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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM

In recent weeks here in our series of February college basketball tutorials, we’ve talked about key boxscore statistics, and how to stay on top of developments with Power Ratings. Today we’re going to talk about additional weapons in the handicapping arsenal…trends and angles.

For the uninitiated, these are pointspread records above and beyond the basics of the boxscore that may reflect additional contributing factors for determine a game’s result. There are all sorts of qualifiers in this category. Some quick examples:

*Teams who have either good or bad ATS records at home or on the road

*Teams who have either good or bad ATS records as underdogs or favorites

*Head coaches who have certain records that follow them around to different jobs

*Classes of teams who show tendencies in certain situations (West Coast teams in bad body clock games)

Trends and angles certainly have their place in handicapping. Each particular bettor must determine now much weight to place on the information. You don’t want to invest in “trivia” for something that sounds good but isn’t actually meaningful. But, you also don’t want to lay points on the road with a bad road team!

How can you tell the difference between what’s real and what’s relatively meaningless? Some guidelines:

*Focus on sample size, and whether or not that sampling reflects the current team. Let’s say a college team was bad ATS on the road the past three seasons. If they fired the head coach and recruited some hotshot freshmen, that trend could be utterly meaningless. It applied to people who aren’t there any more. But, a team that “in season” continues to struggle away from home is more likely to do so with the same coach and players falling apart. Make sure the numbers relevantly apply to the current situation.

*Focus more on trends that apply to skill sets. A trend showing that a poor rebounding team has struggled badly ATS against good rebounding teams is MUCH more relevant than something like “7-1 ATS on weeknights but 0-4 ATS on Saturdays.” Ideally, you can develop some big picture angles that will work across all conferences. Something like “all bad rebounding teams” are only 42% to cover against all good rebounding teams. That would give you sample size and on-court relevance.

*Make sure the market hasn’t caught up! You don’t want a trend that used to be really good but barely matters any more. The past won-lost record will still look solid…but the forward performance may not even win money for you. A trend that started 10-2…but then goes 0-3 after a line adjustment…will still have a record of 10-5! Don’t bet 10-5 trends that just went 0-3. The line probably caught up and your edge is gone.

Our best angles here at JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK involve a mix of what we learn from our the history books, our stat department that’s in synch with current form, and our connections behind the line who know what linesmakers are thinking and how they’re pricing games. You want to find something THAT MATTERS, and that the market isn’t noticing, or at least properly reflecting.

It might be easier to think in casino terms for how you should apply angles. If you’re walking by a roulette wheel, it doesn’t matter if 10 of the last 12 spins have come up black. That has nothing to do with the next spin. You don’t want to bet black because it’s “hot.” You don’t want to bet red because it’s “due.” You can’t win on purpose betting roulette. There are no workable strategies because the odds are stacked too much against you.

On the other hand, if you’re at the blackjack table…and the remaining decks are full of high value cards…you should be betting aggressively. The angle of “bet big when the deck is rich” is a proven winner.

Betting sports is always trickier than casino games because of the human element. But, it’s actually MORE beatable than blackjack because oddsmakers are human too, and make many mistakes.

If you’d like to take advantage of oddsmaker mistakes, you should sign up right now with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK! You can purchase our daily BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about longer term packages, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155.

The ROAD TO MARCH MADNESS continues through the rest of February and March right here in the NOTEBOOK. The season is flying by. Hopefully you’re already building your bankrolls with BIG, JUICY WINNERS from JIM HURLEY!

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