Nothing again today. The prices on the home dogs are just not attractive enough the last few days to bring the games into a pick.

So this is probably the longest stretch with no picks…4 days…but this method has been very solid from the start of the season so no reason to adjust anything.

An email:

“Rick, I have been following you now for almost 3 years and first want to thank you for sharing your insight and picks. I have learned a lot from following your blog. If you had to give a short explanation of your approach to handicapping what would you share about it?”

My response:

Probably the best way to describe my approach is 1. seeking value and 2. counter intuitive.

Handicapping is simply trying to find value in the line. Many people have different ideas in finding value. The public for example would look at a game where you have an 10-0 pitcher against an 0-10 pitcher and say aha….what a great bet on the 10-0 pitcher and even better yet if the team is on a 5 game winning streak!!!

I would look at that and come to the opposite conclusion that a wager for me would either be on the other side or not at all.

My approach goes under the basic assumption that the smartest people in the universe of sports betting is the line maker. After all millions of dollars are bet into these lines and there is rarely a well funded bookmaker that loses money! And in addition there are very few sports bettors that make money.

So….then how do I attempt to find value. My first step in all sports except ncaa baskets is to determine what the public is doing. So using the above example more then likely the public is going to be very heavy on the favorite. Once I confirm this I then continue my handicapping of the game.

Now unfortunately many handicappers are now using this contrary public approach since it has been very well publicized over the last few years. And that has lead to the situation that just using the public numbers alone will not show a profit. The bookmakers have adjusted as they usually do.

You could see this over the last 2 years in the nfl. There were a number of games where the road team was 3 pt favorite…the public was very heavy on the road team. And it looked like a trap play for the public since the line looked way too low. And the road team won easily. 4 or 5 years ago this setup was about as reliable as you could get. And that is why you need to do additional handicapping in a further attempt to obtain value.

Now going back….the book maker is going to look at that game and know before the line is put out that the public is going to be on the favorite heavy. So the line that is going to come out is more then likely going to have value on the dog. But also more then likely not as much value as you would have gotten a few years ago and in addition due to the influx of “smart bettors” in some situations perhaps not any value.

But overall so far using contrary public numbers a starting point is still in my opinion the best approach, except for ncaa baskets.

Good Luck Today

Twitter: rickjsportplays

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