Sports betting predictions

NBA Playoff Betting Is the Zigzag Theory Valid or Poppycock

NBA Playoff Betting - Is the Zigzag Theory Valid or Poppycock

About this time two years ago, I watched as on one of the fine betting sites there was a not-so-subtle back and forth of the validity of the so-called zigzag NBA playoff system.

The method simply says go with the team off of a loss. A critic came back after the first week or so gleaming over the fact the technique zagged and sagged more than it zigged. It lost money. Then as the playoffs went on, the proponent got the last laugh while the cynic wrote articles on other topics telling you he is smarter than everyone else.

Having been in the industry since the 1980s and having been a supporter of computer systems since prominent statistician Dr. Mike Orkin wrote his Pointspread Analyzer software, where does Center of the Handicapping Universe stand?

We agree with the theory, but less so the etched-in-stone considerations. First of all, let us give a quick refresher of the difference. A system can be measured objectively because the parameters are concrete. The zigzag is an example. Going with a double digit favorite off a single digit loss would be another hypothetical.

Of course there can be modest variances depending on when and where a database gathers lines, but over any statistically significant period it does not make a huge difference.

A theory is much like a system but does not have objective parameters. Our theory is the better the team is that the zigzag system favors and the bigger the margin the loss was, the more compelling it is to "go with the team off a loss."

True one could come up with a system to measure our upgrading of the methodology. An example would be going with a team with a winning percentage of .575 or higher off a loss of eight or more. The problem is we believe a mental sliding scale combining and most importantly, weighing the two factors works best. It allows for a mixing and matching of the two parameters.

For example, this year as in most years, it would not apply or would only be weighed slightly if we are talking about the bottom three seeds in each conference off a loss. There is a reason they are called "mismatches".

No. 4 versus five and the next three rounds of the playoffs (barring huge first round upsets), it is weighed much heavier. Remember we told you the mocker grew conspicuously quieter as the postseason went on. Now you know why.

It’s one of those theories that almost make too much sense. During the regular season of every sport we remind you of the Golden Rule to not merely go with the "team that needs it more" if said team is fighting just to make the playoffs.

We call attention to the fact if a team were proficient at winning "must win" games they would not be playing in must-win games late in the year.

Conversely, a one through five seed, especially as the playoffs go deeper, has shown the ability to rebound from adversity and respond when their backs are to the wall.

To the handicapper there is a titanic difference between desperate elite teams and equally desperate inferior teams playing in a crucial contest. It’s like the difference between seeing Jennifer Lopez and Rosie O’Donnell in a string bikini.

Okay, I don’t follow the analogy myself, but the exemplification of the distinction is infallible. From a handicapping standpoint one can’t measure the success of the zigzag if Phoenix coming off a loss is given the same weight (no pun intended Rosie) as Washington or Golden State following a setback.

Likewise, the margin of the loss is applicable for at least two obvious reasons. As we have said many times, nothing affects public perception more than the last game they have seen. It’s not uncommon for a blowout in the previous game to influence an opening line by 2-3 points and more times than not, the closing line by more.

Plus, no matter how motivated and well-coached a squad is, it defies human nature to approach a game with as much vengeance off a 22-point win as it is for the team off the huge setback.

So to friends and foes alike of zigzag, a .700 or better team off a loss is not even close to being the same as the below .520 teams zigging. Nor is mindset the same for a team that lost a game that went down to the wire the same as one that got humiliated on national television.

Soccer Betting

Soccer Betting

Soccer (or Futbol) betting is very popular in many parts of the world. In fact, the only place that it’s not is the United States. The game of soccer can be claimed as the world’s true sport, but the United States does not enjoy soccer anywhere near as much as other parts of the globe. As with any other game, it’s important to know the game before you put down your cash. Thanks to the Internet keeping up with teams and getting information on foreign teams is a snap. You can find some wild money lines in soccer.

If you are brand spanking new to soccer betting, you are in for a treat—and possibly a headache. One thing that’s both good and bad is the number of leagues around the world. It’s good because there is plenty of soccer action to wager on, but it can be overwhelming at the same time. It’s recommended that you start by focusing on the soccer league(s) in your region or a region that interests you. This will allow you to become an expert in that area and you will do much better. Once you get the hang of it, you can expand your horizons if you want.

To win more money and more consistently you will need to know how a soccer game works—at least to some degree. The more you know about soccer and the more you understand the flow, the better off you will be. This task can be accomplished quickly be browsing some Internet websites and reading the data they offer. While you are searching around, look for pages on some of the teams you might be betting on. Specifically, look for any information on how they play the game and anything about their scoring and defense.

The main question is about money. Can you make real money betting on soccer? The quick answer is yes. Soccer presents some great opportunities for the informed sports bettor. When you place a bet on a soccer match, you bet on the winner outright. There is no point spread—although some sports books do proposition bets with goals. You can also bet on the match ending in a draw, which happens semi-frequently. Betting on the draw usually results in a nice payoff if it comes in. Many draws will be +200 or higher.

The lines in soccer matches are usually pretty interesting. Matches that feature teams who are close in talent have plus-money lines, which is different from other sports. For example, you might have the favorite being a +125 and the underdog being a +175. No matter whom you choose, you are getting value for your money. Even if you are not experienced with soccer betting or soccer in general, it can sometimes be easy to spot the big favorite. Teams that are overwhelmingly dominant in a match might be -500 favorites. Obviously, there’s no value here and smart sports bettors should stay away from such matches.

Overall, soccer betting is definitely something sports bettors should look into. The game gives sports bettors great value for their money and there is plenty of action to go around. If you have not tried betting on soccer yet, give it a look. You just might find your new moneymaker.