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, September 17, 2015


Marc Lawrence College and Pro Upsets, Weekend of Sept. 19


AUBURN over LSU by 6
BEST B
Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson rallied his team with a 10-yard TD pass
with under a minute remaining to send last week’s game to OT,
and the defense took over from there in a heart-stopping win over
Jacksonville (as a 40-point favorite). However, it makes you wonder –
what did QB Nick Marshall mean to this team? Now 2-0 with a pair
of 7-point wins, Aubbie is 0-2 ITS and averaging just 364 YPG (down
from 493 YPG in the fi
rst two seasons under Gus Malzahn). Johnson
(fi
ve interceptions in the fi
rst two games) needs to get better quickly
with a trip into Death Valley this week as LSU is looking for payback
from a 41-7 pasting laid on them by Auburn last season. So what
we have here is a PLAYBOOK shocker: Take the Points! Before your
jaw hits the table, remember we’re talking about a quality dog off a
despicable performance and Malzahn is 9-3 ATS when getting points,
including
3-0 ATS
versus undefeated foes. More numbers to back it
up: LSU is
1-8 ATS
as home chalk of 7 points or more and Les Miles
is just 8-22-1 against the number as a conference home favorite off
a win. You can rip Auburn all you want but they’ve covered four of
the last fi
ve meetings between these yellow and orange tigers, and
the fact of the matter is LSU is playing worse. The Bengal Tigers have
been outgained in four of their last fi
ve games, and are averaging
less than 16 PPG in their last six. Heck, they only converted two fi
rst
downs last week against Mississippi State! But when push comes to
shove, the well-oiled machine comes up with
The Clincher: Miles is
1-11-1 ATS in his career in conference home openers.

pag
UMASS over Temple by 3
As high as we are on the Owls this season, two wins in the hand
(we’ve cashed with Temple both weeks) is not worth one double-
digit bird on the road. Maybe that’s not quite how the saying
goes but the Owls’ surprise win at Cincinnati – coupled with their
monumental upset of Penn State the previous week – puts these
Birds in a precarious spot today. Not only does our MIDWEEK ALERT
remind us Temple was outstatted by 261 total yards, our well-oiled
machine informs us that since 1980, only TWO teams have opened
with back-to-back underdog wins and then went favored on the road
in Game Three of the season. How did they fare, you ask? Well, Troy
dropped a 22-18 decision at New Mexico State in 2004 as 9.5-point
favorites and East Carolina edged the Green Wave, 28-24, at Tulane
in 2008 as 12-point chalk (once again, you’re not fi
nding this stuff on
Wikipedia!) In addition, the Minutemen arrive to this home opener
fresh off a 48-14 beating in Colorado, and that brings into play their
4-0 ATS
mark at home after allowing more than 32 points. Led by
6’6” NFL QB prospect Blake Frohnapfel, the Minutemen offense
improved dramatically last season (15 points and 139 yards per game)
and we’ll look for a better effort today in front of the home faithful.
And speaking of faithful, our steadfast database puts the fi
nishing
touches on this one as it supplies
The Clincher: 17 returning-starter
home dogs off a SUATS loss of more than 20 points are 16-6
ATS when hosting a foe off back-to-back SUATS wins, including
11-1 ATS as a double-digit dog. To which we say just a minute,
men... take the points.

Stanford over USC by 1
No. 7 Trojans have outscored foes 114-15 to start the season but folks, this
is NOT Idaho or Arkansas State they’re playing today. Stanford delivered
an uncharacteristically poor performance in its season-opening loss at
Northwestern but made amends by throttling UCF last week, 31-7, and
takes the fi
eld here with some major revenge on its side. Not only did the
Cardinal have a 16-game home win skein snapped by the Trojans in a 13-10
loss last year (The Tree dominated the stats, 413-291), they also dropped
a 20-17 decision in 2013 at USC as 4-point chalk. Stanford’s chances to get
even are bolstered by some good ATS history. The Tree has gone 3-1-1 ATS
in the last fi
ve trips to the Coliseum,
6-0 ATS
in the last six Game Three’s,
5-0 ATS
as underdogs of 8 or more points and 4-1-1 ATS in the fi
rst of back-
to-back road games. Whew! Those results look even better for Stan when
we get a look at So Cal’s 1-5 ATS failure as a double-digit favorite in this
series, as well as a 3-6-1 ATS mark at home off a home game when facing
a Pac-12 opponent. And USC head coach Steve Sarkisian has struggled to a
1-5 SUATS record in conference affairs when playing off consecutive wins
with the last coming by more than 35 points.


PRO PICKS
BUFFALO over NE by 10
It was quite impressive. Tyrod Taylor making his fi
rst start behind center
in fi
ve years last week, his fi
rst ever in the NFL. Behind Taylor, the Bills
beat back the most touted team in the AFC this season, the mega-
popular Indianapolis Colts. Don’t look now but Buffy’s back for more
this week. An impressive 19-5 ATS mark in Game Two of the season,
including
7-1 ATS
when facing an AFC East rival, sets the table. Enter
the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, fresh off
a Tom Brady-led ‘take that and shove it’ performance over Pittsburgh
to kick off the season last week. So which team is most likely due for a
return-to-earth effort today? For the answer we turn to our powerful
database, and it notes: Defending Super Bowl champs are 18-31 ATS
when undefeated and laying points on the road, including a paltry
2-12 ATS
in this role during Game Two of the season. And to top it
off, we hand it off to
The Clincher: New England is 0-7 ATS in its
last seven games after facing the Pittsburgh Steelers.

INDIANAPOLIS over NY Jets by 17
pa
IN
The best-laid plans went up in smoke for the Colts when they forgot
to show up for their game with the Bills in Buffalo last Sunday. After
all the chatter about Indy being the wise guys’ pick to make it to the
Super Bowl this season – that’s what it is, just chatter. The two highly-
acclaimed veterans they added to the lineup, WR Andre Johnson
and RB Frank Gore, were simply little more than window dressing as
Johnson caught four passes for 24 yards while Gore galloped eight
time for just 31 yards. Simply put, the Colts threw a shoe. Tonight they
host the now-soaring Jets who disposed of Johnny Turnover and the
Browns in impressive fashion last week. The Flyboys are just 1-4 ATS in
their last fi
ve Monday Night appearances on the road. On the fl
ip side,
Indianapolis is
8-1 ATS
as a Monday Night favorite, and
8-0 ATS
off a
SUATS loss when taking on an opponent off a SU home win. For it all,
expect new plans to be in place for a reversal of fortune tonight. You
can bank on it. And you can also bank on
The Clincher: As supplied
by our Incredible Stat of the Week on page 3, Andrew Luck is
14-1 SU and ATS in games off a loss in his NFL career.






Written by John Pricci

Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping
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Wednesday, September 09, 2015


Marc Lawrence’s NFL Upsets Weekend Sept 13


BUFFALO over Indy by 7

It seems as though we’ve been playing this tune over and over the last few years. The Bills shore up on defense with promise of making it to the playoffs for the first time in 16 years and continually come up short. They came oh-so-close last season with a 9-win effort, only to be left holding the bag. Enter the flash-and-dash of new head coach Rex Ryan, who insists he knows the AFC East better than the bottom of his wife’s feet. Strong offseason acquisitions including the likes of RB LeSean McCoy, WR Percy Harvin, and TE Charles Clay add promise. As does Buffalo’s glossy 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS mark in season openers when facing non-division opponents. What really infatuates us with this contest, however, is Marc’s ‘THUNDER ROAD’ angle from the 2014 BLACK BOOK as outlined on page 2 of this week’s Playbook newsletter. To paraphrase, the Colts enter this season opener with boo-coo name and reputation, having reached the AFC title game last year and expected to do the same in 2015. It’s all based largely on the success of star QB Andrew Luck, who has devoured losing teams throughout his brilliant NFL career (20-6 SU and 19-6-1 ATS). The problem is he is only mediocre against winning opposition, and worse when facing winning teams away from home (4-8 SU and 3-9 ATS). While the Bills are not a certified winning team just yet this year, they are 11-8 over their last 19 games and we like their chances of continuing on the same path this season. Meanwhile, the Colts have also struggled in games on this field, going just 4-15 SU and 4-14-1 ATS since 1984, while the Bills are 6-1 ATS as home dogs the past two seasons. And if that’s not enough, there is always The Clincher: The Colts have lost seven straight games away versus AFC East opponents, including 0-4 SUATS behind Andrew Luck. Seems as though we’ve been playing this tune over and over the last few years. The Bills shore up on defense with promise of making it to the playoffs for the first time in 16 years and continually come up short. They came oh-so-close last season with a 9-win effort, only to be left holding the bag. Enter the flash-and-dash of new head coach Rex Ryan, who insists he knows the AFC East better than the bottom of his wife’s feet. Strong offseason acquisitions including the likes of RB LeSean McCoy, WR Percy Harvin, and TE Charles Clay add promise. As does Buffalo’s glossy 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS mark in season openers when facing non-division opponents. What really infatuates us with this contest, however, is Marc’s ‘THUNDER ROAD’ angle from the 2014 BLACK BOOK as outlined on page 2 of this week’s Playbook newsletter. To paraphrase, the Colts enter this season opener with boo-coo name and reputation, having reached the AFC title game last year and expected to do the same in 2015. It’s all based largely on the success of star QB Andrew Luck, who has devoured losing teams throughout his brilliant NFL career (20-6 SU and 19-6-1 ATS). The problem is he is only mediocre against winning opposition, and worse when facing winning teams away from home (4-8 SU and 3-9 ATS). While the Bills are not a certified winning team just yet this year, they are 11-8 over their last 19 games and we like their chances of continuing on the same path this season. Meanwhile, the Colts have also struggled in games on this field, going just 4-15 SU and 4-14-1 ATS since 1984, while the Bills are 6-1 ATS as home dogs the past two seasons. And if that’s not enough, there is always The Clincher: The Colts have lost seven straight games away versus AFC East opponents, including 0-4 SUATS behind Andrew Luck.



ATLANTA over Philadelphia by 8

Monday night’s battle of the birds finds the Eagles flying down to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in a battle of new-look teams. Philadelphia ditched QB Nick Foles, RB LeSean McCoy and WR Jeremy Maclin in the offseason in hopes of re-invigorating the offense, while adding punch to the defense (promising LB Kiko Alonso came over in the McCoy trade). We must point out that overhauls like those have not worked well for NFL teams in the past, as of the eight teams who opted to change out all three of their top skill offense slots since 1970, only one went one to record a winning record the following year. On the other side of the coin, Atlanta brought in former Seattle DC Dan Quinn as its new head coach and immediately went to work selecting LB Vic Beasley and CB Jalen Collins with its first two picks of the draft. The Dirty Birds also brought in new OC Kyle Shanahan to spark an already potent attack, led by Pro Bowl QB Matt Ryan and star WR Julio Jones. Despite winning only 10 games the past two seasons, Ryan managed to complete 66% of his passes for 54 TDs. Imagine what they might accomplish this season with a decent defense? It all starts here tonight where Atlanta’s awesome 12-1 ATS mark in home games before heading out for back-to-back road trips greatly favors the Falcons. As does The Clincher: Atlanta QB Matt Ryan is 7-0 SUATS in home openers in his NFL career.

Giants Over DALLAS By 4

If you like NFL matchups featuring future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, you’re in luck tonight. And for your perusal, breaking them down for you is our well-oiled machine: NYG QB Eli Manning is a true road warrior at 46-40 SU and 49-35-2 ATS away in this NFL career – including 14-7 ATS as a road dog of 5 or more points. In addition, he is also 13-8-1 ATS in his career against the Cowboys, and 14-7 ATS as a road dog of 5 or more points in his NFL career, including 4-1 ATS in division play. On the flip side, Dallas QB Tony Romo has struggled where it matters most – against the spread – at home and in division games throughout his NFL career, going 18-29 ATS against NFC East opponents and 26-38 ATS in all home games. Worse, he is just 4-5 SUATS at home in this series, and 2-6 ATS in home openers in his NFL career. Now that you have our take on tonight’s two signal-callers, let’s turn to the teams and the top situation surrounding this affair, namely nasty quadruple-revenge for a hungry Giants team that’s taken it between the eyes in all four meetings in this series the past two seasons. That brings Tom Coughlin’s splendid 13-7-1 ATS career mark as a revenging road dog in division games into play, including 8-3 ATS when taking 5 or more points. Big Blue’s offense improved 60 YPG under new OC Ben McAdoo last year, and former QB coach Mike Sullivan is back with Eli this year – he was Manning’s coach in 2011 when Peyton’s little brother threw for nearly 5,000 yards and carried a flawed Giants team to its second Super Bowl championship in five seasons. Look out Dallas, Eli’s coming! The Clincher: Dallas QB Tony Romo is 6-15 ATS as a home favorite in division games, including 0-5 ATS versus foes that won six or fewer game the previous season.

Written by Marc Lawrence

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