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Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Monday, August 6, 2018 at 4:00 PM

If you’ve looked over the first full week of NFL Preseason action, you’ve surely noticed that almost every game shows the home team favored by just under a field goal. Minus 2, minus 2.5…the occasional -1.5.  Boring!

What does this mean in terms of sharp betting?

*First, it means that home field advantage is worth less than a field goal in August. So many exhibition games are virtual coin flips in terms of team Power Ratings, that all of those lines would be -3 if home field was worth three.

*You can also deduce that sharps would POUND the underdog if the public drives any of those lines currently below three up higher. The field goal is still a key number in the Preseason, even if it’s not as common because there are more missed extra points, two-point tries, and an aversion to playing overtimes. If you see a -2.5 right now, it means sharps DIDN’T like the favorite or they would have driven the line to the full field goal…and it means sharps would LOVE the dog if +3 comes into play.

*Any game that ISN’T sitting on -2 or -2.5 is telling you something about the outlier. New England is -4 against Washington. You’ll have to decide if that’s oddsmakers playing defense against the public’s love for betting the Patriots…or maybe some sort of point spread tendency involving one of the two head coaches. Green Bay is only pick-em at home against Tennessee. That line is SCREAMING that the Packers won’t be worrying about trying to get a result in that game. Will Tennessee? If that becomes more clear between now and kickoff, we might have a road favorite.

*Finally, so many prices in that area means that a lot of those games should be left alone by YOU. “Favorite -2” or -2.5 is the “right” number because there’s so much uncertainty. Too many of you will play a lot of those favorites because they seem cheap. They’re not. They’ll probably juice out through the first two weeks, and you’ll take the worst of it.

The biggest complaint I hear from the public at this time of year is that a cheap favorite “let them down” with too many mistakes or a bad second half. Those bettors let themselves down by making a bad bet. These games are way too sloppy for you to trust a team to get a lead, or hold it. If you win, you got lucky…like seven’s coming up on a slot machine. You probably didn’t handicap the game correctly. Or, more accurately, you imagined advantages that weren’t really there. Everybody’s backups are about equally good. Which player did you think was going to cover the spread for you in the fourth quarter?

If you’re like most “squares,” I can already tell you…

*You’re planning to bet too many games (and favorites)

*You’re giving too much value to home field

*You’re ignoring too many potentially live underdogs

*You’re cherry-picking old trends that may not apply any more

 

If you want to start betting like a sharp…

*Do more research on quarterback rotations

*Look for 2-point dogs who will care more than the favorite

*Look to bet any teams that “become” three-point dogs before kickoff

*Be ready to pass almost every game!

As I’ve explained many times before, one of the biggest differences between sharps and squares is that squares have too many leaks in their game. They make way too many BAD bets when there’s just no value, or when the value is actually on the other team.

*Overconfident squares “think” they’re hitting about 55-60% of their bets when it’s actually 50/50 or worse. I’m continually amazed by how many squares insist to me that they’re lifetime winners when I know better. They’ll win one game in a blowout, and feel like a winner even though their picks went 2-3.

*Realistic sharps actually hit around 53-55% of their bets (though, often higher against openers), but are aware of the limitations of the marketplace and bet accordingly. And, sharps usually don’t have to tell you that they’re lifetime winners. They downplay success to avoid attracting attention.

I’ll definitely be picky this week with my NFL preseason selections. You can purchase daily BEST BETS from your friend in Las Vegas right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about long term or combination packages that offer the best value. 

A lot of buzz in Las Vegas Sunday when the Westgate released Regular Season Win Totals for the NBA. It’s amazing how the major sports are almost year-round now in terms of betting at the window. Football win totals are up months before the season starts. Futures prices are always up, because you never know when a tourist will want to take a flyer on his favorite team to win a championship. It’s early August, and bettors are deciding how many games the Lakers will win with LeBron James.

For an industry veteran like me, this is great to see. I’m not happy about every single trend developing in the world of sports betting. But, the acceptance? That’s long overdue. People in New York or Philadelphia should have had nearby legal outlets for decades. The mainstream media should have been covering betting markets since Jimmy the Greek was on CBS. He couldn’t even talk about point spreads back then.

Thanks for reading. See you again at the end of the week.

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