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Friday, January 14, 2005

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Football: The King of Sports Betting

The Roughest Sport to Handicap

Football is the king for attracting bettors and it is my humble opinion, the roughest sport to handicap. Pete Rozelle, the fabulous commissioner who probably is responsible for the success of this game, put it simply, “Parity is flagrant in our league!” He was right. Add to that the line that Benny the Book establishes for each contest and we are hard-pressed to get a handle on a winning play.

I adhere to the “power vs. dog theory” as the basis for my play. When I look over a schedule, the first thing I look at is the spread between the elite teams and the underdog. This year Denver, San Francisco, Minnesota, Atlanta, and the Jets are riding high. We’ll say Denver is favored by 4 over the Giants on the road. I like that. Denver is powerful and the Giants are about a .500 team. Denver gets the nod. If they were playing in Denver, the line would probably be Giants getting 10. That’s too steep a lay in the NFL.

Since I’ll bet a dog only if I believe it can win outright, I’ll pass on taking the wood. That game becomes a pass, no bet! If I pass on the side, I’ll slide over to the over/under and zero in on the under. I prefer the under play in the NFL to the over, because the books know that people love to bet the over and add a point or two to the totals.

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