Monthly Archives: November 2014

Handicapping angles

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You Don’t Want to Miss These Angles !


Learn to Identify Value.

No Illusions:
Nothing that follows will make you a guaranteed winner. Everything that follows
will help increase your winning percentage on a consistent basis.
Some are simple to apply. Some require a little homework.

Most handicappers lose because they only base analysis on recent past performance, which is already factored into the line. That’s why the seemingly “Sure Fire” wins, hardly ever are. Foresight is a word often used but rarely utilized.

The goal is simply to win. It doesn’t matter if certain games are less significant.

1. Local Press Coverage:
Everyone gets the same national sports news, but not the local insights. Years ago, prior to the proliferation of the internet, one of the most successful old school gamblers (Billy Walters), had an ingenious way to get local information. He would put together cleaning crews, send them to McCarran Airport (Vegas), and gather up newspapers left on the planes that were arriving from all over the country. Publications from small college towns were especially useful.
a) Radio, TV, and the Internet:
Today you can access anything within seconds. There’s little to gain by following the major networks. Almost all of their information is based on prior week results, and is obviously available to everyone.
It’s easy to find hometown radio stations on-line, to get detailed local insights.
A few words of caution:
Be aware that some local coverage will be biased in favor of the hometown team. Many local radio analysts tend to dramatize and be overly critical. Some can enlighten, others just like to hear themselves talk.
When handicapping or writing I always have some local sports station playing in the background. I often get extra information that either validates a selection, or will cause me to reconsider.

b) Interviews:
Coach and player interviews are the most advantageous press angles. Pay attention and use your intuition. Listen for inflection and intonation, as well as content.
Following is an example that’s reprinted from one of my newsletters. This was published the day after Christmas, in 2011. I changed my original selection after watching pregame interviews.
North Carolina Tar Heels Vs. Missouri Tigers (-4):
Both teams have played well against better, and worse against lesser. Under normal circumstances I would favor The North Carolina Tar Heels, especially getting points. Even though Missouri has won their last 3 games, they were against teams with issues or inability.
Here are the last three teams Missouri played:
Kansas just isn’t/wasn’t very good.
Texas Tech’s game plan was limited, after their coach got into legal trouble.
Texas had major, multiple injuries at running back.
The Tar Heels look like the easy play, but… It was recently announced that they are getting a new head of football operations, Larry Fedora, who won’t be on the sidelines until next year. Their “lame duck” coach, Everett Withers, says all the right things in press conferences, but his inflection belies a different attitude. After a little more research, I found out that he’d be an assistant at Ohio State next year. In addition, there’s also uncertainty over who will be suiting up this evening. A little added extra information: I watched a few Tar Heel player interviews, and some were talking more about nocturnal activities than football.
Result:
North Carolina took an early lead on ability 7-0. Missouri scored the next 31 points en route to an easy win, and had their 2nd string in by the end of the game.

2. Specialize:
When I first started handicapping horses, I focused on one track, and only a few different classes (categories or levels of horses). I learned everything I could about a relatively limited and finite group. I didn’t have the opportunity to make many wagers, but did have the opportunity to cash lots of winning tickets. This is important for those with limited time. You can become an expert in one sport, one division, or one conference. There are just too many teams to follow. This is especially useful for college football.

3. Make Your Own Point Spreads:
For those new to the game, this may sound challenging, but it almost becomes intrinsic as you develop your handicapping skills.
Try this. Prior to seeing the actual numbers, have a friend or family member quiz you on each line. After a while, you may be able to guess most within a point or two. If the line seems wrong you have lots of options.
a) Don’t play the game.
b) Find out why the line has projected differently, and see if you’ve missed something.
c) Middle the game.
d) Make some money.

Have a game related question?
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