Saturday, January 16, 2010

(For those of you old enough to remember the Stevie Winwood hit) "We're back in the high life again"! Five wins out of seven twice this week helped.


It was, of course, inevitable that in time the math would recover the reins and guide us back to our best win to date.

The picture above tells the whole story, keeping in mind that the blue bar in the first chart and the matching dip in the second both indicate today's bets.

Our 7-dog trial is doing substantially better than the performance posted by the three-line sports fund I have been tracking, but in fairness the risk has been higher and the swings both sides of the zero line have been more dramatic.

Here are today's bets, along with details of the underdog resurgence seen yesterday:

As expected, the wider bet spread delivers even better numbers...

It's been a great week so far! Let's hope Saturday pushes us to new heights...

Sunday, January 17 at 10:15am

Saturday's picks bumped us up another eight units to a new all-time high of $5,650 and given a poor overall dog win rate of 30%, nailing four right bets out of seven was a minor miracle!

No bets today, Sunday, because pickings are slim and several games were under way before I got around to checking out the odds.

And hey, once in a while, it doesn't hurt to have a day of rest...

My ex-pat pal "Peter Punter" (the Deep Throat of the sports betting business!) has suggested that a better way to back underdogs might be to switch to bets on the spread.

I'm dubious because the odds would drop like a brick down a well, and I doubt an assumed increase in the number of wins would make up the difference.

It's worth checking out, though.

The sports fund I have been tracking bets spreads and totals almost exclusively, and because I'm a simple fellow, I prefer to put my money down on the team I think is most likely to win rather than hedging my bet to suit the bookies.

Watch this space for a report on that!

I should add that the format of the Google 7-dog trial spreadsheet has been changed in the last couple of days - I repeat, the format, not the numbers! - to make it easier to read and update.

For a while, I included a negative number each day that indicated the total value of unrecovered LTDs, and some people found it confusing (some of them understandably reading the red digits as the current state if the bankroll).

I have been known to over-complicate things from time to time, so now, the numbers on the far left of each day's panel will show the date, the win or loss for the day, the dog win rate, and the running total.

This morning, with no bets scheduled for today, the picture looks like this:

In my own files, I prefer to track the LTD levels and am happy to keep the win to date total up top where it is the first thing I see each day.

I'm the only one with access to the master spreadsheet, so I figure I can do whatever I want as long as the data I work with is 100% accurate.

The Google file is to a limited extent in the public domain, so I feel obliged to have it make sense to others!

The open file looks just a little different and also reports a slightly higher win to date - a discrepancy that I will try to isolate and correct in due course!

Monday, January 18 at 10:55am

Turns out I could hardly have picked a better day to sit out the sports line-up!

The NY Jets' triumph over San Diego was a nice dog win at +310 or so, but it would not have qualified for this 7-dog trial and neither the NBA nor the NHL had much to offer.

From now on, I'm going to change the daily format a little bit, posting picks as the archives are updated, and reporting the previous day's wins or losses with a screen snap from the master spreadsheet.

No betting activity to report this morning, so here are Monday's picks:

The blue highlights indicate qualifying dogs, and the bold italics help the day's actual picks to jump out and holler at you.

I'm a little late with this, and a couple of games are already under way, but there surely cannot be anyone out there who believes that I would gain some advantage by not announcing the day's bets pre-game.

I do my best, but sometimes the clock runs out on me...

Tuesday, January 19 at 9:30am

Four right picks vs. three wrongs on Monday, which moved the 7-dog win total up a few notches to $6,000 or 4.2% of total action, and not a bad return on the maximum exposure to date of $3,350.

Finally we have reached the point (given an overall DWR of precisely 45%) at which even a flat $100 bettor backing the same picks since November 1 would be $535 ahead.

To date, there have been 237 winning picks and 290 losers, so the flat-bet punter would have had his nervous little butt saved by paybacks averaging $145.

Scaled betting, which bets the max against +100 and diminishes the wager as the odds get longer, would be ahead $2,340 at this point, or +1.7% of total action.

This trial has two more weeks to run, but as I see it, my point has been well made already.

Backing underdogs is the only way to win consistently against the sports book.

Remember that the our $6,000 win to date is derived from a spread limited to 1 to 5, which I knew going in would present quite a challenge.

Widening the spread to 10x would have given us three times the win...along with 3x the risk, unfortunately!

Pete's points plan looks promising, but not against hockey picks (pucks?), which offer truly terrible odds for bets on a spread that is fixed at 1.5 goals.

Baseball is not a whole lot better much of the time, and even the NBA and NFL lineups can be tricky for the points bettor.

I guess it's a matter of being choosy and settling for far fewer bets each day than the seven I have set as the optimum for the current dog trial.

That may not be a bad thing. The "sports fund" I have been tracking places three wagers a day at most, and it seems to be doing just fine.

I am still working on the best formula for spread betting so that the 10% plus that the bookies rake out of the payback is covered in a way that does not blast bet values into the stratosphere in a slump. And slumps always happen, unlike hurricanes in Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire!

Here are Monday's results...

And today's bets...

Because the NBA and NHL schedules between them did not have seven workable bets to offer, I had to fall back on college basketball again, and that thwarted my plan to use QPro screen shots for each day's picks from now on.

The first negative number on the far left above is the sum total of today's bets.

The red ink below that refers not to the running total (+$5,997 after yesterday's wins) but to the combined value of all outstanding LTDs.

That means that we are comfortably ahead in spite of the fact that several lines or series are still in the process of recovering from a downturn.

Four of the seven lines are substantially ahead and three are patiently awaiting turnaround, patience being one of the two traits that are essential to success if you are to stay ahead of the bookies.

(The other is timing!)

Wednesday, January 20 at 11:45am

My punishment for daring to claim victory ahead of the end of the month was a dismal dog day with just a 20% DWR overall and two right picks out of seven, costing us $875!

Me and my big mouth...

Here are yesterday's results, with today's bets in the bottom panel as usual (I have abandoned the idea of using QPro for new bets because the NBA, NHL and NFL candidates are in separate sport-specific files and pulling them all together is too much like hard work!).

The "sports fund" I have been using as a real-life touchstone is now back in the black across the board, and I am happy for its subscribers, if there are any.

There should be would-be investors lined up around the block and all the way down Main Street because sports betting makes more sense than almost any other investment plan.

I just persist in the ornery notion that backing underdogs is a better way to go.

An important reminder: The only person likely to make money out of this blog is you, Dear Reader. There's nothing to buy, ever, and your soul is safe (from me, at least). Test my ideas and use them or don't. It's up to you.