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Football is King

By: Ron Raymond

Although we live in Hockey Country Canada, don’t be fooled on which sport makes the Sportsbooks and Casinos the most money, Football!

As we say in the gaming industry, Football is King Baby! No other sport brings out the gamblers like football does every weekend. Why is Football so popular? The reason is quite simple: “time”. Let’s look at it from a “time factor” point of view from any regular Joe or Jane in society. Let’s say you’re a normal “weekend sports warrior” who works 9 to 5 Monday to Friday, you get home around 6’ish, have supper, play with the kids, answers a few emails and next thing you know it’s 7:30, 8:00 pm. Where does one get time to do their handicapping homework, network with other fellow sports bettors and then lay your action? It’s just too time consuming to bet every night like Baseball, Basketball or Hockey. In a nutshell, that’s why Football is King Baby!

I’ve been in the Las Vegas Hilton Super Football Contest the last 5 years and have cracked the top 25 the last 2 years by coming 8.5 and 6.0 points from winning. Very tough task, but I’m going to give you some tips on what to look for when making your picks that has helped me be successful in betting Football in the Hilton Contest.

First, you need to realize that you are betting into a number and in order to be successful, you need to create your own power ratings or system to beat the bookmakers’ numbers. For example, lets say Dallas –3.0 vs. Washington is one of the games for the weekend, you need to say to yourself, why does the bookmakers think Dallas will win by –3.0 points? Is –3.0 the right number? If so, how did they come up with –3.0? Remember, the bookmakers’ job is to create even action so the house can make money, therefore, this could be an adjustment line and during the 2005 season, it was the year of the Favorites. The Sportsbooks got hammered last season; let me give you an indication on what type of beating they took. Keep in mind; the Sportsbooks want 50/50 type action on wagers against the spread (ATS). Now in 2005, the Favorites had a straight up winning record of 192-68 SU and 145-108-7 (57%) ATS.  In order for the Books to make money, they need to have balanced action on the favorites and underdogs and with a 57% rate for the Favorites against the spread this means trouble for the books. If it would have been 57% for the UNDERDOGS, managers in Vegas and Offshore could have retired on that type of action. Basically, the public said to the bookmakers, “Who’s your daddy?”

Here’s a situation you need to watch out for and it’s called the letdown factor. How many times have you watched a game and one team just put the boots to the other team and won by 5 touchdowns and the next game they come out flat and lay a goose egg? Winning brings confidence and sometimes teams let their guard down and don’t take the next opponent serious, because everything went perfect in the last game. Wrong! I love to play against a team that just whacked another team, as the bookmakers know the public will be in love with that team and this is the perfect value play, as I call this the “letdown factor” play. In fact, this play has an outstanding success rate in College Football, especially when a team like Michigan beats up a power house program like Miami or Ohio State and plays a team like Indiana as a –33.5 Favorite the following week. Major letdown factor here! 

Another key handicapping factor to watch out for is the “Division Sandwich” play. A “Division Sandwich” is when one team is caught between two division games during a 3-game period. Example: Dallas vs. the NYG in Week 1, Dallas vs. Buffalo in Week 2 and Washington vs. Dallas in Week 3. Normally a team caught between a ‘Division Sandwich’ game, the middle game turns out to be the “less-pressure” game to win, as nobody wants to lose 2 points to a division opponent and fall back in the standings. Plus, the coaching staff normally doesn’t want to tip their hat to the next week’s opponent on what type of offensive and defensive schemes they are running. In fact, the best opportunity is to play on a Road Favorite who’s caught in a “Division Sandwich”, as you will get more value on the Home Underdog.

Furthermore, I encourage readers to visit on a regular basis during football season. To receive my picks, go to Ron Raymond’s home page off the left menu on

Enjoy your Football Sundays and remember; the World needs more Kramers!

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