Sunday, August 1, 2010

When it comes to selecting each day's sports book best bets, let your bookie do the hard work for you. He has the time and resources that you don't!

(Please scroll down for target betting selections for Tuesday, August 3, 2010)

I have touched on this topic before, but the completion of the seven-dog trial after nine arduous but supremely instructive months make it a lesson worth repeating.

You can't help but admire the regular punters who spend hours studying stats and struggling to sharpen their edge before placing a bet.

And it may be true that from time to time, the odds assessed for a game make no sense to anyone but the book.

But as a rule, the numbers you see in the wagering menu alongside each prospect were arrived at after careful evaluation of all the information available to even the most well-wired bettor, plus between-the-lines factors that we can only guess at.

However you select your daily bets, whether they win or lose is mathematically less important than how you determine the dollar value of each of them.

You know for sure that in the long run you are going to lose more bets than you win, so any betting method that is not in essence progressive is sure to lose eventually.

Haphazard betting can be hugely successful for a while, but The Math shows very clearly with no argument possible that luck alone cannot overcome the house edge that will always make fat cats out of bookies in the long run.

Progressive is a dirty word to a host of self-styled gambling experts and other people who don't know what they are talking about.

But common sense alone tells us that if you freeze or reduce your bet values in response to a prolonged losing streak, and if over the long run you lose more bets than you win, you can never recover your losses.

The hysterically-touted bookie-busting method that "Peter Punter" asked me to take a look at claims mind-boggling wins for the 2009 baseball season and a solid profit for 2010 so far.

But since I started tracking the method on July 5, just 24 betting days ago, it is not the bookies that have gone bust but the system they are said to view with fear and trembling.

I gave the strategy a notional opening bankroll of $5,000 when I started the meter running.

After heavy losses yesterday (July 31), the method had $1,870 left to play with, slashing its initial investment by more than 62% after 16 losing days and eight winning ones.

(I should explain that the data I was sent did not call for bets every day between July 4 and the end of the month).

Intellectual property laws prevent me from naming the strategy or its rules, so I will say simply this: If anyone out there is tempted to put money into a betting method that reduces the value of wagers as the available bankroll dwindles in the direction of zero...please, please don't do it!

The long-term (9-month) performance of target betting in the 7-dog trial that has unfolded day by day since November 1, 2009, tells us that a bookies' edge that ended up at almost 18% can and will be beaten if bet values are determined in a disciplined and consistent manner.

Detailed summaries follow, but all the data boil down to these essential numbers.

Target betting lost 960 bets and won 674, indicating an overall bookies' edge of -286/1634 = -17.5%.
Target betting's final WIN of almost $90,000 in nine months was more than 11% of total wagering action of $780,000 (average bet value: $478).
Based up upon the expert axiom that the final outcome of any betting strategy will be action multiplied by house advantage target betting should have LOST $781,000 x (-286/1634) = -$136,675.
Didn't happen!

Ironically, the target betting rules applied throughout the 7-dog trial were tougher and more aggressive than I would normally recommend.

But their objective was to ensure that with a greater number of losing bets than winning ones an absolute overall certainty, the average value of all winning bets would exceed the average value of all losing bets by a percentage significantly greater than the expected house advantage.

Bottom line: Target betting delivered a final AWV/ALV number of +178.7% ($649 avg win / $363 average loss).

In the next few days, I will be posting verifiable data that demonstrates that target betting "busts the bookies" in all manner of ways and can be relied upon to do so perhaps not tomorrow or the next day but over the long run far into the future.

The "experts" tell us that a betting strategy that beats an existing data set, no matter how large, cannot prevail against upcoming data.

The experts are wrong.

Here are today's updates, including today's target betting selections (posted here well after game time, with the appropriate apologies, but e-mailed out at the crack o' dawn!).

There will be no more 7DT picks. It was fun while it lasted, but it's past time for all those lessons learned to be put to good use.

Those lessons, by the way, did not require any changes to the basic principles of target betting.

The numbers above are important, and dramatically supportive of the target betting method after nine months in which selections were posted ahead of game time, along with their assigned bet values.

Yes, there were big bets and high risk at times, with one series in particular (#5!) suffering far worse "luck" than any of the others.

But anyone who imagines that there can be long term gain without a little temporary pain probably also believes in Santa Claus and winning the lottery tomorrow!

Read the numbers and rejoice: they say YCW (you can't win) but the truth is that SBAWITE (smart betting always wins in the end!).

Here's how individual series did over the nine months of the 7DT.

Tough sledding at times, especially for Series #5, but the upward trajectory of all seven betting lines is proof that not only is it possible to win more when you win than you lose when you lose but that it is absolutely bleeping essential.

There's no jiggery-pokery here, no retroactive sleight of hand. What happened really happened. And it will again.

The worksheet that tracks past wins and losses and sets bet values before the start of each new day is still evolving, but will probably look pretty much like the screen shot you see above.

Betting a large number of picks every day would potentially require paperwork and brain strain that I personally would rather avoid.

Hence the need for a totally accurate automated means of avoiding decisions and the mistakes that invariably come along with them.

The selection process is as easy as pie (or pi?) but the task of setting bet values in order to win more when you win than you lose when you lose takes rather more effort.

For now, I am content to keep plugging on with the new (to me) idea that money-line bets on underdogs should be mixed with at least a sprinkling of run-line bets on favorites.

Dogs come first, but games that the bookies decree are too close to call often include very generous run-line odds.

The one frustration of an all-dogs selection plan is that when favorites rule, even target betting has to take it in the shorts.

On those sad days - too common in baseball this season so far! - the fall can be cushioned by RL wins.

And I'm all for soft landings if a sharp drop can't be avoided.

As always, more details to come...

Monday, August 2 at 8:45am

It really does feel strange picking even more than the seven daily bets that at one point I thought of as overkill - but so far, it's working out well.

Sunday, target betting made a profit of $180 on, gasp, 15 bets.

The Other Method (TOM!) lost $265 on eight bets.

I am still working on a spreadsheet template that applies the target betting rules to each new day's selections, and when I have it in place, I will plug in all TOM's bets since I started tracking on July 5 and post the outcome, win or lose.

Meanwhile, selections for today, without recommended bet values. I may add those later.

The above chart comes courtesy of, an invaluable online resource for anyone dedicated to the challenge of winning at sports book betting.


The above is the current state of play for target betting against selections that have been posted here daily ahead of game times.

The numbers have changed (somewhat!) since last time because rounding up increased some bet values.

That's what I get for putting up snips from a work in progress.

But since the job still isn't over, I obviously never learn...

The bottom line is unchanged: target betting is viable, effective, consistent, reliable, sensible and, above all, profitable.

Tuesday, August 3 at 10:45am

I am going not so quietly nuts trying to get Excel conquered so I can create a flawless target betting template, and I don't plan to publish any more outtakes until I get it right.

The strategy is way ahead in the first few days of the new ML+RL experiment, with yesterday bringing the biggest win to date.

TOM had a positive day, too: +$28!

Can't help but smile and wonder how many people are buying their wares when I get one of those e-mails from a professional "capper" offering inside dope on the day's best bets.

How hard is it to be right more than half the time when you tout favorites at odds so short they make a grasshopper look like the Empire State Building?

Today, for example, brought a message suggesting three bets at odds ranging from -150 (2/3) to -260 (less than 2/5), winners all probably, but hardly requiring unique insight.

It did occur to me that if I'm ever comfortable with placing considerably more than seven bets a day, why not widen the net to include favorite wins and over/unders at decent odds?

Down the road, maybe...

Again with thanks to, here are today's target betting selections. It would be great to see a repeat of Monday's 60% WR, but I'm not counting on it!

Update at 11:45am - Fix one glitch and another pops up, but I do believe I'm getting closer to the perfect template.

Monday turned out to be target betting's second best day since I jumped with both feet into the murky pool of ML/RL propositions.

It's way too early to claim anything other than potential, but I can tell you that in ten days, target betting had four losing days averaging -$109 and six winning days averaging +$365.

TOM, meanwhile, has had 17 losing days and just nine winners since July 5, and has blown more than 64% of its opening bankroll.


Can't see how TOM can turn the tide with bets shrinking in value day by day, but then again, I'm not a professional handicapper, am I?

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._