The Sharp Plays Newsletter – Week #1

There are always items left over to discuss and review from the previous week of football. Likewise there are always several things for the week ahead that are good to cover. I thought the easiest way would be to do a brief weekly newsletter to address it all. I hope I downplayed the newsletter enough when discussing it on Twitter, LOL! I did not want anyone thinking this would be something like the tout sheets you find for $7-$10 with several pages, coverage of all the games and such. No, I am going to use this as an extended commentary on the previous week’s action, discuss some of the algorithms I used for the weekend and then discuss what I am seeing for the week ahead and a look at general strategies I plan to implement. The weekly newsletter will not be long. Mainly because I don’t have days and hours to dedicate to putting it together. I consider it more a briefing than a newsletter. I know many of you enjoy the strategy and overarching discussions I put in the Robin Hood Club’s “Today’s Notes” section (when it is open). So, the newsletter will be a weekly version of those discussions at a similar length. I hope you enjoy it! I will be putting one of these newsletters out every Tuesday with the last edition being Tuesday, December 31st. Throughout the season I will also put out various articles on TheSharpPlays.com website and which are separate from this newsletter. Tomorrow I will be posting an article on “NFL Win Totals”. The article will discuss win total wagers I am looking at as values for the season ahead. I’ll let you know on Twitter and with an email message to all of you when I post that article as well as any others to the website this season!

Last weekend was the first full weekend of college football. The weekend started quite rough from a sharp/value perspective. The public was loving life but the sharps were taking a beating Thursday & Friday. It was interesting all the email I got that perhaps this would be the year of the public, just like it was for summer MLB. Two days though is not enough time to assess how a week, let alone a month or season, will end up going. Sure enough, Saturday the tides turned and the public was starting to give their money back. Then on Sunday, the public was all over Oklahoma and they lost those bets in easy fashion. On Monday, it was time to chase and the public did with Notre Dame. Results varied on the line but because most public bettors take their action late, most had ND -19. In the end, while they lost Thursday and Friday… the books did very well on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Chalk that weekend up for the books and the sharp/value side as well despite how it started. The past weekend also hopefully helped you prepare for the inevitable bad beat. Be prepared to lose a parlay or big wager this season on some fluke. The finishes between Northwestern/Stanford and Oregon/Auburn showed the bad beat is alive and well in college football. Only a week in and we see that kind of chaos. Northwestern actually showed as a value play on a few algorithms for me. There was a chance it could have been the Robin Hood Selection, I am definitely glad it was not! Speaking of the Robin Hood Selection, what an amazing win by Boise. The Broncos looked absolutely awful in the first half. I was already seeing the tweets of “this algorithm sucks, open the Club, etc., etc.” As the saying goes, “that’s why they play two halves.” The second half was all Boise! The Broncos defense stepped up and looked incredible. What an amazing turn, they were totally inept the first half and then just found their way in the second. The Boise offense was solid in the first half but turnovers and settling for FGs made the big difference there. Nice to grab a win with Boise outright and for Robin Hood related action to be 2-0 in NCAAF this season!

For the week ahead, it is time for the NFL! Be careful when handicapping the NFL the first weekend. Don’t be the public bettor that remembers who was good and who was bad last year and bets according to that information. These teams have all changed in various ways and while last year is something to use to assess performance this year, it should only be worth about half your assessment/valuation. The other half of your assessment should be to calculate the values for the new variables that have come into play for the 2019-20 season with each team. I know you are excited for NFL to be here, as am I, however bet smart the first week. Get a feel for who these teams are this year. If you like a lot of games, throw a parlay in. You get the action at lower risk and can test the waters before diving in head first. If you do feel strongly about a game, maybe just play that one straight. You do not want to blow open your bankroll after just Week 1 because you were so jacked up for the season!

What am I looking at for the week ahead in the NFL? I am looking at Miami +7. Yes, Miami is absolutely awful, who in the heck would want to bet Miami? I sure would not but that’s exactly why I also have to look at them. Miami is of course having a garage sale but I was not impressed with the Ravens last year. The players on the Dolphins will be playing hard because none of them are guaranteed a spot on the team next year. The players will have to earn it this year. It doesn’t mean Miami wins but because they are so ugly of a bet, the public will push this line WAY out of hand. The public goes into “free money mode” on games like this one where they perceive there is NO WAY Miami could win. Maybe there is “no way” Miami could win but they could cover! LOL! Given the general feeling, the public will create a line that overvalues Baltimore in this spot. While Baltimore may win, they may not win by a TD or more. In which case Baltimore is happy with the win and the books are happy with the Miami cover. Keep an eye on this game as I suspect the sharps will wait until the line gets stupidly high and then they will pounce hard. The reason is if you consistently bet the teams that are getting more points than they should be, you will come out a winner in the end. It’s simple. The hard part is having the stomach to take those teams and the ability to identify which teams are getting more points than they should. Let’s see what Miami does this week. Sure, next week in the newsletter I might be saying, well Miami got killed. Perhaps but more often than not, the bets the public won’t touch will be one of the best betting options you can take each season. You will have to hold your nose when you do it though!

Over in college football, the team I am looking at is William & Mary. I was thoroughly unimpressed by Virginia this past week. I watched the Pitt & Virginia game because of the big syndicate move on Pittsburgh and the Pro’s v Joe’s setup on the game in favor of Pitt. I wanted to check out perhaps what the sharps knew that nobody else did. Well, Pitt was atrocious in that game. It hurt my eyes to watch their offense play. I was not overly impressed with their defense either. Maybe it was a Virginia fade as the reason the syndicate slammed action on Pitt?? I don’t know. Despite how bad Pitt played, they only lost by 16 with the difference being 17 points in the second half. Of those 17 points, one TD was the result of an interception on the Pitt 29 and the other touchdown was when Pitt turned the ball over on downs at their own 27 late in the game. So if you didn’t watch the game you would think Virginia won easy. If you watched the game, you know it was Pitt that gave the game away. As bad as Pitt was, they had chances to pull out an easy victory. All of that says something very bad about Virginia. Now for the week ahead we see Virginia giving 34.5 points to William & Mary. The line was at 35.5 at one point but immediately took sharp action to push it back down to 34.5. William & Mary is not a good team but neither is Virginia. Virginia appears to be getting a high line because of the perception of a dominant win on the road. Sorry, Virginia did not win that game, Pittsburgh lost the game through mistakes and awful play. I have a feeling the 34.5 will be a bit too much for VA.

Now, what I just covered with Miami for the NFL and William & Mary for NCAAF are NOT best bets, selections or my personal action. It’s just two of the initial games that have popped onto my radar that I will be monitoring for the week ahead. There is so much action on the board that I will filter down my primary look to 10-12 games that have popped on my radar for various reasons (information, algorithms, experiences, etc.). Both Miami and W&M are two of those games on my radar that I thought to highlight here for discussion. I might end up just throwing them in a pizza parlay or teaser depending on what I see with both games as the week moves along. Also, I may not doing anything with either but instead just watch to see what happens. I am just sharing some initial observations and I will follow-up on both through Twitter as the week moves along.

Now for some algorithm discussion. I only used two football algorithms this week. I don’t like to get too crazy the first week. Even though the algorithms can adjust for unknowns, like they did with Boise’s new QB, there is a lot to digest. I like to just let them roll for Week 1 and then let them analyze everything for Week 2. The spread algorithm lost by 2 points in very hard luck fashion thanks to a missed FG with Albany. Sometimes that is the difference between winning and losing. Then on Saturday, I rolled with one of my totals algorithms (v6.2) and it selected Fresno/USC UN52.5. Unfortunately, this play also went down with a total points scored of 54. Yes, that’s two algorithm plays, two losses, in one week that went down by a combined 3.5 points. Tough losses and very tight lines in both! The spread algorithm is one I will consistently post each week for NCAAF to Twitter. That way you can consistently bet it throughout the season. Then I will also have algorithms I put up from time to time. Some “guest appearances” that will hopefully lock on to value and help you in your betting. I will track the various algorithms that make guest appearances here in the newsletter each week. The spread algorithm which will be posted whenever it has a play will be tracked at the website (right side of the main page and the algorithms page).

Current Football Algorithm Records –

Totals Algorithm v6.2 is 0-1 (-1.1u)

I plan to cover the totals algorithm again this week if it has anything and I am also looking forward to cracking out an algorithm I started last year and then tweaked up in the off-season for NFL 1st Quarters. I may have something this weekend with the 1st Quarters but like the other algorithms, I will definitely have it next weekend. Just want to get that first weekend of data in. The 1st Quarter algorithm will be tracked on the website in the “testing” section of the records posted there since I will also cover that one each week.

In closing, I am sure this newsletter will tighten up and evolve as the year moves along. Just sort of testing it all out this week to see how it goes. My goal will be for the weekly newsletter to take you no more than 10 minutes to read end to end… even for the slowest reader. Just something to be sort of an addendum to all the other content I put out there. Remember, not just for the week ahead but all season… always bet smart and disciplined. If you can avoid emotional betting this football season you will be a lot happier and wealthier come the end of the season. Also, don’t forget that Saturday is the next Robin Hood Selection! If you are interested you can get further details and/or pre-order for Saturday at www.TheSharpPlays.net/buy. Thank you as always to everyone for their support! Remember, every Robin Hood Selection includes the 1 unit Profit Promise. The Profit Promise means if the Robin Hood Selection loses, I will open the Robin Hood Club (using the password you received when you purchased the Robin Hood Selection) to not only recoup the unit loss but to provide 1 unit or more of profit. The Profit Promise has come into play 6 times and has delivered every time! Oh and someone asked but just so everyone knows, the Robin Hood Selection/Robin Hood Club are not some sort of chase system. The Robin Hood Selection is always a 1 unit play. If it loses the Robin Hood Club will released bets of 0.2 units to a maximum of 1 unit until the loss from the Robin Hood Selection is recovered and 1 unit or more of profit achieved!

Good luck in your action this week!
~ The Sharp Plays