The Sharp Plays Newsletter 2021 Week #4

Recap & Week Ahead –  A good week overall. No flashy parlays to take the headlines, but just a good grind. The sharpest bet on Saturday was not a Primary, Secondary or Sharp Consensus angle (there were none of those), but a TSP Live Radar 74+ play on Memphis. It was ugly for much of the game, but Memphis got there in the end. On Sunday the only qualifying sharp angle was a Secondary Angle on the Las Vegas Raiders that got there outright! So, not bad from the top down this past weekend. All positive LJP Scores went 10-8 for +2.6 units thanks to a juicy +244 on the Titans moneyline! Overall though it was a pretty quiet week with no major sharp action. Not every week will be end to end excitement…as long as it wins is all that matters. Keep grinding!!

I can’t believe it is already the final weekend of September! The football season is already flying along. It’s been a good September for the content and hopefully it is a sign of things to come this football season. Already cashed a nice parlay this year and looking forward to an even juicier parlay this week!

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Now let’s get into this week’s action…

Early Sharp Buys (0-2-1 for -2.2 units) –  MTSU was pathetic and the Early Sharp Buys have been weak so far this year. They were the high flying section last year. Perhaps a little regression to start the season. Let’s see if this week can provide the first win of the year. For the week ahead, the leading Early Sharp Buy is Wisconsin -6.5 over Notre Dame. I am not sure about this one, but maybe that’s what makes it GREAT! LOL! I mean Wisconsin looked pathetic, but as you know I say I suck as a handicapper so what do I know?? Early Sharp Buy…Wisky -6.5!

Early Algorithm Look (1-2 for -1.2 units) –  The Early Algorithm Look did not perform well with Coastal Carolina. Buffalo stuck around for a while and made a game of it. Let’s see the algorithm get back to 50/50 for the season! For the week ahead the selection showing the greatest value in the algorithm is Nebraska +5 over Michigan St. Here’s another one that doesn’t make much sense to me. Nebraska looked like a joke to open the season. Then they were a Just Missed Premium Play over Buffalo. Nebraska got the win but it was not pretty. It took until the 4th quarter for them to open the game up, otherwise Buffalo was covering the whole way. So, Michigan St has looked good and has the defense. Given Nebraska’s ineptitude on offense I am not sure how this works BUT the algorithm says that based on its analysis of the stats that Nebraska should be +1 here. So, we are getting 4 points of value on the Cornheads +5!

My Handicapping (3-0 +3.0 units) –  Despite the 3-0 start to the season for me, my disclaimer will stand here all season…FYI, I SUCK as a handicapper. Let’s keep the run going though! For the week ahead I am going with the LA Rams +1 over Tampa. I have been very impressed with the Rams this season. I think LA finally has the right quarterback for the job, they have a lot of tools, and they have a defense that can handle it’s business. It is a team that appears still to be undervalued too. On the other side of the ball we have Tampa who of course has been a force this season as well…and because of it has become overvalued. Let’s face it though, while Tampa has looked good, their strength of schedule has been rather weak. Not that the Rams’ SOS is a lot better, but it is better. We also have the East Coast to West Coast angle for Tampa and this being Tampa’s first game on the road. Bottom line I don’t see Tampa stopping the LA Rams much and I see the Rams defense being the key. A few stops of Brady and this is an easy win for LA. I am going with the Rams +1!!

My Two Cents –   So far this season I have used the My Two Cents section to talk about betting topics as opposed to my general rants. However, while I do love to rant, there have been a lot of good gambling topics that have come up along the way. Given it is the start of the football season, there is no better time than the present to discuss all those topics. Last week I talked about parlays. Of course that discussion generated a lot of questions on hedging. So, it looks like my ranting and raving will have to wait another week. Let’s have a quick and to the point discussion on how I look at hedging. I could type for hours on hedging strategy, but nobody will read it. So, here’s the Cliffs Notes version.

First, I don’t really like to hedge. When I place a parlay, sure it is nice to guarantee myself a win, but in guaranteeing myself a win I also minimize the ROI and I discount my edge in doing so. If you hedged every parlay you actually work against the edge you have built up on the wager. If you have an edge you really should just ride that edge through the good and the bad without hedging. However, there are situations where hedging is an important tool. So, I will discuss those situations next. I would say I typically hedge my exotic bets 10-15% of the time or less. In 85-90% of my exotic situations I am ride or die.

When is it a good time to hedge? I really look at only two things. First, I like to see what my performance has been for the day, week and month. If I am down big for any of these short term periods then hedging is a good idea to guarantee myself at least a minimized loss. If I am down big for the week, again it is better to lock up any profit than risk being down more units for that week because I rolled the dice. So, as much as I want to avoid hedging, it is the best choice in certain situations. It’s why I hedged the parlay two weeks ago. It was a flat week and I could ensure a winning weekend for myself no matter the outcome. So, I took a small hedge. The short term performance of my wagering as a whole will often dictate whether I hedge or not. However, if I am having a good week, then the idea of hedging doesn’t even come into my mind. Ride or die!

The other thing I look at when hedging is whether I got a little too aggressive on my parlay or other exotic wager? When does this happen? I am a degenerate at heart and sometimes I’ll set up a rollover. I take 1 unit and I bet it straight on Team A. If Team A covers then I roll the 2 units onto a parlay. If the parlay is bringing in 15-20+ units then I like to take some of that risk off the table. Another situation where this sort of thing occurs is sometimes I put in multiple parlays and then find I am keyed to a team. I did this last weekend when I was keyed to the Colts. I had three parlays down to just Indy. So, I hedged enough to cover the cost of all three parlays and pay for another three parlays. In terms of getting aggressive, if you find yourself putting your house on a parlay only to realize you can’t handle the pressure of the last game…it’s time to hedge!

The question then becomes how much you hedge. If it’s a particularly bad week or month, I will often hedge half the value of the parlay. Thereby I am guaranteed 50% of the parlay payout. If everything is otherwise going good, and I am just hedging because I am overleveraged, then I will often just hedge enough to cover the cost of the parlay X 2. So, if the parlay is $1 then I would hedge for $2. At which point I cover my $1 risk and have $1 profit for the next parlay.

At the end of the day, hedging is a very personal situation. It should be based, not on what myself or someone else will do, but what YOU are comfortable with. If the thought of having a 1 unit parlay set to pay 10 units on Team A is too much stress…then it’s a no brainer for you…HEDGE!! If taking in all the variables that week you have decided you want to ride it out, then ride it out. There is no set mathematical formula or strategy I implement when hedging it is all about feel and situation. Yes, hedging is for gardeners, but not all the time. It can be for intelligent bettors too!

I hope the above helps you with your hedging assessment the next time we are staring down the barrel of a double digit parlay win!

That’ll close out this week’s newsletter for me! Thanks for giving the newsletter here a read today! Stay safe out there! I am always open to any feedback you may have. I might not listen to it, LOL, but I am open to it!  😉

Good luck in your action!
~ The Sharp Plays