Take Control Of Your Handicapping With Some 'Coaching' Fundamentals

With Two-Time AFC Coach of the Year RON MEYER


I've talked a lot this basketball season about how to handicap games from a coach's point of view. Today, I want to talk about how to think of your battle with the oddsmakers as a game you're trying to win...and how to 'coach' your way to better performance.

Here are some quick fundamentals:

If the oddsmakers keep making a mistake with a certain team or total, keep betting against them until the line catches up. Don't assume the edge will be short-lived. Don't assume 'the due theory' is about to kick you in the groin. At some point the line will catch up, but you owe it to yourself to keep attacking the weakness until it does.

The Denver Nuggets are a great example here. I noticed many weeks ago that the players weren't responding well at all to Adrian Dantley as their interim head coach. Vegas took forever to notice...and, arguably, never really did. You're seeing the same thing with some totals in the first round...where the lines have been too high in some matchups. Attack the weakness when you see it!

There are no perfect coaches, perfect players, or perfect handicappers. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. You could argue that Las Vegas was built on the weaknesses of gamblers.

Be honest with yourself. What are YOUR weaknesses that Vegas is trying to exploit? Do you play too much action? CUT BACK! Do you lose discipline with your bankroll when things are going well? STICK TO A PLAN! Do you spend too much time yelling at the TV and not enough reading through old boxscores. DO MORE RESEARCH!

I'd argue that the most important thing a coach can do for a team is to fix a weakness, or do his best to cover it up so opponents take advantage. This is probably the single most important thing you can do in terms of your lifetime performance, FIX YOUR LEAKS!

What? Who are your starters? YOU are your starter, and I've seen far too many gamblers make dumb mistakes because they're exhausted. Did you see what San Antonio did the other night in Game Five at Dallas? They basically gave their stars the night off. Nobody important played more than 26 minutes. A couple of key guys were in the teens. Greg Popovich new his best chance for winning the series involved having his best guys fresh and ready for Game Six at home.

Are you the type to give yourself breaks so you're fresh and ready? Or, do you play seven days a week year round, never taking time to refuel? I think most gamblers would be best served by taking a game or two off per week, and finding time to take as much as a month or two off during the calendar year. If you love football, take 1-2 months off in the summer. If you make your annual nut playing baseball (as many in Vegas do because the schedule is so big), take a winter break.

Blackjack players make smart plays in their first hour, but really dumb plays in their 5th or 6th hours at the table. Same for poker players (that's why the big tournaments favor the young!). Tired gamblers are losing gamblers. STAY FRESH!

The best coaches know how to make adjustments when the situation merits. Little in the sports world is stagnant. Your opponents are coming up with new wrinkles to try and beat you. You need to try and see that coming, while trying to come up with a few new wrinkles of your own.

I've talked about developing a coach's eye for seeing body language. When you're watching games in your favorite sport, be prepared to adjust your rankings on teams based on what you see. Chemistry is much easier to 'recognize' on the field than it is in trends or stats. When players have tuned their coaches out, you'll know it long before oddsmaker 'power ratings' have made any significant moves. When a young team has come together, you can cash winners for weeks before the market prices adjust.

Line those four up, and think about how powerful they'd be in your legal betting arsenal:
Attack Weakness
Defend Your Own Weakness
Properly Pace Yourself
Adjust on the Fly

Taken as a whole, you're being aggressive, at full strength, while defending your weaknesses, with an eye toward finding even more edges you can be aggressive with. A true recipe for success from a coach's perspective!

I've put these fundamentals (and many more) to use in my careers as a coach and a handicapper. That's what's allowed me to be so successful in ALL sports rather than just football. You saw that for yourself during MARCH MADNESS, and we're having a great run through the NBA Playoffs so far.

If you'd like to mix my expertise with your expertise, sign up for service by calling 1-877-540-8787. You can also purchase my top daily plays here at the website with your credit card.


'COACH'S CORNER' is an ongoing series presented by VegasSportsMasters.com and two-time AFC Coach of the Year RON MEYER. For more information on Coach's THREE-POINT BASKETBALL CLUB, call 1-877-540-8787.


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