A stranger is being shown around a village that he has just become part of. He is shown a well and his guide says "On any day except Wednesday, you can shout any question down that well, and you'll be told the answer" .
The stranger shouts down several questions, and all are answered. The stranger is impressed, and after thinking a minute he shouts down: "Why not on Wednesday?" and the voice from in the well shouts back "Because on Wednesday, itís your day in the well".
Per the suggestion in this thread I think its a worthwhile initiative to copy "The Well" concept and give it a run in Sports Betting.
So, I'm volunteering to take the first turn in the well. I'll be active in here for at least the next four hours, and then on and off through Monday if there's that much interest in the thread.
So post your questions on Sports Betting, on me, on any subject at all, and I'll do my best to answer. If you have a question you'd like asked in private but answered in public, feel free to send me a PM.
here's a list of potential candidates for another turn in the well, taken from suggestions in another thread with some added off the top of my head. If any of you on this list are willing to take a turn in the well, please let me know.
ImBen B00T youtalkfunny beetman Thremp trixtrix NajdorfDefense Lori Homer rjp Utah King Yao MyTurn2Raise mrbaseball Waterproof
If you're not on the list, please don't take an oversight on my part as an insult. If you think you have an interesting story to tell, send me a message or post here. I intentionally didn't include several past top Sports Betting posters who are no longer active, if any of you guys are lurking and wouldn't mind coming back for a Well session that would be great too.
Quote: here's a list of potential candidates for another turn in the well, taken from suggestions in another thread with some added off the top of my head. If any of you on this list are willing to take a turn in the well, please let me know.
ImBen B00T youtalkfunny beetman Thremp trixtrix NajdorfDefense Lori Homer rjp Utah King Yao MyTurn2Raise mrbaseball Waterproof
Not meant as a slight to the others but I'd love to see one from youtalkfunny, mrbaseball, and/or Homer.
currently in Kansas City. Outside of living in KC, I've lived a couple different places around the country, most of my time outside KC was spent in Chicago.
How did you get into sports betting?
How long have you been betting sports?
I've been a sports fan my entire life, active as both a fan and a participant. I've always been interested in analytics and used that interest for predictions in the sports world.
My first serious girlfriend in jr high, her dad was a punter and one day he happened to shift a conversation from general sports to betting specifically. I gave him some suggestions, those suggestions did well, and he put me in touch with his bookie.
So I started casually betting during junior high with a local and found out I was pretty good at it. I was on NCAA football and basketball, the NFL, and boxing back in the day.
I went to college and found a local guy right away there. I got more serious about it and started to really study handicapping. I crushed my local guy, absolutely crushed him about three weeks in to the NFL season, and rather than cut me off he and I became friendly. He mentored me in sports betting as a bettor himself, and would use me to offload a lot of his action as I was frequently helping him balance his book without having to go upstream.
My mentor introduced me to a mathematical model for handicapping based on tweaks to the Sagarin ratings. I took it over, enhanced it, and am still using it today.
I paid my way through college doing three things: (1) scholarships from academics (2) betting sports (3) writing.
I wrote three newspaper columns, one under my name and two under a pseudonym. I wrote three columns: one on investing, giving stock advice; one on music, reviewing CDs and live shows; and the third on handicapping, making predictions and writeups of games. Thats where I started the format I use now, building on the output of the mathematical model I previously mentioned to recommend a game of the week and 3-5 other games.
I picked just below 60% across all the NFL games, and close to 75% on my games of the week the first year of my column, and was a pretty big hit. I won an award from my newspaper as their writer of the year for it.
Do you bet sports for a living? If not, what do you do?
I'd primarily label myself an entrepreneur. I am organized under a couple different LLCs and have partial ownership of a couple other concerns. I sit on advisory boards for a couple different companies, for which I'm compensated primarily in stock. In addition to my entrepreneurial initiatives, I do Information Security consulting through a major IT firm. Through them i can work as much or as little as I want, but have no shortage of opportunities as the InfoSec field presents constant demand.
I'd break down my income for the last two years as follows:
65% Work (Consulting / Day Job in the past) 20% Gambling: both Sports betting and poker, probably 60% sports 40% poker 15% Entrepreneurial activities
For 2007 with the changing face of gambling, and some different priorities in my life, I expect a breakdown more as follows:
50% Consulting Work 40% Entrepreneurial activities 10% Gambling: probably 90% sports 10% poker
This is also because much of the work I've put in to a couple different companies are starting to show fruit.
What education do you have?
degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science. Minor in business.
How much did you make betting sports last year?
For 2006, between poker and sports: just shy of $30k. Sports is about 60% of that, poker 40%. In 2005 the number was about the same but the percentages flipped between Sports and Poker. This includes quite a significant amount of arbitrage in sports which has all but dried up with Pinny disappearing from my life.
What do you think are your biggest attributes that make you successful?
intelligence, focus, drive, in that order.
What, if any, are your leaks? (replace leaks with suitable sports betting term if needed)
i could always put more time in to research.
I also will make emotional mistakes in handicapping when I can't separate personal feelings from fact. I've mostly got that out of my system entirely, but it still bites me in MMA capping from time to time.
I also have a bad tendency to be stubborn to try to win at things despite evidence otherwise. For example, i spent a lot more time and energy and money on attempting to handicap NCAAF when I was clearly not as good at that compared to my primary sports.
How much time do you put into betting sports? (per day and week, on average)
typically i'd say an average of three hours a day on things directly related to sports betting including reading and research and watching tape, about 20 hours a week on average. while I was attempting more arbitrage, there was probably an extra 10 hours a week just looking for arbs.
Do you play poker and/or are you involved in any other form of gambling?
Poker, and investing. I'm a STT and MTT player and play HORSE and Razz cash games. We have pretty solid live poker in Kansas City, and I'm in Vegas 3-5 times per year to play live poker. Online, STT at $33 - $55 are the levels where I'm most successful, and MTTs from $50 - $215, my sweet spot there is $109 level buyins, midsized MTTs. I typically four table online, i've found that's my sweet spot for maximizing my tradeoff between ROI and hourly rate.
Quote: Is it always more +EV to make straight bets, or sometimes is it better to parlay 2 or 3 bets together. If parlay-ing is it better to buy a few points here and there or not.
My short answer is "it depends".
Most parlays are -EV compared to straight bets simply because the additional rake on the parlays. online services with better parlay odds have reduced this gap some, however.
If you're a known winning bettor at 60%, you'll have a better ROI longterm by playing parlays because you're well above the point of being a winning straight bettor.
Very few people know with any degree of confidence that they are winning sportsbettors. In fact some people know they are not, but delude themselves otherwise.
Parlays certainly have their place for events where you can demonstrate a high confidence of a higher winning percentage. For example, I know quite a few MMA cappers who extensively use parlays to great success.
But i'd say 90% of people betting parlays in football/etc are costing themselves money in the long run.
I've always wondered what separates a pro capper from an amateur? Besides arbing, and line movements? Specifically, how does one create a database, find a "spot", and quanitify the soft variables (such as motivation)? Also, when researching, what level does one go to? For example in NFL, would the matchup of specific linemen play much of a role? ie. This DT always does well vs finesse, zone blockers, so he should get through and disrupt the rhthym etc. etc...? Or is it more wholistic: "this O-line is big and physical and should have success vs. a smallish, but fast D-Line" ??
Always happy to give back to 2p2. I wouldn't be where i am from a poker perspective without this place for sure, and Sports Betting has been a lot of fun and has improved a couple aspects of my capping as well.
Quote: I've always wondered what separates a pro capper from an amateur? Besides arbing, and line movements?
Being good enough to do it for a living.
I'd say the biggest difference between serious bettors and amateurs:
1) anticipating line movements and betting accordingly 2) actively pursing arbitrage opportunities, especially those created by anticipating line movements 3) extensive line shopping for the absolute best price
Quote: Specifically, how does one create a database, find a "spot", and quantify the soft variables (such as motivation)?
Creating a database, or getting access to someone else's database, isn't really that hard. The data is out there, on public forums or in for pay services. Some of the stats services are tremendous.
quantifying soft variables is something that i think is probably over-emphasized by the casual capper. the traditional "must win" scenarios at the end of the NFL season, for example, are drastically overrated by the public. For example in the NFL what's more important, and more lucrative, in my opinion, are motivation scenerios generally overlooked by the public in the midseason and starting the playoff push. everyone knows the scenario at the end of the year where this team is win and in, and the line reflects it, as does the public money. But not a lot of people realized that the jets had lined up for a playoff run and were making that push as early as mid-season and they were undervalued most of last year.
Quote: Also, when researching, what level does one go to? For example in NFL, would the matchup of specific linemen play much of a role? ie. This DT always does well vs finesse, zone blockers, so he should get through and disrupt the rhthym etc. etc...? Or is it more wholistic: "this O-line is big and physical and should have success vs. a smallish, but fast D-Line" ??
Generally speaking I think individual matchups are overlooked a lot. in most schemes, you have individual matchups a lot on the line as well as at skill positions, and being able to identify advantages that the general public doesn't see. I personally look all the way down to the individual, and spend a good deal of my research for a given game on individual matchups especially those which can impact a game. You'd often find me mentioning those individual matchups in my writeups.
I think the offensive line and defensive line matchups are probably the most under-appreciated aspect of the NFL and NFL capping.
most people start at looking at the coaches and coordinators vs each other, and the QB or RB or top WR vs the defense as a whole. I start by looking at the individual offensive linemen and understanding their strengths and weaknesses and then looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the defensive line and ends. I like to project potential mismatches from here, either direction, and project potential impact on the game such as above or below average sacks, turnovers, ability to run the ball, ability to protect the QB, etc. Then move out to the skill players from there.
There are some good sites and services which provide this level of detail on individuals. the information is out there.
To talk a bit about my approach for capping football holistically:
Overall, I start by using my mathematical system to identify games at a high level from Sagarin ratings plus a couple additional variables. This gives me an idea of games to focus on. I also apply power rankings and value rankings: which teams i think are overvalued and undervalued as a whole. For example, baltimore last year was my top overvalued team and the jets my top undervalued team.
Then when i've narrowed down a handful of games, I will do a deep dive handicapping on them. looking through individual matchups to determine advantages. studying injuries. projecting gameplans based on available information such as previous tenancies and what I'd do as an offensive / defensive coordinator, etc. I have a methodology for quantifying the variables I handicap on, and run that through the framework of my system to rank plays.
I've been consistently running better than 60% or better weighted average on my game of the week in the NFL consistently for over ten years. +11.05 units in 2006, +21.5 units in 2005. The last two years especially its carried me, as I've been slightly below 50% weighted in capping non-game-of-the-week, as I think the NFL market as a whole has shifted and a lot of traditionally successful cappers have struggled to adjust.
This offseason, I'm going to be running a lot of numbers, I may make a switch next year to playing something like 10% of my total bankroll on the game of the week as the most profitable distribution as I'm pretty confident now in my capping abilities for the game of the week. I've considered this in the past, but I've always thought I needed to continue capping more than one game a week in detail just to ensure i was doing deep dive research on 10-15 teams a week instead of just a couple. At minimum, next year I'll probably have an increased unit weighting for my game of the week compared to my regular NFL games.