You know that gambling has become more than accepted in America when the greatly respected Huffington Post sets up a blog for a sports handicapper.
I've been giving sports gambling advice professionally for 23 years, since my days majoring in statistics at UC Berkeley. I've had good success over the years with my predictions and my analysis influences the point spreads around the world, as chronicled by the Wall Street Journal and ESPN.
I've used my talent for statistical analysis to come up with mathematical models that have proven to be far more advanced than what the Vegas odds makers are using. I also study performance patterns to find situations in which one team may be more ready to perform at a high level or to perhaps suffer a letdown following a good performance or two.
The point spread should be viewed as the price it costs to "buy" a certain team in a game, and that price is heavily influenced by public perception rather than reality. The public tends to focus too much on recent performance of a team rather than their long term performance level. This makes it possible for me to find point spreads that are significantly different than what they should be, which is called line value.
For instance, a mediocre team may win 2 or 3 games in a row in seemingly impressive fashion and the price you have to pay to bet on that team may go up because of it. However, more often than not teams that are playing well above expectations (i.e. covering the spread) in recent games tend to come back down to normal performance levels just when the public sentiment has led to an adjustment in the price to bet on that team. The "hot" streak usually turns out to be nothing more than random variance. The lack of public understanding of variance is what creates the line value. My math model and situational analysis combine to help me find those games in which public perception strays too far from reality, and I've profited from that over the years.
In addition to posting game analysis I also plan on writing about other sports topics, some betting related and some not. I'll start with one of my Best Bets for this weekend's college football.
OREGON STATE (-13) 42 Washington 21
Saturday, November 14 - 3:30 pm Eastern Time.
Washington's early season 16-13 upset of USC thrust the Huskies into the national limelight and created a situation in which they were overrated. Washington was out-played in that game, averaging just 4.3 yards per play (yppl) while allowing USC, with their backup quarterback, to average 6.6 yppl. The only reason Washington won that game was because they did not commit a single turnover while USC turned the ball over 3 times with 1 interception and 2 lost fumbles. Interceptions are 65% random and fumbles are 90% random in college football, so that upset win over USC was nothing more than random positive variance for Washington which hid the fact that Washington was badly out-played by the Trojans.
As it turned out, Washington has proven to be a bad team that has been out-gained 5.5 yards per play to 6.8 yppl this season and the Huskies are so bad that they managed to lose to a mediocre UCLA team last week despite being +4 in turnover margin. There is no doubt that Oregon State's good attack (5.7 yppl against teams that would allow 5.0 yppl to an average team) will be able to score a lot of points against a horrible Washington defense that has allowed 6.5 yppl or more in 8 of their 9 games.
The strength of Washington's team is their offense, which rates at 0.7 yppl better than average and the Huskies do have a 0.4 yppl advantage over a good, but not great Beavers' defense (5.6 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.9 yppl). However, Oregon State has a 1.8 yppl advantage when they have the ball and that Beavers' attack is improving, as is usually the case with Mike Riley coached teams.
Riley's teams have a habit of starting the season slowly, but the Beavers tend to get hot in October and stay hot. In fact, Oregon State is 40-17 Against The Spread (ATS) from game 5 on, including 4-1 ATS this season. In addition to the favorable team trend, my math model gives Oregon State at 56% chance of covering at -13 points based on the math alone. The likelihood of covering is enhanced by technical analysis favoring Oregon State and I recommend a play on the Beavers at -15 points or less.
For analysis on all of this week's NFL and College Football games visit my site at drbobsports.com.
Follow Bob Stoll on Twitter: www.twitter.com/drbobsports