Saturday we had 3 plays and went 1-2.
Our 1/2 unit play on Houston Under 9.5-116 lost 6-7 and our 2 overnights split with Tampa +120 winning 10-3 and Pit -124 losing 1-2.
So far today I have sent out 2 plays.
To get an idea of the number of plays per month
The increase is in part due to the inclusion of the overnights as 1/2 unit plays.
A breakdown by type of play is:
1 unit sides
1/2 unit sides
1/2 unit totals
1/2 unit overnights
I know many of you expected more 1 unit plays this season. My work on the offseason is to go over results and make adjustments where I feel it is appropriate.
Last season was an interesting one as 1/2 units sides were dismal, while 1 unit sides were solid.
Now you would think logically by eliminating the 1/2 unit groups that failed the 2nd year of real-time testing and adding those that passed to 1 unit would at the very least keep the 1 unit play volume the same.
Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. Filters are a tricky thing. Finding a good filter is hard enough. Implementing it is even trickier.
As I have discussed when you reduce volatility (top to bottom swings) you in most cases reduce your EV.
That is what you are seeing here. We ended up with +13 units last season but top to bottom was close to 30 units. With 20 unit swings frequent.
For me handling swings is a piece of cake. It would make tears come to your eyes if I shared with you some of the monster swings I have had playing poker full time:)
For me, the swing is not the issue. It is keeping the eye on when something that has worked well does not work anymore or is not worth investing money in. I fully understand that if I do my homework that it will be a rare case that I come up with something that is way off on my projected EV. It happens but rarely.
Saying that even the strongest methods I use are subject to a downswing of 20 to 30 units regardless of what the EV is. Remember, we are talking probability theory. The bell curve should always be kept in the back of your mind as a cautionary reminder that variance is always lurking around to either make you look like a genius or to bust you.
Now despite the fact that I understand and account for variance I know based on my own experiences and also observed over the years the nature of gambling and its effect on humans that not many reach the level of discipline that I have.
So I have to be realistic and take as a priority the reduction of variance as #1 as opposed to EV. Otherwise, most that follow me will be on the outs looking in within a very short time. Especially in a sport like MLB.
We are not talking about a huge tradeoff here. But enough of one that it needs to be mentioned and enough of one that is noticeable.
So far the top to bottom is around 11 units. That is a substantial reduction compared to last season. In addition, we are 8 units ahead of where we were last season at this time. Rather than an EV decrease on the surface, it appears that we have not caused any reduction of EV while reducing volatility.
A rare occurrence if this holds. Very rare actually. Rare enough that I am going to celebrate if it holds at the end of the season as all professional handicappers know this and all know how rare it is to achieve this type of result.
So yes, fewer 1 unit plays, but we are ahead of where we were last season. Who cares where the units come from? Its really irrelevant.
I receive and email from a new subscriber I feel is instructive I would like to share:
“Rick, I have a question do you have a listing of your plays day by day? Thanks,”
“There are several ways to get my historical record:
1. Go to rickjshandicappingpicks.com and then on top, there is a link to my page that includes my records broken down by year and sport.
2. Go to:
That is a google sheet that I usually update first thing in the morning with every play on each day. I started that almost a year ago.
3. If you want to really be ambitious you can go through my posts on my website which goes back for over 10 years. Almost every post is there from when I started my site and put out plays.It will have virtually every play I have made with the exception of 12 months that were lost when a person I hired to transfer my site to another host screwed the transfer up.
Let me know if you have any questions going through these. ”
Good Luck Today
RickJ’s Handicapping Picks