Pooling sports betting resources is a lot like opening your inbox after some time away.
There’s some good stuff in there: Email from mom, e-vite to a pool party, notification that your hot co-worker has added new photos to her Facebook page.
But among those tasty tidbits are advertisements for boner pills, Groupon offers from your aunt, and emails from Nigerian princes offering you their kingdom as long as you forward your credit card info. Or, as we all know it – SPAM.
But, like your inbox, your bets can get buried under a mountain of gambling spam. We turn on the sports betting spam filter and weed out the worst misinformation sources, according to our stable of expert handicappers – Covers Experts (cough, cough, shameless plug).Sports media blitz
"We all have our own McDonald's”, comedian Jim Gaffigan says. For some, it’s actually McDonald's. For others, it’s celebrity gossip or reality TV. It’s that shit we know is bad for us, but we love it anyway.
For sport bettors, that shit is ESPN – or the other round-the-clock sports networks spoon feeding the masses whatever topic is hot until our bellies pour over our belts like Rob Ryan at Thanksgiving dinner.
“Mainstream media opinions on sporting events are the loudest, most obnoxious form of spam for bettors,” says Covers Expert Doc’s Sports. “The main reason is that it pervades every sport and bettors, who are trying to create and form their own opinions, are just inundated by shouting, arguing and flimsy analysis 24 hours a day across a wide variety of media. ESPN bobble heads have proven time and time again that they are entertainers, not actual analysts.”
That media blitz on topics like the Miami Heat, Tom Brady, Notre Dame football, the New York Yankees, etc, etc can sometimes put blinders on sports bettors, convincing them they have to bet on/or against Miami. Oddsmakers are aware and will jack up the prices on these public teams AKA “The Yankee Tax”.Trends
If ESPN is McDonald's, betting trends are Baskin Robbins. Nothing tastes sweeter than reeling off some crazy-ass trend – “The Dodgers are 553-301 when Vin Scully has waffles for breakfast (man likes his waffles)”.
That isn’t a real trend by the way. But half of you ran to Twitter to find out if L.A.’s golden voice hit up the IHOP before making his way to the ballpark. That’s the power of the trend.
Trends do hold some water, especially if a team involved has remained intact for some period of time, like the San Antonio Spurs. Players come and go, but Timmy, Manu, Tony and Pop are the ones making the calls.
Those long-term trends start to get a little leaky when applied to college sports, especially college basketball, where top programs change faces more often than Nicole Kidman. Basing a play on stats from 20 years ago is just plain dumb.
Covers Expert Marc Lawrence also points to some situational trends that were once considered betting gold, but quickly lost their glitter.
“NFL Monday Night Football home dogs,” says Lawrence. “Once a staple on every sharp players' ticket, these plays have steadily gone downhill faster than a ski race. What was once an automatic 'Play On' proposition has evolved into a 'Play Against' situation because the oddsmakers have compensated accordingly.”
According to Lawrence, MNF home dogs went 37-15 ATS in the 1980’s, 25-24 ATS in the 90’s, 22-29 ATS in the 2000’s, and are just 5-8 ATS since 2010.
“The bottom line is trends are simply tendencies without rhyme or reason and generally apply to one particular team,” warns Lawrence. “Trends that tend to sustain are those that apply to the league or a coach, as a whole.”Final score/results
Just looking at the final score of a team’s previous outing can give bettors the wrong idea about their wager. A blowout loss can lead you to think a team is headed for a downfall, even though the opponents shot an uncharacteristic 74 percent from 3-point land.
A pick-6 and a fumble recovery TD can boost a football squad’s point total, but if you just looked at the final result you may not have seen how the offense struggled to move the chains and were basically lucky to come away with the win.
“Digging deeper into box scores and game charts is much better than just looking at the final score or standings on teams,” says Covers Expert Steve Merril. “The final score is largely what an amateur bases his assessments on. However there are often misleading scores that can provide excellent value to those handicappers who dig deeper and do their homework.”Your heart
Sometimes when placing a bet, you have to take your heart out of the equation.
Yeah, I love the Dallas Cowboys, but I’m also aware that they suck against the spread. Are they going to come through for me as 3-point dogs against the Giants in Week 1? You’re God damn right they are. Am I going to find my wallet lighter on September 6? Probably.
“This is one of the worst things someone can do,” says Covers Expert Matt Fargo. “Granted, a lot of it is just for fun as people want a little action on their favorite team. But betting serious coin all the time is a recipe for disaster. For a serious better, the heart has to be taken out of sports.”
To quote The Wedding Singer
, “Things that could have been brought to my attention… YESTERDAY!”
But thanks Matt, we’ll write that one down.Other cappers
We’ve all had the little devil on our shoulder. Be it a buddy, a fellow forum poster, or some jack-off at the bar.
“What?! You’re betting on the Nationals to win the NL East?! You might as well just give the bookie your wallet and keys to your house so he can break open your piggy bank and shit on your floor whenever he likes. Stupid…”
Fast-forward four months and the Nats look like the class of the NL East, at 42-30. But you didn’t place that bet. Instead, you listened to the devil and wagered a dime on the Miami Marlins. “They’re the ultimate sleeper,” the devil promised you.
Consulting other handicappers is fine and a great way to see a game or team from other angles. But if you feel great about a bet, don’t let someone talk you down from it.
“There are a few handicappers out there who have an opinion which I respect. There are also many that I have no respect for at all,” says Covers Expert Ben Burns. “I don't want to know what any of them have though. I want to be completely unbiased in my opinions and I find that knowing what someone else likes can make this complicated.”Do you have any other sports betting spam we should add to the filter (and don’t say Covers editorial, you wise ass)? Throw it in the comment box below. People helping people.
Follow Jason Logan on Twitter @CoversJLo