Learning to Wager on Sports
09-21-2011, 06:42 PM
RE: Learning to Wager on Sports
First off, welcome to the boards. Second, you already have a good head start on wagering because you're willing to learn.
I'll answer your questions first before suggesting some of what works for me.
Quote:Should you follow advice from other people (pay for picks)?
I wouldn't pay for picks. You're going to get frustrated using a service if they're wrong and even the best handicappers are regularly wrong between 40-45% of the time. If a tout goes 3/6, you have paid $25 for the picks and lost 3x the juice on your bets.
You aren't going to improve your craft that way. You're basically just buying shares in a stock. If you want to do that, literally, go buy stock in a company. That's what you're essentially doing.
That said, use Twitter to your advantage. People like @chadmillman and Teddy Covers will post what sharps are on and what squares are on. What they don't tell you is that the games the sharps are on, they hit early in the week and got the best of the number. I would always listen to suggestions of what those who know more than me say. But, I don't blindly follow them.
Quote:Are there resources anywhere for major sports that will give you tips like, "Look for NCAAF teams that have yard per catch averages like 'x'?"
Covers will put together a few pieces weekly about stats and some of their things. What I tend to do is look through the Yahoo Team Report section for the teams I'm interested in betting on or against. They can give some injury updates and talk in generalities of what to expect. They'll also have quotes from coaches. It's easier and less time-consuming than searching for local newspaper articles or radio show clips. It's not Gospel, but it can be helpful. You can find out if there are QB controversies or get a feel for if a coach is being genuine when saying Florida Atlantic is still a tough opponent. Looking ahead can be deadly, especially in CFB.
Obviously, it helps to know if a team that runs the ball well is playing against a poor tackling defense. A lot of times, that is information you have to dig for. Missed tackles isn't really kept anywhere for every college team. As you start to know teams, you'll inherently know these things.
Quote:Is it possible to be good at picking several sports, or do you have to specialize?
You can be good at picking several sports, but the value in a number changes based on the sport and how much you know about it. For example, I don't know dick about UEFA soccer or MMA. I don't bet on them. I know the NFL, but I still don't bet on it because the numbers are extremely tight and the talent gaps are far smaller than college football.
If you want, know certain teams inside and out. Specialize on them within a given sport instead of trying to handicap an entire league.
Quote:Do certain teams/conferences generally give softer lines than others?
Linemakers know a lot more about the SEC than they do the Sun Belt. Lines will be tighter in the Big Ten than in Conference USA. There's value to be found all over the place in college football. There are so many games and so many teams to be aware of.
There are "public" teams who always seem to be giving additional points because the books expect heavier betting on them. These are most evident with the NFL. Teams like Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Baltimore, Dallas, Philadelphia. Teams that are going to get heavy money from the public no matter who their opponent is. They are often overvalued and books may add a point or two to their line. Sometimes it's irrelevant, sometimes it isn't.
Suggestions from me
Because I don't really have a ton of statistical research compiled, I don't have power rankings or projected spreads, I don't bet opening numbers. Rather, I watch them and see where they go. By about mid-week, I ask myself if I am on the same side the sharps are on. The consensus of sharps. If a line opens on Sunday night at -3 and is -5.5 by Tuesday or Wednesday, that's a pretty good indicator of what the pros are on. If I'm against the pros, I do extra research as to why. What do I see that they may not? Probably not much, but I have to have my reasons. Then I determine if they're good enough.
Watch for key numbers. 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 17, etc. Keep in mind that with the college game, most kickers suck. At least relative to NFL kickers. You cannot take extra points or short field goals for granted. If a team is giving key numbers off 6s or 7s (10s, 17s, 24s), check on the kicking status. Is the guy accurate from inside 40? Is he experienced? Things like that. You'd hate to lose a bet because some 22-year-old shanked an extra point.
When it comes to the college game, remember that the majority of these players are immature and that they are still kids. They're all prone to making mistakes. Mistakes are enhanced by environment.
Hard to abide by this based on my novel-esque post, but do not fall into information overload. You'll find all kinds of shit about a game. Ohio State has gone over the total 11 straight times in games that kick off between 12 and 4 pm on Saturdays in October after a straight up loss against a Big Ten opponent who is 4-0 ATS in their last four Saturday non-nighttime kickoffs. How important is something like that actually going to be to you? Is it solely coincidence? Who were the four opponents the other team played? Answering all these questions sidetrack your mind and keep you from looking at what is really important. Don't fall into traps like that. Trends can be incredibly misleading. Some are valid. Some aren't.
Most of all, don't stop learning. With every bet I make, I put something in my memory bank. Also, watch as many games as you can. There's no substitute for seeing a team with your own eyes. You can read all kinds of stats and trends, but you cannot fully gauge a team until you see them. That's why you can find inaccuracies with smaller conferences. If you can't see these teams, like the MAC or Mountain West, that's where doing your research and homework helps.
Don't be afraid to do what you did here and ask questions. Somebody, somewhere is going to know more about a given team than you are. Stay up to date on injury statuses with Twitter. Being informed is your chief weapon in this game.
Sorry for the long post. Feel free to ask me to elaborate on anything.
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RE: Learning to Wager on Sports - Skating Tripods - 09-21-2011 06:42 PM
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