl. More importantly it means to me that betting on NE is a non starter. 

As far as variables, forget it. One thing about the NFL is that the sample size is small to begin with. When you just consider the Superbowl there really is no sample to evaluate. I have seen a statistic whenever you get a 2 pt move in the Superbowl toward the favorite the favorite wins and covers around 80% of the time. However, that is a sample size of less than 10 game !!! In other words meaningless.

So I am passing today. There is nothing here that I see that has a postive EV Edge unless you want to consider the rams on the money line. And even then its far from a play with my strict requirements.

I know its a tough assignment, but sit back and enjoy the game with no money on it:)

That is what I will be doing.

If the numbers change I will update.

Good Luck Today


RickJ’s Handicapping Picks


Skype: riccja


A Q&A on College hoop Totals handicapping

I Received and email this morning that I would like to share that I believe is instructive on analyisng certain betting situations that come up from time to time.

” Hi Rick,

I’ve been experimenting with college totals. I don’t have any models. 

Does public betting have any significance?  My thinking is in high profile games like Duke vs NC yes, but in games like Columbia vs Princeton no, and in games like Michigan vs Iowa perhaps. 

Is it +EV to fade big moves?  For example tonight Brown vs Dartmouth total opened at 142 and closed at 148. Does it make sense to blindly bet the under regardless of models, variables, etc. Public for whatever it’s worth was 52% under.  

There seem to be a few games like this most days of the week. 


My Response:

Yes, Public %, in my opinion, is significant in almost every situation. The questions is it significant enough to make a wager.

In college hoops, there are certain situations that historically have been profitable wagering on the under.  Neutral court games are one of them.

But overall the totals in college hoops are even more difficult than the sides.
One thing that is very significant in college hoops is the Volume of wagering on the game. So if you have a game where only 200 wagers have been made its hard to draw any conclusions compared to a big ten game where 20,000 wagers have been made. So the greater the volume the more the public % becomes relevant.

The big moves are tricky. First, you need a baseline to work with. Pomeroy is a good solid one. For a few years some totals would come out 5 to 10 pts below what Pomeroy had them  on Pinnacle. I made a lot of money betting middles on these. But anymore Pomeroy and the line is pretty close. But I would double check the Pomeroy number first.

So let’s look at the Totals:

First lets look at historically how the unders have compared to the overs:


Now, this does not consider what the line is nor what the public % is. But you see there is less of a hit taking the under right from the start.

So now let’s see what we get on the under with moves in the line:

If you faded moves of 7.5 or more here is what your results would have been:421-421 -10 -3.2%ROI Anything less would be worse.

Now lets put in the public % on the game and see what happens:

If we look at games where the under has public betting of <38%  with a 5pt move we get 347-322-8  51.9%. -.2% ROI.

So we can draw the conclusion here if any can be drawn that public % does help:)

But moving things around a little if we only consider lines of =>158.5 and a public % of under 38% putting the move at  =>5 pts move we may have something.
49-21-0  70% and a 34.1% ROI.

So you get 7 plays a year out of this. Then consider that we have put in numbers to get this result and also consider the sample size of 70 games.  You would have to wait another 10 years to see how this plays out in order to have any hint at it being reliable.

So in short No., Unless you feel like gambling on a method that has only been backtested with no real time testing. on a sample of 70 games.  That is asking for trouble. Its hard enough to come out on top with methods that pass both backtesting and real-time testing. 

This gives you an idea of some of the analysis that goes into coming up with positive EV situations. 


RickJ’s Handicapping Picks


Skype: riccja

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Letter From a Long Time Follower

“Rick,I am still amazed how you do it. I have followed you almost from the beginning not only from your posting on your website but also you time at 2+2 forums.

I have noticed a continuous improvement year to year in your methods. But the more remarkable thing to me is your persistence in educating and putting out your picks. Almost every site I am familiar with has gone by the wayside. Yet yours keeps getting stronger and stronger.

I have to ask “Where do you get your focus and energy” to keep this up?

You have taught me a lot over the years and I have gone from a “punter” to a reasonable handicapper. Whereas before I was a typical undisciplined sports bettor I am now very aware of the necessity of a disciplined approach. It has done wonders.

In addition, you’re going from a free site to a subscription based site was long overdue. I appreciate your keeping the membership fee low and not trying to “milk” money out of the sports bettors. I know there are many that would pay substantially more to follow your site.

But that goes hand in hand with your persona that you have established in the sports betting world. You most likely do not know it but your name “RickJ” is very well-respected as one of the leading handicappers in sports betting. In addition, your reputation for integrity is as high.

There are very few real things out there but you are definitely the real thing.

Again thank you for all you have done over the years.”

My Response:

It’s hard for me to respond to that as humble a person as I am:) But it’s emails like this that I get from time to time that help keep me motivated.

I have always said in the past that I approach sports handicapping the way crossword puzzle addicts approach their morning routine. I can not think of anything more challenging than trying to figure out EV on sports games.

As far as the subscription cost I have mentioned before my goal was to defer my expenses that keep rising every year as I get more advanced in my techniques. I look at subscribers as partners in this handicapping endeavor rather than customers. Subscribers help me defer my costs and allow me to justify keeping my expensive hobby going.

Thanks for the mail. It’s nice to know I am appreciated!

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