The Sharp Plays Newsletter 2022 Week #15


Recap & Week Ahead – December is underway! World Cup has provided almost daily action to pass the afternoons, NCAAB has performed well the past two weeks and Book Positions and Group Buys (despite Monday’s loss) have been grinding back. KB Consensus continues to kill it too! KBC is now 29-12-3 on the season after the KB Consensus power was able to bring San Fran home a winner despite Jimmy G leaving the game basically right after kickoff.

The news of the week was that another four leg parlay went down by just one leg. I wanted to discuss some parlay thoughts here in the TSP Newsletter which I posted to Telegram on Monday (in case you missed it)…

Four leg parlays are now 0-4 this season, but the selections within are 12-4…each parlay went down seeing the selections within go 3-1. So, I was asked…

Given the success of TSP parlays over the long-term, could one surmise that betting the legs of the parlays as straight bets would provide a positive return. 

The answer is yes, it is almost mathematically impossible to be profitable on parlays yet lose money betting the straight bets within.

The catch is simply being able to weather the ups and downs…and the grind.

On a four team parlay, barring pushes, your performance can only be 4-0, 3-1, 2-2, 1-3 and 0-4.

When content is 0-3 or 0-4 on a particular day, I literally have people messaging (not haters) who are beside themselves about how it could have happened. As though betting four games should hardly, if ever, go 0-4.

The odds of going 4-0 is 15-1

The odds of going 0-4 is 15-1

So, once every 16 days that you bet four wagers in a given day, whether in a parlay or straight, you will go 0-4. That means…basically once every two weeks you can expect to have an 0-4 day.

So, if you can accept that, then placing straight bets on the legs within parlays is not a bad way to go. I typically do. Also, my parlays target what is, at the time, the top 2,3,4 selections that I see out there. Obviously, what is the best can change (like the Jaguars this week) but that’s how I structure my parlays…using what I see as the top angles. So, it’s not a stretch to think those angles will perform well as straight bets over the long-term.

My parlay this week, which I placed on Friday, was Utah (decent Book Need at the time), Kansas St (Book Position), San Fran (KB Consensus) and the Jaguars (was getting good information, but then faded and never got above being a low level TSP Live Radar angle). However, it was too late to change my parlay, so I rode it out. There was never anything bad about the Jags, but that is the one catch too with parlays…you are locked in up front. When there was no follow-through on the Jags, it was looking like the weak link…and it was.

What about using the parlays I put out to create round robins? Absolutely! Some folks have had great success doing round robins using the parlay legs. All these four leg parlays that finished 3-1 would have turned a +12 unit profit using three team round robins this football season!

So, just some stuff to think about when it comes to parlays. People say parlays are a sucker’s bet…and they are if you are hitting 52.4% or less on your wagers. However, if you can hit better than 52.4% on your wagers, parlays actually become +EV for the player…as do round robins! It’s not just some sound byte I am repeating like so many of the talking heads in gambling media. The theory of parlays being +EV is fully support by one of my favorite things…mathematics!

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

Early Sharp Buy (9-5-0 for +3.5 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 of Southern +17.5 saw a reverse sharp buy late in the week hit Jackson St and push the price to Jackson St -20. The game finished with Jackson St by 19! So, it was a loss for the Early Sharp Buy. For the week ahead, the Early Sharp Buy is on Tampa Bay +3.5 over San Francisco. Tough one to stomach here as the Bucs really looked like shit on Monday night…perhaps that’s what is making them a value and why sharp money is buying them!

Early Algorithm Look (10-4-0 for +5.6 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 got the loss on Purdue/Michigan UNDER. The one bad part of this point in the season, when we are down mainly to just NFL, is the limited number of games minimizes the chances of finding algorithmic value (versus a 70-90 game slate in a normal NCAAF & NFL weekend we are left with 14 games…1 NCAAF and 13 NFL). While you can find value, it’s not as easy when you have a slate of 80 games to run…sides and totals. Right now I don’t want to mess with totals…see my note below in My Two Cents. So, there is light value on Navy/Army OVER…but not enough to qualify for coverage here. That’s as good as I get though. Pass this week.

My Handicapping (6-8-0 for -3.0 units) – Damn you Atlanta!! Alright, I basically need to win out so that I can close this section with a winning record this season. So, where shall I go?? I am going to an old faithful that treated me well this season…fading the Vikings!

For the week ahead I am going with Detroit -2.5. I am grabbing this now because it has moved a little and I don’t want to have to buy down from -3. The Lions are the lowly Lions and nobody gives them any credit. However, they have played well this year. The Lions were competitive against the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving, and put together a nice offensive showing against the Jags.

Sure, the Jags are not good at all on defense, and Minnesota is much better. However, I think the Vikings are not anywhere close to the quality that their 10-2 record would suggest. It means the Vikings, due to record perception, are overvalued in their prices. I faded the Vikings when they played Dallas a few weeks back and cashed an easy ticket. My reasoning then was the Vikings were phonies and nobody was giving the Cowboys a chance. In the end, Dallas blew the doors off Minnesota in what was the easiest rocking chair cover of the season. I don’t expect a blowout this week, but I think the Lions can get the best of the Vikings here. I can see Detroit moving the ball well and Cousins providing some Kirk Cousins sort of bloopers which give the Lions enough to get past the division rival Vikings! We have an undervalued team in the lowly Lions against an overvalued team in the Vikings…I love the setup!

I feel this line should be Detroit -4, and right now it is -2.5 and under the key market of -3. I’ll take it! GO LIONS -2.5!!

The Sharp Plays Review – I thought it would be fun to put together some reviews on travel, products, services and more throughout the year.

For this week I am reviewing the “Happiest Place on Earth”…which to me has lost a lot of that “happy” in recent years. Instead it has become a place that picks you up, turns you upside down, shakes the money out of your pockets and then throws you back on the plane so you can go home to get more money and come back. What am I talking about?? I am talking about Walt Disney World (click here).

My Two Cents – On Monday, a Group Buy on the OVER 41 went down. It made people ask what was up with NFL totals this year. There have been a lot of discussions recently in sports and gambling media that the NFL is under performing previous seasons when it comes scoring. So, let’s discuss this from a few different angles…and what it could mean moving forward.

First, why is there not a lot of scoring in 2022? I have heard a lot of reasons. One is that due to teams not playing most key players in the preseason that teams have come out slowly which has created a lack of production. However, we are far enough along that the rust should be off by now. Another thought is the two deep safety setup that teams use is preventing the quick scores and big plays. As such, teams have to grind a lot more on small and mid range plays to move the ball. Such play will take a lot of time off the clock and result in lower scoring. Obviously, the list can go on and on, but these two tend to be the common causes that I hear cited.

Second, if UNDERs are over performing (pun intended), what do the stats look like for these UNDERs in 2022? Well, UNDERs in 2022 are 215-169…yes that’s a WHOPPING 55.99% against the spread which would have provided +29.1 units of profit this season!! DAMN!! Now that’s pretty good. If you did NOTHING but bet the UNDER in every NFL game this season, you would have won 56% of your bets and be +29.1 units!!! So, I guess you should bet UNDERs this week?!?!? Hold your horses! I would be very concerned about regression of UNDERs and progression of OVERs at this point and given the run. UNDERs are just WAAAAAAAAY too hot for me to jump on! Sure, they might have another winning week in the week ahead, but I think it is too late to jump on the train of blindly betting NFL UNDERs right now. If anything, this is when I would consider OVERs.

Why, with this record for UNDERs, combined with the fact that sharp money usually bets UNDERs do we see a lot of sharp money leaning to OVERs recently? Well, most sharp bettors are using mathematical models that worked well for them in past seasons. However, clearly something is different this season. So, models are using calculations and assessment techniques based on seasons when OVERs and UNDERs hit at roughly 50% +/- 3% in any given year. To have a season, that is now headed into Week #14…which is this hot to UNDERs (56% win pct.) is really fucking with the numbers and the models!

Also, usually the public hammers OVERs, so the books will shade lines to the OVER…which almost makes the UNDER a value right out of the gate. Well, as UNDERs have hit this season, the books have adjusted totals to lower levels than would be warranted in a normal season or using totals math from 2021 or 2020 and before. Which then begins to make the OVERs a value using 2021 math…and thereby why sharp money is leaning to OVERs this season when they usually take UNDERs.

It’s an interesting dynamic. Sharp bettors tend to think this UNDER success is a little bit of a fluke and that numbers will regress back to the mean…meaning in the weeks ahead we would see a greater numbers of OVERs coming through. It’s something I will definitely be monitoring and recap in TSP Live Insider on Monday.

So, should you begin to bet the OVERs in the NFL??? Personally, I will wait for confirmation first (i.e. seeing some higher scoring games). Last weekend saw UNDERs go 7-7-1. So, not an OVER week and not an UNDER week…more of the even week we expect to see in a normal season. Let’s see what pops for sharp money. If OVERs best the UNDERs this week then it might be time to lean to OVERs in our betting in the weeks ahead. What a deal! Usually following sharp money means betting UNDERs and dealing with those late scoring heartbreaks. OVER betting is much more fun. So, here’s to some OVER progression to the mean!

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