Vegas Gaga Over NFL Favorite Flurry
You'd think that sports book operators had never suffered a losing streak before. We're in a stretch right now where NFL favorites have been cashing at about a 67% pace for well over a month. Since the public loves betting favorites, that means it's been a bad run for sports books.
Look, this stuff happens from time to time. The first six weeks of the NFL season was all about underdogs covering. Then, the pendulum swung the other way. The most important thing for students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting to remember is that you can't treat sports betting like it's roulette. You can't start thinking "favorites are HOT, I'd better bet all the favorites." And, you can't start thinking "favorites are DUE to lose, I'd better bet all the underdogs." Moving forward, the breakdown is likely to be close to 50/50 over the long haul. That loses money at 11/10.
You see, there's no "hot" or "cold" when it comes to something as complex as this. Those are illusions suffered by the simple-minded. Late afternoon favorites don't see that the early favorites covered, and think that means they'll cover too. Green Bay sure didn't act like an underdog with no chance vs. Pittsburgh Sunday night, even though few underdogs had covered during the day. Each game is its own entity, with its own handicapping challenges.
The biggest factor that The Dean of Sports Handicapping sees during this current run is that many BAD teams don't have PLAYMAKERS or GAMEBREAKERS that can get them to the end zone. The distribution of talent isn't what it used to be, largely because so many teams are experimenting with young mistake-prone quarterbacks rather than just accepting their fate with "proven mediocrities."
*In the past, many non-contenders could still cover spreads because a "proven mediocrity" could at least make enough big plays to keep the game close in a loss. You weren't going to reach the playoffs with these guys, but you could have tight, competitive losses in a 6-10 or 7-9 season. Competitive losses cover pointspreads.
*Now, many non-contenders will throw a young QB to the wolves to see if he can survive. If he does, great...you've found your quarterback of the future! If he can't, it's okay to go 3-13 because that means you'll get a decent draft pick. If you're going to lose anyway, who cares if you're losing blowouts?
Because most young, inexperienced quarterbacks can't avoid making turnovers, losses are blowing up on the scoreboard. A loss of 4-7 points with a proven mediocrity would cover +7.5 or better. A turnover-driven loss of 14, 21, or more points obviously won't. Even if you move the pointspreads to 10-13, those blowout losses still don't cover.
Oddsmakers aren't stupid. And, sports books hate losing money. The lines are going to adjust! In fact, they have already. If you want to keep cashing in on the "right" favorites, while dodging the dogs who are starting to get the hang of things, I suggest the following for this week's homework.
Make a list of all the young QBs currently getting snaps. Look up the number of career starts they've made and write that down next to their name (remembering to update that each week moving forward). Log their turnover counts this season on a game-by-game basis, and continue doing that throughout the rest of the season.
You'll learn very quickly who's getting the hang of things, and who isn't likely to EVER get the hang of things. Any youngsters showing improvement are likely to cover some spreads through the rest of the season, even if the team keeps losing straight up. Youngsters who can't stop throwing the ball to the other team should be faded, even if the lines rise a few points higher.
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This is a great sports betting week. My goal in our coursework is to make you a winning do-it-yourselfer. But, if you'd like additional guidance...I'll be attacking ALL of the following this week:
*Championship Week in college football. I believe there are at least two double digits covers on the championship ticket. And, at least one game in a 90% cover scenario.
*NFL Week 13. That's a lucky number for many in Las Vegas, and I'm overdue to have a monster pro release.
*College Basketball. Oddsmakers have missed the mark already with several teams out of the gate. I've got my eye on that big Arizona/UNLV game that will be played locally Saturday.
*NBA Action. Too many bettors wait until football is over to start betting pro basketball. This sport is easiest to beat when oddsmakers are still buried in football!
Thanks again for your continuing attendance and hard work. I'll see you again next week at this same time for our next class.