Submitted by Wayne Root on Monday, December 18, 2017 at 12:00 PM
It’s becoming more and more clear that “old school” handicapping styles that emphasize value underdogs in the NFL are going to need some adjustments. There are too many quarterbacks that you just can’t trust unless the point spreads are very high. As a result, underdogs are winning fewer games than normal straight up, and the worst dogs are missing by a lot.
Yes, Bryce Petty covered for the Jets on Sunday in New Orleans. He was getting 16 points! Otherwise, you’re still seeing young QBs like Jacoby Brissett, Mitchell Trubisky, and Deshone Kizer struggle to play to expectations. Trubisky’s been able to do it at home for the Bears. Kizer look as confused now as he did in his first start. I can’t tell you how many “Wise Guys” out here in Las Vegas swear they’ll never bet the Browns again…only to jump in again the following week because the line “seems” too high. Cleveland is now 3-11 ATS this season after getting blown out Sunday by Baltimore.
Here’s some of what’s going on:
*Bad teams aren’t afraid to struggle with a green quarterback for a season. They throw him in the deep end. If he can’t swim, they’re in great position to draft another quarterback the next season. There’s no reason to battle hard to play close in this situation. Losing is rewarded by the draft structure. Teams used to be embarrassed to go 0-16, 1-15, or 2-14. Now, they can just tell fans they’re being “smart” about the future.
*Even good teams aren’t afraid to put an inexpensive, inexperienced quarterback on the roster in a backup role. Green Bay gambled that Aaron Rodgers would avoid an injury. They lost that battle and now will miss the playoffs.
*Rookie starters, or inexperienced backups are very turnover prone. Vegas oddsmakers and professional bettors aren’t good at handicapping turnovers. The quant-minded sharps, in particular, used to believe that turnovers were random…so they’d just throw them out of the mix. Well, if you throw out Kizer’s turnovers, he doesn’t look so bad! But, he is bad because he keeps throwing passes to the wrong team. Point spreads aren’t accounting for it. Trubisky was asked to throw more in Detroit Saturday night, and tossed three interceptions. Petty had two for the Jets, but covered a very tall spread.
*Too many sharps have a “fade the public” mentality that’s keeping lines lower than they should be. The public is actually reading this right! They want to bet against the Browns every week…and they do. The “smart money” steps in to take the extra point or two that’s supposedly baked into the line…only to find that there should have been a touchdown or two baked in!
If you’re a dog player like WAYNE ALLYN ROOT, this has created a need to make adjustments. I’ve already been doing that. Here’s what I suggest for you:
*Only bet experienced QB’s as dogs, unless you’re getting +14 or more
*Only bet dogs with defenses that rank in the top half of the NFL
*It’s okay to bet divisional home underdogs because they usually show up to play
*If you used to bet in a 90/10 ratio of dogs/favorites, lower that to 60/40
Now, if you follow those rules TOO strictly, you may not have any qualifiers! It’s okay to use common sense. Jimmy Garappolo isn’t very experienced, but he’s proven himself as a future star already. Treat him like a future star. For some green youngsters, maybe +10 is a better cut-off than +14. Do your best to make smart bets. Remember that trimming dumb bets from your portfolio can be just as profitable.
Among the “experienced” QB’s who covered as dogs this past week: Alex Smith, and Eli Manning. Ben Roethlisberger and Derek Carr just missed because of boneheaded decisions in the final seconds of their games. Even veterans aren’t immune to badly timed turnovers.
Come playoff time, we’ll be in a much more normal situation because so many of the inexperienced quarterbacks will be home preparing for next season. Maybe then the traditional “value” underdogs will make sense again. I’m looking forward to handicapping those games once the brackets are set.
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I’m the only man in the sports betting industry with a star on the “Walk of Fame” here in Las Vegas. I’m known as THE KING OF UPSETS because of all of my headline-makin calls through the years. This hasn’t been a season for upsets in the NFL because of the new dynamics we’ve discussed today. But, I’m still tops in this field because I know how to stay ahead of the line. If an oddsmaker ever gets his own star in Las Vegas, it will naturally be a few steps behind mine!
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