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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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 Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010


BOWL TALE OF THE TAPE


The 2010 College Bowl games have descended upon us and with it we begin working overtime on the season as we handicap the matchups.

One time-tested theory that holds up well during the post-season is isolating teams and how they fared in games this campaign against winning opposition.

It’s one thing to make your mark against stone-cold losers. It’s another to be able to go toe-to-toe against winners.

Listed below is a breakdown of 2010 bowlers that fared well against teams that owned a winning record at the time of their meeting this season.

Here are the teams that were winners on both sides of the SU (Straight Up) and ATS (Against The Spread) ledgers against winning teams this season. Check it out:



Arkansas 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS
Auburn 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS
Boise State 3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS
Connecticut 4-1 SU and 4-1 ATS
Hawaii 4-1 SU and 4-1 ATS
Michigan State 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS
Missouri 6-1 SU and 4-3 ATS
Navy 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS
NC State 4-2 SU and 4-2 ATS
Northern Illinois 2-1 SU and 2-1 ATS
Ohio State 7-1 SU and 5-2-1 ATS
Ohio U 2-1 SU and 2-1 AT
Oklahoma 7-2 SU and 5-4 ATS
Oklahoma State 5-1 SU and 3-2-1 ATS
Pittsburgh 4-1 SU and 4-1 ATS
South Carolina 5-3 SU and 5-3 ATS
TCU 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS
Texas A&M 5-3 SU and 5-2-1 ATS
Tulsa 3-2 SU and 3-2 ATS
Virginia Tech 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS
West Virginia 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS
Wisconsin 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS

On the flip side are the 2010 bowlers that struggled both SU and ATS in games against winning teams this season. They include:

Arizona 2-3 SU and 2-3 ATS
Army 2-3 SU and 2-3 ATS
East Carolina 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS
Florida 2-5 SU and 2-5 ATS
Georgia 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS
Georgia Tech 0-3 SU and 1-2 ATS
Kansas State 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS
Louisville 1-3 SU and 1-3 ATS
Michigan 3-5 SU and 1-7 ATS
Mississippi State 2-4 SU and 2-4 ATS
Penn State 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS
SMU 2-4 SU and 2-4 ATS
South Florida 3-5 SU and 2-6 ATS
Texas Tech 2-4 SU and 2-4 ATS
Washington 3-4 SU and 3-4 ATS

There you have it. A tale of the tape of your 2010 bowl teams. Let the fights begin.


Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping
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Monday, December 13, 2010


Stats Matter – A Guide to Handicapping the Bowl Games


Smart handicappers alike agree on one thing – preparation is the key to success. The better prepared you are the better chance you stand at succeeding.

With the 2010 College Bowl season now upon us it’s time to get ready for the thirty-five games that await. While a myriad of different techniques and approaches exist one simple element is often overlooked and that is how teams are or have been performing on the playing field ‘In The Stats’ (ITS) as they enter into its bowl game.

As handicappers we know better than most that the scoreboard does not tell the entire story. Like a doctor examining an MRI or an X-Ray it’s vitally important to look inside the patient before rendering a diagnosis.

Listed below are noteworthy results of how the 70 bowl teams have fared ITS overall or most recently this season…



Air Force – 11-1 ITS this season
Alabama – 11-1 ITS this season
Arizona – 10-2 ITS this season
Arkansas – 9-2-1 ITS this season
Army – 0-4 ITS L4 games season
Auburn – 12-1 ITS this season
Baylor – 1-3 ITS L4 games season
Boise State – 11-1 ITS this season
Boston College – 5-1 ITS L6 games season
BYU – 4-1 ITS L5 games season
Central Florida – 2-3 ITS L5 games season
Clemson – 4-7 ITS this season
Connecticut – 1-6 ITS L7 games season
East Carolina –1-4 ITS L5 games season
Florida – held 4 foes season low yards
Florida International – 8-4 ITS this season
Florida State – 1-4 ITS L5 games season
Fresno State – 11-1 ITS this season
Georgia – 1-4 ITS L5 games season
Georgia Tech – 2-3 ITS L5 games season
Hawaii – 11-2 ITS this season
Illinois – held 5 foes 1-2 season low yards
Iowa – 0-3 ITS L3 games season
Kansas State – 0-6 ITS L6 games season
Kentucky – 4-1 ITS L5 games season
LSU –held 3 foes season low yards
Louisville – 8-4 ITS this season
Maryland – 5-7 ITS this season
Miami Fla – 7-0 ITS L7 games season
Miami Oh – 5-0 ITS L5 games season
Michigan – allowed 4 teams season high yards
Michigan State – 10-2 ITS this season
Mid Tennessee State – 2-6 ITS L8 games season
Mississippi State – 3-3 ITS L6 games season
Missouri – 2-3 ITS L5 games season
Navy – 4-5 ITS L9 games season
Nebraska – held 6 foes 1-2 season low yards
Nevada – 10-3 ITS this season
North Carolina – 8-4 ITS this season
NC State – 3-3 ITS L6 games season
Northern Illinois – 10-3 ITS this season
Northwestern – 1-3 ITS L4 games season
Notre Dame – 4-2 ITS L6 games season
Ohio State – held 10 foes 1-2 season low yards
Ohio U – 4-8 ITS this season
Oklahoma – held 5 foes 1-2 season low yards
Oklahoma State – 9-3 ITS this season
Oregon – 11-1 ITS this season
Penn State – 4-1 ITS L5 games season
Pittsburgh – 9-0 ITS L9 games season
San Diego State – 5-1 ITS L6 games season
SMU – 8-1 ITS L9 games season
South Carolina – 8-4 ITS this season
South Florida – 2-6 ITS L8 games season
Southern Miss – 9-3 ITS this season
Stanford – 10-2 ITS this season
Syracuse – 1-6 ITS L7 games season
TCU – 12-0 ITS this season
Tennessee – 4-0 ITS L4 games season
Texas A&M – 9-3 ITS this season
Texas El Paso – 1-5 ITS L6 games season
Texas Tech – allowed 3 teams season high yards
Toledo – 4-2 ITS L6 games season
Troy – 8-4 ITS this season
Tulsa – 9-3 ITS this season
Utah – 9-3 ITS this season
Virginia Tech – held 5 foes season low yards
Washington – 3-0 ITS L3 games season
West Virginia – held 6 foes 1-2 low yards
Wisconsin – 10-2 ITS this season

Given the fact that teams who outgain their opponent win the game better than 80% of the time, and straight-up winners in bowl games being 539-93-10 ATS since 1980, it’s crucial to your success when evaluating a team’s chance of winning the yardage wars.

Just another slant on handicapping the Bowl contests. Add it to your arsenal and enjoy the games!

GET IN THE KNOW… order your copy of the 2010 PLAYBOOK College Bowl Stat Report. Call 1.800.752.9266 or log on at http://www.PLAYBOOK.com


Written by Marc Lawrence

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