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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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Super Bowl Super Stats

Handicapping the Super Bowl takes on a different perspective each year.

Granted, there are a myriad of statistics, angles and trends we can draw from but the bottom line is the personalities of the teams are equally important when it comes to isolating the eventual winner.

Safe to say that sports handicappers do not hold psychiatric degrees, let’s take a quick look at some of the more interesting trends that have occurred in Super Bowls past. All results are ATS (Against The Spread) in Super Bowl games since the 1980 season, unless noted otherwise.

Faux Favorites

The public loves backing favorites and when it comes to the Super Bowl it’s like putting kids in a candy store.

As a result, the public today is badly in need of new dental health care coverage. That’s because overloading on these super-sweet favorites has proven to be a decaying experience, with favorites sporting a 19-11 SU and 12-16-2 ATS record, including 4-9-2 ATS the last 15 games.

Favorites (Green Bay) taking on opponents off back-to-back SU and ATS wins are just 6-13-2 ATS.

Super Bowl chalk taking on an opponent that did not cover its championship game by 12 or more points are 8-6 SU and 3-12-1 ATS.

The last sixteen favorites to score 30 or less points are 2-14-1 ATS.

Hit Me

Speaking of scoring, putting points in the scoreboard is obviously tantamount to succeeding in this game.

Those that do, win the game and the money. Those that don’t, lose the game and the money. It’s just that simple.

And twenty-one points appears to be the cut-line.

That’s because teams that fail to score 21 points in the Super Bowl are 1-20 SU and 3-17-1 ATS. Teams that tally 21 or more points are 26-9 SU and 23-9-3 ATS.

Twenty-seven points virtually assures a victory as teams putting 27 or more on the scoreboard are 22-1 SU and 19-3-1 ATS.

Seed Me

Going back the last 15 years, the higher-seeded team has struggled mightily against the spread in the big game.

Last year paired both the No. 1 seeds from each conference for the first time in 16 years when New Orleans upended Indianapolis, 31-17.

Two years ago Pittsburgh downed Arizona, 27-23, while failing to cover the seven-point impost. As a result the higher seeded team (Pittsburgh) will carry a 1-11-2 ATS mark into SBV.

The last No.1 to win a Super Bowl, playing a non-No. 1 seed, was the ’99 Rams.

Conference Call

Like the National League’s one-time mastery over the American League, the NFC has held the upper hand over the AFC in Super Bowl games since the 1980 season, going 19-11 SU and 18-10-2 ATS.

When facing an AFC foe off back-to-back ATS wins, the NFC is 15-6 SU and 15-5-1 ATS in games with Roman Numerals attached. However, the NFC is only 4-9 SU and 6-6-1 ATS in the last 13 Super Bowl contests.

One final note: this marks the first time in nine years the NFC will dress up as the favorite.

That’s an early take on this year’s Super Bowl matchup. Good luck as always.

Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at - One Click Handicapping
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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

NFL Wild Card Angles

Handicapping the NFL Playoffs can be a bit tricky.

The knee-jerk reaction is to back home teams. After all, they have been a solid-moneymaker, going 157-125-6 ATS (55.6%), dating back to 1980.

Today, however, that would be a mistake as the success of home teams in the playoffs has dissolved like an Alka Seltzer in a cold glass of water.

A closer look finds home teams just 109-94-5 ATS since 1990 and, even worse, 54-56-7 ATS since 2000. Hence, like the economy, they have fallen on hard times.

The key is breaking the playoffs down into rounds. And in doing so it’s wise to remember the oddsmakers have made the visiting teams more attractive (read: value-laden) than ever before.

Let’s break down opening round games involving No. 3 or lower seeded teams with these three time-tested theories. Note: all results are ATS (Against The Spread) and are since 1980, unless noted otherwise.

Stun guns

Teams in NFL Wild Card round contests playing off a straight up season ending loss as a favorite tend to bounce back up off the carpet, going 30-15-1.

Better yet, dress them up as dogs and they improve to 14-4.

Double pressure

Teams off back-to-back season ending losses apply their own tourniquet as they stop the bleeding, going 20-9.

Put them at home and they zoom to 13-4.

ATS diabetes

Teams off a season ending blowout win in which they beat the spread by more than 20 points suffer from more than a sugar rush, going just 10-17-2 during this round.

Feed them a field goal (+3) or more and they die a slow death, going 1-7.

There you have it. I’ll be back next week with a peek at the Divisional Round playoff matchups.

Good luck as always.

Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at - One Click Handicapping
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Season Ending Division Finales

Take a look up and down the NFL schedule this Sunday and what do you find?

A division orgy.

Curiously, for the first time in NFL history, all 16 games are division matchups.

In an attempt to prevent teams from ‘laying down’ the final week of the season, the NFL brass went to the schedule maker and mandated all season ending contests be division games.

This unprecedented move appears to have worked as a good majority of games this week find teams with a plethora of playoff implications inside the matchups. And because, for all intents and purposes, division games take on a double-importance both in the standings and in NFL tiebreakers, this week’s games certainly take on a whole new stratagem.

That being the case, here are some notes of interest from our powerful database in games played in the past involving division pairings in regular season finales. Please note all results are Against The Spread (ATS) and since 1980, unless noted otherwise…

Size matters

The pointspread is a string barometer when it comes to season ending division games.

That’s because favorites of nine or more points are 20-12, while favorites of less than three points are 12-20-1.

.666 or greater teams laying nine or more points are 17-5, while favorites of less then three points are only 6-14-1 when facing .500 or greater opponents.

Margin call

Teams off ATS spread margins at opposite ends of the ladder have performed accordingly.

Those entering off a spread loss of 25 or more points are 15-10-1, including 9-3 versus and opponent off an ATS win.

On the flip side, those off a spread loss of 25 or more points are 7-13, including 2-9 versus a foe off a win.

Bad dogs

Simply put, there is no disguising bad teams in season ending division finales.

Those who were dogs of nine or more points the previous week are 9-17 in these contests, including 3-11 when taking seven or more points this week.

Worse, put these seven-plus point dogs at home and they vanish into thin air, going 0-7.

One and done

Put a team in a season ending division finale off one win-exact and they tend to dissolve faster than a patty melt at an over-eaters luncheon.

Teams in this role are 7-20 when playing off a win of 16 or more points, including 1-15 when favored.

There you have it, a quick glimpse at some of the more intriguing situations surrounding this week’s season ending NFL card. Divvy them up and enjoy the feast.

Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at - One Click Handicapping
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