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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Friday, May 07, 2010


NBA ROUND TWO BETTING EDGES


With the top seeds having flexed their muscle in the opening round of the NBA playoffs, it’s one to Round Two where a series upset or two is always in the realm of possibility.

Here are four solid moneymaking angles from my powerful database that have withstood the test of time throughout 2nd round playoff action. All results are ATS and since 1991, unless noted otherwise. Enjoy.

Three down, but not out
Teams that take it on the chin three times in a row do not go down easily in Round Two.

Unlike most other rounds, teams playing off three consecutive losses that are not favored (pick or dog) prove to be resilient this round, going 8-6 SU and 10-4 ATS.

Better yet, if they showed some spark of like in the last game – scoring 82 or more points – these teams tend to take a punch almost as well as Jake LaMotta, going 7-3 SU and 9-1 ATS in this role.



Thou shall not lay points to a No. 1 seed
One golden rule in this round applies to top seeds, namely: never lay points against No.1 seeds.

That’s because inferior teams are just 15-25-1 ATS when playing points into No. 1 seeds since 1996. Worse, if the No. 1 seed is off a SU and ATS loss, lower seeded favorites are just 3-10 ATS.

And if the lower seeded favorite beat the top seed and covered the spread by nine or more points, they dip to 1-10 ATS.

Role reversals
You may not be comfortable changing roles in a relationship, but NBA teams in this round of the playoffs do.
That’s confirmed by the fact that Round Two dogs off a straight-up loss as a favorite are 29-20 ATS.

When changing roles off back-to-back SU and ATS losses, these puppies bark to the tune of 11-4 ATS, including 10-1 ATS if they own a win percentage of les than .680 on the season.

Running on empty
Teams that scored well below their average (77 or less points) in their previous game tend to fuel up the next game in this round.

That’s evident by a sparkling 20-10-1 ATS mark by Round Two favorites that tallied 77 or fewer points in their last game.

Put these favorites up against .625 or greater opposition and they top off at 15-3 ATS, including 14-1 when laying four or more points.

There you have it. Four reliable betting theories you can hang your hat on throughout the 2nd round of this year’s NBA playoffs. Use your head and play accordingly.


Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010


NBA ZIG ZAGS… Going Up In Smoke?


Long before the GOLD SHEET first called out the premise, Zig Zags have been the most popular rolling paper for those who enjoy their smoke of choice.

In NBA handicapping circles, Zig Zags are trendy applications that have been profitable moneymakers during the playoffs. The play is simple: Play On a team off a playoff loss in its very next game.

The theory is that in a short series, involving imminent elimination, a team in more inclined to bounce back with a good effort off a losing performance than it is to continue its losing ways.

How have these plays held up of late? You might be surprised.

Here are pointspread results of NBA Playoff Zig Zags from 1991 through 2009.



Game on

Overall: 611-532-27
Game Two: 149-125-12
Game Three: 163-118-14
Game Four: 127-124-4
Game Five: 93-95-5
Game Six: 57-50
Game Seven: 22-20

The strength of NBA Zig Zags appears to be in Game Three. That’s generally where lower seeds return home after opening the series as a visitor. They tend to step up the pace when doing so off a loss.

Round ‘em up

Round One: 283-246-12
Round Two: 191-163-7
Round Three: 93-83-6
Round Four: 44-40-2

2nd Round games have been more profitable than others while championship rounds are a virtual toss-up.

Planting the seed

No. 1 Seeds: 85-74-4
No. 2 Seeds: 81-60-2
No. 3 Seeds: 66-58-8
No. 4 Seeds: 57-55-1
No. 5 Seeds: 48-42
No. 6 Seeds: 43-40-1
No. 7 Seeds: 32-40-3
No. 8 Seeds: 38-36-3

Note these results are since the 1996 season, when our database first began charting seeds. Living up to it’s billing, No. 2 tries harder.

Burn baby burn

Like all things that are popular, they eventually burn out and revert back to the norm.

A combination of the ‘law of averages’ and an over-adjustment by the oddsmakers has seen the NBA Zig Zags start to go up in smoke this decade.

That’s confirmed by the fact that these plays are 330-308-19 overall since 2000, including 34-38-1 when on the road off back-to-back losses and 19-24-2 in championship games.

Higher than a kite

So then where is it then we can still expect to catch the best buzz with these NBA Zig Zags, you ask?

Twist these two up for size and remember, no bogarting: 1) Double Digit Dogs are 38-19-1 -and- 2) teams off a loss of 20 or more points are 101-59-2.


Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping
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Monday, April 12, 2010


NBA PLAYOFF PRIMER Opening Round Betting Strategies


It’s never too early or late to prepare for the playoffs. Like preparing for a marathon, it’s best to put ourselves into the best possible condition we can as we make a season ending dash for the cash.

With help from our trusted database, let’s examine four time-tested proven theories that have lined our pocket during the opening round of playoffs since 1991. Here’s what the machine has to say…

NO. 8 SEEDS ARE BEHIND THE 8-BALL

For the most part, No. 8 seeds in the NBA playoffs are teams that likely scratched and clawed their way into the post-season. Not good enough to be seriously considered threats against top-seeded opponents but just barely better than the dregs of the league.



Rest assured, their life expectancy is not long at all, as they’ve lost nearly 75% of time (33-95 SU) in games against No. 1 seeds since 1996. In fact, only the 1996 New York Knicks and the 2007 Golden State Warriors were good enough to pull the rug on top seeded foes and advance to Round Two of the playoff.

Worse, they are 6-29 SU and 10-22-3 ATS in the post-season with a losing record in opening round games, including 3-11-1 ATS when taking double digits.

And you can virtually write them off in games against No. 1 seeds that are off back-to-back SU and ATS wins. These guys scratch out of the match with alarming regularity, going 2-22 SU and 6-18 ATS, including 0-14 SU and 1-13 ATS whenever the 8-ballers are off a spread loss of more than five points in their last game.

UPSET LOSERS ARE WINNERS

No, it’s not an oxymoron. Instead, it’s a powerful handicapping edge. It occurs whenever a team was upset as a favorite in an opening round game and is at home in the game immediately thereafter.

That’s confirmed by the fact that they are 46-28-2 ATS, a rock solid number. If they were upset at home in this round and return home they improve to 34-19-2 ATS, including 24-10-1 ATS if off a loss of 5 or more points – and 15-3-2 ATS when laying five or more points in this role.

Don’t be afraid of these chalkbusters. That’s because they don’t lose their composure. Instead they almost always elect to dig down deep and respond with aplomb in games after being embarrassed.

DOUBLE DIGIT DOGMA

Surprisingly, in the right role, double-digit underdogs do well in opening round contests, especially when playing off a playoff loss. These overweight puppies are 25-14-1 ATS in this role, including 21-9-1 ATS if they took 8 or more points the previous game.

These same guys are also 17-6 ATS off a playoff loss when taking double digits from a non-division foe, including 15-3 ATS against sub .795 opponents.

Granted, these dogs are not exactly pedigree puppies but the fact of the matter is they tend to come up big against disinterested favorites not capable of chopping heavy lumber.

AND DOWN GOES FRAZIER

The psyche of teams that are not playing well comes immediately to the surface during the opening round of the NBA playoffs. That’s evidenced by the fact that teams riding a three game-exact loss skein are one punch away from being counted out.

With glass-like jaws, these swirling teams are just 4-25 SU and 6-23 ATS away from home. They are also 13-31-2 ATS as dogs on their way to the canvas.

Worst of all, road dogs of more than six points on a three game exact losing skid are 2-18 SU and 3-17 ATS. Last year Detroit was counted out at Cleveland, as well as New Orleans at Denver.

Enjoy the opening round of the 2010 NBA playoffs. I’ll be back soon with additional insight on Round Two.


Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping
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