Friday, August 27, 2010
Friday, June 08, 2007
How the 139th Belmont Stakes Shapes Up
they shouldn’t alter the results. Here’s a look at the horses and how they
should finish in Saturday’s 139th Belmont:
Imawildandcrazyguy: Sure, he finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby. But the
son of Wild Event, 20-1, has only two victories in a dozen trips – both last
year at Calder where he defeated optional claimers six races after he broke
his maiden. Hitting the board would be an accomplishment.
C P West: The son of Came Home hasn’t visited the winner’s circle since last
August when he broke his maiden. Edgar Prado returns after guiding him to
fourth in the Preakness. The 12-1 runner won’t be higher this time around.
Slew’s Tizzy: Despite going for his third consecutive triumph, the son of
Tisnow, 20-1, hasn’t scored against first-tier 3-year-olds, finishing
seventh behind Circular Quay in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. A big
plus: Rafael Bejarano climbs aboard for trainer Gregory Fox. A big negative:
He hasn’t raced beyond 1 1/16 miles and this test is 1 ½ miles. He could
fight it out for third.
Rags to Riches: Trainer Todd Pletcher decided to let the Kentucky Oaks
winner, 3-1, take on the boys. The daughter of A. P. Indy, who won the ’92
Belmont, has captured all four starts this year, including three Grade 1
events, averaging more than a four-length margin. Her sire ranks first in
earnings with $4.26 million through June 1. His siblings won 49 of 121
races. She could finish third.
Tiago: Lightly raced son of Pleasant Tap, 10-1, is bred to go long and will
be coming from way back like he did winning the Santa Anita Derby. But he
must be considerably closer than he was in the Kentucky Derby when he made
up just two lengths in the stretch to finish 10 lengths back in seventh. He
should finish third.
Hard Spun: Covering the distance shouldn’t be a problem. The son of the late
Danzig, who sired ’86 Belmont winner Danzig Connection, has an equally
outstanding dam sire in Turkoman. And he’s the only horse with triple digit
speed figures in the last three races. Garrett Gomez might mean the
difference between winning and finishing second.
Curlin: A victory in the Belmont would seal his superstar status. He should
avoid the trouble he encountered in the previous Triple Crown legs with the
smaller field. His sire, Smart Strike, ranks third in earnings as his
siblings earned $3.6 million through June 1, winning 42 times in 118
outings. Robby Albardo won’t allow Steve Asmussen’s pride and joy to lose.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
OPENING ODDS TO WIN 2008 BCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
WILLEMSTAD, CURACAO (January 9, 2007)-Florida fans everywhere are still celebrating Gators' dominating 41-14 BCS Championship Game win over Ohio State and leading online sportsbook, PinnacleSports.com has already released odds on who'll win next year's National Championship. When Florida had jumped out to a 20-point halftime lead last night, the oddsmakers at PinnacleSports.com were busy handicapping the chances of college football's top programs winning the 2008 title game.
The largest sports betting site on the Internet, PinnacleSports.com currently lists Rose Bowl winner USC as the early favorites to win the 2008 BCS Championship at 5/2 odds (i.e., win $5 for every $2 bet). With quarterback Chad Henne and running back Mike Hart returning for their senior season, Michigan has been installed with the second best odds to win the National Championship at 13/2. Fresh off their second national title, PinnacleSports.com lists Florida at 7/1 odds to win back-to-back BCS Championships. The 2006 champions Texas have been installed at 10/1, followed by West Virginia (14/1), Sugar Bowl winners LSU (15/1), Oklahoma (17/1) and Arkansas (19/1).
'It's extremely difficult to handicap potential BCS championship contenders this early because underclassmen are yet to declare for the NFL draft and several coaching changes could still be on the horizon,' said Simon Noble of PinnacleSports.com. 'The Trojans ability to re-load their roster with top notch players every year, combined with a number of returning starters and solid coaching staff has made USC a perennial title contender. Although Florida will once again be in the BCS hunt, the difficulty of surviving their SEC schedule may mean the Gators have to bite off more than they can chew, and may yet also face a number of defections to the NFL by underclassmen.'
Despite finishing second in the polls after their title game loss, the Ohio State Buckeyes are listed as 28/1 long shots to emerge as college football champions. PinnacleSports.com has installed Nebraska at 38/1 to win the BCS title followed by Auburn at 46/1. The odds that highly touted freshman, Jimmy Clausen can replace Brady Quinn and capture a National Championship for Notre Dame for the first time since 1988 stand as a 47/1 long shot. Coming off their most successful season in school history, the surprising Rutgers Scarlet Knights have been listed at 52/1 along with reigning Big East champs Louisville. South Eastern Conference members Georgia and Tennessee are listed at 73/1 and 99/1, respectively, while 12-1 Wisconsin is a 100/1 underdog to win the 2008 championship. The only team to finish undefeated in the Bowl Subdivison, Boise State has also been made a 100/1 long shot to capture the national title along with traditional powerhouses Miami, Florida State, and UCLA.
Current Odds: *All Odds Subject To Change*
Odds To Win 2008 BCS Championship Game
West Virginia 14/1
Ohio State 28/1
Notre Dame 47/1
Miami (FL) 100/1
Florida State 100/1
Wake Forest 100/1
Boise State 100/1
Georgia Tech 100/1
South Carolina 100/1
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Measuring the Accuracy of Pinnacle's Sharp Plays
Therefore it is reasonable for bettors to ask how accurate these 'sharp plays' have been, but before going back and checking, bear in mind two bits of advice we have repeatedly stressed: 1) always play at the best price and 2) pass on a game if sharps have conflicting opinions at the same price. With these two rules in mind, you would have gone a whopping 47-31-2 following sharp plays since we began listing them last year.
Handicapping sports is a search for the truth. That truth is the chance of a given team winning on a given day. Professional players typically set their own line before looking at the market prices, and know what edge they expect at any given price. They view investing in a game as a simple commodity - they will buy either team if the price is right. In many instances, bettors will play both sides of the same game due to line moves or new information.
Many handicappers set their original line, and use an ROR (return on risk) hurdle to determine plays. For example, if a model predicts that Team A will beat Team B 75% of the time in a match-up, that player might look for a bet priced for Team A to win just 70% of the time, or Team B to win 20% of the time. Once that piece of truth is found - Team A's win percentage for that match-up - the sharp player bets it only if 'the price is right'. This might be by playing Team A at -233 on the moneyline, or making an 'equivalent' play identified with conversions, such as Team A -5.5. That same player would just as happily play Team B at +400 or +8 points.
In most games the market price will be close enough to the handicapper's fair price to suggest that the game is a 'pass'. Due to the commission a bettor must pay on each wager (traditionally 10% at most sports books), there's a dead zone where neither side can be played profitably. For example, a sportsbook might offer both sides of an NFL game at Pick'em -110. In that instance, no play could be profitably made unless a team was expected to win more than (110/210) = 52.4%. With traditional 20 cent lines, there is a fairly wide dead zone at most other bookmakers.
There are two obvious ways to reduce the impact of the dead zone. The simplest is to open an account with a reduced-juice sportsbook like Pinnacle Sports Betting. With Pinnacle's -104 style pricing on NFL sides, the dead zone is much smaller and a team expected to win just 51% could be profitable. Pinnacle Sports' reduced juice not only provides more favorable prices, with 8 cent lines on NFL sides, but gives bettors more possible plays as well.
The second way to reduce the dead zone further is to use multiple sportsbooks and shop lines. If you have an array of five plus sportsbooks, which includes a reduced juice sports book like Pinnacle Sports, you can frequently reduce the dead zone further - in some instances eliminating it entirely (e.g. if you can play either side at +100). When professional players count their profits in terms of 2-4% of their total betting volume, shopping to get the best number will frequently make the difference between a winning or losing season.
Modern Caveman recently contacted AskTheBook and asked:
Should a bettor really be taking advice from a bookie? In chess, I used to say 'never listen to your opponent.'
My advice would be, 'Trust, but verify'. In sports betting, like stock investing, you should never put money at risk on the strength of anything ANYONE says until you've researched the subject to the best of your abilities. This is especially true if your source has a vested interest.
The aim of The Pinnacle Pulse is to help educate players about the benefits of low juice by providing accurate information that helps improve the handicapping skills of prospective and existing Pinnacle Sports players. This is thanks in no small part to contributors such as Daringly and the Pinnacle Sports oddsmakers and line managers. It is our belief that if we can improve the sophistication of players and raise the awareness of Pinnacle Sports, more bettors will chose Pinnacle and benefit from our pricing that offers up to 60% better value on NFL sides than other bookmakers.
What are our players betting?
Dallas +3 -112 v. Seattle
Both teams finished the regular seasons below expectations - Seattle as reigning NFC champion and Dallas as an early Super Bowl favorite. Both lost three out of their final four games, landing Seattle and Dallas the #4 and #5 seeds, respectively.
The Cowboys opened at +3 (-114). The public leaned on Seattle by a ratio of 3-to-2, due at least in part to Dallas's recent humiliation at the hands of the hapless Lions. Meanwhile, the sharps clearly favor Dallas and have been taking the points.
New York Giants +7 -103 v. Philadelphia
The Eagles have finished the season playing inspired football winning their last five games. Jeff Garcia led the Eagles offense after stepping in for injured Donovan McNabb, throwing 10 TDs to just 2 INTs. His 95.8 passer rating would make him the #4 QB in the league. The Giants started at 6-2, but then dropped six of their last eight games to limp into the playoffs.
When you have two teams moving in opposing directions, statistical handicappers will often disagree on a game. One approach is to weight all games of the season evenly. Another approach is to weight recent games more heavily than ones earlier in the season. Each of these styles will strongly favor opposite teams in this match-up.
In our most heavily traded game of the week, we opened the Giants at +6 (-106). The line crept up as bettors took the Eagles by a 3-to-2 ratio. Our professional players are split on this match-up, possibly due to their statistical methodology. We are also seeing one-sided sharp action teasing the Eagles down.
Florida +7 -105 v. Ohio State
Florida will try to maintain a trend seen in the last four National Championships: the underdog winning outright. Another trend that has extended even further is based on defense. In National Championship games, the team whose defense allows fewer yards per game has won the last five. In this match-up, this also favors Florida, which allows 269 yards per game versus 273 yards per game for Ohio State.
We opened the Buckeyes at -7 (-105) and the public has favored Ohio State, backing them over Florida by a margin of 3-to-2. Our sharps have been split fairly evenly on this game, though we have seen some unusual point-buying activity with some of our more successful players buying Florida up to +7.5.