My Monday blog

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#1
Label me an inveterate note-taker, especially when it comes to gambling.

I jot down tidbits of seemingly pertinent information and analyze every memo through the eyes of a sports bettor.

Editorial intrusion is kept to a minimum until the information is fully processed.

My scribbling is so sloppy that I'm forced to transcribe notes in a timely manner before they become illegible.

Here are 50 random sports betting thoughts, 10 life lessons and five bold predictions from this gambler's scorecard:

---More games are lost than won.

---Take inventory of every team in the league at season's end.

---Like a world-class athlete, sports bettors must combine talent and execution.

---Bet against poorly-coached teams laying 3.5 points or more in both football and basketball.

---Beware of football home teams laying 2.5 points or fewer and basketball home teams laying 1.5 points or fewer.

---Bet UNDER when two dreadful teams are playing one another.

---Study football stats on two levels: The action between the 20's and the production inside the 20's.

---Study NBA numbers on two levels: The first 11 minutes of a quarter and the final minute of a quarter.

---Early in an NBA season, fatigue is a factor because some undisciplined players are not fit enough to play at a high level.

---Before the Era of Load Management in the NBA, handicappers who studied the busy 82-game schedule were ahead of the betting marketplace.

---If you're only going to track two hours of the betting cycle, follow the first hour of wagering and the last hour of wagering.

---Fantasy bettors focus on skill position players, winning sports bettors focus on the game-changing action at the line of scrimmage.

---Don't be a fan: Sports fans are emotionally-invested, sports gamblers are financially-invested.

---Look for changes in a team's personnel or personality that invalidates performances of the past.

---It's hard to play from behind in an NCAA Tournament basketball game. Young players panic by shooting ill-advised shots from behind the arc in a comeback attempt.

---About second-half wagering in the NCAA Tourney: If a team was not prepared to play at the start of the game, what makes you think they'll be sharp enough to make the necessary halftime adjustments?

---Study every play of NFL Championship Sunday (January 19) to find angles for proposition wagering on Super Bowl Sunday (February 2).

---Search for low takeout rates in massive pools at racetracks across the country. Annual nationwide race handle has declined more than 26% over the past 17 years (from $15B to $11B).

---From TVG's Caleb Keller: Some horseplayers keep a "Horses to Watch" list; Keller maintains a list of horses he will never bet again.

---Only place racetrack wagers you would refuse to book (Example: Multi-race wagers paying five figures or more).

---Do not bet big money into small horse racing pools.

---It's not how fast a horse ran, it's how a horse ran fast.

---Losing horseplayers spread too much. Don't spray the pools. Have an opinion, bet with conviction and don't be afraid to win BIG.

---Horse races are won and lost in the racing secretary's office...at the entry box.

---Follow all sports like I follow the WNBA: Know every player on every team and every situation in the league (coaches, travel, scheduling, home-court advantage, teams peaking, teams declining, etc.).

---Track the moves and tendencies of the two newest WNBA coaches in 2020: Marianne Stanley of the Indiana Fever and Walt Hopkins of the New York Liberty.

---Embrace inconsistent teams and then discover the reasons for their inconsistency.

---Be an analyst, not a data-entry slave: Spend more time analyzing the stats and less time compiling the numbers.

---Regular-season win totals offer a rich opportunity for the serious handicapper.

---Placekickers in the NFL are the closers of the NBA and MLB.

---Find reasons to bet a game when teams are meeting for a second time over a short period of time (Don't assume revenge, but instead think about rematches)

---Also focus on the round-robin nature of some schedules where three teams play one another over a two-or-three week period.

---Realize that some star college athletes do not have the necessary body type to play professionally.

---Don't wait for data to make decisions. You must PROJECT.

---Always ask the question: How has a team performed in games featuring similar pointspreads?

---The only disability in sports betting is laziness.

---Avoid being a bookmaker's dream client: One who is always wrong but never in doubt.

----College football bowl games provide a well-researched gambler a legitimate chance to hit 55-60%.

---Home-field advantage is diminished with the advent of replay review.

---Does the team have a bond, a brotherhood?

---Bet against favored teams experiencing inner turmoil or dissension of any kind.

---On the subject of injuries: Know who's in and who's out; more importantly, know who's in and who's hurting.

---Bet the smarter team in the first half and the tougher team in the second half.

---Teams rarely play to the same power rating all season long. Teams are either ascending or descending the performance ladder.

---Look for games already won or lost on the chalkboard in the days before the game begins.

---Two important factors in today's style of football and basketball: pace and space.

---The games are not rigged but the schedules are manipulated for television purposes (Think flex games in the NFL, Sunday Night Baseball and the X-mas Day schedule in the NBA).

---Baseball today is all about home run production and home run prevention.

---Pitching fatigue is not about pitch counts, it's about stressful pitches.

---Bullpen deployment in the postseason greatly influences the outcome of games. Managers must be proactive, not reactive.

LIFE LESSONS:

---Make the rest of your life the best of your life.

---Don't allow your worst enemy to live inside your head.

---Shared laughter is the key to life.

---Alcohol, despite its scientific definition, is not a solution.

---Train your body and your mind will follow.

---Run for fun, not punishment.

---Age gracefully.

---Gamble judiciously.

---Is it better to master one language or be fluent in two or three?

---Never take a selfie with a young Costa Rican female 30 years your junior. You will be an odds-on favorite to delete the photo.

BOLD PREDICTIONS:

---Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers will eliminate LeBron James and the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals at Staples Center. The Clips will then defeat "The Greek Freak" and the Bucks in the 2020 NBA Finals.

---Baylor's men and women's basketball teams will duplicate Connecticut's impressive achievement in 2014 (and 2004) by capturing both the men's and women's basketball title.

---The San Francisco 49ers will employ their workmanlike offense and stingy defense (allowed only seven first downs to Minnesota last Saturday) to cover the pointspread against the high-flying Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV in Miami Gardens.

---The Clemson Tigers will defeat the LSU Tigers tonight at the Superdome in New Orleans by a score of 35-34.

---Given the spread of legalized national sports betting, an avaricious college athlete or troubled professional athlete will be involved in a pointspread scandal in 2020.
 
Last edited:
#5
. . . .

---Be an analyst, not a data-entry slave: Spend more time analyzing the stats and less time compiling the numbers.

. . . .

This is one of the things that I want to address this NFL offseason.

Do any statistics outfits like Elias and Stats Perform (formerly STATS, LLC) provide customized stats to individuals like an individual sports bettor, and at a reasonable cost?

When I do fundamental, bottom-up handicapping, I match the two teams up with select statistics -- nothing exotic or anything, but, for example, I don't care much about overall passing yards made or allowed type statistics in gauging a pass offense vs. a pass defense. (Unless I'm looking at a particular QB in terms of how much they threaten a pass defense down the field when multiple QBs start for a team during a season for one reason or another.)

It would save a lot of time to have the specific statistics that I look at for each offense matched up against each defense for each game without having to cull that out myself.

Now I can find the stats with the exception of a few odds and ends that have become difficult or unduly labor-intensive to cull out over the years -- the point here is to, in John's words, "spend more time analyzing the stats and less time compiling the numbers."

Nor do I want some new custom stat that some website has cooked up that is supposed to be the new be-all-and-end-all statistic. I just want the stats that I have looked at over the years, sometimes with success, set up and formatted by an outside service rather than having to take the time to do that myself. (Particularly while working a day job.)

Moreover, as a separate resource, I would like to see those same select stats that I focus on broken out -- each successive week -- by week for each team (i.e., the weekly totals for each stat for Week 1, then Week 2, etc., up through the most recent week, and culminating in the season long total or average.) Season-long statistical totals and averages often obscure the fact that a team currently is either improving or faltering in a particular area, due to injuries, personnel changes, etc.

I'm eventually going to contact, Elias, Stats Perform, etc. this offseason, probably after the Super Bowl, to inquire.

But, meanwhile, I was wondering whether anyone here has had any experience with that sort of thing, as to whether there's some outfit that provides what I'm looking for at a reasonable price to individuals who aren't some big ticket customer like ESPN, VSiN, etc.

I would consider setting up a low-cost blog or something like that in the event that they would need to upload what I'm looking for to a site on the web (as opposed to sending the info via a .pdf, etc.).
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#6
No clue where to go, Square.

But here's a quick thought about Championship Sunday: Give the edge to the Titans and 49ers, not only because of the extra day of rest and prep, but because their Championship Game opponents defeated familiar rivals.

I assume the 49ers will do a great job in analyzing the game tape of the Packers win over the Seahawks and the Titans will be well-prepared after seeing the Texans fail against the Chiefs.

Imagine Tennessee's delight when the team watched Houston grab a 24-0 lead over the Chiefs at Arrowhead.
 
Last edited:
#7
So how is that Tica with numbers and details, lol . . . obsessive-compulsive would be a plus.

Hopefully, if Vrabel gets up with anything like that kind of lead, he'll make better risk-reward decisions. "---More games are lost than won." When you've got your opponent on the mat in a championship fight . . . .
 

ouch

EOG Veteran
#15
Sports Betting Thought #51:

You don't have to bet a game simply because it is a playoff or championship game.

Everybody has an opinion on tonight's LSU-Clemson game. But why? These games are tightly lined, have every bit of information you could want out there, and present a scenario where anybody could cover (or even win).

Give me a Thursday night in the Big West or a Friday night in the Metro Atlantic.....those games are flying under the radar, and that's where the value is.
 
#16
Sports Betting Thought #51:

You don't have to bet a game simply because it is a playoff or championship game.

Everybody has an opinion on tonight's LSU-Clemson game. But why? These games are tightly lined, have every bit of information you could want out there, and present a scenario where anybody could cover (or even win).

Give me a Thursday night in the Big West or a Friday night in the Metro Atlantic.....those games are flying under the radar, and that's where the value is.

agree to answer , why - can't stop lol
 
#17
This is one of the things that I want to address this NFL offseason.

Do any statistics outfits like Elias and Stats Perform (formerly STATS, LLC) provide customized stats to individuals like an individual sports bettor, and at a reasonable cost?

When I do fundamental, bottom-up handicapping, I match the two teams up with select statistics -- nothing exotic or anything, but, for example, I don't care much about overall passing yards made or allowed type statistics in gauging a pass offense vs. a pass defense. (Unless I'm looking at a particular QB in terms of how much they threaten a pass defense down the field when multiple QBs start for a team during a season for one reason or another.)

It would save a lot of time to have the specific statistics that I look at for each offense matched up against each defense for each game without having to cull that out myself.

Now I can find the stats with the exception of a few odds and ends that have become difficult or unduly labor-intensive to cull out over the years -- the point here is to, in John's words, "spend more time analyzing the stats and less time compiling the numbers."

Nor do I want some new custom stat that some website has cooked up that is supposed to be the new be-all-and-end-all statistic. I just want the stats that I have looked at over the years, sometimes with success, set up and formatted by an outside service rather than having to take the time to do that myself. (Particularly while working a day job.)

Moreover, as a separate resource, I would like to see those same select stats that I focus on broken out -- each successive week -- by week for each team (i.e., the weekly totals for each stat for Week 1, then Week 2, etc., up through the most recent week, and culminating in the season long total or average.) Season-long statistical totals and averages often obscure the fact that a team currently is either improving or faltering in a particular area, due to injuries, personnel changes, etc.

I'm eventually going to contact, Elias, Stats Perform, etc. this offseason, probably after the Super Bowl, to inquire.

But, meanwhile, I was wondering whether anyone here has had any experience with that sort of thing, as to whether there's some outfit that provides what I'm looking for at a reasonable price to individuals who aren't some big ticket customer like ESPN, VSiN, etc.

I would consider setting up a low-cost blog or something like that in the event that they would need to upload what I'm looking for to a site on the web (as opposed to sending the info via a .pdf, etc.).


I asked Elias about 20 years ago. Their info was not for sale. Something could of changed in the last 5 though. As far as Stats.LLC they were on AOL commercial 25 years ago for $15
per month as long as you had AOL. Then about 15-20 years ago they went commercial and down sized. I asked to pay for their MLB they said no... things could of changed in the last 5 ...Sports info is shrinking for the bettor CSW closing was bad for the bettor. ... They used be at the stardust too.... for the fan it is at an all time high.
 
#18
Thanks, Top.

Hopefully, with the proliferation now of legal sports betting, someone will look at the number of bettors out there and become the McDonald's or Southwest of providing reliable customizable stats to individual bettors for a reasonable price.

The challenge -- in terms of time -- for the individual handicapper is not finding the information but instead is getting it culled down to what the bettor wants most for their analysis free of extraneous information.

Meanwhile, however, my concern is that outfits such as Elias and Stats have a bounty of big-ticket clients like ESPN, VSiN, etc. and thus won't want to mess with small fry.

Wonder what Billy Walters' statisticians are doing these days, although I'm sure they're also out of my price range . . . .

* * * * * *

So, John, if downsized customizable stats are not available in the marketplace to individual bettors like us, then, what are you speaking of doing -- in practical terms, the action steps -- to effectuate/implement an intention to: "Be an analyst, not a data-entry slave: Spend more time analyzing the stats and less time compiling the numbers."
 

Valuist

EOG Dedicated
#19
Good blog although disagree on one point: fatigue is not much of a factor in the first month of the NBA season. Teams in the second of back to backs were very good this season in the first 6 weeks. Teams are treating back to backs much differently. It was common in the past for the 5 starters to total 165 or more minutes in the first of the back to back. Now we see plenty of 140s or below. I don't think too many NBA players are seriously out of shape. But when we get to Feb and March, the cumulative effect of fatigue really sets in, IMO.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#20
Good counter, Valuist.

The little guys in the NBA can run all day long.

But I saw a lot of big guys gassed in late October/early November.

And maybe that's why we see teams going deeper into their bench.

Plus, some teams are searching for the right rotation early in the season.

Of course, as you know, being in shape and being in "game shape" are two different things.

I'll search for some recent examples of player fatigue early in an NBA season influencing NBA outcomes.

Additionally, I'm always surprised by the number of injuries before the NBA season even starts.

The hardwood is unforgiving on a twitchy body.
 
Top