Betting the NBA Playoffs

May 7th, 2014 admin Gambling

nba-playoff-bettingWith the NBA post season in full swing, it’s time to take a close look at placing bets on the NBA playoffs. The first thing we take at look at when the first round matchups are announced is betting on the first round series winners.

It is usually tough to take the high priced favorites in the first round as teams like the Heat, Thunder and Spurs are usually -500 or more to win their first round series. You can find this information out at an online sportsbook such as this Bodog betting site.

When the number three seed plays the number 6 seed or the number 4 seed plays the number 5 seed we have some betting opportunities. This season the Western Conference is extremely wide open and I don’t see anyone having a huge advantage. Taking the underdogs at a price in the West is worth a shot in nearly every series with the exception of the number one versus the number eight as San Antonio looks very tough. In the East, the top two seeds will be very tough to beat so I don’t see much of a chance going against either the Pacers or the Heat.

Zigzag Betting

When betting the NBA playoffs a very popular strategy has been nicknamed the zigzag theory. It is pretty basic in that you take the loser of the previous game to win the next game. The feeling is that the losing team will really focus on winning the next game while the victorious team may feel a little smug and have a letdown.

This theory is at its best in the first round. Last year in the first round the theory was a very solid 23-17-1. The zig-zag theory is hitting over 57 percent in the first round over the last seven seasons. That is information that you can use to really help your NBA playoff betting.

In past seasons, when betting on the NBA playoffs, we could focus on betting against certain teams. The Clippers are a traditional go against team come playoff time. They just have continual trouble doing anything positive in the playoffs. This year will put that theory to the test as the Warriors have their best team in years and may end up upsetting them in the first round.

The Heat are the public’s and the oddsmakers choice to win it all. If the superstar lineup of Lebron, Dwyane, and Bosh play up to their standards the Heat will be hard to handle. The Western conference is very tough though and any of the top seven seeds will be able to make a case for reaching the finals.

Last season in the playoffs the Spurs dominated the point spread as they won games at nearly a 63 percent clip against the spread, even though Miami was the eventual champion. Last season the Clippers were at the bottom of the barrel against the spread in the playoffs going 1-5.

What to Look for in this year’s playoff

The best bet to win the title will be mostly likely be the top two seeds in each conference. Of these teams, it’s going to be difficult to choose the winner of the Western Conference. The Spurs and Thunder is a classic powerhouse rivalry. All bets are off if the two of these teams make it to the conference finals.

On the other hand, the Heat would seem to have the advantage over the Pacers right now, even though they would be the road team in this matchup. The Pacers have been playing poorly for a month now, but they do seem to have the Heat’s number in head-to-head games. Right now, the smart money is probably for the Miami Heat to repeat again. Lebron James has been playing some of his best basketball this year and it’s up to every other team to try to deal with him.

Pick your spots as the NBA playoffs begin and give the zigzag theory some serious consideration. I would always look to take the underdogs, especially in the Western Conference. I like Oklahoma City to take on Miami in the finals, but as in all sports, anything is possible.

How to Win at Slots

November 12th, 2013 admin Online Casino

The Regression Method in Review – Slot Machine Strategy 101

As I leave Slots LV for another day, I have some reflections on my experiments with the much-ballyhooed Regression Method of slot machine betting which was laid out in the seminal book on slots wagers, John Patrick’s Slots.

My loss at Millionaires Club gives me 4 wins and 4 losses in my Regression sessions. Three of my wins were for four dollars or less, while all of my losses were for $25 or more. My one saving grace was the $44 win I had early on.

All in all, I ended up losing $42 on my Regression Sessions. So is the Regression method the best money management technique ever invented for slots? Well, if it’s kept John Patrick from working for lo these many years, then I can see why he’s so happy about it.

In my mind, it’s not much better than any other method. They all seem to depend on winning a big jackpot somewhere along the way. Otherwise, you’ll be nickel and dimed to death by the machine.

The big problem I see with Regression is that it banks on success. If you start out with a $100 win, then I can see where pocketing $50 and playing with the rest makes sense.

But if you don’t have that luxury, then you have no money to pocket and the Regression strategy ceases to exist. There is no strategy at that point.

Even if you win a small amount, this system doesn’t really hold up well. Imagine you win ten dollars on your first spin. Imagine you pocket $5 and bet the other five. If you lose, then you either have to walk away from the machine or dip into your bankroll to play again.

Since John Patrick hasn’t “kept from working” by winning five dollars at a time, you have to keep playing. So the Regression really doesn’t work except in the rarest of situations, when you win significant amounts.

As always, it comes back to winning big jackpots. No strategy works unless you get lucky. Maybe money management keeps you playing long enough to hit one, but all the rest of this stuff seems like bunk to me.

Advice for Playing Slots

If you don’t play a progressive jackpot at the online casinos, take the following advice.

Play the minimum amount to qualify for the highest percentage jackpot. If the percentages are the same for one coin as three, play one coin. The only strategy in playing slots that makes sense it to see as many spins as you can. The more spins you see, the better your chances of getting really lucky are.

That’s the only chance you have of making real money at slots. Play a lot, minimize your losses and hope to get lucky. The equation changes a little for the progressives.

Play for a progressive jackpot if possible. If so, play the lowest amount to qualify for the maximum jackpot. Since that’s almost always the maximum bet, then I’m saying you should probably bet the maximum amount.

Figure out your bankroll and play a machine that will allow you to see the maximum number of spins for your bankroll. Then hope for luck on one of those spins. That’s pretty much it.

Practical Advice

Slots are entertainment. You are probably going to have to pay money to be entertained by them. A few of us will get lucky being entertained by slots, which is what makes playing slot machines so entertaining in the first place.

You might say I take slots gurus as entertainers, too. I find fun with their slots advice, because they are selling a magic formula that probably doesn’t exist. Once you figure that out, you can choose to get angry or you can laugh about it.

I choose to do a little of both. Put quotations around the last two paragraphs and you have your Chuck Flick wise quote of the day. Take care, people.

How to win at Sports Betting

October 9th, 2013 admin Gambling

Winning money over the long haul when betting on sports is notoriously difficult. If people won all of the time, Vegas would have a lot fewer mega hotel/casinos being built. There would be a lot fewer “experts” that would tell you how to bet. You wouldn’t need help from blogs like this.

In short, sports betting is difficult because it is so unpredictable. Sure, some people may get 9 out of 10 picks correct; but I could also flip heads on a coin 9 out of 10 times as well. When it comes to the spread, the sportsbooks have all of the same information that you and the experts are using to make their line.

So, how are you supposed to get an edge? How do you hit that magical 60% winning percentage that will start to make you money over time?

There are a couple of basic tips and some keys to achieving this type of success. Here are some things that you can do to help yourself.

Spread vs Money Line

The spread is more of a 50/50 type of proposition. The money line is more accurately described as risk vs reward. You have to ask yourself what you are looking to do with your bet.

Money Line Bets

The money line can make you money when you pick the easy winner 9 out of 10 times. However, if you bet a lot of money on a heavy favorite, it only takes one bad bet to cripple you. Let’s say that you bet on a team which is -500 ($500 to win $100) on the money line. You may win that bet 5 straight times and lose once.

While it may seem like you break even in these cases, it won’t feel like it psychologically. You will be more inclined to make more risky bets to make up for this unexpected loss.

On the other hand, you may want to bet on an underdog to win straight up. Unless you have some kind of clairvoyance or know something specifically that makes a large upset likely, you should avoid making any kind of significant bet (more than 1% of your bankroll) on a team that is +400 ($100 to win $400) or more.

It might feel good to predict that one upset and win a lot of money; but how often are you going to lose before you get that one? If it is more than 3 times, you should just avoid those types of bets altogether.

You should only be betting on the money line if the favorite is -350 or less or if the underdog is +300 or less. Otherwise, you should bet on the spread or don’t bet at all.

Spread Bets

Picking the winners against the spread is more difficult than picking the winner straight up in many cases. However, you don’t stand to lose as much when you get a pick wrong. You can make the losings up easily by getting the next prediction correct.

Any spread bet is more or less a coin flip 4 out of 5 times. There is the occasional game that stands out where the spread does not make sense. More often than not, you can get an edge by finding these matchups. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. You have to take advantage of situations as they arise.

Picking the Correct Team

Statistical matchups, trends, injuries, historical records, weather and good fortune all play a part.

The statistical matchups that you want to look for are one team’s strengths matched up against another team’s weakness. This can be team statistics or individual matchups where there is a clear advantage one way or another. In football, examples would be a team with a good running game vs a team with poor run defense, or a great passing attack against a poor secondary.

Trends would include how the teams have done statistically over the previous sample of games played. Other trends could be how a team has done against comparable teams in the recent past.

The major injuries or inactive players will change the dynamics of the game. Let’s take a look at last week’s game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. Calvin Johnson was declared out for the game on Friday. This was a clear sign that Detroit was going to lose on the road, which they did. Usually, injuries aren’t this clear cut; but when teams are decimated on the offensive or defensive lines, this can lead to blowouts when the matchup is right.

Historical trends tend to hold up over time. You can’t use this as the sole indicator of which team will win. But, it can be a big pointer in the right direction if other factors line up.

Bad weather in sports that are played outdoors leads to poor offensive performances. Games that might have been a blowout will be much closer. A TD lead in football can sometimes be insurmountable in games with driving rain, gusting winds, or in the blistering cold.

Some teams receive good fortune throughout the season and some teams will always find a way to lose when the situation presents itself. This is one of the trends that are often overlooked. Since we are picking on the Detroit Lions, lets take a look at how they played last year. They finished 4-12 and lost 8 straight games to end the season. They found a different way to lose all of the close games.

Don’t Get Frustrated When You Lose

It’s easy to get upset when you lose 3 or 4 bets in a row. You just need to accept that no matter how well you research and no matter how confident you are that you will have losing streaks. You just need to make sure that these losing streaks don’t get the best of you.

The easiest way to go broke is to throw good money after bad. This means placing a wager that is way to high in order to make up for your losings. Best case scenario: you win and get back to even, which leads to you placing risky wagers again when you are down. Worst case scenario: you get into a downward spiral until the losings are too much to recover from. You either have to stop or much worse will happen.

Being disciplined is the key to limiting your losses. Stick within your betting limits. If you have $1000, don’t bet more than $50 per game; otherwise a losing streak will wipe you out. If you lose more than $200 in a day, stop wagering for the day and reorganize yourself for another day. Do more research and try again with a clear head.

Gambling on the NFL

September 4th, 2013 admin Gambling

The start of the NFL regular season is tomorrow. It’s time to get back online and check out how the accounts on your bookmakers! The summer isn’t officially over, but the vacation season has come and gone. Let’s get you caught up on the first week of NFL action.

I’ve already explained this before, but I’ll do a quick recap for the new sports gamblers out there. There are three basic types of bets that you can make on an NFL game: Point Spread, Money Line and Total Points. The point spread is a bet placed on one team or the other; one will be an underdog and one will be the favorite. Betting on either team will cost roughly the same amount of money.

If you see a (-110) next to the two teams, there is about an equal number of bets on each side. This mean you will have to wager $110 to win $100 on either team. Any variation from this means that there is an unequal amount of betting on one team. The most that this will change is (-125) and (+105) before the point spread changes by a half point.

The moneyline is a bet that is place on one team to win the game. It doesn’t matter which team is favored, so betting on one team might cost more to win the same amount if they are the favorite. The total points is an over/under bet on the number of points the two teams will score combined for that game.

If you are going to bet on a game, make sure that you the sportsbook that offers the best line for that game. If you are betting on the favorite, you want the spread to be as close to 0 as possible. If you are betting on the underdog, you want the spread to be as far away from 0 as possible. This is called line shopping and you can learn more about this at


Week 1 Predictions

The first game is between the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium. The game isn’t being played in Baltimore because of a scheduling conflict with the Baltimore Orioles that couldn’t get resolved. Denver lost to Baltimore in the playoffs last season in 2OT. They are considered heavy favorites over the Ravens.

This game has already had a lot of action. The line opened up at 8.5 points. It went up to 9.0 points before it dropped like a rock back down to 7.5 points. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this line drop further to 6.5 points since more than half of the bets are currently on Baltimore to beat the spread. You can check out the live lines for these NFL games here.

Baltimore at Denver (-7.5) – Final Score Denver 27-21
New England (-9.5) at Buffalo – Final Score New England 38-13
Tennessee at Pittsburgh (-7) – Final Score Pittsburgh 17-13
Atlanta at New Orleans (-3) – Final Score New Orleans 35-31
Tampa Bay (-3.5) at New York Jets – Final Score Tampa Bay 20-16
Kansas City (-3.5) at Jacksonville – Final Score Jacksonville 23-21
Cincinnati at Chicago (-3) – Final Score Chicago 24-17
Miami at Cleveland (-1) – Final Score Miami 20-14
Seattle (-3) at Carolina – Final Score Carolina 27-24
Minnesota at Detroit (-5.5) – Final Score Detroit 28-24
Oakland at Indianapolis (-9) – Final Score Indianapolis 30-16
Arizona at St Louis (-4.5) – Final Score Arizona 20-18
Green Bay at San Francisco (-4.5) – Final Score San Francisco 30-28
New York Giants at Dallas (-3.5) – Final Score Dallas 33-31
Philadelphia at Washington (-3) – Final Score Washington 24-21
Houston (-3.5) at San Diego – Final Score Houston 27-17

There are a few games that jump out at me right away. I give Buffalo very little chance of keeping New England within 10 points. I give Oakland even less of a chance of keeping Indy with 10 on the road. Pittsburgh doesn’t have the offense to beat Tennessee by more than a TD. San Diego is rebuilding and is very short on wide receivers; they won’t be within a TD of Houston.

On the other side, I’m going to refute some “easy” picks that people are making. Everyone is betting on Tampa Bay to beat the Jets handily. However, the Bucs haven’t been that good on offense recently and the Jets still have a decent defense. This shouldn’t be enough for the Jets to win because of their awful offense, but they might cover at home.

About 90% of the bets are on Kansas City to win on the road against Jacksonville. They haven’t improved that much to deserve that type of respect no matter how bad Jacksonville is going to be this year.

This could be a trap game for Seattle, which is weird to say first game into the season. They have to travel to the East Coast to play an early game which often gives the Seahawks problems. Their defense isn’t nearly as good on the road, either.

Detroit has done nothing to earn a 5.5 favorite against the Vikings. These two always play closer than a TD and usually closer than a FG. Look for Adrian Peterson to start the season hot.

Parlays and Round Robins

April 15th, 2013 admin Gambling

Parlay Betting

We all know that betting parlays is a big part of sports wagering but blackjack, craps, and other table game players engage in the same method.

A parlay means:

  1. Making a bet
  2. If it wins, letting the original bet, plus the profits, ride on the next hand.

Suppose you’re at a blackjack table and slide a $5 chip on the lay-out. You win and the dealer pays you $5, giving you $10 in front of you. If you let the whole $10 ride, it is called a parlay, you 11 laying everything onto the next decision.

Here are the nays and yeas of parlays:

  1. Your total risk is only $5, while the potential profit is $15
  2. The odds against winning two even propositions in a row are 3-1 against you
  3. With a parlay, you could win a hand, lose a hand, play the house even, and end up minus the initial bet.

I can’t knock the parlay because I realize many people have small bankrolls and this type of wager allows them to triple the amount of their initial bet (see number 1 above).

But number 3 makes a good point on the other side: You play a 50-50 game and win just as many hands as the house, lose the same amount as the house and end up losing your initial wager.

It is up to each individual to examine the plus-and-minus aspects of the parlay. That’s why my regression system is a smarter move from a standpoint of needing only one win to show a profit.

The drawback on regression is betting higher on the first wager. It comes down to whether you want to cut the chance of losing more on a possible first loss, or making sure you have profit while playing the house even.

In sports, parlays are a way of life and I play them myself when on a losing streak for the purpose I gave you: small risk for better return. I go for the three-team parlays where pick ’em situations pay 13-5. A two-team $25 parlay pays $65 and a three-team $25 parlay pays 6-1.

My risk is $25 and potential profit is $150. A $100 three team parlay pays the same 6-1, so I stand to win $600 if all three win for a $100 risk.

Obviously, those of you who have read my “Sports Handicapping” book know that I never reach that third bet in any jeopardy. That third bet of the three-team parlay is always on another day or in a later time zone than the first two.

This way, when I get to the point of that potential $600 profit, I go back and hedge off with a teaser bet or round robin bet on the opposite of the choice for that third bet. This will be discussed in depth when we apply my methods to each separate gambling game, and sports is the topic.

For now, I’ve explained the parlay. I use it myself, so I can’t condemn it.

But the round robin or regression is superior if you play a conservative pattern. The parlay is the move if you have a short bankroll. Keep in mind the hedge on the back end of the three-team parlay.

You can learn more about Parlays here

Round Robins

Even though this bet is reserved for sports bettors, I may as well go over it now, because it has to do with parlays. I bet round robins every day.

They give me a series of parlays, while putting me in a position where I don’t have to pick all games correctly in order to save my initial bet.

A round robin consists of 3, 4, 5, or 6 bets, all parlayed with each other, but I’m jumping way ahead of myself. Let’s start with a three-team round robin on the following teams:

  1. Green Bay -7 at Tampa
  2. Bears at Jets -8
  3. Miami -3 at Seattle

You decide to bet these three games and pick Tampa +7, Jets -8, and Seattle +3. You decide on a $20 round robin with each of these choices. We’ll call Tampa (a); Jets (b); and Seattle (c).

You call your favorite bookie and say: “Rocky, this is Mountain, give me a $20 round robin on Tampa, Jets, and Seattle.”
You have told him you wanna $20 parlay on all three teams with each other: (a) and (b) for $20, (a) and (c) for $20 and (b) and (C) for $20.

Since the payoff on parlays is $13 to $5, a twenty-dollar parlay nays $52. Well, you have three $20 parlays criss-crossed into a round robin. Here’s what could happen:

  1. All three teams win: You win three parlays at $52 each for a total of $156
  2. All three teams lose: You lose three $20 parlays for a total loss of $60
  3. Two teams win; we’ll say (b) and (c). You win $52 on that parlay and lose $20 each on your (a) and (b) parlay and your (a) and (c) parlay for a total win of $12
  4. Both (a) and (b) lose: You lose all three parlays of (a) and (b), (a) and (c), and (b) and (c) for a total loss of $60

The good thing about round robins is that in this case you are risking $60 to win $152. That’s if all three teams win. However, even if you only picked two right out of three, you still end up with a $12 profit.

You lost two $20 parlays and won a $20 parlay that paid $13 for every $5 wagered. You still ended with a profit. In a straight parlay, you must win all three. In the case of a $20 three-team parlay, you risk $20 to win $120 (6-1). Risk is low, but picking three winners is tough.

If you bet ten times (i.e., 10 x $5) or flat bets of $55 to win $50, you win $150 if all three win but lose $165 if all three lose. The risk is great but the good thing about flat betting is that if you pick one right out of three, you only lose $60.

With flat betting, two out of three gives you a $45 profit. I’d rather risk only $60 on a $20 round robin for a potential $156 profit or a $12 profit for two wins then go flat betting.

Flat betting gives me $150 for three wins and $45 for two, but costs me $165 for three losses, almost three times that of a wash in a round robin.

Go over these three types of betting and see which ones you take. Take into consideration the potential win versus the potential loss.

  1. Parlays have largest win potential, but you gotta win all three, although the potential loss is the lowest.
  2. Flat betting has by far the largest loss potential but two wins still gives you decent payoff and one win is not devastating.
  3. Round robins allow you a nice payoff, about the same as flat betting, while keeping potential losses low. Two out of three wins is a little better than breaking even.

You pick what you like because these all have merit. I lean toward the round robin on a regular basis and the three-team parlay when I wanna make a small investment for a 6-1 payoff.

You are not wrong in whatever you choose. Let your bankroll decide. The higher the bankroll, the more you’ll side with flat betting.

I don’t, but it is your choice. If you would like to learn more about Round Robins, click here.