The Final Four is here!!!

6:00 Update

I have had a few questions regarding the Under wager I had on Villanova considering the change in the line from open to close. I can understand the reason for the question especially as I just out some numbers that reflect the validity of the opening line as opposed to the closing line.

So let me start out by saying that those numbers relate only to betting the sides. They have nothing to do with the totals. Prediction Tracker does not keep track of the totals on there site.

But more importantly here is what I sent another subscriber explaining the reason for the wager:

“These opening totals in college hoops can change by up to 10 to 15 points within hours of the open. A few years ago I did almost nothing but bet the totals in college hoops within seconds after they came out. For whatever reason the books had inflated numbers. I was not alone as you had to be at the computer and oftentimes you could not get down on the game as there were many more doing the same thing. So when you see a move a large as this I assume it’s related to what had occurred when I was doing that.

I stopped because it was just too time consuming to do it. And Frustrating as many times you would send in the wager and get a response back that the number had changed. However for quite awhile it was very profitable.
So that is why I do not give much credence in the opening totals in college hoops. In addition back then I was trying to figure out why the books that did put these out were 10 or sometimes 15 points off. They had to know it. My only conclusion that I could come up with was it was a way to launder money. Now I never did any research on that and most likely it was something else. But at the time that was the only reasonable explanation I could come up with. At the time I was using Pomeroy as a guide for a ballpark number for the totals and without fail 100% of the time when the line came out inflated it moved within seconds.
But generally, you are correct. But College totals is completely different. In addition, my backtesting has shown even moves up to 7 points off the opener with this particular set of circumstances is profitable. Now if it was the NFL there is not a chance I would touch it!
I am going to miss some winners the way I do it but then again it’s going to go both ways. My approach relies on what the numbers are close to at game time. Not only the line but other variables as well. If I used a pure handicapping approach then, of course, I would make my plays when I felt I was getting the best value based upon my handicapping. However, I do not handicap that way. And I know very few that can handicap that way successfully. “
Let me say also that I welcome questions of this nature. As I agree that on its surface after a 6 pt move off the opener on the total it would be reasonable to think that the total is no longer bettable. But my explanation above should clear things up.


5:20 Update

One more game coming up to see who moves to the finals:



Betting is 53% on the dog Syracuse with the line staying steady at -9.5. Variables about as split as could be on the game as is the models. Public betting ever so slightly favors N.Carolina but almost so little to even mention it. This game is about as close to a coin toss as one could find. I am Passing on the game.

2:40 Update

The first game of the NCAA Final four is up in 20 min:



Betting is 54% on the Dog Oklahoma with the line moving from +1 to +2.5 -110. Variables favor Villanova. Models are neutral. Public betting is about even but still there is 46% on the favorite with a mini reverse line move on the favorite. I am itching to bet Villanova however at 46% there is just too much betting on them for me to pull the trigger on them. If your handicapping points to Villanova you might want to consider this. If it points to Oklahoma you also might want to consider passing on the game. But still too close to call and I am passing.


We are rapidly approaching the end of the 2015/2016 College hoop season with the Final Four starting in 5 hours. The games should be very entertaining.

On Friday, we had no plays. This is the lull before baseball begins. Typically the end of the regular season in pro sports has a lack of handicapping opportunities. Then we get into the playoffs and opportunities pick up.

With Baseball just a few days away we will have more action than we might want:) But remember it is a roller coaster ride. It is nothing like any of the other sports we wager on. So if you have not heeded my advice on bet sizing and bankroll sizing you might have gotten away with it but you won’t in Baseball. Do yourself a favor and follow my advice. And if you have any questions about how to do it just send me an email and I will help you get set up with the appropriate bankroll size for you situation and the appropriate bet sizing.

Leave your ego at home so that we can intelligently come up with an optimum solution for you.

I have some time this morning so let’s discuss the Opening Vs Closing lines as predictive of  value in sports betting.

The discussion goes like this.

  1. The opening line is more reflective of value because the books have the best and brightest both in terms of humans and software when they come up with the opening lines.
  2. The closing line is more reflective of value as it reflects all the market participants opinions when the game starts. In addition in support of this argument is the idea that many books have lower limits when they put out the openers to allow their “sharp Bettors” to bet on them to see where the appropriate value might be. And further along, this discussion is the fact that many books wait to put out their lines until the lines of the few that do put them out early settle down.

That is basically it. I am sure there are other arguments that came be made and most likely some things I have not thought of. But as most of you know, I am in Camp 1 on the issue.

But we really do not need opinions and the validity of them to decide. This issue can be analyzed simply from the historical data. Of course, the pitfalls in this approach is that the data might not be reliable. This is a bigger issue than you might imagine.  But for the sake of simplicity lets go with it for now.

The place to look for starters to make it as simple as possible is

This site looks at quite a number of power ratings and systems and follows them throughout the season. You can find out what the rating are prior to the start of the games but a caveat is that other than the research it allows what it also points out is the dismal ability of most power ratings to be prognostic.

But now back to the opening line:


2015  53.6%

2014  53.535%

2013  52.239%

2012  48.168%

2011  46.759%


2015 51.929%

2014  52.258%

2013  50.161%

2012  48.726%

2011  51.757%


2015  52.448%


2015  49.584%

That’s it for the historical data that is available on the site. But at least, from this data, it appears that the opening line is the best indicator of value then the closing line. But not by much. Enough, in my opinion, to give it some weight when handicapping.

Now I do have my own database but have not spent the time needed to research the subject. It would be a time-consuming task and I will get around to it but not today:)

This, of course, leaves unanswered the reliability of the data and what they consider the opening line to be. But for purposes of this discussion, I am assuming they are using the line that first comes out on the games.

In any event, it should give some pause to the people that are of the steadfast opinion that by the time the game starts the line then is the most efficient.

I would welcome any thoughts or other input on the subject as its an area that certainly can influence one’s success in handicapping games.

Baseball is just a few days away so if you have an interest in joining us for Baseball its a good idea to join before April 4th to get in on the 130.00 back guarantee. If your uncertain what that is just read the post to the right of this that outlines everything. After April 4th the only subscribers that will qualify for this will be the ones that were active on April 4th.

For subscribers, I will send out my thoughts on today’s final 4 games in addition to whatever else turns up today. I suspect another slow day but do not get too accustomed to it with MLB 2 days away:)

Good Luck Today


RickJ’s Handicapping Picks



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