Recap & Week Ahead – I have to say it was a very odd Saturday. I am so used to the chaos of Saturday college football that this past weekend left me feeling weird. Last year I was glued to my computer all day, reporting action at various times… every Saturday of NCAAF! Some of the Saturday’s last year had 50 different tweets alone, plus one or two bits of paid content! This past Saturday had only 18 games. At one point I found myself not only away from the computer, BUT out of the house on Saturday. I can’t remember the last time a Saturday in September was so relaxing and what it looked like outside. LOL! In some ways it is nice. I am getting to the point, after years of this marathon from September to February, that I don’t mind a break. However, at the same time, it just doesn’t feel right. Regardless, it is what it is in 2020. Overall, Saturday went well for the higher level sharp action. TSP Live went 2-0 with a sharp consensus play and a Late LJP Move, but the lower level sharp action got smoked. On Sunday, there was only one bit of higher level sharp action and it was a Top LJP Score on Atlanta which went down in flames. Everything else was lower level. On Monday, sharps struck back going 2-0 in the NFL. Overall when the dust settled last night, so far this season NFL sharp action is 3-2 with NCAAF at 7-7.
For the week ahead overall… usually the sharps make adjustments for Week #2 as the NFL sharp action gets dialed in for a few weeks. We’ll see what happens this week, it is a very different year from the norm. On Saturday there are 22 games. A little better than last week, but nothing like what we are used to seeing. While you usually see sharp action pickup in Week #2 NFL, NCAAF usually has no rhyme or reason as to which weeks are good for sharps and which for the public. I look forward to seeing what we get out of them!
The paid content for this weekend’s TSP Live session (SEPT 19th & 20th) will again cover NCAAF & NFL (TSP Live was 2-1 last week). 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. You can probably see why as this week’s Just Missed Sharp Consensus play on UNC -23.5 moved the lifetime Sharp Consensus record to 43-19 over football and NCAABB for +22.10 units. 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 (2-0 YTD) – Another winner for the Early Sharp Buy with Charlotte +18. Let’s see what goes on this week! For this week, the Early Sharp Buy is on Boston College +5 over Duke. Looks like playing on the angle that Duke looked competitive against ND so they are overvalued this week… thereby sharp money is grabbing the extra value down to +5.
Early Algorithm Look (1-1 YTD) – The Early Algorithm Look this past week was on Cleveland. Browns always a calculated value that never seems to deliver on the field! For the upcoming week, the Early Algorithm Look is showing the highest value as DEN/PITT OV43. Scary proposition with two teams who surprised a little with their defenses. However, the algorithm calculated this total at 45.5 so, to get 2.5 points of value is a decent value this week. Let’s see how it goes!
My Handicapping (0-2 YTD) – Did I tell you I suck as a handicapper? Yeah, I did, each of the last two weeks. Right now Mr. Poison is beating me record-wise this season. I need to step it up here. Let’s see if it works! For this week, the team I am looking to put the hex on is Miami +5.5. The Dolphins played decently against New England. Of course they lost, but they were competitive and kept it close. Buffalo on the other hand is one of those teams that can never put their opponent away. We saw it this past week against the Jets. Buffalo got rolling to a decent lead and then let the Jets get right back in the game, with a decent chance of pulling even in the 4th quarter. In the end though, the Jets were the old Jets we all know, and Buffalo walks away with a win. However, I think Buffalo’s valuation is a little high this week and Miami is being undervalued because well, they are Miami and we know them to always suck. So, I get the Dolphins, in South Florida where it will be 88 degrees with humidity due to thunderstorms going against the Bills who are coming from Buffalo where according to Weather.com the high is 67 degrees today. It wouldn’t surprise me if Buffalo starts dragging late in the game as the heat and humidity catch up to them. At which point, Miami could be keeping the game close. If not, it could setup for some good garbage time scoring for Miami, something Buffalo was shown to allow this past week. So, I think we have both a front door and backdoor cover opportunities with the Dolphins. I can’t pass it up! Give me Miami +5.5!
My Two Cents – On a regular basis this season I will be posting sides and totals as being “public” and the line will be moving in concert with the labeled public side. Undoubtedly, when I post this wager as “public” and people see the line move on the public side, I will get responses which all essentially mean… “the public doesn’t move lines”. I didn’t realize so many of my readers have actually worked in oddsmaking at sportsbooks and definitively know why the lines move as they do. I am not trying to be an arrogant asshole. I just want to be blunt in the hopes that people will think for themselves. Unless you have worked in oddsmaking (which now everyone will say they do to avoid admitting they have no intelligence on the topic, but were merely repeating things they heard through the years… from other people who had no real idea or experience either) you have no idea. There are so many gambling misconceptions out there that people have stuck in their heads. Another is that parlays are bad bets. Fortunately, this premise is so wrong it is easy to dispel. How? Through math! Because parlays are based on hitting 50%, if you can hit higher than 50% you can begin to and eventually overcome the edge and turn parlays into positive expectation bets. Parlays are losers for most people because, despite what people will claim, most people don’t hit 55%. I already posted another article on the website regarding parlays with a mathematical breakdown. So, let me get back to discussing how the public DOES move lines. To do it, I have to take you back a little!
I got into gambling offshore when I was in high school. I saw an ad for an offshore sportsbook in a sports magazine. I filled out the form, submitted a money order for $100 in the mail and my offshore gambling journey began. I filled out the form and mailed it in because this was before the World Wide Web (a.k.a. Internet) made it even easier. Yeah, I am dating myself here. Anyway, a few weeks later money was in my account and I could begin to bet! It was quite exciting. I never could have imagined where those first steps in my journey would take me over the next couple decades! However, as an aspiring professional bettor, I had one goal in mind… some day I wanted to be such a player I would move the line in Las Vegas because of one of my bets!
I didn’t have much success with that $100 from my first offshore deposit, and I inevitably had to make more deposits. However, it did keep me busy for high school and fed a deep passion for gambling. After high school and during my college years I got involved in the business side of offshore sports betting. I get into all of this on the Background page here at the website, so I won’t rehash all that stuff. However, after college I was doing well financially thanks to working in the industry. I would often take a break from my work in offshore gambling by getting away to where else… Las Vegas of course! LOL!
On one trip to Vegas, I was doing my handicapping (which I remind you sucks) and I decided to place a bet at the sportsbook. I remember it as though it was yesterday. I walked up to the window and, on an evening back on December 1st, 2006, I bet an NBA game! I took the Wizards -7 over Charlotte. To make it lucky I placed this bet for $7,700. It was my first bet of any major size at a Las Vegas sportsbook. I asked for the bet, the book manager went to his computer to decide whether he would approve or deny it, and ultimately accepted my wager. I didn’t expect the following would happen, but as soon as I stepped back from the window I looked up at the board and saw the line change. Wizards were now -7.5. Holy shit… I did it!! I moved a line at a major Las Vegas sportsbook. I immediately stepped back up to the window and placed a small random parlay with the Wizards so I could take a side by side picture of the tickets showing the line move from my $7,700 wager. As silly as it is, this moment of moving a Las Vegas line is still on my list of crowning achievements. Don’t believe me? Here’s the picture I took with my smartphone at the time. Mind you, smartphone cameras back 14 years ago were not anywhere what they are today. However, despite being blurry you can see the Wizards -7 on one side of the picture for $7,700 and Wizards -7.5 with Blazers +2.5 (1st Half) on the parlay ticket next to it (picture). I didn’t even want the parlay (it lost), just needed it so I could save my moment for posterity in a picture. I had done it! Not to mention, the Wizards beat the Charlotte Bobcats 121-109 allowing me to go and pickup $14,700! I wasn’t looking good at the half with the Wizards, but a 36-25 third quarter for the Wiz got the job done!
So, what’s the point of this whole story? Up to that point in my Las Vegas betting I would usually just play the tables. I was an unknown to the sportsbooks. To them, I was just a square with money given my table games action. However as a square, I was able to place $7,700 on an average NBA game and move the line a half point. Now imagine dozens of other squares with a few bucks like me and what we could do to any line. Whether a random NBA game one weeknight OR even an NCAAF or NFL game.
Of course sharp money moves lines a lot, but my point is so does the public. To simply state that every line move of 0.5, 1, 2, 3 points etc. is 100% attributable to sharp action is laughable. Yes, I would say 55-60% of line moves are due to sharp action, BUT the other 40-45% are all thanks to the public betting en masse on one side. When there is a tsunami of public money on a side or total, it can easily move a couple points as the books try to attract sharp money buying value to help them limit their exposure. So, next time I post something that is public, and the line moves on the public side, instead of just relying on all those sound bytes about sharp and public money that you have heard in the past… use your own mind. You don’t have to believe me, but at least I can show you one case where a square, bet a side for large money, and moved a line in Las Vegas!
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