Don’t Fall in Love with Overs
After all the high scoring football games Thursday night...and the subsequent reaction on social media...I felt I had to step in today to advise caution. Far too many casual bettors are saying things like "I'm just going to bet all the Overs now, this is too easy!" Or, "only an idiot would bet Unders the way nobody plays defense any more."
Look, that was a high scoring night. And, both football and the NBA are definitely trending toward much higher scoring games because of rules changes. But, it's important to keep in mind many of the following facts.
*Weather was great across the college football schedule Thursday night. That combined with defensive fatigue that starts to set it at this time of the season led to a flurry of touchdowns. It's going to be windier in some spots this weekend (and the rest of the season). Weather is about to take a general turn for the worse with November arriving. And, not all defenses are tired! You still have to pick your spots when determining what impact particular factors will have on the scoreboard.
*The Miami Dolphins sure didn't play any defense vs. Houston. That's now the second game in a row where the Dolphins defense just rolled over and let the opposing offense drive the field all day. (Detroit was the other). There have been many reports of turmoil between players and the head coach. This could be a sign of that...which is something many NFL teams DON'T have. Good lesson that bad chemistry or communication is going to lead to points in this environment. File that away and use it again. Just don't assume all NFL games will explode because Miami stopped tackling.
*Betting markets adjust! Oddsmakers don't like getting their brains beat in from public betting. Because the public loves betting Overs, you know this is going to counteract quickly. We've already seen that in the NBA the past few nights. Posted totals are much higher than they used to be. Any team with an off-shooting night has no chance to reach the Over. What looks like a window of opportunity is probably already closing.
Generally speaking, you can still consider Unders in any sport when the superior team has a proven ability to run clock. This will become more obvious in the NBA once this early-season rush of excitement is over. Smart teams will become more patient to save their legs for a long season. You can't win a championship in November. In football, NFL playoff contenders will DEFINITELY start running more clock with leads as they try to protect their personnel for the postseason.
And, teams with bad offenses are still going to stay Under. The New York Giants have no idea what they're doing. They had to rally late just to stay Under the market price by two touchdowns. Buffalo? Only five points at Indy last week. Any gambler who gets into a "bet all the Overs" mindset is going to find himself asking bad offenses to score points. Horrible strategy.
I will admit this is tricky. Even veteran bettors in Las Vegas are having some issues. And, the math guys who run models basically had to throw out their old approaches and start anew. The NFL has changed dramatically in a way that's getting great TV ratings. It's not going to change back any time soon. College football has followed along, magnified by the fact that hurry-up offenses score quickly and wear down defenses. And, I don't believe the NBA fully understood what knocking the shot clock down to 14 seconds from 24 seconds after an offensive rebound would do to scoring. We'll have to see what develops there.
Bottom line...it's always YOU against the ODDSMAKERS in the world of sports betting. If they don't adjust, you pick your spots and attack. When they do adjust, you back off and wait for another edge to develop. Students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping should remember to spend more time looking at the markets than they do at the scoreboard. Here's your homework...I want you to answer these questions for what happened last week, and what ultimately happens this week...
*How are opening lines performing vs. what actually happens?
*Is the early "smart" money moving the line correctly?
*Is the public all talk and no action? Or are the squares winning?
And, the most important advice...CALM DOWN! Whenever the general public gets riled up about something, it eventually costs them big money. Proven winners in sports betting are level-headed and patient.
If you'd like some help isolating the best football, basketball, and baseball bets this weekend, KELSO STURGEON'S top plays can always be purchased at this website by credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages can be answered in the office by calling my office at 1-800-755-2255 during normal business hours. Remember to check on long-term combination packages that include the NBA and college hoops. November is always a very important transitional month in sports betting.
I'll return Monday for our next class get-together. The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance and hard work. This weekend, he also appreciates your discipline and patience. You're going to be a winner because you're thinking and behaving the right way. Your friends will either lose right away, or get hot for a short while before giving it all (and more) back. If you take the long view, you will be a long-term success.