Betting on and winning at college and pro football can be a very tough task for those who don’t work full-time at it. I spend the entire week researching teams and game matchups, trying to uncover any edge I can find. I will be here each week to share some of my “tricks of the trade” and also offer other insights when it comes to beating the football betting market.
--The NFL season has hit the halfway point of the year. When handicapping any sport it’s best to wait until each team has played a few games before you start taking into account this year’s statistics for each team. It’s also smart to wait when it comes to disregarding the stats a team had posted last season. In fact, I will use a portion of last year’s NFL stats in my numbers this year and will usually do this all the way up until we hit the middle part of the season. I will eventually transfer everything over and use 100 percent of this year’s statistics ONLY when we head into November. This is also the time of the year when I tend to do my best work, as my last year record of 22-11 in the NFL from Oct.31 through the Super Bowl supports that statement. Keep in mind in the future: not to overreact to how a team is playing too early in an NFL season.
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--Each week I look at the past box scores from the previous week of college football and use that information to update my weekly power ratings for each team. By this time of the year most of my ratings are in right line with the CFB betting markets. When my numbers do differ from the betting market, this is where I will usually see a lot of my plays coming from. The later in a season we get, the sharper everyone’s number is. If you’re making your own power ratings you should be seeing the exact same thing, which means you should more than likely be betting less plays overall each week of the football season.
--Another way for me to find plays each week is to add in some situational handicapping to the mix. Some of the best examples of some solid football situational handicapping ideas are: teams coming off a bye week, a revenge game situation from last year, a team coming off an embarrassing loss from the week before, etc…. I like to look even further than this at times as the key to winning at sports betting is to find your edge by looking at and putting more weight on things that the betting market isn’t putting enough stock into. A couple good examples of that are: betting against a team coming off a ‘lucky win’ the week before where they may have seen a huge edge in the turnover department, beating a team who was in a letdown spot off a big upset win the week before or beating a team last game who was using it’s backup quarterback or many backups who play key positions. It’s a smart idea to keep lots of notes on things you think the betting market may be reading incorrectly about a team or its opponent for each game. The better the information you use, the better your chance at winning.
--People ask me all the time about proper money management. The general rule of thumb is to bet no more than 2 percent of your bankroll on a play (a sports betting bankroll is money set aside for wagering purposes only.). At Doc’s Sports we rate our plays on a 1-8 unit scale, which I feel should be treated as such: 1 unit play= 0.25 percent of your bankroll, 2 unit play= 0.50 percent of your bankroll and so on up to a 8 unit play, which is obviously 8x stronger than a 1 unit play or in this case 2 percent of your current betting bankroll. This puts a lot more emphasis on you winning your bigger plays, which any winning sports bettor should be doing at a higher rate. In past seasons I have had great success with higher rated plays, winning five of my seven plays rated seven units or higher in football last year. This past baseball season I went a perfect 4-0 in my top rated plays of seven units and up. Last weekend I won my third football game of the month in four attempts this season, with each of these plays being a 6 unit wager. This coming weekend I will have my biggest play of the CFB season, my 8 unit college football game of the year. If my past record is any indication, there is a high probability this game cashes for me and my clients again on Saturday.
My pro and college football card for the upcoming weekend is up and available right now. Here are three plays that I liked this week but all barely missed the cut for me as a released selection. However, all are still plays that I will be personally playing myself:
Take #367 Western Michigan -2.5 over Central Michigan (1 p.m. EST): It’s been a season of major disappointment for the Western Michigan Broncos as WMU was picked by most to win the Mid-American Conference but have fallen short for a variety of reasons thus far, one of which was the loss of their star quarterback who was hurt earlier in the year. The Broncos have surprisingly got strong play from their backup and should be fired up for what is their biggest rivalry game of the season here in this one. Look for Western Michigan to win this one, 34-27.
Take #328 Indiana -1.5 over Iowa (3:30 p.m. EST): The Hoosiers were 23-point underdogs last year in this game, but a lot has changed since then and mostly in a good way for Indiana. They grabbed their first Big Ten win of the season last Saturday and will be fired up here in this one for some revenge as no one on the Indiana team has beat Iowa yet in their playing careers. The Hawkeyes look to be a mess right now as they have suffered two ugly losses the last two games. Iowa has covered just three of their last 10 games overall and six of their last 19 against teams with a losing record. These are two programs are going in opposite directions. Look for Indiana to win this one, 27-17.
Take #432 Seattle -5 over Minnesota (4:05 p.m. EST): Looks like teams are starting to figure out how to stop the Minnesota Vikings these days as they were hammered again last week at home to the Tampa Bay Bucs. That’s now two losses of 12 points or more in their last three games. Even their last few victories haven’t been very impressive, beating a bad Arizona and Tennessee and just getting by the Lions due to some big special teams plays. The underrated Seahawks come in having covered five of their last six at home, five of their last six versus teams with winning records and five of their last seven off a straight up loss the week before. Pete Carrol will have his troops ready here in this one and the home crowd will make things tough on Ponder and the Vikings. Look for Seattle to roll to a 24-10 victory here.
Good luck this weekend and may all your bets be winning ones.
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