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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 6:43 PM

There’s been a lot of talk in Las Vegas the past couple of days about the fantastic year underdogs are having against the NFL pointspreads. I have to admit I was a little perturbed that my huge release on the St. Louis Rams in Miami only covered the spread instead of winning outright. A lot of dogs DID win outright, and St. Louis SHOULD HAVE!

On a day where Cleveland, Detroit, Seattle, Buffalo, Washington, the NY Giants, and Green Bay all won outright as underdogs…the Rams could only manage a tight loss and cover despite winning total yardage by a whopping 462-192. I won rushing yardage 162-19. I won passing yardage 300-173. But, three missed field goals made it a game my clients and I had to sweat. We did get the money though…part of a fantastic weekend where we basically cleaned out the sportsbooks with big unit plays!

I’m not here today to brag about a big weekend. Handicappers must always keep a level head throughout the ebb and flow of a long season and hopefully a long career of battling the sportsbooks. What I want to focus on today is the current underdog phenomenon and how it’s scrambling the brains of too many bettors.

Whenever you see a one-sided trend in the NFL like mostly dogs covering…or mostly favorites covering…an astounding percentage of the betting public turns sports betting into roulette.

*About half think that “dogs are hot,” so they should keep betting on underdogs

*About half think that “favorites are due,” so they tell everyone it’s time to switch course and start laying points in every game.

That’s how LOSERS bet roulette. Casinos started making money hand over fist on roulette in recent years because those electronic “scoreboards” showing recent numbers encouraged people to apply gambler’s fallacies. People always lost at roulette…but volume spiked because those electronic scoreboards tricked more people into betting more often!

Black or red can’t be “hot.” Seeing that a bunch of reds have just come up doesn’t mean you should bet red because it’s hot…or black because it’s due. The wheel has no memory. The same general principal applies to football because the dog/favorite ratio will grade out close to even over time. And, if something is close to even, then you lose money with the 10% vigorish on your lost bets.

The goal of Advanced Handicapping is to WIN money over the long haul. Trying to “ride” a short term market trend can be fool’s gold at best, and a disaster at worst. Trends like what we’re seeing now will either:

*Stop working the minute you jump on them

*Work for a little while longer before reversing and taking away your profits

*Work long enough to make you feel temporarily comfortable, only to disappear after you’ve lost your edge and your ability to properly analyze games.

The fundamentals of Advanced Handicapping that I’ve laid out for you in these articles over the past several months are PROVEN LONG TERM WINNERS. Something like “bet the dogs because it’s been a dog year so far” is a proven loser. I’ve been doing this a long time. Do you think this is the first time either dogs or favorites have had a hot run over six weeks? That’s the nature of gambling. Results cluster. It’s your job not to be blinded by short term anomalies.

Moving forward…focusing on PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS…the motivation factor…key injuries…coaching quality….fatigue…and the line will help you find the best plays on the board. Sometimes that will be favorites. Sometimes that will be underdogs who should have been favored. Sometimes that will be big dogs who are positioned to play a close game.

Always remember this. There are professional sports bettors who make a living beating the market. There are no professional roulette players! You can’t beat roulette over the long haul. You’re not going to beat sports by thinking of it as roulette on grass. Do the work, following the strategies and effort of proven winners. Don’t look for brain dead shortcuts that always expose losers.

I want to thank all of you who have been signing up for my personal service. We’ve been on quite a run of late in both college and pro football. There are no signs that it’s going to slow down because there are still bad numbers going up every weekend. The oddsmakers do a pretty good job of course. But, they continue to miss out on important keys on both the high and low ends of the spectrum. Many good teams aren’t priced high enough. Many truly bad teams aren’t priced low enough.

EASY MONEY if you’re following the fundamentals of Advanced Handicapping.

I’ll be back with you again Friday for our next class. Our enrollment size continues to grow with each passing week. I’m gratified that so many of you have been able to improve your personal approach to sports betting by applying the lessons you’ve learned on these pages. It’s a true honor to be “The Dean of Sports Handicapping” for such a fine group of students.

If you’re new to this website, I encourage you to check the archives for past coursework. These special articles run every Tuesday and Friday. Serious Las Vegas bettors should print out every report so they can create a virtual textbook they can keep handy when needed for years to come. See you next time.

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