Rickjs Handicapping Picks - Sports Betting at its finest

Westgate NFL Contest record and picks, Westgate top and bottom 5, Updated political odds with 2 decent new wagers, and the lesson of the week for sports bettors:)

We are heading into week 14 of the Westgate NFL Supercontest and I sit at 37-29 or 56%. Last week I had another 3-2 week while heading into this week my first pick on the Bears Thursday evening was an easy win.

In college football, we went 0-1 this week losing with LA Layfayette +6. They fell behind 21-0 but then got their offense going only losing by 7 in a real shootout. That brings my record to date in College football to 31-22-1 or a solid 58.49 %. The ROI for the season is now 12.8%. I will take this every season.


Let me add that betting sports day in and day out is one of the toughest endeavors you can attempt and end up with a positive EV. You have a lot working against you:

1. The vig. If you are at a -110 sportsbook you have a 5% number to overcome before you start making money. That is no small number, the casinos at the dice tables take all the money with just a 1.5% edge, assuming you are a pass line bettor. In blackjack, it all depends on whether you are a card counter and the casino you are playing at. This is one of the few table games where you can actually get an edge. But the atmosphere is not conducive to card counters and has not been for many years now.

When I moved to vegas and played poker full time, at the end of the day I had 4 casinos nearby I would give blackjack action to before I headed home. Mostly to wind down for the day. They all had good rules for card counters and their scrutiny was just sufficient enough where you could play an hour without risk of getting caught. But the rule was, an hour max at each casino. And even then you had to mask your betting strategy a bit. But I suspect, things have even gotten tougher now, but I have been out of the card counting routine for some time.

So, compare 5% to other forms of gambling and it is quite high. You can shave that a bit by looking for books that have 10C lines. Also to have multiple books, both sharp books, and public books. But even if you do all that the best you can do is shave it down to 2 to 3 % against you before you make a wager.

2. Human nature. It was true when I started gambling as it is true today. Human nature runs contrary to being a successful sports bettor. Everyone that is drawn to gambling has a self-destructive side to them. After all what normal person is going to be driven to gambling:) So, the first step is to recognize it and then control it. This is what destroys many, as many do not even accept the idea that it exists, some do not care, and some do not have the intellectual ability to deal with it.

Myself, I caught it at an early age, and even then it was no small task to get it under control. The plunge factor or Tilt factor is a manifestation of the self-destructive tendencies of gamblers. The bottom line is that unless you know about it and learn to control it, you have little to no chance of surviving in this cutthroat world of gambling.

3. Variance: Another tricky subject. But it is simply pure math. Albeit it is easier to calculate in sports betting then poker. If you do not understand what I have just said, quit gambling until you do! This is one of the most important concepts you have to learn. You can be the best in the world at handicapping but if you do not have an understanding of variance you will end up broke.

I have played poker with players whose minds were quite extraordinary. And if they had a respect for variance they would still be around:) But in all forms of gambling, the tendency is to wager more then your bankroll allows. Which in many cases almosts makes the risk of ruin a 100% certainty. Also, understand if you have only a 5 % risk of ruin, you still have a variance to deal with:)

These are all complex subject and I have just touched the surface of them. But, all 3 have to be mastered, or you have no chance in the long run, no matter how good you are at sports betting or poker.

In the NFL for plays week 13, I went 2-1 bringing my season to date record heading into week 14 at 15-15. We started out week 14 with a win do I now sit at 16-15 heading into day season to date.

In the all spread contest where I pick every game against the spread, I sit at 107-86 or 54.87%. Anytime you can pick close to 55% against the spread in the NFL picking every game for the season is a good number. I sit in 17th place in that contest:) Some tough handicappers there as the field is only 114 as opposed to 2400 left in the Westgate NFL contest.

My picks this week in the Westgate NFL SuperContest are:

Chicago +3 (W)
New Eng -3
Arizona +2.5
Rams Even
Giants +9.5

According to my projections 12-3, the last 3 week could get my close to the top 100 and cash. 15-0 almost a certainty. That is a tall order:)

In addition, Westgate has a contest for the last 3 weeks built-in which started on Thursday. My guess is you will need at least 14-1 to win it:) Just randomly with that many entries someone will have that number.

Last week the top 5 in the Supercontest went 2-3 bring their record season to date at 32-31-2. This season has not gone according to previous seasons for the contest. Typically the first 1/3 of the season they are hovering under 40% and then at some point, start rebounding. This season has been the exact opposite.

The Westgate Top 5 this week are:

San Fran

I am with them on the Rams:( I am fading them on the Chiefs. Interestingly both teams San Fran and NO made the top 5. You do not see that very often as they are playing each other.

The bottom 5 this week is:


I was on their absolute bottom pick with the bears, but I am fading Phil.

So let’s see if I can start the last 3 weeks with at least 4-1:)

Now a quick look at the political odds:

Trump impeached by the end of 2019: 72/29 +25 Pts

Trump impeached by the end of his 1st term: 89/11 +12 Pts ( I expect this to happen)

Senate convicts Trump in 1st Term: 13/87 +1 Pt (This is the one to watch) Staying at the lows

Trump to get the Republican nomination: 84/16 -1 Pt (Another one to watch) Staying at the highs
U.S. Presidential winner:

Trump: 43/57 -1 Pts
Warren: 8/82 – 2 Pts
Biden: 16/84 +2 Pts
Buttigieg 12/88 – 1 Pt
Sanders 14/86 + 4 Pts
Bloomberg 6/94 -1 Pt
Clinton 4/97 No Change

Giuliani will not be indicted before 12/31/20 36/64 +5 Pts I laid 38/62

I planned on selling This wager with a 10% to 20% gain after the IG report hits or the Durham report hits. That should send this higher. It is already bouncing back from the lows. and I am back to almost what I paid for the wager. After the IG report hits on Monday I suspect this number will shoot up 10 points pretty fast. At a little under 3 to 1, I think this is an excellent wager. EV is most likely over 50%.

I made an early cashout on my Netanyahu wager making a 100% return in about a month. This one was one of the best I had seen in a very long time. People were not recognizing the realities of Israeli elections. They are complex and oftentimes takes months and months to form a coalition before a new prime minister steps in. In this case, I would still not count Netanyahu out. He is a master at the political maneuverings inside a complex system. That is why now, the odds are just a little under 20 to 1 he will still be Prime Minister at the end of the year.

As far as new wagers. A long shot would be taking 5/2 that the house will not impeach by year-end. I still think they may be short the votes. And you are getting about 5 to 2. But the EV on this one is too small for me to wager.

Another one you could consider is taking 6 to 1 that the Senate will convict. As long as the requirement is that the house must impeach before the wager is valid. My thought is you will get a bounce when the house impeaches, and then knowing the Senate, there will be some drama. They do not do anything without drama. This should push the line down to 4 to 1 easily and then you could cash out with a 100% profit.

At a quick glance, those look like the best two wagers I can see at the moment.

Monday will tell a lot as the IG report hits. Forget the spin. The report will be 500 pages. Either read it or see what Solomon, Turley, Dershowitz, and Kimberley Strassel have to say. They are all pretty reliable factually. None are cable news anchors, None are associated with the Mainstream media except for Strassel who has maintained her integrity and independence through all of this. You will get a no spin rundown of what the IG report reveals and some idea of its significance. Otherwise, you will be just like the other sheep, who are manipulated by the media and the politicians. That is not where you want to be if you can easily avoid it.

And remember the IG report is just the beginning. Durham and Huber are behind the scenes ready to drop indictments. At least, that is the way I see it right now:)

It’s still not too late to join us as we are in the end stages of the NFL and College football with college hoops just beginning. We have the bowl games, NFL playoffs also coming up.

In addition, the NBA first-half wagers have been on fire, something like a 6-0 run:) All subscriptions have a 3-day free trial. Just go to the PayPal drop-down menu on this site and choose the monthly option. Hope to see you join us!

Good Luck Today:)



Skype: riccja


Westgate, Season to date NFL and College football records, Westgate top and bottom 5, November wagering breakdown, updated political odds. And some thoughts on it all:)

We are heading into week 13 of the Westgate NFL Contest and I sit at 33-27 or 55%. Last week I went 3-2 and I started out this weekend with a loss on Atlanta +7 Thursday night.

In college football, we went 4-2 for the weekend bringing our season to date record to 31-21-1 or a solid 59.61%.

In the NFL for plays last week we went 2-2 bring our season to date record to 13-14. This includes the Thursday night game.

My picks in the Westgate NFL Supercontest this week are:

Atlanta +7 (L)
Minn +3
Houston +3
KC -10
Rams -3

Not a good week for picks and my best Atlanta has already gone down:(

The Westgate Top 5 last week went 4-1 bringing its season to date record to 30-28-2.

The Westgate top 5 this week are:

Green Bay
New England
San Fran

I am fading 2 or the top 5 and not with any of them. That is how I like it:)

The bottom 5 this week are:


I am on one of the bottom five and it has already lost.

November is now over and we find ourselves +7.65 Units for the month. It was an interesting month with the Standout being the NBA where we picked up 11.8 UNITS helped by a new wager I have this season, first half sides. so far they were 8-1 in November:) The disappointing sport this month was college hoops where we lost 7.3 units hurt by the sides that went 1-8:( What was a solid setup was dismal in November. Also, the college totals which typically are solid in November we went 5-5 for -.5 units.

I expect things to pick up in college hoops. In sports betting things do not always run true to form as you know, especially those that have been with me for over 15 years now:) Time flys and I can say I am among the few sports handicapping that can show a nice profit handicapping sports every day for 15 years.

I attribute the reason for being that I am always looking for new edges. Overnight sides in MLB was a real winning addition. And now we have the first half sides in the NBA.
College football is always solid, and the NFL is always solid, except this season we are slightly below break-even.

All you can do is keep plugging away: If I ever find myself where I do not think I have an edge anymore I will hang it up. So far I am a long way from that. I enjoy the mental exercise of handicapping as its one of the toughest endeavors you will find. I assure you well over 90% of the sports bettors lose money betting sports. That number is probably a bit low. So it takes research, patience, good respect for variance and good money management to stay in the game.

Now, let’s take a look at the political odds:

This is something new for me. I took an interest in it when I found that the lines were created primarily by public opinion as opposed to reality. I say that as the lines more often than not reflect polling (not internal polling) and it’s my opinion that these polls are mostly worthless. Like everything else, they have become politicized and used as a tool rather than an accurate representation of what reality is. Combine that with the idea that many bettors use the polls and the media as a guide to for an opinion on a wager and the end result is value…..not a little value but in many instances more than you will ever find in sports betting.

I started out with political betting at the poker tables where I would make political wagers with the players. After winning almost every wager, I found it difficult to find any more takers:) So I left it alone for a while, but now political wagering is becoming mainstream, with line put out at many books. In addition, there are sites like predictit.org where they have lines on almost everything. Now there are some sharp bettors on the site but for the most part, what you get is what you find at the poker tables:) So I am back in the game.

Trump impeached by the end of 2019: 43/57 -4 Pts

Trump impeached by the end of his 1st term: 78/22 – 2 Pts ( I expect this to happen)

Senate convicts Trump in 1st Term: 14/86 +1 Pt (This is the one to watch) Staying at the lows

Trump to get the Republican nomination: 85/15 +4 Pts (Another one to watch) A new high

U.S. Presidential winner:

Trump: 44/56 + 2 Pts
Warren: 10/90 – 4 Pts
Biden: 14/76 No Change
Buttigieg 13/86 No Change
Sanders 10/90 No Change
Bloomberg 7/93 -1 Pt
Clinton 4/97 No Change

Giuliani will not be indicted before 12/31/20 31/69 -9 Pts I laid 38/62

I planned on selling This wager with a 10% to 20% gain after the IG report hits or the Durham report hits. That should send this higher. But the media is pounding Rudy so it looks like I will be in this one longer then I expected. I still think this is an excellent wager getting almost 5 to 2 at this point.

There will be a lot happening between now and Dec 9th when the IG report hits. The spin will be 24/7, most if not all will be misleading or false. The House will be back in session this week with both the Schiff and Nadler pressing full speed ahead. Then Dec 9th the IG report and Dec 11th Horowitz will testify in the Senate. That may well be a game-changer. We will see:)

Then of course there is Durham, the silent prosecutor who now has a grand jury.

It’s still not too late to join us as we are in the middle stages of the NFL and College football with college hoops just beginning. In addition, the NBA first-half wagers have been on fire, something like a 6-0 run:) All subscriptions have a 3-day free trial. Just go to the PayPal drop-down menu on this site and choose the monthly option. Hope to see you join us!

Good Luck Today:)



Skype: riccja

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Thanks Rick! Just want to also say that I really enjoy following along with your plays and swing trades. Also really enjoy the blog, I read it every day.




Over an 8 year period:

1 unit plays


121-95 56.02% with a 7.64% ROI


48-28 63.15% 22.63 ROI


8 years beginning 2007

103-65 61.3% 18.75%ROI

#4 OVERALL for 2016!!!

See sportswatchmonitor.com for documented 2016 in all sports.
#4 of all handicappers for all results for 2016!!!



33-21 61.11% 18.33% ROI



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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