Wrapping up the dog-days of Summer

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The Dog-Days of Summer, also known as the heart of the MLB regular season is wrapping up and some of the playoff pictures are beginning to take shape. I mention the dog-days simply because this time of the sports calendar year can seem to drag on and put many sports gamblers through a “lull” (if you will). It is at this time, many betters tend to shift their attention over to the hound and horse tracks, especially if baseball is not doing it for them. You see, the NFL regular season has not yet begun, the NHL and NBA finals wrapped up in June, you don’t even get any college sports during this time for crying out loud! Nevertheless, this is a great time and opportunity to hit the books and improve your sports gambling skills.

For starters, since we are in the midst of the MLB regular season; let’s begin by discussing some tips for the latter portion of the the season. For me personally, I am not a huge fan of making play on MLB games. I am a big believer that these games are too much of a flip of a coin. You’ve heard the phrase “anyone can win on any given day in baseball.” Obviously, this statement is true for any sport. As for baseball, however, it is magnified. Hence why there are 162 games scheduled for each team every year. There is a need for a larger sample size for teams to separate themselves throughout the course of a season. With all things aside, there is one instance where I do like to take my chances on the diamond. I love looking for those squads who are in the playoff hunt and playing some of their best baseball towards the end of the year. These types of teams are giving their all every time they toe the turf, and rightfully so. However, a team such as the Kansas City Royals, whom are 38-86 at the moment are either not giving it their all, or experimenting with youthful talent in preparation for the future. Currently, a great example of one of those “hot” teams that I alluded to above is the Oakland Athletics. They are certainly playing their best ball and are right in the thick of things in terms of the AL playoff hunt. Don’t be afraid to make your plays on the Athletics if you see that they have a very favorable series match-up on the horizon. Who knows, maybe that could be the start to a brand new winning streak! As always, do your homework and take a look at the scheduled starters for each day and night.

Keep in mind: Making plays on a winning streak requires you to lose once and hop off the wagon. Whereas, placing your money in hopes that a winning streak will end could require you to lose a handful more of times before it comes to an end. 

With the NFL preseason starting up, you knew that I wouldn’t leave you guys without talking about the ole’ pigskin! I will make it short and sweet.  I would like to share where some of the Week 1 lines stand at the moment and the current NFL power rankings, enjoy!

NFL Power Rankings (Preseason)

If you recall back to my post from March of 2018 titled 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT & SOME… I point out some stats of the probability of home dogs in Week 1 of the NFL season cover the point spread at a 55% clip. Remember, these statistics are for teams who finished with 7 or fewer wins in the previous season. Which leads to me to my next point, the Browns are 6 point dogs at home in Week 1 against the Steelers. The pride of Cleveland will be in full force to root on their up and coming and rejuvenated Browns. It is important to note that the Steelers have had some preseason drama occurrences with Bell (RB) and not to mention that Big Ben (QB) is beginning to age. The Cleveland Browns have nowhere to go but up!

As always, good luck this upcoming NFL season. Keep a lookout for my fantasy football tips coming soon…

Looking at the bigger picture…

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Every year the World Series greets us in late October. More often than not, the two best teams miss out on it. You may have heard a time or two that the baseball playoffs are a complete craps-shoot. Sound familiar? The team that ends up winning the World Series is not necessarily the best team, but more importantly the hottest team at the time.

However, one could make a very strong argument that the two best teams managed to find their way to baseball’s greatest stage this October. The Astros and Dodgers are very similar teams if viewed on paper. They both have a very solid starting rotation, they both possess above-average bullpens, and they both like to score runs. I would like to point out that the Dodgers like to score the majority of their runs via the long-ball; whereas the Astros tend to manufacture their runs with their speed. So what do we know about teams that have solid starting pitching? They love getting you those UNDERS! I did some digging. Last year’s seven-game fairytale ending for the Chicago Cubs was certainly one to remember. One other take-away I would like to point out is that five of the seven games hit the UNDER. Why is this? I am not 100% certain, of course. However, I am certain that you have an AL and NL team face off every year in the World Series. Interleague match-ups occur far less frequently than AL-vs-AL match-ups; vice-versa. Understand that these hitters for the Astros and Dodgers rarely (if not ever) get the opportunity to face the Clayton Kershaw’s of the NL (Los Angeles’s Game 1 projected starter) and the Dallas Keuchel’s of the AL (Houston’s Game 1 projected starter). The 2017 MLB All-Star game provided us with a whopping three total runs scored. Probably because these hitters do not see the interleague pitchers as often. NOTE: Good pitching beats good hitting! Do not be afraid of that “7” next to the O/U. Bet the UNDER in tonight’s Game 1 showdown!

GAME #1 PREDICTION:

ASTROS – 4

DODGERS – 1

As of recent, I began to log all of my plays in a notebook. Typically, I will write down the game, line, my pick, and amount that I wagered. Through this, I have found that I am able to see which sports and plays I am having more success with than others. Not only does this tip help keep track of your bets and your win/loss ratio. It also lets you take a step back and analyze yourself as a sports gambler. Do you find that you are having more success with picking the OVER/UNDERS? Are you having more success picking underdogs over the favorites? Do you feel that your plays are paying off in the money lines? Do you seem to make more money betting NCAAF over NFL? So on and so forth. These are the simple, but very important things that you must look at and keep track of if you are interested in making money over a long period of time. By no means is it easy to win in this business. That is why we have to utilize all of our resources and take advantage of them if we can.

Good luck this week and you can blame me if all of the World Series games hit the OVER!

ACT I: Twins @ Yankees

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Twins (+225) @ Yankees (-275)

This game marks the start to the 2017 MLB Playoffs. This AL Wildcard match-up seems very lopsided, according to the money line. However, let’s look at some reasons why the Twins have very solid betting value for today’s game. First, the Twins are a hot ball club with a chip on their shoulders. Second, the Twins faced Yankees starter (L. Severino) a few weeks prior and scratched 3 runs across in just 3 innings against him. Third, history shows that the Yankees are 3 and 7 in wildcard games. Last, the Yankees rely a bit too much on the long ball. I foresee Twins starting pitcher (E. Santana/veteran) to expose the young Yankee hitters and get the win.

PICK = TWINS

O/U (7.5) = OVER

For those of you who read this blog, you may have noticed that my picks from last week fell face first. Not only was it a big slap in the face towards my credibility, but also my bankroll. However, I am not as upset as one might think. I, like many others, love learning and moving forward from my mistakes. My lock from Saturday (Rutgers) got absolutely bum-rushed against the Buckeyes. I will be the first to admit that. This is probably why I do not display a NCAAF tab on the homepage. However, if you are a believer in Isaac Newton’s theories, then you will know that what goes up must come down. I like to think of this ideology in reverse when it comes to sports gambling. Which brings me to my next point: when you have a bad week sports gambling (which you will if you haven’t already) don’t be afraid to keep making plays. Note: Learn from your prior mistakes and see if you can improve on them. Use a little trial and error to find the plays that work best for you and your betting strategies. You can experiment without spending money. Almost as if you were to make bets with yourself in your head… (keeping a journal doesn’t hurt either).

During the 2017 MLB Playoffs, look for trends that the game flow and players may be displaying in each match-up. If two teams played during the regular season, look at those final scores, how many runs were scored, and whom the starting pitchers were for each contest within the series. Look for the Cubs to not be nearly as motivated as they were last postseason. This could play largely in your favor throughout their first series against the Nationals. Also, keep in mind that home field advantage is not nearly as significant in baseball as it is in the NFL. When making playoff bets, do not worry too much about the “home field-advnatage” (refer to MLB post from 9/13/17). I would like to share one other aspect of sports betting that has worked more times than not for me in the past that relates to making baseball plays. I LOVE adding an extra point on a team I like a lot! When doing so, a team you like that is originally -195 on the money line, all of the sudden shoots down to EVEN! Obviously the team team you like must now win by at least two runs. Nonetheless, I absolutely love these plays. 

Good luck this week! Lord knows I need it…

“It’s not up to you how you fall. Its up to you how far you let yourself fall and how long it takes you to get back up and stand on your own two feet.”     —Sr. Tac Jeffrey Mitchell

We’re ready for you Joe Buck… #FallClassic

Let me first take the time to congratulate the Cleveland Indians on the miraculous task they have been able to accomplish (continuing as it stands) in the months of August and September. However, with this being said; look for the Indians’ bats to cool off come postseason play. As a former college baseball player, I know that pitching is your consistent backbone that teams lean on throughout a season. Whereas, hitting comes and goes in waves (much more streaky than a pitching staff).

joebuck RJD blogThis is a great transition for some MLB Postseason advice for my Bettors! I was stumbling around on the web and wanted to look at what the OVER/UNDER totals were in all 35 postseason games played in the 2016 Fall Classic. In my findings, I gathered that 21 of the 35 games that were played in the month of October resulted in UNDERS. This is the postseason we are talking about; managers will summon all of their weapons out of the respected bullpens and try to squeak out a win— hence, making it more difficult to score runs off a teams’ best arm(s). This 21/35 UNDER ratio is a 60% rate compared to the 40% that the OVERS came out to be. In the sports gambling world, a 60% win rate will make you a very rich man/woman pretty quickly. On a side note, I also looked to see if there were any significant differences between home and visitor win percentages last October. Long story short, the numbers are not worth mentioning because they came out too similar. In fact, the away teams won just one more game than the home teams.  Keep these tips in mind if you are planning to gambling on the #FallClassic that we so desperately crave in the month of October. One more tip, ear plugs help drown out the voice of the “all-knowing” Joe Buck.

Weekend picks: (9/16 – 9/17)

NFL:

BROWNS @ RAVENS (-9.0) – Once again, I like the Browns in this match-up. Similar to last week against the Steelers (Browns covered), the Browns are facing off against a divisional rival; this time on the road. Look for the Ravens defense to not come out as energetic as last weekend. The Browns are close to becoming that team that can be competitive in a lot of games. 9 points is a lot to win by in the NFL on any given week, especially when you don’t have quite the same offensive fire power as the Ravens once had. PICK: BROWNS

NCAAF:

TENN @ FLORIDA (-5.0) – The Gators are looking for a bounce back win against a tough opponent in Michigan. This will the be the first home game of the season for Florida. Look for them to come out with full motivation and ready to play. Florida hung with Michigan the entire second half whereas Tennessee needed overtime to beat a very average Georgia Tech team. PICK: FLORIDA 

FRESNO ST. @ WASHINGTON (-33.0) – I liked the way FSU competed last week against Alabama, they never quit. I expect the same from this match-up. The Huskies may try to air out the ball a bit more and put up more points than Alabama However, Washington’s defense does not compare to the defense of Alabama’s. Fresno St. (24) – Washington (52). PICK: FRESNO ST. 


***STAY AWAY FROM ROAD FAVORITES IN FOOTBALL!

Sin City – 7/23/17

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I was road-triping with my girlfriend the other week as we were headed to Scottsdale, AZ to visit my father and step-mother. We made a pit stop in Las Vegas, or commonly known as “Sin City.” Although my stay in Vegas did not even make it to a full 24-hours, I still managed to place a bet at Venetian’s sports book.

Naturally, I observed the upcoming MLB games for that particular day and stumbled across one that caught my eye for what ever reason. I noticed that the Chicago White Sox were visiting the Chicago Cubs. Pitching that game for the White Sox was Miguel Gonzalez (veteran) with an ERA on the season of 4.85. For the Cubs, Kyle Hendricks was named their starter for the day (not a veteran). Although Hendricks has a much more favorable ERA over Gonzalez (3.70), I possess the opinion that he is a bit overrated.

There are three important factors that compelled me to place this bet as opposed to any of the other games for that day (7/24/17). First, the Cubs were “over-favored,” if you will, for this particular matchup. At the time I opened the bet, the Cubs were a -265 favorite, whereas the White Sox were sitting at +220. Without a doubt, I felt that the risk was worth the reward. Second, the Cubs were hosting the White Sox at Wrigley Field giving them the “home-field” advantage. However, this is hardly a home-field advantage situation since both teams are located in Chicago. Last, the White Sox were in the middle of a rugged nine game losing skid. Hence, they were bound to break out of it at some point. After all, what better way to end your losing streak than doing so against your rivals in a very much winnable game?! Notice: I am not advising to gamble on teams that are on long losing streaks. I simply placed the bet baring other factors before this one. The circumstances that were presented in this particular event allowed me to believe that the White Sox had a decent chance of escaping their nine game “funk.”

It is safe to assume that I was later able to cash this ticket in at the sports book as a winner. Otherwise I would not be sharing this short story with you all. The point being, don’t be afraid to place a few bets on the underdog. Sure they are not supposed to win; but if you truly believe that the reward outweighs the risk then you have yourself a good bet! For instance, on this particular ticket I put down $42 to win $92. That means that the little slip of paper shown in the slideshow below was worth $134. On the flip side, since the Cubs were favored at -265 according to the money-line, then that same $42 that I put down would only win me about $16. This would make that same ticket only worth $58.

Here are a few pictures from our short, yet sweet, stay in Las Vegas…

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For tomorrow (8/15/17)…

MLB Picks:

KC (-117) @ OAK — I like Oakland in this game because they are at home and throwing an arm that they rarely face. The Royals do not hit new pitchers well.

HOU (-110) @ ARZ — I like Houston because they are pitching Brad Peacock who is 10-1 on the season. Also, the Astro’s are facing Zach Grenke tonight, this will give them the opportunity to see someone not as skilled and sharp tomorrow. Think of it as trying to run a mile in under six minutes one day, and the very next day being asked to run the same mile in seven minutes. You are more likely to finish on time in the seven-minute mile even if you do not finish the six-minute mile in time.

CWS @ LAD (-335) — I like the White Sox pick in this particular matchup just because of how high the money line discrepancy is. Typically, if the Dodgers are favored by this much then Clayton Kershaw would be pitching. Wrong! Alex Wood is scheduled the start. Although Wood is having a Cy Young caliber type year, he is always suspect to a loss with his average fastball. Also, guess who is pitching for the White Sox?! Yep, Miguel Gonzalez. Just a thought.

Have fun and good luck. See ya next time better’s!


***Keep in mind, a monkey could just pick all of the favorites for tomorrow’s games. However, I am factoring in the money-line and whether or not I believe the reward outweighs the risk when choosing underdogs.

And so it begins…

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The 2017 Major League Baseball season is now in full swing. The great aspect of gambling on baseball is that each and every day there are new match-ups with a new set of pitchers toeing the rubber. One thing that I have learned throughout the process of sports gambling is to establish a theory. This unique theory of yours that you will want to develop is neither right nor wrong and does not only pertain to gambling on baseball. After you have your theory put into place, you will want to allow about a month, give or take, to test your theory/hypothesis and see which way it is trending. Is your theory trending in the direction that you foresee? Or is it going wayside of everything you thought to be true? If you tend to experience the second option more frequently than the first then that’s okay, just form an alternative hypothesis and run with it. Trial and error baby!

If all of this thus far seems like gibberish, no worries—bare with me. I am going to offer you a personal example of mine that I have found to be quite successful in the past, present, and I presume in the future. I began noticing that in baseball especially, both teams have the best chances of winning each time they compete against one another (similar to hockey considering they both use the same betting format—money lines). Baseball differs from other sports in the sense that the average sports fan typically has a pretty good idea of who is going to come out victorious in comparison to sports such as basketball and football, for example. My theory/hypothesis is quite simple, yet fairly consistent. Purely from a baseball standpoint, I believe that a team at home that loses a game against an opponent will increase their chances of winning the next game by about 25% if it is again played at home against the same team. It is important to keep in mind that baseball series are usually structured around three game or even four game sets, all taken place at one of the teams’ home venues. One other key factor to note, if a home team loses against opponent ‘A’ and turns around the next day to begin another three game home stand against opponent ‘B’ then the theory goes out the window.

Summary: When gambling on baseball, take a quick peak at the money line. If Boston (+135) is facing Toronto (-149) then Toronto is the favorite in this particular match up. The -149 indicates that you must bet $149 to win $100 if Toronto wins. On the flip side, you only need to bet $65 to win $100 if Boston wins. However, for my own unique theory, the money lines is irrelevant, for better or worse. To start, each day jot down the home teams that lost. Once tomorrow roles around, see if those same home teams that fell short the day before came up with a win the very next day, or the current day (which ever way you would prefer to think about it). Go ahead and try it for yourself. I think you will find these results to be very one sided and propel you towards the excitement you need to begin gambling on baseball!