Dave’s Free Play, Thursday 1/30/14

  • January 30, 2014

One of the keys to succeeding long term as a sports bettor is avoiding stubbornness. I’m referring to adhering to an angle that might have worked beautifully for years but then stops doing so. There’s a reluctance to move away from theories that have paid off consistently in the past, as the bettor clings to the belief that normalcy will return and the paydays will as well.

I’ve always believed that handicapping is in a constant state of evolution. That’s why I’m into fine tuning what works while being on the lookout for new ideas that might prove profitable. At the same time, when something that has worked for me historically stops doing so, I’ll move away from whatever process that might be and try something else.

An example of this is a formula that was a cash cow for several years. I won’t get into the specifics, but this theory applied to road dogs in revenge games. There was quite a bit of number crunching that determined whether or not a team qualified as a play. When a team fit the parameters, it was almost an automatic play for me. This particular angle simply hasn’t worked for the past couple of years, and in fact is now losing more than it wins. I’m still tracking it, but I’m sure not playing it.

That’s the essence of what I’m trying to get at here. Just because something worked for several years doesn’t mean it will continue to do so. Once it stops, it’s up to the bettor to accept this as fact, and stop chasing in hopes a 180 takes place.

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I split my Wednesday card, so no particular damage done. The game that stung was William & Mary. I’d gotten info on suspensions for visiting Delaware before they became widely known, and as able to play the Tribe at a very advantageous number. Unfortunately for me, as sometimes happens, the team that was shorthanded came out with a very determined attitude. Delaware roared out to a huge lead and was never threatened en route to a lopsided win. But it was just one loser and getting out of the night minus just a little juice was okay.

I’ve enjoyed a big run over the last couple weeks, and January looks like it’s going to end up with a very nice bottom line. Expect more of the same in February, and it’s a great time to join me for what should be a solid series of results. I’m running a special price of $500 for the month, and the last couple days of January are included as well. Email me at cokin@cox.net for more info, or just use the “buy now” feature on this page (make sure to click on the Feb special tab).

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George Washington came through nicely as the Wednesday free play, and I’ll stay with the colleges for another call tonight.

01/30 06:00 PM  CB   (543) HOUSTON (544) CONNECTICUT

Take: (544) CONNECTICUT -13.5

Winning with underdogs can be loads of fun, and a great boost for the ego. But there’s no shame in zeroing in on big chalk under the right circumstances. The money spends the same whether it’s accrued courtesy of a brilliantly scoped out dog or a favorite that blows out an outmanned opponent.

I think we get the latter result tonight as UConn plays host to Houston. The Huskies figure to come out snarling here after what happened to them when they paid a visit to the Cougars. If that’s the case, this could get lopsided pretty quickly.

UConn is sitting at 16-4, but there cannot be much question that the worst of their 20 games to date was against the Cougars. The Huskies came out of the starting gate in a fog, and ended up falling behind by 21 points in the first half. UConn eventually woke up, but the hole they dug for themselves was too deep and they ended up on the short side of a 75-71 final score.

The revenge factor here is pretty obvious, but the fact that the Huskies showed up dead flat at Houston is a big plus here. I just can’t envision the Huskies slumbering early here, and if they get the anticipated jump out of the starting blocks, the romp should be on.

In terms of the metrics, it’s all Connecticut. Their offense has been humming lately and Houston doesn’t really possess the defensive profile that would likely give the Huskies problems. I also like the home team’s current form. UConn is on a 5-1 run since the losses at Houston and SMU and the only loss was to Louisville in a game where everything seemed to be working against the Huskies.

Houston has been a little better than I thought they’d be prior to the start of the season. But with the exception of a win at South Florida, the road has been pretty tough for the Cougars. I think they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time tonight, and I expect a lopsided win for the home team this evening. UConn minus the points is the choice.