Sports handicapping always has been and always will be a fluid science. The games we bet on amend. Technology improves the ability of the sharp player and the oddsmaker to handicap contests.
The market efficiencies adjust. The Department of Justice crackdowns on our right to gamble have reapportioned sharp intelligence back to Las Vegas and the local bookmaker.
From a betting point of view, here are some of the biggest adjustments the sharpest bettors have enacted.
Offensive and defensive efficiency statistics in basketball
KenPom.com for college basketball and John Hollinger in the NBA have brilliant power ratings, their accuracy skyrocketed by the utilization of the points per 100 possessions statistic.
As sports handicappers on radio broadcasts will say this counteracts the flaws of the points per game scored and allowed stat that much better measures pace, not competence. Best of all, we’ve gravy trained their individual player power ratings when appraising player injury intel.
Combined with our “eye test” acumen, such computations are infinitely superior to distorted +/- stats produced by Dr. Bob Stohl for example.
Deemphasizing running attacks in the NFL
Between the rule changes that favor passing games and simple physics—bigger, stronger, faster athletes mean more violent collisions, negatively affecting workhorse running backs the most—the single toughest strong suit to maintain in pro football from week-to-week is a quality running game.
This was counterintuitive for me to acknowledge because GodsTips was a forerunner in using ball-control effectiveness in yielding considerable profits. But clearly the game has altered and so must how we handicap it.
Look for the most disappointing teams out of the gate each year to be those that had the most prominent running games in the previous season. That is until the parameters transform again and so shall we.
Back to basics in baseball
During the steroid era, such statistics as ground ball/fly ball ratio gained prominence. Professional gambling advice always said that fly ball pitchers who had quality ERAs almost always were flirting with disaster. On the other hand, hurlers who gave up a high percentage of ground balls or who struck out a significant percentage of batters were generally the most unwavering.
Now that the game we’ve known, loved, and won substantial cash with has returned to it’s norm, so has streamlining foretelling the outcome.
The most foretelling numbers in handicapping offense are on-base percentage and slugging percentage. With pitchers, it’s ERA and WHIP. Keep it simple. That’s the allure of baseball gambling.
We have isolated several other inclinations that are in the early stages and we are weighing accordingly. The key is to always stay on the cutting edge and be at the forefront of the betting market trends. We will. It’s what we do better than anyone else.