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Recap & Week Ahead – First, I would like to wish all of you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving!! Always a great time of year and I hope yours is awesome. Not only the food, family and fun, but of course the sports from Thursday through Monday! Funny how many memories I have of Thanksgiving and which involve sports betting in some way. Yep…I am full on a degenerate…and proud of it!
The week of Thanksgiving also means we have reached the end of the NCAAF regular season. Where does the time go?!?! Another NCAAF regular season down the tubes. Next month we get the bowls though…and those are always fun! So, soak up this last week, let’s grab some wins, and then we get ready for Bowl season…and our Saturdays now being consumed with NCAAB!
If you are looking for expanded sports content, don’t forget to check out TSP Live! Signup at https://TSP.Live/tsp-live. Options ranging from 7 days up to 1 year are available. TSP Live Analytics members have access to analytics & content such as the TSP Live Radar, KB Consensus (24-8-3 on the season), the Oddsmaker’s Report and more (CLICK HERE FOR RECORDS)! On top of daily analytics access, TSP Live members get access to TSP Live Insider…which provides discussion of strategy, early sharp buys, the occasional exotic (teaser/parlay/rollover) and more! It’s the Sports Information Buffet…and you have a front row seat! For more details or to signup for TSP Live Analytics click here or visit TSP.Live/tsp-live.
Quality TSP content doesn’t end with sports either! The Financial Market Analytics (FMA) subscription is chugging along in its third year, another profitable one, with the FMA Spotlight collecting cumulative returns in 2022 of +39.5% using passive targets and +59.5% using aggressive targets! FMA access is part of the All-Inclusive subscription, or can be purchased as a separate subscription each month. To signup or for more details, visit TSP.Live/fma.
As always thank you for your support on the paid content! Your paid content purchases that support everything I do at The Sharp Plays (free & paid), expands the content and technology utilized, and supports things important to me. I am continually grateful for your support! I would not be here without you.
Lastly, don’t forget about the TSP Telegram channels (Sports, Trading & Twitter)! For details on each channel and how to join them, visit https://thesharpplays.com/tsp-telegram-channel/.
Now let’s get into this week’s action…
Early Sharp Buy (8-4-0 for +3.6 units) – In this section of the newsletter I look for what play is seeing the cleanest and largest sharp buy at this point in the week. The section is graded based on the result of the play here, however this play can be used for a few things. We have seen situations whereby the newsletter’s early buy sees counter buying later in the week. These reverse buys have shown to be a VERY STRONG and profitable to follow. So, keep the below game in mind as the week goes along.
The Early Sharp Buy won last week on Oklahoma -7.5. For the week ahead, the angle seeing the largest and cleanest sharp buy at this point in the week is Missouri +3 over Arkansas. The game goes on FRIDAY the 25th.
Early Algorithm Look (9-3-0 for +5.7 units) – The section here is quite simple. I run my favorite NFL & NCAAF side algorithms and my favorite NFL & NCAAF totals algorithms each week. I then post the play showing the most value here.
Algorithm lost last week on Iowa St -3.5. For the week ahead the algorithm is finding value on Mississippi St +2.5 over Mississippi. The recent awful run that Mississippi St has had seems to have had an extreme adjustment to the current price. The algorithm shows this game should have Mississippi St -2.5 and instead they are getting 2.5 points. It’s 5 points of value and that is tough to pass up. Here we go with Mississippi St +2.5 for the Early Algorithm Look this week!
My Handicapping (6-6-0 for -0.8 units) – I’m GRINDING once again! I hope my lesson about taking Dallas because nobody else was showed why sometimes the best wagers are the ugliest ones. It is why sharp money bets ugly plays each day…that’s where the value exists!
For the week ahead I am going with Buffalo -9.5 over Detroit. It’s chalky, but I LOVE seeing the public betting the dog here…and you know it is tough for me to pass up fading a trending underdog! The good news is that’s not the only reason I like Buffalo, it just helped to put it over the top.
I’ll be honest, the game scares me a little because Detroit has looked good this season and in recent weeks. The Lions beat the NY Giants in New Jersey this past weekend while the Bills got the win and cover against Cleveland. However, the win and cover the Bills had didn’t look that clean and the week before the Bills lost to the Jets. A Jets team that put up 3 points against the Patriots…and looked awful on offense. So, Buffalo’s stock has been declining a little as they haven’t had the blowouts they had at the beginning of the season. At the same time Detroit’s stock has been rising a little bit. It’s likely why the public is grabbing all those points.
Here’s where I see an issue though, Detroit did beat the Giants, but the Giants actually outgained the Lions by 89 yards. Not much, but the Giants won the stats battle. It tells me under the hood the Lions might not deserve as much credit as they are getting this week for that win. When a team loses the stats, but wins the game…this often leads to a disconnect with the value in their next game.
On the other hand, the Bills have had a rough schedule the past week due to the snow in the Buffalo area and all the chaos that created for the team. Some of which involved traveling to Detroit this past Saturday to play Cleveland on Sunday, then back to Buffalo Sunday night, and now back to Detroit tomorrow. It’s a busy week and people expect this to take a toll on Buffalo. I think being back in Detroit and getting a feel for the field so close to the next time they take that field will only help them.
The key for me is Detroit’s defense is rough. I could see the Bills really exploiting that defense early and often. I do not see how Detroit has any chance against Buffalo’s weapons. Detroit’s offense has improved to keep them in games, but that will be challenged against a fast and aggressive Bills defense. We all know if you pressure Goff he is a disaster. I can see Buffalo having no trouble scoring and Detroit not being able to match. At which point this game gets out of hand quickly and the Bills putting the pedal to the floor. Given the Bills had an early sweat against Cleveland and then the loss to the Jets, the Bills really need that blowout game on national TV to get them rolling again and clear the cobwebs. Thursday sets up a perfect spot to do it!
Lastly, my algorithm shows Buffalo should be -11 points in this game. Right now I can get -9.5 at Bookmaker to setup 1.5 points of value. I am all over it!! Buffalo -9.5!
The Sharp Plays Review – I thought it would be fun to put together some reviews on travel, products, services and more throughout the year. I have built up a few reviews that I wrote and will feature them here each week.
I published another one today and it is on the new and exciting Hey Dude shoe that I came to embrace in my fashion ensemble recently. Product and travel reviews?? Sure it is 100% corny…but changes up the content a little. If you are bored and looking for something to read, you can check out this week’s review at TheSharpPlays.com/hey-dude/. Enjoy!
My Two Cents – A running topic that I discuss with people all the time is how tight the margins are for profitable sports betting. Some people don’t realize that forcing one game can be the difference between winning and losing over the course of an entire month’s worth of wagers…just one game! Let me illustrate how tight the margins are and why disciplined sports betting is ESSENTIAL!
The BEST sharp bettors out there hit 55-56% long-term. Any tout or jerk-off who tells you the best gamblers hit 58-59-60% or better over the long-term (as in years of gambling) is a total moron. If anyone tells you that…run the other way. It is complete bullshit. I know you don’t want to believe me, because everyone wants to believe the dream of hitting 58-59-60%+ winners…but it does not happen. Sure, someone could hit 60% over 100 or even 200 games. I have seen guys hit 60% over 500 games on some epic runs, but I have never seen someone hit 60% over 1000 wagers or more. It just doesn’t happen. So, get that thought out of your head. You will be chasing that dream until the day you die.
If someone is hitting 57%+ over the long-term (I mean 2000+ point spread wagers) then they are Hall of Fame material. I say that because I have never seen someone maintain such an edge over a large sample size…but some have gotten close.
The best sharp bettors hit 55-56% of their wagers, with the average sharp bettor is in the neighborhood of 54%. The public bettor hits 50% of their wagers on average. Thanks to vig…50% is not good enough. You need to win 52.4% to overcome vig and turn a profit. Which means over 100 wagers, a bettor needs to win 53 bets…52 just won’t cut it…to turn a profit.
You have heard me go through this narrative before…”The difference between a public bettor and a sharp bettor is as little as 3 wins out of every 100 wagers!” Think of how thin a that margin is between Pro and Joe…3 bets out of 100! Now realize how important shopping for the best line is because just doing that can EASILY mean two wins out of every 100 wagers because you got the best price…which would have been losses if you were lazy and didn’t shop. Every win counts! You can’t give away wins out of laziness and not having multiple outs!
OK, back to my story here. The above numbers mean that our average sharp bettor who hits 54% will win 54 bets and lose 46 bets out of every 100 bets they place. Our average public bettor wins 50 bets and loses 50 bets out of every 100 bets.
Let’s say you follow The Sharp Plays content and are winning 54% with it…awesome! However, you like to bet some of your own games too. It’s understandable. What fun is it just to follow the content of someone else? OK, so let’s take a 100 wager sample out of your action. Of those 100 wagers, 70 of the wagers were TSP content hitting 54% and the other 30 wagers were those you handicapped solely on your own. Well, 54% winners out of 70 wagers from TSP content gives you a record of 38 wins and 32 losses. On the other 30 wagers that you handicapped, let’s assume you are an average bettor and win 50%…thereby you have 15 wins and 15 losses. Add up both records and you get 53 wins and 47 losses out of that 100 wager sample. Remember, you lose money on a record of 52-48 over 100 wagers (52.4% is the minimum to beat the vig).
Which brings me to my point…had you only bet the 54% winning content you would have finished those 100 wagers with a 54-46 record for +3.4 units of profit. By working in your handicapped wagers and hitting 50% on them, you instead had a record of 53-47 for +1.3 units.
Check that out…you lost 62% of your sports betting profit (from +3.4 units to +1.3 units) by betting -EV action to get your gambling fix. Do you see how thin the profit margins are in sports betting? Do you see why there is no room for undisciplined wagers if you want to be a profitable bettor? Do you see why you could BET PERFECTLY for 96 wagers, but then you lose your discipline and press and chase one day over ONLY FOUR wagers. At which point you find yourself now losing money over that 100 game sample…because you lost your cool and made just FOUR irrational wagers!
What if every 100 wagers you placed 50 wagers using TSP content winning 54% and you placed 50 wagers on your own hitting 50%. Your record would be 27-23 on the 50 TSP related wagers and 25-25 on the 50 wagers you placed. What does that give you? A 52-48 record over 100 wagers. As we learned above, you need to have 52.4% winners to beat vig. In this example you only have 52% winners with the 52-48 record…you are losing money! So yes, you are betting +EV content winning 54%, but by working in your own wagers, you actually completely negate your edge.
Situation #1: You bet only +EV content at 54%…you have a record of 54-46 over every 100 wagers and pickup a profit of +3.4 units for a +3.1% return on your risk.
Situation #2: Out of every 100 wagers, 70 are using +EV content hitting 54% and 30 are using your own handicapping. You achieve a record of 53-47 out of every 100 wagers and collect +1.3 units of profit for a +1.2% return on your risk.
Situation #3: Out of every 100 wagers, 50 are using +EV content and 50 are using your own handicapping. You achieve a record of 52-48…which is better than most public bettors…but not enough to overcome the vig! So, out of every 100 wagers you lost -0.4 units of bankroll for a -0.36% return on your risk. Yes you are using +EV content, but because you also played -EV content, you offset the +EV content.
Of course, some of you are good handicappers, no offense though…most of you are not. It’s just the reality of gambling. If I walk into a loaded sportsbook at any given time…96 to 97 people out of every 100 in that sportsbook are long-term losing gamblers. It’s just the facts of the business. So, I am not trying to be an asshole, and I am sure some of you can handicap, but statistics would say that most of you cannot. Again, don’t be easily offended…look at “My Handicapping” section above…I am -0.8 units this season…shit ain’t easy! LOL! Although, I will be moving into the green thanks to Buffalo and Dawson Knox this Thursday! Seriously though, handicapping games in the standard sense and without an edge is what 96-97% of gamblers do…and it results in -EV performances…for a LIFETIME of gambling.
To summarize, you can bet any way you want, and any game you want. Just be aware that when you are not sticking to a set +EV long-term strategy (TSP content, your model, your friend who is a sharp bettor, whatever), the margins are so thin that all it takes is two bad bets and you go from winning money over your next 100 wagers to losing it…that easily…AS LITTLE AS TWO BETS!!! All that time and effort you put in over 98 wagers, and the profit you ground out, and you lose your mind one day forcing two bets…and all the profits over 100 separate wagers are completely erased.
Now do you see why I preach bankroll management and keeping your emotions out of gambling? You simply can’t afford to allow emotion into gambling even for one day. Your bankroll management plan also can’t be setup as “what do I have in my wallet?” You are an adult so you can do what you want, but if that’s your style then it’s just a matter of time before you lose it all. I rather you think of me as an annoying and condescending asshole, if it means what I say gets you to think about your gambling and perhaps prevent you from a lifetime of sportsbooks donations. Don’t lose it all when it isn’t that hard to keep a proper mindset, keep emotion out of gambling, and manage your bankroll. You will be a lot happier for it…and you’ll enjoy sports betting that much more!
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