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SPORTS HANDICAPPER                     RAY POLACCO   231-580-7201


Straight Bets, Parlays, Teasers ...
Brief explanation of the different types of bets to wager on football (NFL).

Straight Bets
The team wagered on must win by the point spread given at the time of the wager. For straight wagers, unless otherwise indicated, the odds are $1.10 to win $1.00. Games that tie are considered "no action" and money is re-deposited back into your account. Due to changing events, the point spread may fluctuate at any time.

Example: Player wagers $110.00 on Cleveland -6 to beat +6 If San Diego wins by more than 6 points the player wins $100.00 so the total payout including the initial wager would be $210.00. If Cleveland only wins by 6 points then the game is considered "no action" and all money is returned to the bettor. If the Cleveland wins by less than 7 points the wagers is lost.

Totals (also known as Over/Under bets)
The combined score of both teams for games wagered on, all totals lay $1.10 to win $1.00 unless it is otherwise indicated.

Example: The player lays $110.00 on the OVER in the NY Jets/Dallas game. The total for the game is 45. If both teams' combined score is more than 45 than the player would win $100.00. If the combined score is equal 45 the game is considered "no action" and the money is returned. If the combined score is less than 45 then the wager is lost.

Money Line Wagers
The team wagered on just has to win the game. The amount you lay or take for each game may vary. The money line that is read to at the time of your wager is the money line you keep regardless of any line movement.

Example: The player wagers on Miami -160 at Minnesota +260. If Miami wins then the player would lay $160.00 to win $100.00. If the player bet on Minnesota then the player would lay $100.00 to win $260.00

Halftime Wagers
Halftime wagering is simply a wager only on the score of the first, or second half of a contest. The line offered will be a pointspread, a moneyline, or a combination of the two, but the wager applies only to the score of the halftime period specified.

Parlays (also known as Multiples or Combos)

This is a bet of 2 or more teams (selections) or propositions in no particular order. All teams wagered on in a parlay must win. If there is a tie, or "no action" among the selections made, the parlay reverts down to the next lowest number for payoff. In the case of a 2-team parlay, it will revert down to a straight wager. No parlay bets will be accepted where individual "selections" are connected. For example, you cannot parlay the over of the first half of a football game with the over of the total game, because the two are 'connected'


Player wants to make a 5 team parlay:
San Diego -7
Bears +3
St. Louis -4
New England -10
Cincinnati -8

If all these games win then the player would have won at 20-1 odds. If only 1 team loses then the entire parlay loses.

Parlays are a very exciting way for the sports betting enthusiast to WIN VERY LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY WITH VERY LIMITED RISK! Just look at the simple payout chart below to see how much you'll win by betting just $250 on the parlay combinations.

Typical Parlay Net Winnings for a $250 bet:

2 Teams


3 Teams


4 Teams


5 Teams


6 Teams


7 Teams


8 Teams


9 Teams


10 Teams



A Teaser is a selection of two or more teams in one wager in which the point spread is adjusted in your favor. The number of teams selected and the number of points selected determines the payout odds. A "Tie" or "No Action" and a "Win" on a two team teaser shall constitute a "No Action" wager. A "Tie" or a "No Action" and a "Loss" on a two team teaser shall constitute a "Losing" wager. Ties on a three or more team teaser shall revert to the next lowest betting bracket. (Example: A tie on a three team becomes a two team teaser.)

Typical Teaser Net Winnings for $250 bet:

6 pts

6.5 pts

7 pts

2 Teams




3 Teams




4 Teams




5 Teams




6 Teams




Future Book Wagers

A "futures" wager is a bet placed on an event that is scheduled to occur at some future date. For instance, prior to the beginning of the regular season for each major sport, odds will be established for each team to win their individual division, conference and seasonal championship.

Another type of "future" wager that has become extremely popular is the over/under wager for the total number of victories for the entire season for a given team.

Proposition Bets (Exotics)

Simply put, Proposition/Exotic Bets may generally be considered as any wager other than a straight "side" or "over/under" wager. More specifically, these wagers usually involve specific events and occurrences that happen throughout any given game. We have listed some examples for you below.

Props/Exotics will be offered on the more marquee games on the betting menu. These include, but are not limited to, Sunday and Monday night NFL games, various NCAA Football games, major Bowl games, and most Playoff and Championship games. There are also many other miscellaneous events that Props and Exotics will be offered for.

Examples and Definitions of Common Props/Exotics

  • Which team will be the first to score?

  • The team that scores first in the game (touchdown, field goal or other). This bet will be taken off the board for wagering 15 minutes before the scheduled kickoff time because the coin has been tossed and the team who will have the first possession of the ball is known.

  • Which team will be the last to score?

  • The team that scores last in the game (touchdown, field goal or other, overtime included).

  • Will either team score in the first X minutes and XX seconds of the game?

  • Will the first score of the game be a touchdown (overtime included)?

  • Will the last score of the first half be a field goal?

  • Will either team score in the last 2 minutes of the first half?

  • Will the team that scores first win the game?

  • Will either team have 3 or more unanswered scores?

  • Will either team score 3 times without the other team scoring in between (touchdown or field goal, conversions do not count)?

  • Will the longest touchdown be over or under XX yards?

  • Will the shortest touchdown of the game be over or under XX yards?

  • Which half will have the most points scored in it by both teams combined (overtime included in the second half)?

  • Will the total field goals made by both teams combined be over/under X?

  • Will Quarterback X throw an interception?

  • Will the total rushing yards by Running back X be over or under X?

  • Which team will have the most penalties?

  • Will the total sacks made by both teams combined be over or under X?

  • Will the total fumbles lost by both teams be over or under X?

  • Will the total points scored by a team be over or under X?


Gamblers or prospective invest beware! Most gambling hype you read, see, or hear in regard to gambling/invested sports is misinformed, erroneous or simply designed to take your money before you even place a bet/invest. In order to be successful sports bettor/invested, you have to have skills in money management, play selection, a good attitude, and reasonable expectations as to what you can expect to win if you are successful. Let me give you a method of money management as an eye opener:

Size of Bet Initial Bankroll
$20-$30 $1,000 - $2,000
$40-$50 $2,000 - $3,000
$100 $5,000
$500 $25,000

Most players start the season with absolutely no clue as to how much capital it takes to withstand the ups and downs of a typical football season. You should give yourself enough money to have a chance all year. Sport gambling is nearly always full of streaks. Even with great handicapping, you are still going to lose 40 percent of your bets, so be prepared. You have got a bankroll, so what is next? Divide it up as follows:

BankRoll Average Bet College Pro Reserve
$1,000 $25 $400 $400 $200
$2,000 $50 $800 $800 $400
$5,000 $100 $2,000 $2,000 $1,000
$25,000 $500 $10,000 $10,000 $5,000

Here is the important part - Never risk more than 25 percent to 30 percent of your bankroll on any week. In other words, if you like 5 pro games you will bet 6 percent of our bankroll on each game. On the best plays you will bet 8 percent and maybe 2 to 3 times a year you will find a game that's worth 10 percent of your bankroll. If you love a lot of action, simply drop your bet size (2 percent to 3 percent), but never risk more than 33 percent of your bankroll in one day. If you win one week, your bankroll is larger so you'll automatically increase your bets as you win and conversely decrease your bets as you lose. The purpose of the reserve is to re-capitalize one of your bankrolls if the season starts out cold and you hit an early losing streak. In a typical year you should be cautious weeks 1 - 4, be bold weeks 5 - 12, and then revert to caution until the play-offs and bowl games.

This is a simple money management scheme and we will coach you on taking profits or when to use your reserve as the season progresses. There are more sophisticated methods of money management available, but for most people this method should work just fine.

This should give you a start in the right direction.


  • Read the full accounts of each college football game, or the ones with teams you are interested in, the Monday after the games have been completed. Don't just read the newspaper articles. Full online accounts will give you the team's overall performance regardless of the score or outcome.

  • Look at the statistics from the games played. Pay attention to turnovers, rushing yards and passing yards. Check out any trends, such as if a team has been passing or running the ball more lately. Scope out the opponents' records, too. See if your team has any alternative weapons like a good kicking game.

  • Listen to players and coaches. Most teams have press conferences on Monday or Tuesday. Some coaches' quotes will also tell you about injuries and whether any key players will be missed for the following week. However, some coaches are not as forthcoming.

  • Read the midweek articles from the local papers. Get a feel for how the practices are going and whether the team is high off their past win or low off their past loss. Attitude plays a big part in college

  • Watch for any changes in the gambling line by Thursday. If it moves in favor of one team or another, you might want to check for injuries, illnesses or suspensions.

  • Check various handicapping message boards and compare your information. Some of the people on those boards are professional handicappers and have inside sources.

  • Make your bets as soon as you feel confident, and as early as possible.


    Flat bets are wagers that do not change. It means betting the same amount over and over again in your gambling/invested. For example, say you place a bet/invested on the New York Yankees and your starting bet is 10 dollars, then you continue betting 10 dollars on the next game without changing it. That means you are making a flat bet of ten dollars on each game.
    I believe that you should use flat betting. That means you should ignore star ratings and play every game the same. For instance, if you wager 2% of your bankroll, then stick with 2%. Don’t try to put a higher rating on a game just because you want to have action. You are just betting to bet which will lead to losing in the long run.
    Another reason for recreational bettors to use flat bets is the amount of work that goes into finding the percentage edge. It’s a lot easier for a player to handicap a game and say that there is an edge, but it takes a lot more work to determine what that edge really is.

    The Labouchere system is named after Henry du Pre Labouchere (1831–1912), an English journalist and Member of Parliament, Labouchere gave credit for the system to Condorcet (1743–1794). Condorcet, a political leader during the time of the French revolution, was interested in applying probability theories to economics and politics.
    The principle behind the Labouchere system is that you can create winning sessions even if you win less than 50% of the time. The system achieves this by changing the bet sizes to cover prior betting losses.
    While the Labouchere System looks complicated at first, it is rather easy to use once you try it once or twice.
    The Labouchere system uses a series of numbers in a line to decide the amount of your bet. You can choose any series of numbers and they can vary in length, e.g., 1-1-1-1, 1-2-3-4-5, etc.
    These numbers represent betting units. The sum of the two outside numbers is the amount for the next bet. If you win you cross out the two outside numbers and proceed to use the shorter line. If you lose, you add the amount just wagered to the end of the line and continue to use the longer line. The value of the first bet placed is calculated by adding together the sum of the first and last numbers in the line (the outside numbers).
    For baseball we find that the ideal unit size to be 1. If you use larger unit sizes, the bet sizes will become quite large after a few losses and possibly go outside your comfort zone. In addition, to allow you the ability to clear the line as quickly as possible, we find the right length of line to be 4 units.
    The first step is to decide the dollar value of each unit. A good rule of thumb is to start your wager at 1/2% of your total bankroll. For example, if your bankroll is $4,000, your first wager would be $20. Since we use the outside two numbers for your bet, each unit would be $10. Thus the line would look like this:
    Game 1: 10-10-10-10
    If you win game 1, you would cancel the 1st and 4th unit of $10. Your next wager would also be $20. The line would be:

    Game 2: x-10-10-x
    If you win Game 2, you cancel the line and start a new one.
    If you would have lost Game 1, you add the amount that you lost to the end of the line. The Game 2 wager would be $30 (the total of the 1st and 5th unit) making the line:
    Game 2: 10-10-10-10-20
    If you lose Game 2, you add $30 to the end of the line, which makes the wager for Game 3 $40. Game 3 line looks like:
    Game 3: 10-10-10-10-20-30
    If you win Game 3, you cancel the 1st and 6th unit making the line for Game 4:
    Game 4: x-10-10-10-20
    You continue this process until the line is cancelled and you are showing a profit for the line.
    The Labouchere System is very popular with casino players but the truth is no system can help you win casino games such as roulette. A computer cannot consistently and accurately predict the outcome of a roulette spin because it is not a game with a reoccurring pattern. It is a random game of chance. However this is not the case in baseball.
    Baseball is not played with dice or spinning wheels; it is played by human beings who hate to lose. Thus, if the NY Yankees lose today, they are even more motivated to win tomorrow. Motivation is only one of the many effective methods used in predicting the outcome of a baseball game. The fact that humans and computers can predict the outcomes of baseball games with reasonable success is what makes the Labouchere System ideal for enhancing your profitability and getting back your losses as quickly as possible.

    Betting baseball underdogs often offers more value since for most baseball bettors, the urge to bet the favourite is often too tempting to pass up. After all, the favourite is "supposed" to win, while the underdog is "supposed" to lose.
    The key for sports gamblers is to determine if the price on the favourite provides the most value. A favourite of -140 with a true probability of winning two out of three games is a good bet in the long run, while a favourite of -250 with a true probability of winning two out of three games, is not.
    For the most part, baseball bettors are far more likely to see the second scenario. Oddsmakers know that the majority of baseball bettors are going to back the favourite, and they will adjust for that fact.
    A seven year study of baseball results produced the following winning percentages and betting results:
    • Underdogs: 6,917 - 9,644 (-153 units)
    • Favourites: 9,619 - 6,891 (-641 units)

    Even though the favourites won 58.3% of the games, bettors who backed only the favourites would lose four times as much as a bettor who backed only underdogs.

    But since both scenarios will show a flat-rate loss, what we're looking for are certain situations that occur, where we can take advantage of the oddsmakers' tendency to inflate the line on the favourite, and look for value with the underdogs.

    1. Underdogs often add more value than favourites. Betting underdogs is normally a good idea in any sport, but it is even more important in baseball where even good teams lose 70-plus games each year.

      In 2010, $100 bettors that put a wager on every underdog would have lost $1,101.08. However, $100 bettors taking all favourites would have lost $5,046.33 (almost five times more than the dogs). The oddsmakers often inflate the line on the favourites because they know the general public likes to bet the favourites. Add a couple of filters and there is great value betting underdogs.

    1. Avoid laying odds worst than -150. To break-even with -150 odds you must win 60% of the time. Given that the top teams in the league win about 60% of the time and the bottom teams win about 40% of the time, you are throwing your money away if you are consistently betting on heavy favourites.

    MLB Handicapping: Betting Baseball Totals

    One of the most overlooked aspects of MLB gambling is baseball totals betting. This is a big area of the sport and one that you need to get a hold of to maximize profits. Last week I looked at a few key trends and stats in baseball and tried to find some reasons behind why they are important. One thing that is not surprising is that the New York Yankees are leading the majors in runs scored. What is surprising is that they also lead the American League in pitching with a 3.84 team ERA, but pitching still appears to be a major weakness on this team over the long haul.

    The thing that is the most remarkable about the Yankees is that they have ripped opponents by the combined score of 80-52, yet the Bronx Bombers are just 6-6. One thing that stands out is that they are 0-3 in one-run games. By contrast, the new-look Red Sox (pitching and defensive-oriented) are 9-4 despite outscoring their opponents by a mere five runs. The Sox are 6-1 in games decided by one or two runs and 5-0 when they score four runs or fewer. Who knows how this will stack up over the course of an entire season.

    Granted, it’s still early, but by examining trends like this we can explain many things from a handicapping point of view. Boston is 7-4-1 UNDER the total the last 12 games, which makes sense because the offense is not as good as recent years, but their pitching and defense is very strong. Boston is No. 2 in the AL in team ERA (3.87). The powerful Yankees offense is a big reason they are 8-4 over the total, a trend that is likely to continue, especially if their pitching comes back to the pack. Get ready for a lot of high scoring Yankee games as the weather gets warmer and the season progresses!

    Behind those teams, the surprising Detroit Tigers have the third-best team ERA in the American League at 3.87. Newcomer veteran Kenny Rogers, Nate Robertson and Mike Maroth have been very good as starters, a combined 5-2. The trio has good control and giving the team 6-7 innings each start. They are a big reason the Tigers are 8-3 under the total, too.

    The Atlanta Braves are 9-3 over the total and the big surprise to everyone is how bad their pitching has been. Their 5.72 team ERA is second worst in the NL, a big contrast to the years past! John Smoltz and John Thomsen have pitched well, but starters Kyle Davies, Tim Hudson, Jorge Sosa and Horacio Ramirez have been completely awful. Do they miss longtime pitching coach Leo Mazzone? Mazzone moved on to the Orioles this off-season, but the Orioles pitching has a 5.12 team ERA and is in the middle of the pack in the AL, and their 61 walks is the most in baseball. Maybe he just needed to be in Atlanta with his man Bobby Cox.

    Toronto has to be delighted with the offensive performances of newcomers Lyle Overbay and Troy Glaus, who are both hitting over the .300 mark. The improved offense is a reason why the Blue Jays are 8-3 over the total averaging 6.2 runs per game. And speaking of totals, the Cincinnati Reds are 8-4 over the total. Is this a fluke? Nope: The Reds lead the league in home runs and slugging, while the pitching is 12th in the 16-team National League. It’s important to sift through

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