EPL Round 3 Aug25

EPL Round 3

From the outset I have to say this is a very tough looking week as we wait for the form lines to develop. It is a long season so there is no need to rush into bets just for the sake of making bets or as my buddies like to say, “be involved in the action.” A marathon rather than a sprint it truly is so do not unload your bankroll early on in the campaign for games that look tight. In weeks like this I spread the risk over more games but drastically lower the stakes. by James Kempton Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool Tottenham -0.25 and 2.75 goals The game of the week is the first game of the weekend! Last season we saw two games hit an under 2.5 goals as both ended all square. Prior to that over 2.5 goals was on a 6-0 run when these sides face off in EPL action. Liverpool are unbeaten in the last seven meetings of the sides with Spurs’ last win at White Hart Lane back in November 2012. After last weekends’ debacle at Burnley only a mad man would back Liverpool in this spot. I expect the influential Mane to return into the Reds’ midfield and I see him as a huge threat going forward for the Reds. With the lines set as they are though I can only offer a tentative lean towards the home team minus a quarter of a goal but even that is based on my trust of Tottenham over my dis-trust of the Reds. Betting football this fall? Check out these special promotions for new customers and available reload bonuses at BetOnline! Chelsea v Burnley Chelsea -1.5 and 2.75 goals Don’t leave your seats early at Stamford Bridge...

Buy or Sell: Big Ten Aug24

Buy or Sell: Big Ten

If you read the previews, believe the experts, and check the odds it appears the Big Ten is a two horse race. Ohio State and Michigan, at least in the mind of most, have distanced themselves from the rest of the league especially in the East. While I won’t dispute their rightful status as front runners it doesn’t always mean title dreams equate to point spread dominance. Missed the other conferences? Find them here ACC, SEC, Pac 12 Undervalued: Michigan State 2015: 12-2 SU, 5-9 ATS Michigan State struggled early in the 2015 season; at least when it came to Vegas expectations starting the year a wallet breaking 0-6 ATS. There were such high expectations for a team led by experienced pivot Connor Cook the market over valued their potential to cover big numbers (remember this for later) The exact opposite is true of the Spartans headed into 2016. Tyler O’Connor was anointed as Cook’s successor just a day ago.  He’ll enter the season having attempted just 24 passes a season ago but was responsible for leading Sparty to an outright upset of Ohio State as a double digit dog. There’s plenty of experience at running back with three guys toting the rock 100+ times last year. However there’s a major void at the WR position and the coaching staff knows they’ll need a gamebreaker to emerge before conference play. The offensive line requires some seasoning without their C and LT however three starters give coach Dantonio enough of a bed rock to build around early. You don’t just replace three NFL draft choices on the defensive line by waving a magic wand. Malik McDowell, projected starting nose tackle, grades out to All American caliber status and should become the next great defensive lineman...

Buy or Sell: Pac 12 Aug23

Buy or Sell: Pac 12

I don’t remember a year where the Pac 12 felt so wide open going into the season. Conference stalwarts USC and Stanford have  grueling schedules while consistent QB play is a major question mark for nearly every team in the league. When a league is ripe for the picking there should be ample opportunity for bettors to profit in the late night Saturday specials. Betting football this fall? Check out these great promotions from BetOnline Undervalued: Arizona State 2015: 6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS Todd Graham hates expectations almost as much as he hates staying put in a coaching gig. Picked by many to contend for conference supremacy last season, ASU fell flat on it’s face behind erratic quarterback play and a porous secondary. This year the Sun Devils are the forgotten squad in the Pac12 South, pegged to finish as an afterthought behind both Southern California powers. The major question for Arizona State is how quickly new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey develops a quarterback.  There’s a lot of talk about ASU utilizing a two QB system early in the season until a front runner emerges. Current options for the role have thrown exactly ZERO passes at the FBS level. Regardless of who wins the job, running backs Demario Richard and Kalen Bellage will be the bell cows running behind an offensive line that could surprise Defensively there’s only one way to go and it’s up from the 338 yards passing ASU surrendered on a per game basis last year.  Despite a rash of injuries throughout fall camp, the unit has some playmakers but will need continuity at the back end before the early season show down with Texas Tech. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of question marks at every level of the...

EPL Podcast Aug19

EPL Podcast

Just reading about the big matches this weekend not enough?  Here’s the EPL podcast from Pete Nordsted and James Kempton Read the match capsules here...

EPL Round 2 Aug18

EPL Round 2

Round 2 of the EPL season kicks off in earnest this weekend.  All of the big boys showed their mettle last weekend and we saw what might be the beginning of the end for Leicester City’s title defense.  James Kempton is back with his complete analysis of what you need to know before betting this weekend’s fixtures. Manchester United v Southampton Manchester United -1 and 2.75 goals Friday Night Football is here! Southampton have won their last two trips to Old Trafford by a scoreline of 1-0 and the season before that the game finished one apiece. This trip will hold no fears for them given their recent run of success up north. Even though this is the new improved United I can’t offer a bet in this game as let’s face it; if it was not a stand alone live TV game we would not even consider betting at this market price. Stoke City v Manchester City Manchester City -0.75 and 2.75 goals Stoke won this game at the Britannia Stadium 2-0 last season but prior to that the Blues had been unbeaten in their previous six trips to this tricky venue. Last season City fully covered this line just four times away from home and there were signs on opening day that teams fully understand how to stop Guardiola teams from playing the way they’d like. Knowing how to do it and being able to actually fully implement those tactics are a different matter. I want to take Pep’s men on as I’m not sure of his system working in the EPL but this is another game I shall leave alone. Burnley v Liverpool Liverpool -1 and 2.5 goals There have been at least two goals in each of Liverpool’s last ten...

Buy or Sell: SEC Aug17

Buy or Sell: SEC

There’s been so much talk in SEC country about Tennessee finally coming of age. The pressure is real in Knoxville for a program seeking a return to glory with 17 starters coming back. When the whole world knows how talented a team is supposed to be on paper, there’s limited betting value. I toyed with putting them as my sell team within the league however I’m drinking the Kool-Aid as well…at least for now. In the west division supremacy appears to be a two horse race between LSU and Alabama (fancy that!). Fortunately for us picking a champion isn’t job number one; it’s identifying teams that aren’t being priced properly by the oddsmakers. Undervalued: Florida Last Year: 10-4 SU, 8-5-1 ATS There’s been so much talk about Tennessee and Georgia as clear cut favorites in the SEC East the Gators have become an afterthought. A tough three game losing skid to close the year doused the optimism Coach McElwain created in his first season.  Florida might be flying under the radar now but they’re still defending division champs until proven otherwise. Defense is the constant for Florida and the unit appears built for more success in 2016.  Unfortunately you don’t easily replace a talent like Vernon Hargreaves in the secondary but Jalen Tabor and Marcus Maye are exceptional players capable of putting their stamp on the defensive backfield. Today’s suspension of Tabor for the season opener against UMASS is problematic yet I’ll operate under the assumption this is an isolated incident.  Geoff Collins’ job won’t be easy; needing to replace key contributors on the defensive line although returning eight players in that group should alleviate some concern. Losing Antonio Morrison’s 103 tackles could be felt by a thin linebacking core meaning senior Jerrad Davis...

Buy or Sell: ACC Aug16

Buy or Sell: ACC

The ACC kicks off a 5 part CFB series highlighting some of the undervalued and overvalued sides in college football’s power conferences. Winning bets isn’t a beauty pageant and for those that are familiar with the grind the process often leads to unusual places. Undervalued: Boston College Last Year: 3-9 SU, 4-7-1 ATS Steve Addazio’s team had the best defense in the country last year that the casual fan knew nothing about. BC’s inability to move the ball forward through the air or on the ground in league play kept a stop unit surrendering just 15.3 PPG constantly behind the eight ball. The Eagles return 15 starters and add Kentucky graduate transfer Patrick Towles to their QB competition. BC showed modest promise moving the ball against lesser competition early in the year before Darius Wade was lost for the season against Florida State. There’s a ton of depth at the running back position allowing an experienced offensive line to pave the way for clock control. There’s plenty of experience in the trenches but some of the young talent needs to embrace a leadership role. Defensively there could be an adjustment with defensive coordinator Don Brown’s departure to join Jim Harbaugh’s staff at Michigan. Each of the last two years running against the Eagles was akin to going through a brick considering they’ve surrendered 83 and 94 yards in back to back seasons. Justin Simmons’ presence in the secondary will be sorely missed although the return of eight starters gives bettors plenty to be excited about in Chestnut Hill. Defensive dogs are always my bread and butter; BC fits the mold. If the offense can be serviceable providing adequate rest for an often taxed stop unit the pieces are there for a pointspread darling. The...

EPL Round 1 Aug11

EPL Round 1

It may have taken some backroom handshakes combined with coaxing and prodding but our EPL Insider James Kempton is back for another season of analysis.  For those new to his column Jimmy shares his thoughts on every single fixture of the EPL season each week during the season.  We’ll also be carrying his podcast on the site as well to get you ready for all the top flight domestic league analysis you can handle until a champion is crowned. Arsenal v Liverpool Arsenal -0.25 and 2.5 goals Twelve of the last thirteen EPL meetings between these two sides have seen at least two goals. The exception though was last season’s goalless draw in this fixture. Liverpool have registered just one win in the last fifteen years at the Emirates, back in August 2011. However, the Gunners appear to have a lot of defensive issues going into this opening day encounter. This line opened -0.5 to Arsenal but such is the concern for the home side it has trended down to -0.25. Even after the move that price still does not appeal to me. Over the past five seasons Arsenal are just 4-7-6 on home soil when priced above a level of +110 so give me a small piece of the away team plus a quarter of a goal. AFC Bournemouth v Manchester United Man Utd -0.75 and 2.5 goals The Special One starts on the south coast but last year it was the Cherries who won this match up between the teams 2-1. Their south coast home was not a fortress though with Bournemouth only going 5-5-9 on home soil, compiling the second worst home record in the EPL last season ahead of only Aston Villa. That loss last season here for United was...

Citywide Survey

Booking futures is free money for bookmakers willing to pay attention (barring the unforeseen ridiculous outcome like Leicester City winning the EPL).  There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to establish a market however working under the business principle of stealing without a gun won’t get you a lot of repeat business. I spent the last few days driving around town comparing prices using NFL futures as my litmus test for the apples to apples comparison.  Some of the numbers contained in the full graphic below were nothing short of staggering.  Marquee establishments showed minimal regard for offering customers a fair shake in a betting market already known for giving the house a substantial advantage.  The numbers color coded in green are the best prices currently available in town.  I realize the graphic is a little difficult to read but I wanted to show every major casino operator’s numbers listed side by side. (Prices included were available from either the sheets in each casino or their mobile application at time of press) Listed below each casino’s numbers is their overall hold percentage.  Hold percentage is defined as the percentage of money won compared to total volume wagered. Despite what some casino operators try to tell you nobody in this business has ever paid their bills in hold percentage.  Normally there are two different philosophies book managers utilize: higher volumes with lower hold or retain a bigger piece of a small pie with high hold and low volume. The hold percentage numbers listed here are theoretical hold.   With 32 teams (theoretically) having a chance to win the title each team’s championship prospects are ultimately worth a different value to the house.  The lower the hold percentage the better a bet for the player.  Each casino raises...

Updated Futures Aug02

Updated Futures

The MLB trade deadline has come and gone with a few contenders making minor moves to bolster their World Series chances.  Surprisingly contenders like the Astros, Red Sox, and Cardinals didn’t do much while the Rangers, Giants, and Indians acquired the kind of personnel capable of putting them over the top.  Here’s what the updated futures look like for two of the major sportsbooks here in Vegas...

Time for Change

Sports betting is an evolving industry.  Las Vegas is is the epicenter for legalized wagering in this country and the business model often becomes resistant to changes taking place at progressive books around the world given their statewide monopoly .  However the influx of mobile apps and increased competition among large operators for share of wallet means the time for change is here. Sportsbooks strive to create extensive wagering menus allowing bettors to keep their money in play around the clock.  With ingenuity comes record betting handles leading to an industry that’s healthier than ever in 2016.  However some books (not all) still lag behind the times hiding their lackluster bookmaking acumen and laziness by utilizing price gouging for feasting on customers.  While it’s always a shame to let a sucker keep his money the industry as a collective needs to offer a competitive and transparent product. Here are 4 things I’d like to see change as we head into the home stretch before football season. Maximum Hold for Futures I’ve always been critical of how certain books handle this particular element of sports betting.  Radio hosts and TV personalities always want to discuss futures meaning there’s nothing more embarrassing than sharing ridiculous numbers with the general public (I had to do it firsthand with my previous employer). My problem with futures is they already give the house a sizable advantage over recreational bettors than certain books in Vegas create an even more ridiculous hold percentage for themselves.  For those unfamiliar with the terminology hold percentage refers to the theoretical amount of money the house keeps on every dollar wagered.  The lower the hold, the better for the player.  I see way too many books taking more than 50 cents on the dollar from...

Trump RNC Speech

It’s that time of year…no, not football season but rather a more special tradition that comes along every four years in the form of the presidential election.  Before we get there it’s time to have a bit of fun with props at the various conventions.  Obviously Donald Trump is good with a sound byte however now you can make money on some of his key catch phrases.  Here’s a list of the more entertaining prop bets ahead of Thursday’s convention courtesy of BetOnline Will Trump say “black lives matter” Yes +300 No -400 Will Trump say “all lives matter” Yes +200 No -260 Will Trump say “build a wall” Yes +120 No -150 How many times he says “make America Great Again” Over 3 -140 Under...