• Paul Compton

Welcome to the Sharp Side

Sportsbooks have one goal when they post their first football lines of the week, and that is limiting their exposure to sharp bettors/groups who are looking to attack weak lines. They do this by setting smaller betting limits and then waiting to raise them later in the week when they think the line has settled and they can attract more balanced action. The very weakest lines will still be bet as much as is allowed very soon after being released, because it's better to get something down on a great number than risk having the line being completely dead by the time the betting limits are raised. Sometimes "fakes" are bet to get lines to move so that they can be bet hard the other way with the real bet when the limits are raised.

There are multiple disadvantages to exclusively playing big service picks plays, even if the service shows a winning record over the years. First of all, the services never release their plays on the same days that the lines come out, so there's a good chance that when they finally release the play there was a better line available on it earlier in the week. And then when the play is released, it's like a thousand piranhas in a bath tub fighting over a single fish. The line moves quickly, one, two, three or even more points in an extremely short amount of time, and suddenly you've paid for a pick available to you at 2 or 3 points worse than the number used for tracking the service's record. Many picks services don't offer very many plays a week, which exposes one to the temptation of betting too much of your bankroll on any one play, or if that risky temptation is avoided, too much of your bankroll is left out of action each week, missing many positive expectation plays where your money could be grinding out safe positive gains. If you're paying a lot for an individual or small amount of plays you have to win at an extraordinarily high rate to overcome the additional cost of paying for just those picks.

The ideal way to consistently and safely make money at sports betting is to spread your money out over a large number of +EV plays, risking a small percentage of your bankroll on each play. I personally recommend a system of 1 unit equaling 1% of your bankroll, and my typical wagers are usually either 1 or 1/2 units in size. I use this small percent size as I recommend and play a very high volume of plays each week. Betting these smaller amounts means that the opening limits won't be a problem except for those with bankrolls of 50k-100k and higher (depending on the individual limits, of course). All in all, my system presents the ideal way to beat the sports betting market for almost every investor.

Of course none of this matters if you don't have a track record of being able to identify which lines in the market are best to take a position on. A loser will be a loser no matter how much or little you bet on it. I've been making American football lines for 12+ years, and my lines gain value versus the opening numbers when compared to the closing market lines every single week. The recommended plays based primarily on line discrepancies with the market have gained hundreds of points of value versus the closing lines every season as well. Almost all of this has been tracked in public forums at which I contributed, primarily at All of this value gained versus the closing lines market has resulted in 200+ units won in online posted plays, with an average bet size of less than 1 unit.

This year I've created the ultimate tool for beating the college football sports betting market -- The Sports Cruncher's College Football Market Cheat Sheet. It's like having insider trading information on most of the market moves that are going to take place before Wall St. even rings the opening bell for the week.

Each cheat sheet has my proven sharp line and total for every game. In addition each game is profiled as being a match up that favors an Under or Over and to what degree (this rating is independent of the actual opening total which hasn't been released yet). Injuries are factored into the lines. Based on the final scores of games from the past couple of weeks I will sometimes make an assumption of what I feel the public side or total will be. Usually you'll just want to fire at big line value right away, as there's no guarantee that other sharps won't hit it right away, but sometimes it might be good to monitor the line and hold off on betting if it doesn't move against you. If the line holds you can sometimes get a better number later in the day or week. Still, there's nothing too wrong with just taking a position on everything with value, as any early position taken based on my lines rates to gain value a large majority of the time.

Each week the cheat sheet will be posted publicly on Thursday. The real value in the sheet, of course, is having it Sunday before the first lines are posted online and in Vegas. Contact me for weekly prices or the rest-of-season pass at a discounted price. Prices are affordable and it's a tremendous value when you're getting access to sharp spreads and totals for every FBS game, which is going to include most of the lines that will be considered weak that week.

Based on the difference between my lines and the posted lines you can invest on a position, confident that the position you've taken will increase in value in the market the large majority of the time. Look at my posted lines and results for each week here on the website to see examples of this. Usually I like to look for at least a 10% amount of difference in the line, but will sometimes invest in a total with far less value than that if the Total Under or Over profile indicates more value in one direction.