Tuesday, July 20, 2010

As every gambler nows, timing is (almost) everything. And just lately, my timing has seriously sucked...

(Please scroll down for dog picks for Friday, July 23)

Why, oh why, did I choose Sunday and Monday to sit out betting on major league baseball!

Sunday, dogs won 7 out of 15 games, and yesterday they thrashed favorites in 7 of 13 games.

But there's no use crying over un-won bets...the way things have been going for my 7-dog trial in recent weeks, if I'd put money down, I would have jinxed all those "dogs" and the story would have been very different.

OK, I'm kidding - my three readers and the parrot that poops on a printout of this blog probably do not include people with enough influence to change a game's result just to piss me off!

I may not have placed any bets in the last two days, but I don't consider my time to have been wasted.

Peter Punter's new betting method had two dismal days while I was keeping my money in my pocket (it has had just two winning days in 12 outings since July 5), but by golly, it looks promising!

I can't go into details because that would not be fair to the creator of the betting plan, but I can see from my preliminary analysis that playing the same selections with target betting applied woulda told a very different story for the year to date.

More losing bets than winning ones is not a problem for target betting - in fact, that's precisely the scenario it was created to handle. But a house edge much wider than 10% sustained for a long period stretches it to the limit.

Target betting is a child of casino table games, remember, and even the toughest house game (roulette at -5.26%) does not come close to a 10% rake in the long run.

What I like about Pete's new baby is that while it's deeply in the hole in bet value terms, the frequency of wins, along with their tendency to bunch more consistently than dogs have been able to lately, makes the method a potentially terrific target for...er, target!

Here's a fuzzy screen shot from Monday's MLB schedule, with grateful thanks to ScoresandOdds.com.

From a flat bet standpoint, the betting choices and their combined outcome are unremarkable. But target betting changes the picture quite dramatically in a way that I can't easily detail here without giving away Pete's proprietary method.

Maybe sometime down the road...

Here are today's bets, plus information about the bets I coulda woulda shoulda profited from but didn't.

A reminder about color-coding: blue highlights indicate all underdogs within the +100 to +180 range that I have maintained for the 7-dog trial that began last November 1; bold entries show bets I have actually placed; green and red entries in the run-line columns are new and hopefully self-explanatory!

The 7DT selections for today are clearly indicated, along with no less than TEN promising run-line candidates.

In the last eight-and-a-half months, I have found that managing just seven picks a day is a major chore, and adding ten more doesn't thrill me. I suspect, however, that I won't mind the added drudgery if it proves profitable.

Then again, I'm not expecting a miracle anytime soon.

I have always been a supporter of the caveat that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is, and one of the underpinnings of my pal Pete's new strategy provides a useful case in point.

The method uses a mix of run-line and money line bets, but the emphasis is on the run proposition, and that is not as reliable as it might seem at first glance.

True, favorites will beat the run line more than 70% of the time overall, making the bet sound like a slam dunk (OK, a home run, if you'd rather I didn't mix sports similes).

We know that overall, dogs do well to achieve a 45% DWR, which gives favorites a 55% win rate in the long run.

Once you multiply 55% by 70%, you get a better idea of what you are up against with run line bets: a win rate of less than 40% vs. maybe 45% backing underdogs all the way.

Damn, these bookies are smart cookies...no wonder they drive Ferraris while the rest of us pump gas into comparative clunkers!

The aim with any betting strategy is to make game selection as objective as possible, a matter of math rather than choice.

And that, of course, is where winning consistently week after week, season after season, gets hard. Unless you happen to be making book?

Wednesday, July 21 at 4:05pm

Just squeaking today's dog picks in before game times, with apologies to anyone affected by my tardiness.

My trouble is that I am having too much fun evaluating Peter Punter's new method, which I should perhaps once more explain was not developed by him, but has him quite excited, based upon prior results from the 2009 MLB season.

As I have said many times, past results are all we have going for us when we seek to create a consistently successful betting strategy, because even the bookies do not have access to the outcome of games as yet unplayed!

The problem is that in many ways, present and future data differ from precedent, the good news being that in some ways, they don't.

History may not repeat itself, but sometimes it's awful similar, in other words (it "rhymes" was how Mark Twain put it).

Sorting the wheat from the chaff is a painstaking task, but worth the effort, I believe.

The inventors of Pete's new strategy claim a 2009 MLB win of more than $400,000 on a $2,000 stake, but the 2010 season to date tells a very different story, and since July 5, the method has seen just three winning days in 13 (some days were skipped, apparently).

Believe me, I want every other strategist out there to come up with a surefire winning method. Until someone does, I am sticking with target betting.

Today's dog picks:

1605 904 Pittsburgh Pirates +105 8.5
1610 905 San Diego Padres +135 8
1610 910 Cincinnati Reds +105 7
1715 911 Philly Phillies +130 8.5
1840 913 NY Mets +105 8.5
1910 915 SF Giants +115 7.5
1910 929 Chicago White Sox +120 6.5

Friday, July 23 at 11:10pm

I had planned to post an exhaustive evaluation of Pete's recently-adopted betting method today but was foiled by an early game on the MLB schedule.

So, words of wit and wisdom next time, but for now, today's 7DT picks:-

1120 MLB 901 St. Louis Cardinals +135 11.5
1705 910 Houston Astros +135 8
1710 911 Washington Nats +110 9.5
1705 920 Baltimore Orioles +110 9
1705 922 Cleveland Indians +130 8
1705 925 LA Angels +170 10
1905 927 Chicago White Sox +115 7

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. One more piece of friendly advice: If you are inclined to use target betting with real money against online "casinos" such as Bodog, spend a few minutes and save a lot of money by reading this._