Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday's results were less than stellar, and today's a wash because there are not enough short-odds options to make up seven dog picks.

It happens that way once in a while, and with the 2010 baseball season less than a week away, I'm happy to take a breather and lick my wounds from yesterday!

It wasn't that bad with three right picks out of seven, but for the 50x set, it was a disappointing day because none of the wins matched up with big-money bets.

Again, that's just the way it goes sometimes.

On days like those, a case seems to be made for spreading the load and not permitting resolved series (those whose targets have been achieved) to fall back to a minimum bet as long as other series in the set remain in the red.

The downside of that is reflected in the 5x trial summary: Once you hit your maximum bet value, you are at the mercy of the actual value (AV) of outcomes, meaning that unless paybacks offset the certainty that dogs will never win more than 45% of games overall, you are in Trouble with a capital 'T' (and a red one at that).

This mathematical reality also highlights the need to stay in the even-money-plus zone, and to bet within a controlled odds spread.

Querying the 6,300 games in the multi-sport database, which includes two seasons of baseball and pro football and (almost) one each for basketball and hockey, gets me the indication that +110 to +145 is optimum, with an increase in the ceiling tending to be more productive than a decrease in the floor.

In other words, if you want to widen the net in order to "qualify" more bets, it's better to look for longer odds than shorter ones, however counter-intuitive that might seem.

I have more work to do on that, as always, but as I open up an assault on baseball in a week or so, I will be sticking with the +110 to +145 range until cautious and error-proof analysis tells me otherwise.

I accept that past patterns are not a cast-iron matrix for future outcomes, but they are for sure more useful than picking bets on the basis of loyalty, regional preference or any other quirky human emotion.

I learned last week that I have readers from New Zealand to Norway and from Israel to India, and it's possible that American baseball, in spite of its grandiose use of "World" in its series finale, will have limited appeal for them.

It shouldn't. The Internet makes betting easy almost anywhere on the planet, and it's not necessary to know or care anything about the teams and their players or even the game itself.

All that matters is how the bookies rate each game, which in turn gives us a chance to use even-plus payouts to turn an expected -10% overall disadvantage into long-term profit.

But as with blackjack and baccarat, no one should look to score big bucks from little ones: risk is inevitable, and it is foolish to go into battle without adequate ammunition - in our case, money.

I'll catch up on current stats tomorrow.

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.