Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Free Pick - NHL 2/28/11

Today's free play is the Over in the big salami. Just two games, but I still like the bias in this kind of play. Over 11 -- in two games.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Free Pick: NBA 2/27/11

With today's free pick, I am going with a rare favorite: the Miami Heat -8 vs. the Knicks.  Public sentiment is surprisingly on the Knicks because of all of the Knicks-Carmelo Anthony hype -- even with the Knicks' bad loss to Cleveland on Friday.

Because of all of the media and press, the line has ticked down at some books.  I currently show the best line at Miami -8.  

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Free Pick - NCAA Hoops 2/26/11

Today's play of the day is on the Georgetown-Syracuse game.  Public perception is on the Orangemen, because they have been hot -- while the Georgetown Hoyas have been struggling just a bit recently.  The game is receiving a lot of attention and I believe that there is at least a few points worth of line value in this game.  

Georgetown boasts one of the toughest schedules this season -- and I think that they will bounce back and take this game at home.  Again, this is a numbers game, but I like the contrarian approach in sports betting -- because it often yields decent value in the long-term.  Georgetown -1 currently, and watching the line, hoping for pick'em.  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Free Pick 2/25/11

As usual, not much action on a Friday evening...  Just a few college basketball games.  I don't see anything I like in the NBA (or individual NHL games) - so I am going with the "over" in the NHL big salami.  50 goals in 9 games.

Sportsinsights Highlights

Thanks for visiting my blog.  I post free picks -- in a sort of "play of the day" format -- and have been doing decently.  I also post articles related to sports betting from time to time.  Today, I wanted to highlight one of my favorite sports betting websites (, especially because their blog helped me to pick up two units last night.  (The big NBA games: Boston-Chicago; Nuggets)

Some of my favorite sports-related links are at the bottom of this blog.  (My blog reading list is posted on the right-hand-side.)  Sportsinsights is my favorite site because I believe they offer a "real edge" in the sports gambling arena.  They collect and analyze betting lines from several real offshore sportsbooks.  More importantly, they have access to betting percentages that can be used to "poll" public sentiment and get an idea where contrarian line value might exist.

I have known the guys at Sportsinsights for many years -- and think they are stand-up guys.  Full disclosure: I have even done some research with Sportsinsights data and collaborated on their series of books.  I have performed solid academic research and have shown that a contrarian approach to sports betting provides an edge (at a statistically significant level).  Their "square plays" and "best bets" perform decently and are "true" pre-published results.

Unfortunately, even Sportsinsights does not claim to have some magic formula.  Many of their approaches are in the 53%-56% level.  However, I would rather take a small -- but real -- edge, than have my head in the clouds...  

I DO try to improve results with other handicapping methods -- but that's for another blog post.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday Free Pick - NHL 2/24/11

There are several plays with good value today -- but my play of the day for the Free Pick is in the NHL.  There is line value as a result of public sentiment on a hot Chicago team (5-3-2 in last 10; won two in a row).  The public has pushed Nashville, which opened as a slight favorite, to an underdog.  As a result, I like the value on Nashville (who has lost 2 in a row).  The Predators are at home -- and are definitely a live dog.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday's Free Pick - NBA 2/23/11

The blog's free pick streak is growing again: we are going for three wins in a row tonight.  In the NBA tonight, there seem to be some big games with great teams playing weak teams, with public sentiment on the heavy favorites based on info from  I think that there could be value there -- but I also like to study statistics and records against the spread at

I am going with Utah today, visiting Dallas.  We get a solid team playing a great team -- and some nice line value, with the line being bid up from Utah +7 to Utah +10.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Free Pick - NHL 2/22/11

I am going with the Toronto Maple Leafs over the NY Islanders today in a line value play.  The Islanders have picked it up a bit lately -- but the public seems to over-value recent performance.  Take Toronto and pay a little odds; you can get around -150.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Free Pick - President's Day 2/21/11

It is extremely light today, on President's Day. There were a few early games. On days like this, it could pay to lay off on betting action unless you really like a game. We'll go with Western Carolina -3.5, a slight favorite, to try and get another streak going.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Free Pick: NCAAB 2/20/11

The streak has ended -- so let's start another one.  I'm going with a surprising (to some) play by going with Ohio State.  I believe they are worthy of a # 1 seed in the big tournament -- but they need to step it up and defend that place.  Time to pick it up!  Ohio State + 1 at Purdue.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Free Pick - Lucky 7 2/19/11

The streak continues...  Our blog's picks have won 6 in a row -- and we're going for a "lucky 7" today.

We're going with one of our "ugly plays" -- by taking Colorado +15.5 visiting Kansas in NCAA Hoops.  There's some decent value on this seemingly ugly pick -- and we're hoping for some additional line value if the public pushes the point spread up.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Free Pick - Pick Six? 2/18/11

Our winning pick on Thursday brings our blog's recent streak to 5 wins in a row -- so we are going for a "Pick Six" -- 6 in a row, that is.   I have been on a roll lately, but remember to "bet with your head" and use good money management.  I won't make any claims that I will win the equivalent of 60% of the time (equivalent because of the impact of moneyline bets).

However, the methods I use should help sports handicappers overcome the vig.  Please also visit one of my more popular posts on sports betting tips.

Today's sports action is particularly light -- even for a Friday at this time of the year -- because of the NBA's All-Star break.  In today's sports betting action, I like:  Dartmouth +11.5 over Columbia.  Public sentiment is on the big favorite -- so there looks to be some value on Dartmouth.  I also always like getting some "meaty" action in terms of points, and the +11.5 (hopefully more later) gives us that "value."

We'll go with Dartmouth as our "pick six" play.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday Free Pick - Five in Row? 2/17/11

My blog's free picks have now won four days in a row.  Can we make it five in a row?

Today, I am going with the Over in the NHL Big Salami.  You can get Over 39.5 -105 odds or better.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday Free Pick - NCAA Basketball 2/16/11

We're going for four wins in a row on our blog -- with a big visiting dog in NCAA Basketball: Iowa State getting +11 visiting Texas A&M.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday Free Pick - NHL 2/15/11

Our blog's free picks are going for three wins in a row again...  After our Saturday play on a CBB dog (St. L) just missed their cover, we won with the NBA Celtics on Sunday, and the big salami Over on Monday.

Today, I am taking Buffalo in the NHL.  There is some decent line value on the visiting dog Sabres, as they visit the favored (and even more heavily-favored, due to the line movement) Montreal Canadiens.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Free Pick - NHL 2/14/11

Our free pick for the day is the Over in the NHL big salami.  I was able to get Over 16.5 -115.

Another tip / reminder for the day: it's Valentine's Day.

Also: thanks for reading my blog; it's been growing in popularity.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Free Pick - NBA 2/13/11

Today, I am going with a pick in the NBA: the big Miami-Boston game.  I like Boston for a few reasons, some of which are mentioned in my blog post on sports betting tips I wrote earlier today.

In particular, I like Boston, currently getting +2.5 at several books at home (!!) because:

  • Public sentiment is on a red-hot Miami Heat team.  Since the Heat started the season barely above .500, they have put together the best record in the NBA.  
  • Boston has been cold lately, but look for them to be "up" for this game.
  • The line opened at Boston -1 at CRIS, but public sentiment quickly pushed the line to Miami as a favorite, and has continued to push the line to Boston +2.5.  I like that kind of line value.  

Sports Betting Tips

Some sports bettors make a casual bet "here and there" -- just for the fun of things -- and that's fine.  However, if you want to help your bankroll (which could be a fun thing!), below are some betting tips.  Over time, I will blog about additional thoughts on betting tips and value in the sports betting world.
  • Selectivity: the "vig" is already difficult to beat.  Limit your bets so that you are not climbing upstream all of the time by paying -110 on excess games.  (Don't be mislead: most of us cannot achieve a 60% winning percentage -- and that -110 is a drag on results.)  
  • Use good money management.  Here's a blog post on money management. 
  • If possible, check various sportsbooks to get the best combination of point spread and (moneyline) odds.  (A low vig sportsbook and/or sports exchange can offer good "pricing.")
  • Avoid the hottest and best teams -- and avoid the worst teams.  I use ATS records (especially stats) to study this type of info.  Research has shown these are bad bets.
  • Try to put "value" on your side by tending to "fade the public."  I like SportsInsights for this type of info.
  • In addition, I try to grab additional value by focusing on big games, nationally televised games, and games where the media is harping on one side of the story.    
  • I also like "line value" (where the line moves in the direction where you are receiving more points or better odds).  
  • I like "decent points" in my plays, which often look like "ugly plays" -- because teams sometimes come through with "back door covers."  These wins ATS can help improve your winning percentage. 
  • Syndicates and other groups with organized resources may use additional techniques to add value to their plays.  This is beyond the scope for many smaller bettors and handicappers, but the resulting line moves and other impacts -- could be useful:
  1. Injuries and other breaking news: this will probably impact the betting lines -- but faster than most bettors can exploit.  Sometimes, the lines over-react (tip: perhaps fade).
  2. Pricing models and other software: used to set a price. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Free Pick - NCAA Hoops 2/12/11

With today's busy college basketball schedule, we're going with a pick in NCAA Hoops.  We like St. Louis, getting double-digit points, with public sentiment on Richmond, big-time.  There looks like there is some good value on the visiting dog here.

Our "ugly play" on the NHL Devils won last night.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Free Pick - NHL 2/11/11

We'll stay with the NHL -- and go with a (hopefully) revitalized NJ Devils team to take out a strong San Jose squad -- in NJ this evening.  On paper, this looks bad, but the Devils have been picking things up a bit, and the public is on San Jose so much, that we are seeing some line value.  You can get NJ at +125 and it may move more during the day.    

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday Free Pick - NHL 2/10/11

We'll try and make it three free pick wins in a row tonight... and we'll go with one of our favorite plays, the Over in the NHL "big salami." (I got Over 28 in 6 NHL games).

Please visit my blog for (almost) daily free picks, plus useful sports betting information from time to time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Moneylines, Point Spreads & Wednesday Free Pick 2/9/11

I often talk about the point spread being "a great equalizer." Teams can "back-door" into a win ATS -- or the game can just be closer-than-expected. Of course, many times, the underdog gets completely thrashed -- but I think of sports betting as a "numbers game" where you try and put the numbers and probabilities on your side.

Yesterday's pick, So. Ill +16, happened to be an outright winner -- and some back-of-the-envelope analysis has shown that the point spreads and moneyline odds are fairly efficient. That means that if you you want to diversify, you can sometimes split a small portion of your bet and do some moneyline action in addition to the point spread.

In today's sports activity, I like a play in the NHL: Phoenix Coyotes (visiting Dallas) at +130.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday Free Pick NCAAB - 2/8/11

Today's free pick is in college basketball. We'll take a big dog, So Ill + 16, visiting Wichita State in NCAA hoops. The total is fairly low in this game (at 127), so covering the 16 could be tight for the favorite.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Free Pick - NHL 2/7/11

After a busy Super Bowl weekend, it's back to business.  Some people I know think of me as a "grinder."  I believe that I have an edge, and I stick to strict money management, which may be boring to some, but works for me.

I don't like much today, so my free pick of the day is my old standby: the Over in the NHL Big Salami.  I already locked in Over 34.5 in the 6 NHL games.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Wealth of Super Bowl Betting Info & Free Pick 2/6/11

Here is some useful information I have gathered on the Super Bowl.  FWIW, I like the Steelers -- and will lean to the Under.  Actually, with the over/under being pushed up (now up to 45 at most books), I like the Under even more now.  Here are some links I have looked at:
Some observations:
  • Betting is split about 50/50 on this one, but with the line edging slightly to GB.  The Super Bowl is a different animal, but "bigger money" seems to be slightly on GB.
  • I believe that "hot money" is following GB, who had the blowout win over Atlanta in the playoffs.  Numbers show that recent performance may not necessarily help ATS.  If anything, it could lead to value on Pittsburgh.
  • Some people note that Pittsburgh has the better record, and is the #2 seed vs. the Packers # 6 seed.
  • Based on all of the factors I have studied, I believe that there is good value on Pittsburgh.  I would actually favor the Steelers by a few points, so getting Pitts +3 is solid value.
  • BTW - based on some of these stats, I will also take a chance at some other props with Pitts winning big.
I hope this wealth of information brings us Super Bowl riches as well.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Money Management & Sports Betting

As we get set for Super Bowl Sunday, the topic of money management came up with some friends.

Some observations:
  • If you don't have an edge, the best money management will be to minimize your bets and unit size.  No matter how you manage your money, your bankroll will dwindle.
  • That being said, if you have a slight edge, note that a typical account will still have swings of +/- 20 units or more.  This is just due to the volatility of the betting world.  
  • Thus if you have $1000 in your account, the "noise" and randomness of even betting as little as $50 a unit will cause your account to scrape the bottom from time to time.  
  • I often think of my bankroll in two pieces: what I have in active accounts (my "active bankroll"), and what I have "in reserve" to back up the "sports investing" activity in the near-term ("near-term bankroll").
  • To withstand the impact of volatility and randomness, I use about 5% of the "active bankroll" or about 3% of the "near-term bankroll" as my unit size.   
  • To some, this may seem small and not very exciting, but sports betting is a "double-or-nothing" investment exercise.  You either win your bet (and almost double your money) -- or lose the entire bet.  Thus, even 5 losses in a  row, at 5% per bet -- can lose 25% of your "active bankroll."  
  • If you practice good money management activities, you will be able to stick to your guns in time for your approach's upswing -- and won't feel the pressure to reduce your bet size at the worst possible time.  

Saturday Free Pick 2/5/11

We'll be back with more Super Bowl coverage later today and tomorrow.  For our free pick of the day, we like St. Louis over Xavier in NCAA hoops.  We like double-digit underdogs, and don't mind if they are visitors.

St. Louis +11

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Free Pick - NHL 2/4/11

It's another light Friday for sports betting activity: sort of the calm before the storm of Super Bowl weekend.  College hoops has just a few games before a heavy Saturday -- and I don't see any values to "write home about" in the NBA.  We'll go with one of our favorite plays recently, the "Over" in the NHL "big salami."

We are tracking this play, and although our data sample size is fairly sparse, there seems to be a statistical edge in that a certain percentage of games result in a high-scoring score of say 6-4, making up for some small unders at, say 3-2.

I was able to get over 33.5 with 6 games.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday - Free Pick - NHL 2/3/11

For our free pick -- we'll go with the NHL once again, after winning our last two free picks in a row (in the NHL).  Today, I like Dallas, who is visiting Boston -- because of some good line value.  Pinnacle opened with Dallas as +129 underdogs on the moneyline, but public sentiment has moved the line all the way to Dallas +148.

While the play may or may not win, over time, this kind of line value helps with long-term results.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wednesday's Free Pick - NHL 2/2/11

After yesterday's NHL win, we'll stay with the NHL -- this time on the OVER in the big salami.  I've tracked the data -- and believe that there is statistical value on the over (surprisingly!).

Today's total is 33.5 - in 6 NHL games.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday - Free Pick - NHL 2/1/11

We'll welcome the NHL back from the All-Star Break with a free pick on Calgary.  Calgary has some interesting line movement with public sentiment going towards the home favorite (Nashville).  I like Calgary at +115 and better.