The Single Dumbest Stat in Sports Betting History: Fool’s Gold

Just don’t do it. The square player buys it hook, line, and sinker and thinks it’s the De Vinci Code of NFL betting.

So often we warn gamblers about the mortal sin of using inductive rather than deductive reasoning. The quintessence of that is the rapid circulation of the insipid illogic of “all you have to do is pick the straight up winner of a game and chances are you will have the spread winner.” It’s always followed by some stat where the outright winner has covered 80 percent of the time.  Dah. 

As any sports betting podcaster knows, when an underdog wins they cover 100 percent of the time.  The favorite cannot cover unless they win outright.  It’s impossible.  The only scenario in which a team can win and not cover is when the favorite wins but by a smaller margin than the spread.

Not shockingly the numbnuts who perpetuate unscientific preposterousness almost always quote stats relevant to the NBA or NFL.  In college sports there are more mismatches and hence larger spreads where the margin is larger for a favorite to win and not cover.

If a team is a 3.5 point favorite the only way the team that wins will not cover is for the favorite to win by one, two or three points. Any other result will have the team that wins covering.  At what percentage do these half-wits think a team should win and not cover?

Obviously the stupidity of this widely circulated inductive blather can be refuted from now until eternity.  Or at least until an underdog wins but fails to cover, whichever comes last.  But to those who subscribe to it as if there is any logic, thanks for keeping the books in business for the rest of us.

Since the prevailing premise behind this urban myth is “it’s so much easier to pick the SU winner than the spread winner” why don’t these fancied geniuses just pick dog winner after dog winner on the moneyline?

There are plenty of underdogs that win outright, many huge dogs in fact.  If one wants to postulate how much easier it is to pick the SU winner, why waste such foreknowledge on collecting $100 for every $110 risked?  Just keep picking those 250 dogs and get your money’s worth.

I don’t want to ruin this fool’s gold with such a logical question, but like I keep saying, I guess those pipe dreamers are needed to keep the books in business for the rest of us.  

No oddsmaker will go broke underestimating the intelligence of the betting public.

The author Joe Duffy has been a successful professional handicapper long before the Internet. Duffy burst on to the scene as scorephone legend “JD of the ACC”back in the 1980s and is now CEO of OffshoreInsiders.com

 

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About the Author

Grandmaster Sports Handicapper Joe Duffy got his start in the sports handicapping industry with the Dial Sports (Communications Team) audiotext network. It was owned by sportswriter, broadcaster and handicapping pioneer Mickey Charles. Dial Sports was the sister company of the popular Sports Network Wire Service. Upon graduating California University of PA, where he was a play-by-play announcer on student radio station WVCS (now WCAL) and cable channel 29 (now CUTV), he became a full-time sports announcer and handicapper for the Sportsline scorephone network. He learned from NFL legends coach Hank Stram and broadcasting icon Ray Scott the ins and outs of the sports betting world. His Amazing Cadillac Club became the most successful 900-number in sports betting history. He left to become the first General Manager of the Freescoreboard scorephone network broadcast all over North America. His articles have appeared on several dozen websites and hard copy publications. He is now CEO of OffshoreInsiders.com, the top sports betting site in the world. Email: contact@joeduffy.net

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