Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence has authored thousands of articles expounding on the three primary forms of sports handicapping: Fundamental, Statistical and Technical. To be a successful handicapper, blending all three forms of analysis into the handicapping equation. Marc relies heavily on a proprietary powerful database of scores, stats and results of games played since 1980, both College and Pro Football and College and Pro Basketball.

Marc has been handicapping sports professionally since 1975, having won more documented Top 10 Handicapping Achievement awards than any handicapper in the nation. He won the 2005 STARDUST FOOTBALL INVITATIONAL Contest and was a SEMI-FINALIST in the 2006 $100,000 LEROYS' MONEY TALKS Contest last season. He finished the 2006 season as the No. 1 handicapper in the NFL as documented by SPORTS WATCH in Las Vegas. Marc also finished No. 1 in the nation in College Football win percentage in 2005 as documented by both the SPORTS MONITOR in Oklahoma and SPORTS WATCH in Las Vegas. He was named HANDICAPPER OF THE YEAR in 2005 by FOOTBALL NEWS.

In 2008, he finished No. 1 in NFL win percentage according to SPORTS WATCH and also captured 1st place honors in the 2008 PLAYBOOK WISE GUYS CONTEST.

Marc has hosted a national radio show "MARC LAWRENCE AGAINST THE SPREAD" for each of the last 16 years on over 100 stations syndicated in the USA. He is a tireless handicapper who works a minimum 60-hour week during the football and basketball seasons. As a handicapper he firmly believes that three things can happen when you bet an underdog, and two of them are good. He enjoys helping others to become better informed.

Marc married his high school sweetheart 40 years ago and has one son, Marc Jr., who works with him in the industry. Aside from publishing the PLAYBOOK Football Yearbook magazine and Weekly Newsletters, Marc enjoys golf and horse racing.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Taking Seahawks to Deflate Patriots

Though the offi cial opening line on today’s fray favored the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks by a fi eld goal, the line most of America first saw was ‘pick.’ At press time, a rush of New England money had moved the line to Patriots -1. But before you get caught up in sparring with the pointspread or shopping for the best lines, you may want to ponder this sobering fact: the outright winner of the Super Bowl stands 40-6-2 ATS all-time. That’s right, only six times in the history of the most gambled-on sporting event in America has the favorite on the game straight-up and failed to cover the number. Translation: if you can just pick the winner on the scoreboard, the odds are extremely favorable that you’ll cash a ticket as well. And if today’s battle royal between New England and Seattle stays near the current price range, picking a winner should be easier to fi gure than past Super Bowls. That’s because the combined pointspreads for the previous 48 Super Bowls fi nd the chalk laying an average of just over 7 points per game. Since that isn’t the case here, let’s focus on fi nding the SU winner in what looks to be an evenly matched contest at University of Phoenix Stadium.

COMMONALITY – SB XLIX marks the second consecutive season – after a 20-year drought – that the No. 1 seeds from each conference slug it out for the Lombardi Trophy. As you might expect, both teams arrive with identical 14-4 records. Looking deeper, each squad squared off against five common opponents this season, namely the Denver Broncos, the Green Bay Packers (twice for Seattle), the Kansas
City Chiefs, the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers. Seattle compiled a 4-2 SU and 2-4 ATS mark in those games with the Seahawks winning the stats by an average of 62 yards per game. Meanwhile, New England went 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS against the same foes while losing the stats by 29.6 YPG. Edge: Seattle

HEAD-TO-HEAD – The Patriots are 8-8 SUATS versus the Seahawks since Seattle entered the NFL in 1976. However, the Seahawks hold a 6-2 SUATS edge in the eight most recent series meetings. Edge: Seattle

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING – We’ve all heard that “defense wins championships” and while that statement may require significant research to prove, it certainly holds true on Super Bowl Sunday. Teams with the better defense have won a whopping 40 of the previous 48 Super Bowls, including a 13-3 SU all-time mark for teams possessing the No. 1 ranked overall defense. It just so happens that Seattle’s defense is currently ranked No. 1 overall in the NFL, surrendering only 274 yards per game while allowing a league-low 16 points per contest. The Patriots’ 11th-ranked stop-unit is no slouch but they still give up 341 yards per game (19.5 PPG). New England counters on the offensive front where Tom Brady and company score more points than anyone else in the league, averaging 30 PPG (5 more than Seattle).
This marks just the eighth time in Super Bowl history that a team with the No. 1 scoring defense has faced the team with the No. 1 scoring offense. In the seven previous matchups, the top-ranked defense won six times, including Seattle’s drubbing of Denver last year. And when it comes to another tried-and-true analogy in the NFL – rush the ball, stop the run – 38 of the 48 previous Super Bowl winners
managed to outrush their opponents. Edge: Seattle

LOGISTICALLY SPEAKING – Teams arriving to the Super Bowl off three consecutive home games (New England and Seattle) are 3-6 SU and 3-7 ATS since 2000, including 1-5 SUATS off a win of 6 or less points (Seahawks). Super Bowl favorites of 5 or less points in ‘double rest’ affairs – a week of rest before the first playoff game and week of rest prior to the big game – are 1-8 SUATS (Broncos last year; check the closing line this year). Edge: The Underdog

BEHIND CENTER – To no one’s surprise, both quarterbacks bring terrific QB Ratings into this contest. New England’s Tom Brady finished the regular season as the league’s 5th-ranked signal caller among starting quarterbacks at 97.4 on 33 TDs and 9 INTs. Seattle’s Russell Wilson owned a 95.0 QB Rating, with 20 TDs and 7 INTs. However, the postseason QB Ratings show Brady at 99.8 while Wilson’s
numbers have regressed during the playoffs, down to 81.9. Brady is 1-1 SUATS in his two career starts versus Seattle. Wilson is 1-0 SUATS in his only start against New England. Tom Terrific stands 180-55 SU and 134-96-5 ATS overall in the NFL career, including 20-8 SU and 12-15-1 ATS in the postseason, and 9-4 SU and 10-3 ATS in his NFL career versus NFC West opponents. But some important Brady stats have slipped in recent years. In 2011 and 2012 combined, Gisele’s guy threw for 300 or more yards in 22 games while failing to reach the 200-yards-passing mark only once. Compare that to Brady’s last two seasons where he totaled 12 games with 300+ passing yards… and 15 sub-200-yard outings! Wilson is 42-13 SU and 36-18-1 ATS as a starting QB with the Seahawks, including 7-4 SU and 10-1 ATS in games where Seattle is not favored. His main claim to fame is a sterling 10-0 SU and 8-2 ATS mark in games versus Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks. However, he’s thrown for 300 or more yards only 5 times in his career while totaling 24 games where he tossed for less than 200 yards. Edge: New England

ON THE SIDELINES – New England’s Bill Belichick, The Man In The Hoodie, who knows nothing about the use of under-inflated footballs in the AFC Championship game, arrives with a 21-9 SU and 13-16-1 ATS postseason career mark, including 3-2 SU and 1-4 ATS in Super Bowl games. Ironically, Belichick replaced Seattle’s Pete Carroll, who left Foxboro after coaching the Patriots from 1997-99. Carroll is 8-4 SUATS in his NFL playoff career and 14-2 SU in games when playing off a SU win and ATS loss. But while he owns a moneymaking 11-5 SUATS mark versus all AFC East opponents, he’s found the going tough against the division’s better teams as evidenced by his troublesome 2-7 SU and 1-6-2 ATS versus AFC East foes with a win percentage of .642 or higher. Conversely, Belichick’s troops tend to step-up in games versus quality opponents, going 52-24 SU and 47-27-2 ATS versus .750 or greater foes behind the former Spygate mastermind.
Edge: New England

SUPER BOWL HISTORY – Defending Super Bowl champions returning to the Super Bowl the following season are 8-2 SU and 6-4 ATS, with six of the ten games playing ‘Over’ the total. • The NFC has controlled the last 33 Super Bowls, going 22-11 SU and 21-10-3 ATS, including 5-1 SUATS the last six years. However, the AFC actually holds the upper and of late, going 10-7 SU the last 17 years.
• 18 of the last 21 winning quarterbacks have owned a QB Rating of 92.6 or better.• Teams who won their last two playoff games against foes that were off a playoff road win (Patriots this year) are 5-8 SUATS, including 2-5 SUATS since 2000. • Teams who score 20 or fewer points in the game are 6-31 SU and 9-34 ATS. Teams who score 21 or more points in the game are 41-12 SU and 37-14-2 ATS.
Edge: None

UPS AND DOWNS – The oddsmakers have done their best job posting Over/Under totals on Super Bowl games. That’s confirmed by the fact that there have been 25 ‘Overs’ and 22 ‘Unders’ in this history of the big game – with no total available in the inaugural game. The big story in the world of NFL Over/Under totals last season took place in nonconference matchups (AFC vs NFC) as these games were an amazing 50-15 to the Over, including last year’s Super Bowl. This year, however, non-conference games played to 33 Overs and 31 Unders. In games in which both teams were off SU wins, though, these same affairs tallied 4 Overs and 7 Unders. Edge: None

THE BOTTOM LINE – We hate to invoke the ‘D’ word here but Seattle’s multi-miracle comeback win over Green Bay last week had ‘team of destiny’ written all over it. And if New England should remain the favorite at kickoff, we’ll never turn down going into battle with an underdog boasting the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense. As a final nod to our tireless Playbook database, we’ll leave you with this recently mined
gem: since 1996, teams who score 40 or more points in an NFL playoff game (Patriots) are 10-17 SU and 3-23-1 ATS in their following game. In what should be a classic battle between East and West here tonight, it’s Seattle – back-to-back.

Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at - One Click Handicapping
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Grab Points with the Colts

Patriots Over the Colts by 3

After devising a game plan that completely shut down Denver in a 24-13 Colts win last week – and led to the termination of the Broncos’ entire coaching staff – Indianapolis head man Chuck Pagano sets his sights on even bigger game: New England’s implacable, steely-eyed Bill Belichick. And while those who stalk ‘The Hoodie’ on the turf of his own Gillette Stadium hood seldom succeed in bagging the prize, our database doesn’t hesitate to recommend a play on Pagano’s team this evening. For openers, conference title game losers from the previous year (Patriots) have found it extremely diffi cult reversing their losing ways, going 2-11 SU and 3-10 ATS, including 0-9 SU and 1-8 ATS when facing .722 or greater opponents. Belichick himself may have amassed a 194-73 SU record since taking over at New England 15 seasons ago, but he owns just a 5-3 SU and 3-5 ATS slate in championship affairs, including five straight pointspread failures in his last five games. He is also 0-5 ATS in title games after scoring 24 or more points in divisional round games, and 0-5 ATS off three spread losses in a row when facing greater-than .666 foes. Meanwhile, conference championship contenders like Indy that arrive off a road win preceded by a victory at home are 8-4 SU and 10-2 ATS since 1998, including 6-0 ATS as an underdog of 4 or more points. Patriot backers are still buzzing over Tom Brady’s 367-yard, 4-TD performance against Baltimore but Colts QB Andrew Luck seems to save his best for big games, going 5-1 SUATS as an underdog in his NFL career versus opponents with a win percentage of more than .750. As for the seldom-mentioned Indianapolis defense, they gave up only 288 yards to the Broncos and have held two of their last three opponents to season-low yards. Hey, we’d actually like the Colts to pull the outright upset here if not for the fact that New England is 10-0 SU in its last 10 games versus AFC South opponents. Still, we can’t back a ‘leaking oil’ favorite like the Patriots that’s been outgained in each of their last three games – and not when over half of the 33 teams in this round who put 34 or more points on the scoreboard in a divisional round victory fell short of the Super Bowl, going 16-17 SU and 10-22-1 ATS. WithIndy HC Pagano a solid 22-7 SU and 21-7-1 ATS in games with a posted O/U total of 45 or more points, we’ll take the dog in this closer-than-expected slugfest.

Written by John Pricci

Marc Lawrence can also be found at - One Click Handicapping
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Friday, January 09, 2015

Marc Lawrence’s Playoff Upset Best Bet

Seattle over Carolina by 7

At first glance, this looks like an ‘out of the frying pan and into the furnace of a nuclear reactor’ scenario for Cam Newton and the Panthers. Carolina got a lucky break last week when they faced an injury-ravaged Arizona team caught in a 6-week downward spiral, and the Panthers seized control in the 2nd half for a 27-16 win. Now they must travel coast-to-coast to challenge a Seattle team that is healthy, rested and playing its best football of the season. Pete Carroll’s ferocious defense has stuffed its last six foes to the tune of just 202 YPG and an incredible 39 total points while going on a 6-0 SUATS run.

Yikes! Little wonder, then, that the Seahawks opened as this weekend’s biggest favorite at -11.5 points. But could this be a classic case of ‘rest make rust’ for the fat and sassy hosts this evening? Our mean machine informs us that Russell Wilson and company are just 7-10 SU and 5-12 ATS with rest versus a foe off a SUATS win. And even though Wilson stands 24-2 SU and 18-7-1 ATS at Century Link Field, we don’t like the fact that No. 1 seeds are just 6-16 ATS in Divisional Round games since 2004, including 1-11 ATS when off a SU win (with 5 SU losses!). As for Seattle’s bid to become only the ninth team and eighth franchise to win back-to-back Super Bowls – and first since New England in 2004-05 – those that did had a QB that is either in the Hall of Fame or about to be enshrined (Patriots’ Tom Brady). We don’t think Wilson’s quite there yet and if Newton can shake off a serious turnover bug (13 INT’s and 10 fumbles in 15 games this season), we could have a signal-caller stalemate here. And let’s not forget that the streaking Panthers are 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS in their last seven games versus an opponent playing with rest, including 5-0 SUATS away. Carolina’s 87 YPG net edge since Game Nine seals the deal as we grab the big points in what looks to be a defensive slugfest.

Written by John Pricci

Marc Lawrence can also be found at - One Click Handicapping
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