Here's how I hope to hit better than 60% in baseball the rest of this year. Yesterday I violated Rule 6, and although I still would've lost on my top play, my record and bankroll would not have taken the hit that it did. I developed these rules after learning the hard way the dangers of fading them.
The 15 Rules by Saint Andrew
1. Don't play juice higher than -139. You may hit greater than 60%, but your bankroll will eventually get ground-down. If there's a team you really love at greater than -139, play a two-team parlay with them. Afterall, if their juice is that high and you think it deserves to be, they should be a lock right? Why not parlay them with another sure-winner and get twice the money?
2. Don't get complacent or "creative" after a big win. Stick to a winning system as if you were down to your last dollar.
3. Don't play totals. They're not profitable, you win on them by being lucky. Luck is not a handicapping tool.
4. Don't play run lines...ever. It's hard enough to win a game by one run, heavy favorites who should win still lose every day (see yesterday's Atlanta and ChiSox games). Very often games go into extra innings. The run line is the dumb line.
5. The only acceptable parlay is a two-teamer.
6. Don't bet more than one parlay per day. These are your best two teams and they should be your big show. Don't make them share the spotlight. (see "Bankroll Guidelines")
7. Don't bet more than one game in the same time slot. (the reason for this is mentioned in "Bankroll Guidelines" below)
8. Don't make more than three plays in one day. (see "Bankroll Guidelines") If you have alot of games that you "OMG REALLY LOVE", narrow it down to the three best. If you can't pick which are the best, you shouldn't be betting.
9. Don't take or fade a rookie pitcher making his first, second or third start. You don't know what you're going to get.
10. Don't go "all-in" unless you are making a lifestyle change. You may think you are ready to do it, but if it loses and you suddenly can't get action down, you will wish you could get in the time machine. There is only one permissible time to go "all -in": it's when you are on the brink of a lifestyle change that does not involve gambling and you don't care if you win or lose.
11. Don't let "touts", message board traffic, etc influence your plays. "Gambling Services" are simply people doing what you should be doing (research) except that they are usually doing it less effectively than you could do it yourself. I am always shocked by the illiterate moron write-ups that I see on service sites.
12. Don't beat yourself up over an unexplainable loss. When a big offense or stud pitcher decides to "take the day off" and ruin your play, shrug it off. It happens. The goal is for it to happen less than 40% of the time. You can't win long-term until you have mastered how to mentally deal with an unexplainable loss. How you react on the very next wager will tell you if you are a square (chaser), sharp ("oh well, next play"), or degenerate ("all-in")
13. Never violate sound bankroll management. Duh. IMO the best system is the one I devised below. I call it "Heaven's Gate"
14. Never assume that a team is better or worse than their record.
15. DON"T LET THE VEGAS / CARRIB LINE INFLUENCE YOUR OPINION OF A MATCHUP. The game takes place on the field, not in the book. "Fading steam", looking for "traps" is complete nonsense and disrespects this fine hobby.
Home advantage: Almost always play the home team. If you're playing the road team, then the home team had better be HORRIBLE with a horrible home record, little fan support and on a week day.
Offense: look at how a team hits left and right-handers at home and on the road (whichever applies). Then look at how many runs a team is averaging per game over the last 10 games. Pick which team has the better offense and then compare that to the team's overall home/away record. If you can get a good offense paired with a good home record (for instance Texas and Boston at home), you've got a good ingredient for a pick.
Pitching: look at each pitcher's ERA on the road/at home (whichever applies) and in their last three. Average those two ERAs. Overall ERA is not important. If they are comparable, the tie-breaker is how each pitcher pitches in day/night. Now look at home runs allowed. How many innings per home run does the pitcher pitch? If the pitcher gives up 1 HR every six innings or less, you need to consider fading him because he will probably give up a HR with RISP. When that happens, his chances of losing hugely increase.
Bullpen: only look at stats for the available bulllpen, not the overall bullpen. If you see an available bullpen ERA greater than 4.00, then that team needs to have substantial other reasons why you should bet them. The bullpen usually pitches 1/3 of the game. If the starting pitcher throws alot of Ks, the bullpen is more important because the starter's pitch count will be high by the 6th inning.
Trends: I love certain trends because they give you a "percentage probability" to work with, along with your other handicapping tools. For instance, if the Red Sox are 39-13 at home and have "won 8 of their last 9 home games", it's a pretty good bet that they're going to win their next one. Raw math can help considerably.
BANKROLL GUIDELINES ("HEAVEN'S GATE")
I posted this at another site several weeks ago. Flat betting does not produce the best profit and it is also a grinding, unrewarding affair. Instead, I have devised "Heavens Gate" which consists of small wagers that increase after two consecutive wins.
1. Divide your bankroll by 11. This is your first "base unit."
2. When placing your bet, never wager on more than one game in the same time slot. For instance, if you're betting a game at 1 p.m., wait until until 4 p.m. to place your next wager. The reason for this is because the result of the first game determines how much you will be betting on the second game.
3. After two consecutive wins, increase your bet by half of the previous bet. Example: Cubs win a $50 bet at 1 p.m., Dodgers win a $50 bet at 4 p.m. So the next day (or during a late game) your next bet would be for $75. If you then win two $75 bets in a row, your next bet is for $112. This means that you will never have more than three bets on any given day (weekend) or two bets on any given weekday. The goal is to make THE BEST 1 to 3 bets possible each day in order to get your reverse pyramid going.
4. Whenever you lose, you always go back to your "base unit", which is 1/11th of your total bankroll. Example: if your total bankroll is $2400 after suffering a loss, your first "base unit" bet will be $2400 / 11 = $218
a) 2-team parlays are acceptable and count as a single play. However, they should be restricted to the most lock-worthy plays. Also, if you have a 2-team parlay and the first game begins at 3:30 and the second game is at 7:00 p.m., you can't make anymore wagers until the parlay concludes ( you'll be restricted to the late West Coast games or wait until the next day). Again, this is because the result of the parlay will influence how much you bet on your next game.
b) Each day, pick the best play possible. It is reasonable and preferred to have only 1 play each day; however, if you select more than one play, remember the time slot rules so that you can adjust your wagers accordingly after each play concludes. Remember, your goal is to get a win streak going over a series of days, not to just "fill up a card" with plays that you favor.
What will this system yield? Well, it depends on how good you are at picking the best possible 1 to 3 plays each day. In baseball, I gun for 60%. Using the above system over the last three years, I have found that I will go back and forth with the book, trading two wins for a loss, or two lossses for a win for sometimes weeks at a time. During this process (which I call "dancing"), my bankroll fluctuates in relatively small increments. But then it happens: I will reel off a 10 to 13 game win streak that pretty much guarantees a profitable season. I have had times after 10 or 11 wins in a row, where I have needed to call my book in order to get a limit increase to meet the requirements of my reverse pyramid. Those are good times.
If you are a good capper, and you use the above system WITHOUT FAIL or deviation, you will very rarely lose more than four games in a row, but you WILL have spans of winning five to seven games in a row many times. Due to the reverse pyramid betting strategy, this means that you're making solid profits during even a small winning streak. As your bankroll grows, so does your 1/11th base unit that you execute after each loss. This makes betting very fun and exciting.
"Heaven's Gate" refers to every wager you make after winning 12 in a row. I have been there three times in my career.