The only way to win at sports betting is by disagreeing with the majority. Consensus opinion is what sets the betting market.
If you agree with consensus opinion, it will be extremely difficult to find value in the betting market, because of the commission (aka: vig, juice) charged by sports books means only above average bettors win over the long term. So, in order to win, a bettor must think differently than the majority.
But thinking differently alone is not enough. Thinking Jacksonville will win the Super Bowl is certainly different, and that opinion certainly will not lead to riches. Not only do you have to be different, you have to be right. Any bettor whose ambition is to aggressively pursue profit is the starting point.
Handicapper Scott Spreitzer, the host of Pregame.com’s Las Vegas radio show (10-11 AM weekdays on ESPN 1100), is more than ok disagreeing with his rotating roster of co-hosts. In most areas of life, being disagreeable is not a rare and valued quality.
Keep in mind, classic “tout” shows would rarely, if ever, allow handicappers to disagree. I grew up watching those USA Network shows on Saturday morning, and each of the personalities would get their time looking into the camera and telling the audience why their game was a sure winner. Even as a kid I wondered: “How can everybody always agree about everything?”
Being raised in an Italian family, I knew from experience it was difficult to agree whether homemade bread was better with or without sesame seeds. So it seemed unrealistic that the guys on TV agreed on every factor in every game.
From the start, a goal of mine has been to gather experts and place them in an environment where they can talk honestly – and if they honestly disagree with their colleague, they are obligated to express it with vigor and candor. That way, the audience would get all the information needed to decide which side they personally agreed with.
Typically, handicapping disagreements are a matter of nuisance. For example, is Andrew Luck a great QB today or merely a good who one day will likely be great? But there is one major area I totally disagree with many commentators on – football turnovers.
When a team is being critiqued, you’ll hear a negative turnover differential added to the list of the team’s ills. Yet, most advanced stats guys believe turnovers, for the most part, are a matter of luck (exactly how much luck is a matter of debate).
What’s certain is turnovers have a huge effect on the outcome of football games. The winner of the turnover battle historically covers the spread in 77% of NFL games. Think about that. A part of the game that involves a significant amount of luck has a significant effect on the outcome.
Some people believe the unlucky teams are 100% at fault, while others rightly understand how random turnovers can be. By definition, the way you handicap turnovers is an opportunity to disagree with consensus and also be right. And every time a commentary says the opposite, smile to yourself and hope the average bettor keeps believing it.
RJ Bell is the founder of Pregame.com - and co-host of FIRST PREVIEW, heard Monday through Friday at 10 am on ESPN 1100/98.9 FM. Follow on twitter: @RJinVegas. Discussion of this article continues at Pregame.com. Contact RJ at RJBell@GamingToday.com
Ultimate Poker has launched Ultimate Poker Live Series, a series of online and live qualifying events that culminate at a monthly final tournament. The inaugural event, a will be held on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Green Valley Ranch Resort.
Momentum to shift some gambling away from Atlantic City increased Tuesday as a state senator introduced plans for a constitutional amendment that would put slot machines at New Jersey’s four horse racing tracks.
NFL Previews | This is the 11th of 32 pro football preseason previews leading up to the NFL football season opener Thursday, September 4. Today: Tennessee Titans. Next up: San Diego Chargers.
NFL Previews | This is the tenth of 32 pro football preseason previews leading up to the NFL football season opener Thursday, September 4. Today: Baltimore Ravens. Next up: Tennessee Titans.
NFL Previews | This is the sixth of eight NFL division reviews. This week NFC South, next week, AFC West. No division in the league has been as volatile from one year to the next as often as the NFC South.
- GamingToday Casino Games and Poker
- Who will get 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup title?
- GamingToday’s Beat the Big Dog football contest
- Follow GamingToday on Twitter
- GamingToday Play Free Video Poker
- No lack of UFC talent chasing Jon Jones
- Sunset and LVH SuperBook host football seminars
- NCAA Football Preview I: Auburn can't crack top 20
- Like GamingToday on Facebook