When you bet sports, you need an angle. If I had a dollar for everytime I saw a capper start a basketball write up with the two teams' shooting percentages, how they have done at home or on the road, I would be rich. I want to ask, "don't you think the books know that already?" Those things are baked into the line already. I can guarantee you right now that the books can create a much better line than you, on a more consistant basis, in any sport. You need a better angle.
First off, you almost have to forget the statistics. The human element is your biggest ally in your battle with the books because that is something that is rarely factored into the lines. In the books' eyes, the players are robots whose outputs can be predicted by efficeincy models so what you need to do is figure out why they either will or won't perform on any given day/night. The books gave you the absolute "average" outcome, so it is your job to find a real actionable angle as to why one or both teams will perform above or below their average.
For example, on February 10, 2019, the Connecticut Huskies took on the Memphis Tigers and the total was set at 157.5. At first glance, based on possessions, shooting efficency, field goal attempts, turnover rates, etc, the number looked right. But, when listening to the UConn coach, Dan Hurley, talk before the game, it became apparent that this number was a bit high. The Huskies were going to be without their top two scorers and while that is not really a reason to hop on an under in NCAA Basketball, the fact that Hurley was talking about slowing down the pace and playing long shot clock possessions was certainly a reason. This clearly was something that the books could not have factored in when they made this line. This is the type of angle you want to be playing.
The two teams ended up at 149 and even though the books adjusted the number down to 153, it was still a pretty easy win. Connecticut predictably shot worse than normal being on the road and without their two top scorers, but Memphis actually shot 48% (season average was 45%) and they still did not reach the total. The reason is because they only took 56 shots when they average 63 shots per game. They also went to the free throw line five times less than they normally did. All of this was a function of UConn "slowing" the game down. Their coach literally told us he was going to do that.
This happens in other sports as well and it comes in the form of scheduling spots. Take the Broncos/Jets game from October 7, 2018 when the Jets opened as 2.5 point favorites. I can't even remember all of the "analysts" telling us that the Broncos were the better team, the advanced stats, and other nonsense that had nothing to do with that particular matchup on that particular day. Here is what Ben Axelrod thought. Here is another unbelievably "square" write up for that game. Bettors were tripping over themselves to bet the Broncos so much so that they closed as 1 point favorites. I gave strict instuctions that week to my members to just wait until kickoff to bet the Jets because they would not be favored at that point. The Jets won that game 34-16.
The reason was simple and all you had to do was understand basic concepts. For one, the Broncos had blown a 10 point lead the previous Monday Night to the division rival Kansas City Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes literally stole their souls on national televison just a few days prior and now they were tasked with coming east for a 1 pm kickoff. At no point did I say that the Jets were a "lock" or that we should raise our bet but one thing I did tell members was that there was no way you could bet on the Broncos in that spot especially with the Rams coming to town the next week. The point is, finding good bets in sports has almost nothing to do with statistics in most cases. If you know a stat, the books do too and they know how it will affect a game better than you ever will. You have to look at the human element.
Another thing that works is watching line movement. On March 6th, 2019, the Nuggets went to LA to take on the Lakers and the total opened at 220.5 at Draftkings and some offshore books. The thing is, I liked the Under as Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma would not be playing and I thought the Lakers could actuall get blown out but there was no real angle to take it at the open because 220.5 seemed fair. In a couple short hours the number had been bet up a few points behind the power of 75+% of the early wagers being on the Over and many of the brick and mortart books had opened it at 226 or 227. By now, the under was at least interesting because we knew we were getting 6.5 "free points" but when the line hit 231, we pulled the trigger on the Under. (It ended up closing at 232.)
I am in no way saying that you can just bet line movement like this everyday because you can't, but what I am saying is that line movement gave us yet another angle to play. We already liked the Under at 220.5 because we felt like the Nuggets would "show up" being that the Lakers were being finished off for the season with every loss. Defense would be played in our opinion. But at 220.5, the number felt tight. At 231, we had to play the under because were given double digits on top of what we already liked. That is an angle to attack and we did just that. The Nuggets won that game 115-99 and the original number won relatively easy. Our number, 231, was never in question.
I will continue to post more examples on this page as they happen so check back from time to time.