The Info that turned $200 into $2,500 Last Weekend

I normally share a TON of information with my clients.  I know most handicappers don’t do that, but I’ve always done it and I don’t care if it’s not common practice.  I try to keep my clients as informed as possible and I figure that the hours I spend research a single play, I might as well share some of that with them.  Which is why I consider my clients to be the smartest, most well informed clients of any.

When I first started at this, posting freely on message boards and then in a free blog, I shared significant information.  But once I started the service side of things, all of this information was reserved for clients.  But because I received a bunch of positive feedback from clients on the info shared via a blog post and on air w/ Steve Duemig in Tampa, laying out a strategy I planned to use in wagers last weekend, I’ll break that trend.

In part to show what I do share, and also to say that I really don’t know why more services don’t share more info w/ clients.  I think that 85-90% of it is primarily because they don’t do the required cutting edge research to come up with anything insightful that you can’t just find in a game preview at ESPN or Yahoo Sports.  And 10-15% is that they think that sharing the info will prevent them from having the edges in the future.

I know there are some edges that I keep to myself, but I share a lot with clients, and my plays with writeups, sharing this info (I call them my “Personal Plays”) have hit:

  • Over 58% each of the last 3 seasons, including 59% this season.
  • Lifetime have hit 329-230 (59%) during the regular season
  • Lifetime have hit  80-44 (65%) in the NFL playoffs

So I find that a complete farce that you can’t share info or your win % will decrease.  It’s 100% untrue. I’ve been doing it for years, and if it caused me to lose, I would not still, consistently, hit 58 / 59% on these plays with writeups the last 3 years!

Here is a glimpse of what I shared w/ clients for the Seattle @ Atlanta game last Sunday, which went 3-0 w/ Over 45, Atlanta Team Total Over 24 and using Seattle +10 in a teaser leg.  But that is not the focus of this story.

As I do every week, I spend a significant amount of time breaking down the games.  And I found an interesting angle on the totals for the games last weekend.  So I wrote this blog post you will find below, and shared it with clients last Friday.  I also appeared on WDAE in Tampa with Steve Duemig and laid out many of these reasons for the overs.

I never recommended people parlay all 4 overs, so I can’t take the credit for their aggressive decision to do that.  But I heard on Twitter and via email from several people who did just that.  One guy emailed me to tell me that put a $200 parlay on all 4 overs that paid out just under $2,500.  (Side note – I asked him if, after that first Sunday game (Sea @ Atl) went over, if he hedged his bet w/ a bet on the Under for Hou @ NE.  Because that’s a lot of profit riding on one outcome out of a $200 bet.  He said “No”, as the line was up to 51 and he knew I liked the over and so did the market.)

Kudos to him, and to the rest of the guys who boldly took a similar strategy.  I’m not taking credit for these great wins by these guys, but I do take credit for the hard work, effort and research that I put into what I share w/ my clients.

Here is the info I shared with my clients last Friday:

 

Special Divisional Round Analysis for Clients Only: Bal @ Den, GB @ SF, Sea @ Atl and Hou @ NE:

In the divisional round of the playoffs the last 2 years, we’ve had 7 overs and just 1 under.

This week we have some solid line value, as last week all 4 games went under the total.  Why did they all go under, and can we see the same thing this week?

We saw some young QBs struggle playing on the road, one of which was a game day fill in.  Andy Dalton and Joe Webb had just 1 trip to the red zone each and neither converted, and both the Bengals and the Vikings failed to produce offensively, helping both games go under the total.

In the other two games, we saw 3 rookie quarterbacks square off, two of which were on the road.  In one game, Andrew Luck led the Colts to the Ravens red zone 3 times, but came away with zero touchdowns.  In the battle of the rookies, RGIII reinjured himself and his team could not do anything offensively after that, and the Seahawks had an insane 6 trips inside the Redskins red zone and scored just 1 touchdown (17%).

Andy Dalton, Matt Schaub, and Andrew Luck threw 122 passes without a touchdown. Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers and Joe Webb threw 89 passes and only one touchdown each. Combine the two groups and there were 211 passes and three touchdowns. The only multiple touchdown quarterbacks were Robert Griffin III and Joe Flacco, and they had only two each in 42 attempts. For the entire Wild Card Weekend, in four games there were 253 attempts and only seven touchdown passes. That’s one TD pass every 36 attempts.

Combining those factors, red zone, poor quarterbacking and lack of TD passes, we saw 4 unders.  Last week was a preview of the absolute top QBs in the league perhaps 3-5 years from now.

This week is when the league’s elite of the present join the show:  Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Matt Ryan enter, and carryovers from last week include solid QBs in Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson.  I have much less confidence in quarterbacks on the road like Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub, and it will be exciting to see what Harbaugh asks young Colin Kaepernick to do at home.

Needless to say, the offenses of the remaining teams are significantly better than those who left the show:

Replace Minnesota (w/ Joe Webb), Cincinnati, Washington (w/ a 1 legged rookie starter) and Indianapolis (on the road w/ a rookie starter) with:  New England, Denver, Atlanta and San Francisco

From a passing standpoint, which typically drives games over the total, the more efficient teams advanced in the Wild Card round.  Teams leaving the field include below avg. passing offenses of Cincy, Indy and Minnesota (rank 19, 21 and 22).  Entering the playoff field are 4 of the top 10 most efficient passing offenses:  NE (1), Den (2), SF (4) and Atl (10).

And certainly not to be ignored, the home offenses all rank top 8 in the league in Yds/Point, a key playoff indicator, meaning efficient offense, few turnovers, TDs not FGs and defenses/special teams that set up good field position or score points.

But we’re seeing very low totals in this round of the postseason. Despite the fact that the last 2 years, since the Goodell hit rules were being enforced more, we have seen this round of the postseason go OVER 7 of 8 games, with an avg total of 44.5 and an avg total points scored being 56 points.

Since 2002, when 2 teams meet in the postseason after meeting in the regular season in a game that went over in a total set higher than this playoff rematch with the same QBs starting, the over is 5-1.

Now, looking at the last 10 years in non-divisional playoff rematches:

The first meeting (during the season) featured an avg total of 42.9 and the avg pts scored of 46.7 (+3.8).
The 2nd meeting (during the playoffs) featured an avg total of 43.1 and the avg pts scored of 47.2 (+4.1).

So two things to note from this:  The avg playoff total is set slightly higher, and slightly more points are actually scored in the rematch.  

This week we have 3 of these games.  The avg total in the first meeting was 48.5, and the avg pts scored was 53 (+4.5).

But this week, the avg total in these 3 games is 46 points, which is 2.5 points less than the first meeting of the season.

Here is a look at these 3 rematch games:

NE/Hou:

When the Patriots meet a team in a rematch game and the first game went over the total, the over in the rematch game is 11-2 since 2008.

When the Patriots meet a team for a rematch game and the Patriots exceeded their team total in the first game, the over in the rematch game is 9-1.

When the Patriots meet a team for the 2nd time, after going over the total the first time, but see a total which is lower this second time, the Over is 5-0 in the rematch.  This has only happened 5 times since 2009, which shows you how rare it is.

When the Texans meet a team for the 2nd time, after going over the total the first time, but see a total which is lower this second time, the Over is 3-0 in the rematch.  This has only happened 3 times since 2007, which shows you how rare it is.

Den/Bal

When Manning w/ the Colts meets a team in a rematch game and the first game went over the total, the over in the rematch game is 13-4 since 2001.

When Manning w/ the Colts meets a team for a rematch game and they exceeded their team total in the first game, the over in the rematch game is 12-5.

When Peyton Manning (Colts or Broncos) meets a team for the 2nd time, after going over the total the first time, but see a total which is lower this second time, the Over is 3-0-1 in the rematch.  This has only happened 4 times since 1999, which shows you how rare it is.

When the Ravens meet a team for the 2nd time, after going over the total the first time, but see a total which is lower this second time, the Over is 2-0 in the rematch.  This has only happened 2 times since 2009, which shows you how rare it is.

GB/SF

When the Packers meet a team for the 2nd time, after going over the total the first time, but see a total which is lower this second time, the Over is 4-0 in the rematch if the same QBs are starting.  This has only happened 4 times since 2007, which shows you how rare it is.

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