The Sharp Plays Newsletter Week #2

Recap & Week Ahead –  It was a limited week of action, so there’s not much to recap. We saw how bad MTSU was (who would ever pick them, LOL) and we saw BYU destroy Navy. Yeah, it’s weird to cover Week #1 of NCAAF action and that is all I have to say. It is what it is this year. We do get some more meat coming this weekend.

For the week ahead overall… we get the first FULL (2020 version of “full”) weekend of football with NFL and NCAAF in action. The fun begins on Thursday. I am looking forward to seeing how it all goes with limited fans. It’s going to be odd, that’s for sure, but it is nice to see the football season finally here! When handicapping this week, be sure not to put too much weight on last year’s result. That is the common issue in a public bettor’s equation versus a sharp bettor. It is also why the sharp action tends to perform the strongest early in the season. Should be a fun, and interesting season ahead!

The paid content for this weekend’s TSP Live session (SEPT 12th & 13th) will cover NCAAF & NFL. Content will include the following angles: any Top LJP Score of the Day, Just Missed Top LJP Score of the Day, any Wild or Late LJP Moves, Sharp Consensus, plus there is always the potential for bonus action. I do not guarantee how many angles will be reported as part of TSP Live. Some TSP Live sessions there may be 4 to 5+ angles reported. Other TSP Live sessions there may only be 1 or 2 angles. Be aware your purchase may only provide you 1 of the listed betting angles over an entire TSP Live session (in this week’s case, the weekend), or it could provide 5 or more betting angles. I let the action dictate the content, not an arbitrary quota. All a quota does is incentivize forcing angles/reports that aren’t really there. If there is not a single angle (Top LJP, Just Missed, Sharp Consensus, Wild LJP or Late LJP) that gets covered on Saturday or Sunday combined (unlikely, but possible), your TSP Live subscription will continue for the following week. Last year the content everyone wanted for football was the Sharp Consensus. A 42-19 record over football and NCAABB in 2019-2020 for +21.10 units will get people interested. I fully expect something this week when NFL gets going and with an expanded NCAAF menu! As always thank you for your support on the paid content. I do not take advertising and I do not run a daily sports service. Your paid content purchase supports everything I do at The Sharp Plays, expands the content and technology utilized and supports things important to me. I am grateful for your support! To signup for TSP Live click here or visit TheSharpPlays.net/tsp-live.

Early Sharp Buys (1-0 YTD) –  BYU was a no doubt winner for the early sharp buy this past week. What’s the early sharp buy for the week ahead? The biggest sharp buy right now is in NCAAF and it is Charlotte down to +18 over Appalachian St. As soon as this one opened it took action and I am showing 92% of the money placed on Charlotte is from bettors rated as “sharp” at two global books. As a disclaimer to this section, be aware, early sharp buying, especially in NCAAF can often be a head fake setup. So, be aware of that possibility.

Early Algorithm Look (1-0 YTD) –  The Early Algorithm Look this past week on MTSU/ARMY UN54.5 disagreed with sharp money that hit on Saturday. However, the algorithm was victorious in that battle as the game stayed UNDER 54.5. What is the algorithmic view for this week? The Early Algorithm Look goes to the NFL and it is Cleveland +7.5 over Baltimore. The pick here is ugly as sin, but the algorithm calculates the line as +5.5. So, to get 2 bonus points is quite the value. Doesn’t mean it is a lock, FAR FROM IT, but it is a value.

My Handicapping (0-1 YTD) –  I told you I suck as a handicapper. I still don’t know how this section of the newsletter had a winning record last year, but it did. Let’s see if I can dig myself out of the hole this week. For this week I am going to with Carolina +3.5 (I will buy the hook) over Las Vegas. To me this line is all about hype. We have the new and improved Las Vegas Raiders going against a rather lacking Carolina team. However, I don’t think the Raiders are very improved. The Raiders are on the road which is always tough for a West Coast team and the line has been pushed up to the key number of “3”. It’s too good of a deal to pass up. I have an overvalued team, coming from the West Coast, with some added pressure of their first game under their new namesake, going up against an undervalued team in Carolina AND I can get +3.5 cheaply, sign me up! Let’s hope the Panthers can bring me back to even in this section.

My Two Cents –   I naturally get a lot of questions on Twitter regarding my public and sharp action coverage. One of the most common responses I get when I post something as public is… well, according to my “_________ app” (the app shall remain nameless, but all of you may know which one), I see the tickets heavy on the other side. Or in the case of sharp action… according to my app, that side has the higher ticket count. To which I just shake my head. I totally understand where this person is coming from and I don’t blame them for their take, BUT I shake my head because they were sold on an angle lacking any material substance. People were made to believe the side with more tickets is the public side. People were also sold that when you see tickets high on one side, but money high on the other side that the high money side is the sharp side. If this is confirmed by an “RLM” reverse line move, my goodness you have a LOCK OF THE YEAR!!!!!! LOL!! Is this true? Well, sometimes it will be true. Just like sometimes flipping a coin will predict the winner of a binary event.

The misconception was out there so much that last year I felt compelled to highlight a glaring example in an article. If you haven’t read it, whether you are a proponent of the ticket/money percentages or not, I would advise you to give it a read. You can check out the article at: TheSharpPlays.net/ticketpct/. Bottom line, trying to read the tea leaves of ticket and money percentages will have you on the sharp side many times. However it will also have you on the wrong side many times. How many? Probably about 50% of the time. So, yes, flipping a coin will have you on the sharp side about the same time as trying to read the ticket/money tea leaves. If you don’t know what type of bettors are behind those tickets or behind that money, the percentages really mean nothing. Some idiot who bet $5,000 on Tampa because they are his favorite team can easily skew money percentages… and trust me, there are a lot of idiots out there. Sharps who bet a team multiple times can skew ticket percentages. Many books allow bettors to bet multiple times. Typically when a public bettor likes a team, they place their bet, one ticket and that’s it. Often when a sharp bettor likes a team, they bet it early in the week, if the line doesn’t move they grab some more and might even bet again close to game time for a higher limit wager. It can mean that sharps average 2-4 tickets per position versus a public bettor who averages 1 ticket. So, if I had one event with one sharp bettor placing 4 tickets on Team A +5 and I had one public bettor placing Team B -5, guess what, my ticket percentage would be 80% on Team A. It would look like a public dog, when in actuality is was a sharp one. Obviously this is a dramatic example, but there is a lot of reality behind it in the betting markets. Just be aware of the hollowness of these percentages. Unless you know who is actually betting within those tickets and that money, you are guessing at best.

I will close this section by saying, the service that puts out this app also provides their “Best Bets” on a daily basis. The Best Bets are derived from their ticket and money percentages and reading the line moves associated with those percentages. Well, one would imagine that a service putting out this type of information would have no problem making quality selections. After all, they have all the ticket and money percentages, can see the reverse line moves, and all that fancy stuff. Plus this same service will probably have even more information at their disposal that they could use when making their best bets. Well, those best bets are currently hitting 43% (MLB, NBA, NCAAF… no NHL). Yeah, FADING this company’s best bets would have you hitting 57%. Yes, exactly my point!

Do ticket and money percentages have a place in your betting, sure, but it should be a very tiny place. Some people use it as 50-70% of the information that decides a selection for them. What would I consider these people? GREAT clients if I owned a sportsbook. Sportsbooks are very aware, trust me, that ticket and money percentages are followed by a lot of people and used heavily in their handicapping. Why do sportsbooks put the information out? Because they know it gives the player ZERO edge while at the same time it (1) generates betting volume and (2) people using it will often take the side opposite the ticket or money percentages and in doing so help the book balance its markets. It’s a great deal for the books!

So, again, be aware of the usefulness of the information and think about why you, as a public bettor using an app, have access to such information. People will swear by their success with ticket and money percentages, but I would venture that if they really tracked it and if they avoided confirmation bias when they analyze their “success”, they would realize that flipping a coin isn’t much different.

That’ll close out this week’s newsletter for me! Thanks for giving the newsletter here a read today! Stay safe & healthy 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