The Sharp Plays Newsletter 2023 Week #2


Recap & Week Ahead – We are moving right along…already issue #2 of the TSP Newsletter! It’s going to be bowl season before we know it. Overall not a bad week of action at all! Let’s now hope that momentum carries into this week. It’s the big show…the first FULL week where we get both NFL and NCAAF!

Remember, it is easy to get all worked up about the return of football…and then by Tuesday you find your bankroll, or worse, your net worth, down 20, 25, 50%+! So, keep under control. There is a lot of season ahead. As I said last week, there will be epic winning weeks and epic losing weeks…with a lot of weeks just grinding slightly up or slightly down. You never know what the week will have in store. So, if you go in with the idea that you are going to get crushed, as silly as that sounds, it will at least ensure you are betting accordingly. Too many people go into a week of betting with the attitude…I am going to fucking rape the bookmaker…and in the end, it is not the bookmaker getting raped. So, bet smart, stay disciplined and keep emotion in check…good and bad emotions.

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

Early Sharp Buy (1-0-0 for +1.0 units) – In this section of the newsletter I look for what wager 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. and wager in mind as the week goes along, even if you aren’t interested in action now.

There was some late action on the UNDER, but the Early Sharp Buy on Buffalo/Wisconsin OVER cashed the ticket to open this section with a win!

For the week ahead, the Early Sharp Buy is on an ugly total. The Northwestern/Rutgers OVER was on the TSP Live Radar this week as low level, and despite some early scoring, the total died when NW could not do a damn thing. So, this is ugly, but that’s likely why sharps see value this week. The clear Early Sharp Buy is on UTEP/Northwestern OVER 38.5!

Early Algorithm Look (0-1-0 for -1.1 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 below that shows the most value out of the four programs.

The sharps came in on Miami of OH too…but it was not enough to get the win. The algorithm section was strong last year, but opens the season with a loser. Let’s see it bounce back this week. The algorithm is showing value on Baylor +7.5 over Utah. The algorithm calculates that this line should be Utah -4 and we have Utah -7.5…above a key number and 3.5 points of value! Take Baylor +7.5!

My Handicapping (0-1-0 for -1.1 units) – I provide the same disclaimer every year, I SUCK at handicapping. If it weren’t for the information, tools and analytics I can access and utilize, I would be like any old Joe. Thankfully, I have all those tools and assets which allow me to be a sports betting genius (LOL)! However, for this section each week, the selection is just based on my handicapping of a game or price. I take pride in this section and want to end the season a winner! At a minimum, hopefully we have a few laughs.

Last week, I told you I sucked…and I preferred NFL. Northwestern looked like shit last week. Let’s hopefully get some luck in the NFL. I am going to go with Dallas -3.5 over the NY Giants. Yes, the Giants had a great season last year, far exceeded expectations, and cashed a nice Oddsmaker’s Report alert for the regular season OVER! However, I think expectations for the season ahead are a little too high. At the same time, I love to mock the Dallas Cowboys in recent years, but they did make some good moves this season and put together what I think will be a much improved offense and defense. The public is leaning to the dog in this one and that was the cherry on top to push me over here. I love a public dog fade…and especially a public dog fade on a prime time game like Sunday Night Football! So, don’t tell anyone, but I am going with the Cowboys -3.5.

The Sharp Plays Review – Unfortunately, I did not get a chance in Week #1, nor did I have time to put something together for Week #2. The content isn’t the problem, I have a few reviews stacked up for things I wanted to cover, one of which is the Billy Walters book that I am reading now. However, time has been limited and I don’t like doing a half assed job of something. Now that everything is setup and running for football, should have a little more time moving forward. We will see what I can put together for next week…hopefully!

My Two Cents – For this week, as a new football season starts, you are going to see all sorts of loud mouth, holier than thou, blowhards on X/Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, TV, radio, podcasts and more. These folks will be in your face all week, every week of the football season spouting off the same recycled bullshit backed by zero math or statistics. What these characters are good at is repeating the same lines, which have been said over and over through the years, which are completely unfounded, but by saying these things they can get the audience to think they actually know something. “You can’t win betting all chalks”…WOW…that is some of the most profound wisdom since Socrates (sarcasm). Guess what dufus, you can’t win by betting all dogs either! LOL! So, what did you actually provide to the audience, nothing at all…but it sounded so incredible at the time.

I need to go on one of these shows and simply say, “You know…you can win at gambling because 2+2 = 4.” LOL…WOW…SHEER GENIUS!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, since these folks don’t have good wagering content to bring to the table about the betting markets or in-depth handicapping, they rather just repeat these stupid sound bites. Here’s some more you will hear…

“Parlays are for suckers” – True, because most bettors are suckers, however the math behind parlays supports that if you are an advantage (i.e. winning) bettor, that parlays can be an advantage tool…and help you stay below the book’s radar too. Books look at all parlay bettors as squares. So, it’s a great tool to use for a smart bettor…keeps you under the radar, and allows you to wager with an edge.

“You can’t win in the NFL betting on Sundays” – The lunacy of such a statement is comical, but you will hear it all the time. Why do they say this? It is because, as the week goes on the prices THEORETICALLY get sharper. As sharp bettors attack and books adjust the line, in theory the line should eventually be sharpened to the point of providing no edge. Sharper based on whom or what though? Unless the prices are made sharper by God, who knows the future, at best these prices get closer through probability and statistics…but since those aren’t perfect prediction tools…there is still plenty of room to attack. Want some explanation beyond just my pontification on the topic? First, the best performing sports content I put out is parlays (over +330 units of profits since 2011) and after that the next best performing content is the NFL reporting at The Sharp Plays. Year over year the NFL continues to be the best performing sport…and 95% of the NFL selections are released on game day, sometimes as TSP Live subscribers know…as late as 5-10 minutes BEFORE KICKOFF!!! So, no, you can’t win on Sundays if you can’t find your way out of a cardboard box, but if you can use critical thinking and assessment…a good pro can find an edge AT ANY TIME…and there are plenty of edges still to be had at kickoff on Sunday…or any day or event!

“You can’t win unless you get CLV” – So, there is actually some truth to this one. Obviously, getting the best of the number is helpful. However, some blowhards try to claim that the CLV you get is more important than your win percentage. The idiocy of such a statement cannot be properly quantified. Essentially, someone who wants to tout their CLV cannot tout their win percentage. All everyday gamblers care about is win percentage. So, if someone trying to sell you on how great they are doesn’t want to flex on their win percentage, but instead their CLV, well…there’s a very good reason! Not to mention, and similar to the point above about betting the NFL on Sundays, for YEARS and YEARS my content simply reported sharp action and I would grade that sharp action based on the current market price, not the price sharp money bet…as a way to assess your performance in following. Year after year, despite the lack of CLV on most occasions, the content won at a very high rate and has never had a losing year…not even close. So, CLV is good to secure, but it is not the end all and be all to being a winning gambler.

“You can’t win by paying for gambling content” – I disagree with this on so many levels. What’s especially fun is when someone says this year over year…and then the year comes when they decide to launch their own service or product to sell to gamblers! LOL! Sure, most people in this space of selling sports betting services or products do not provide you a long-term edge…so in that way, yes you will just lose more paying for products that have no value. At the same time, another issue is many bettors do not wager enough to make buying something to help their gambling worthwhile. For example, if you bet $10 per unit, I would be the first to advise you not to signup for TSP Live. You would need 16 units of profit on average every month to break-even. However, if you are a $500 per unit bettor, you would need to average just 0.32 units of profit per month to breakeven…everything above that is profit. A break-even of 0.32 units is easy to accomplish (if you are betting intelligently) and then everything else is profit. So, in some ways this is correct because 98% of gambling content is worthless, but then there’s TSP Live! LOL!

“If a service or handicapper were good, they would just be making money on gambling…and not sell picks, services, or products” – Oh my goodness, once again…you will see a bunch of these morons saying this in the media, and then eventually they enter the gambling products/services business a few years later. If someone is a good bettor and has good information, I’ll use myself as an example…you eventually have all the action you want spread around using your information and connections. At which time, further monetizing that exact same information through selling it to other gamblers is a way to further expand profits on something you have maxed out on in your gambling. Are you a communist? The capitalist system is about going out and maximizing your potential. Why leave money on the table when you have all your action down and can make more money simply by sharing the same information with others who will pay to review it…and who can then make money themselves!! No, I rather not see the full potential of my information be achieved. LOL! Usually those attacking people who sell information are attacking out of jealousy because their information is shit and nobody would buy it.

I could go on and on, but these are some of the sound bites you will hear over and over. Since they have been stated since the beginning of time, it makes that person sound wise and reputable. Even though that person carries little value…or their time in the industry has long past. Here’s a quote I do enjoy and it is spot on…

“Trends Don’t Pay The Rent” – So this one I agree wholeheartedly with Jimmy Vaccaro on. Trends do not pay the rent. Like anything, they will win, which will give you recency bias that trends do predict winners…and they will also lose…and you will quickly remove the losers from your data assessment set in your mind. However, the books and the players all know Team A is 14-0 on Monday nights. You don’t think that is worked into the price already? I say it all the time, when you start hearing a trend repeated on ESPN, Fox Sports, some random radio show…that’s a great time to take a shot at fading the trend. Nobody paid attention when this trend was 10-0, 11-0, 12-0, 13-0, but now it finally caught some eyes and is getting coverage…and more often than not…the trend ends.

I also tend to feel that when you see the same “professional” gamblers making the rounds on the shows every single week, usually it is because their time in the game has past. So, now they have moved onto the phase of “building” or rather INFLATING their legacy and getting attention…which most of them crave more than winning!

I’ll give you an example, the Circa is now the home to the “Gambling Hall of Fame”. I love Circa, I think it is one of the best gambling outlets around. Their bookmaking is TRUE BOOKMAKING, something you hardly see anymore. I get goosebumps when I see real bookmakers because today they are like seeing a unicorn! So, all props to Circa on the gambling business they have made…and continue to grow. Recently, Circa launched the Gambling Hall of Fame. It was not their idea, but the idea of some people who want to secure [inflate] their legacy and get that attention they so desperately crave. People who want to turn their minor, average or in some cases…good gambling success into greatness…and have their names up there with true legends like Doyle Brunson. I don’t blame the Circa for deciding to have the Gambling Hall of Fame hosted on Circa property. It’s definitely something that will see traffic, and that’s the goal of the casino…traffic! However, the motivations behind the people who had the idea and approached Circa with it, well, I don’t want to be too rude. So, I don’t question Circa’s motivation, great job to them for doing something to expand traffic. I do however laugh that someone felt the need to create a Gambling Hall of Fame…especially as it relates to sports gamblers.

Do you realize, of all the people you know about in sports gambling, the so called “professionals”, that there are 20-30X that many who are in the shadows. You do not know their names and…and you never will. These gamblers and syndicates operate like the CIA. They work in the darkness, using networks of people (some big…dozens of people…others small…3-5 key members), encrypted messages, encrypted phones, cash, crypto, and are located all around the world. These folks move money on a level individually that would surpass Billy Walters in his greatest moments. No disrespect to Billy Walters, but it is what it is. Yet here’s the catch…you, will never know who they are. There are dozens of bettors and groups who exist that made more money on sports than Billy Walters (the name of the moment right now), had a better network of information than anyone you can think of, and are still doing it today. These folks are the true Gambling Hall of Fame, yet you will never know they even existed…and they the could wipe their asses with anyone who will grace the “Gambling Hall of Fame’s” walls now or in the future in Las Vegas. Therein lies my issue with the “Gambling Hall of Fame”. Want to know how to spot a real professional…a real pro doesn’t want the attention, they don’t want you to know who they are…it’s bad for business and their image. Next time you see a “pro” in the media…look beyond the facade…you will laugh at what you see!

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