Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Baseball's "dogs" are on a roll this week, so does that make target betting's latest recovery (and new high) a fluke? Hell, no!

Please scroll down for target betting picks for Saturday, September 11

Every time one of my real-time betting trials hits a major slump, I reassure my readers (and myself!) that a recovery is inevitable.

And every time, I'm right.

Reversals of fortune of the positive variety do not always come as quickly as I'd like, but they always show up eventually.

Climbing out on a limb the way I have been with this blog for almost 18 months non-stop makes me an easy target, and I admit that I relish proving skeptics wrong over and over again.

That does not mean that sometimes when the going gets truly tough, I don't have twinges of doubt.

But I have been doing this long enough to know that as long as I apply the rules of target betting fearlessly and faithfully, I can count on winning more when I win than I lose when I lose.

And as long as that objective is achieved, losing more often than I win will not stop me from winning more money than I lose in the long run.

The principle was dramatically vindicated at the end of the nine-month "7-dog trial" that ran from last November 1 through the end of July, and this new real-time test simply underscores what we have already learned.

Nothing I do will silence the skeptics who either accuse me of fiddling my numbers (in real-time, with selections posted ahead of game starts every day!), or argue that past success is never a guarantee of future wins.

I also get blasted from time to time for not providing proof that the bets I list were actually made.

Fact is, even scanning betting tickets and posting them here day after day would not be accepted as irrefutable evidence that target betting beats the bookies' edge.

I am much more concerned with providing my readers with verifiable data that demonstrates that a totally objective bet selection method coupled with a disciplined betting strategy will "beat the book" (or beat the house) time and time again.

To that end, bets are selected "by the numbers," meaning that not only do they comply with a prescribed odds range, but that each day they are listed in numerical order, with bet/team ID numbers taking precedence over chronological order.

If it sounds complicated, it isn't.

Bet selection takes me maybe five minutes each morning, because I have no emotional or subjective involvement in the process.

Smarter people than me agonize for hours over stats, injuries, weather forecasts and, for all I know, wind direction and the length of the turf.

And I doubt that for all their expertise and effort, they win more often than I do.

Documentary evidence that the bets I list were actually placed is completely irrelevant.

What's more important is that readers looking for a reliable way to make steady profits betting on sports have the target betting method explained to them in a way that enables them to take what they have learned and conduct their own evaluations, with or without "real money" at stake.

When I shifted my focus from casino table games to the sports book about a year ago, I knew I would have to develop my own databases if I hoped to effectively analyze and learn from the historical record.

There is a wealth of ancient sports data online, and I chose to rely almost exclusively on Scoresandodds.com, because their records are easy to read, as well as (I fervently hope!) honest and accurate.

What's missing online are databases that can be queried in the way that I can pull up the 2009 baseball season, and discover what woulda happened if I had chosen to bet only on favorites at odds of -120 or better, or on "dogs" at +120 to +150. Or...whatever.

None of that impresses skeptics who dismiss history as irrelevant - but I have already talked about the unique view they have of the back of their teeth, and will move right along.

The first essential in the Battle to Beat the Book is an effective betting strategy and the discipline and the means to consistently apply it.

Close behind that comes a bet selection process that of course only matters outside of casinos and away from table games.

In blackjack, a player can marginally improve his win rate with strict adherence to the basic playing strategy, but in baccarat, only bet values matter.

And let's be clear: "win rate" in this context has nothing to do with the amount of each bet, but with the percentage difference between the number of winning hands and the number of losing hands.

In sports betting, it is logically self-defeating to accept odds that are either too long or too short.

Long odds mean fewer wins with paybacks that fall short of offsetting the reduced win rate (WR) and short odds provide a better WR with paybacks that collectively fail to overcome the bookies' edge.

So the trick is to make like Tiger Woods and aim straight down the middle (and here I'm talking about golf, and not his second favorite sport).

There is nothing I can say to critics who claim over and over again that I simply "got lucky" each time target betting bounced back from a downturn and set itself a new high, the way it did yesterday.

They have a right to their opinion, even though they're wrong!

First in today's picture gallery, yesterday's detailed results, followed by the target betting chart after Monday's bets and selections for today, Tuesday, September 7.

And just for the fun of it, here's how I stand with one-thumb blackjack on my iPod, which I plan to put on indefinite hold now that I have passed the quarter-mill mark in funny munny.

Note from the stats on the right that the house edge remains ridiculously out of whack with the -1% negative expectation that basic strategy play can count on (no pun intended) in single-deck blackjack.

Wednesday, September 8 at 2:15pm

Baseball's underdogs put in another (7-8) solid performance yesterday, boosting target betting's bankroll by another $1,000.

That's the way it's supposed to be!

Here's where we stand before today's games begin:

Thursday, September 9 at 9:35am

The best I could do was scare up four qualifying bets for today - barely worth the trip to my local sports book, so...I'm taking the day off!

Wednesday was a so-so day for baseball dogs in general (6-9) and that was reflected in the target betting results, which ended this week's upward surge.

Here are Wednesday's finals, and an update on where target betting stands right now:

Friday, September 10 at 12:35pm

Yesterday's skimpy sports schedule would have given me just one win in four bets if I had not decided to stay home, so I guess I made the right choice!

I saved some money, and the other good thing that came out of it was that I started thinking about a betting option that I have ignored so far.

Future "pick lists" will from time to time include bets categorized as "S" - short for Squeaker - to indicate that money's on the dog losing by less than two runs.

Given my refusal to risk money on paybacks at less than even money, it won't be often that odds offered for "+1.5" on the underdog will qualify for a target bet.

But when it happens, the bet will pay if the dog wins the game, or loses by a single run (or goal, if I decide to extend the category into the next hockey season).

I didn't waste my time on four bets yesterday because the series with the biggest unrecovered LTDs are Nos. 11 and 14.

Those two series won't be covered today either, it turns out, because I could only find nine bets worth the bother in the Friday schedule.

Meanwhile, I have been having some fun querying the 2010 TD database to compare optimum odds ranges for this year and last, and to find other ways of betting by the numbers.

The whole point is to eliminate all stripes of subjectivity - gut feelings, team or player preferences, educated guesses and so on - and bump up the win rate (WR) to make it just a little bit easier for target betting to deliver long-term profits.

One or two percentage points can make a big difference, and even with target betting working for us, we need as many winners as we can get.

You can use pretty much any sorting or categorizing method that appeals to you, so long as you maintain independent series or lines and follow the rules of target betting to the letter.

"Serious" baseball bettors are outraged by the notion that experience and inside knowledge may actually be a liability when it comes to making steady profits from the Nation's Pastime, but there is nothing I can do about that.

The numbers generated by the odds-makers are not totally consistent, given the fact that no human is infallible, and in this baseball season, quoted odds often seem capricious.

But using the numbers as a guide reduces the risk of zigging when you should be zagging and vice versa!

On the rare occasions when I stray from blackjack and play roulette, I am a proponent of the French betting method that backs whatever option came up in the round before last - B,R or B,B would indicate a bet on Black, for example, and R,B would make Red the next choice.

Those clever Frogs also use avant dernier for baccarat, but since I never put money on Banker, that doesn't help me.

Avant dernier is useful because it simplifies the bet selection process and introduces a consistent rhythm to the process.

I'm all for that.

Here are today's selections:

Wednesday's bets set us back a little after a succession of very welcome bounces and a new best win to date, but as we all know, downs are as inevitable as ups.

What we have to do is bet in such a way that the ups are bigger than the downs, keeping us ahead of the game even when we lose more often than we win.

Right now, our average winning bet (+$274) is 66% bigger than our average losing bet (-$164) and winning days are bringing in 36% more than losing ones.

Saturday, September 11 at 09:00am

My first two "Squeaker" bets were a wash yesterday, but overall, target betting won more bets than it lost and recovered at least some of the money lost on Wednesday (no bets Thursday).

Statistically, backing dogs to lose by less than two runs is a good bet, winning more than half the time last season, and this season to date.

Any option that helps land more winners and boost the bankroll has my vote, that's for sure.

Right now, just two of the 15 series with enough bets to be worth tracking are in the red.

The summary above is consistent with what I have been saying for years: You can "Beat the Book" by applying target betting to independent series the way I'm doing in the current real-time trial, and did throughout the 9-month 7DT.

Today's updates...

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._