Monday, March 15, 2010

With the NHL and NBA seasons winding down, short odds are getting harder to find. So, it's time to dig through the floor of the "dog kennel"!

I have lost count of the number of bet the spread or bet totals or the moneyline will bleed you dry exhortations I have heard since the 7-dog trial began almost six (gasp) months ago.

I have ignored them steadfastly because, to a punter with a very limited comprehension of bigtime pro sports, who won and who lost has to be the most important question after any game.

But now, with odds bouncing up and down like a three-year-old on his first big boy's bed, I figure it's time to cross my fingers and toes and tentatively venture into the unknown.

The 890 bets placed so far in the 7-dog trial offer a wealth of potentially useful statistical info, and the numbers that pop out the most apply to totals and spreads.

The 7-dog sample says loud and clear that it's always best (unless you are absotively, posolutely certain for sure otherwise) to bet under the total or over the spread.

The numbers for this relatively small data set: 45% of all scores ended over the total, while 71% were over the spread.

Anecdotal! Irrelevant! I hear from the peanut gallery, aka the cheap seats where cheap shots abound.

OK then, but consider the following:

NFL 2009-10, 39% OT, 55% OS.
MLB 2009, 43% OT, 84% OS.
NBA TD, 45% OT, 65% OS.
NHL TD, 39% OT, 71% OS.

Again, if you want to bet the total, take Under every time, and if the spread's your thing always pick Over...unless of course you believe that guff about the past having nothing to teach us about the future.

Here's more detail about the 3,854 games in the sample:

Why publish this stuff for free if it really, truly offers the punting public an opportunity to get ahead of the bookies?

Why not? I say. What I have learned in the eight months or so since Pete first prodded me towards the sports book is that the venue is on the whole safer and more reliable than the table games I have been playing with a passion since I was a teenager.

And I have also concluded that a sports fund much like those promoted by InvestaPick is a viable way to go, as long as IP's rules are tossed out, and replaced with a variation of target betting.

I posted a recent target betting comparison for the three IP "funds" a while back and will keep on updating it from time to time.

None of this is meant to divert readers from the ongoing awful realities of the 7-dog trial, which has had a terrible time in the 5x column since January 18 (two months!) and a tough row to hoe in the 50x shadow rules set since February 10.

And as the headline at the top of today's entry admits, I am now having to abandon my refusal to bet negative odds in the face of diminishing opportunities and the prospect of having to give up the 7-bet daily target.

After all, these are the waning days of the basketball and hockey seasons, and short odds will not return until the Boys of Summer stop messing about and get down to business next month.

Here's the latest 7-dog info:

Tuesday, March 16 at 12:45pm

Yesterday's departure from the betting pattern that has been applied in the 7-dog trial to date gave the 50x column a nice little bump in the right direction, but cost the 5x rules set another five units.

The wider spread stands a good chance of recovery in this lifetime, but prospects are not looking so good for a 1 to 5 approach.

I am not happy about that, but also not really surprised.

Hopefully, what follows will not add to any confusion about trends observed with over/under bets on spreads and totals.

The rule I will be following from now on whenever the need arises is UTOS, an acronym for always betting Under the Total and Over the Spread.

I need to do more work on this, and Monday's results were far from conclusive with one win and one loss is each of the two categories.

Truth is, there are people out there who will argue that 5,169 games are not proof of anything, either!

I will post new data as and when.

Meanwhile, here are Monday's results and today's bets, which revert to the moneyline or "sides" because there were enough short odds to give me seven dog picks.

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.