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 04, 2014

Marc Lawrence College and Pro Upsets, Sept. 4-6

Colorado State over Boise State by 4

Following last Friday’s come-from-behind 31-17 win over arch-rival Colorado, the Green-and-Gold are now a ram-tough 7-1 ATS in their last eight games away from Fort Collins. Now they head north to Idaho looking to avenge last year’s 42-30 home loss to Boise State, a game where CSU handily outgained the Broncos, 626-437. We’ll go on record now as saying we’re no longer afraid of the big blue turf– not when the Broncos are just 4-14 ATS their last 18 games, including 2-10 ATS in conference action! To make matters worse, new HC Bryan Harsin’s squad is riding a 0-4 ATS losing skid since last season after getting mangled by Ole Miss in the Georgia Dome last week. And for a real punch in the gut, BSU happens to be a ‘best of the’ fade today, never a good thing. Even if Boise’s offense wakes up here, Colorado State can still trade blows: besides a
talented QB in Garrett Grayson, the Rams feature two running backs (Dee Hart and Treyous Jarrells) who rushed for over 100 yards each in their win over the Buffs, the first time that’s happened since 1996. CSU head coach Jim McElwain has made hay when facing.333 or less opponents, going 11-5 SU and 10-3-1 ATS, including 4-0 SUATS when his Rams are over .333 on the season. And if that’s not enough, here’s The Clincher: first-year head coaches in Game Two, off a loss racing an opponent off a SUATS win, are 7-24 SUATS since 1990.

Tennessee over Kansas City by 10

After an inglorious 2-6 free fall that followed a 9-0 start to the 2013 campaign, things didn’t get much better for the Chiefs in the preseason as they surrendered a league-high 191 points in the fake games. In fact, Kansas City became only the 2nd team other than the 1980 Denver Broncos to start a season 5-0 after going 2-14 the previous year. Making matters worse, Andy Reid’s club blew a 38-10 lead in the playoffs before succumbing in a 45-44 loss to the Colts. Can things get any worse from a mental state, you ask? We think so. Especially for a playoff team that managed to lose the stats in 12 of their 17 games last season. Enter the Titans behind former Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt who is 7-0 ATS in his NFL career in road openers. He inherits a team that suffered six losses by 8 or fewer points last season. Meanwhile, his squad takes the field knowing the visiting team in this series is 5-1 ATS. The finishing touch, though, comes from the all-knowing database as it provides the Clincher: Non-division NFL dogs or favorites of 6 or less points who won 8 or less games last year are 17-3 ATS in season openers when facing a foe that won 11 or more games last season.

MIAMI over New England by 4

We heard the music in the background, and the oohs from NFL chalk artists, when this selection made it to press. Yes, it’s the mighty Patriots we’re taking dead aim at in this contest… and for all the right reasons. For openers, Bill’s boys are a meager 1-6 ATS in their last seven games when laying points on the road. In addition, the Pats are a puny 0-3 ATS in their last four division road outings, including a 24-20 loss here in mid-December last year, as 2.5-point dogs. So what have they done between now and then to warrant a 7-point swing in this line? We’re not sure. Meanwhile, the Dolphins take the field behind the combination of 3rd-year QB Ryan Tannehill and 3rd year head coach Joe Philbin looking to mirror the same success realized by Atlanta’s Matt Ryan-Mike Smith and Baltimore’s Joe Flacco-John Harbaugh dynamic duos in their 3rd seasons in the NFL – namely a playoff berth. Toss in the host team’s 4-0 ATS mark the last four games in this series, and a little THUNDER ROAD.from Marc’s Betcha Didn’t Know column this week (see page 2), and we’re up for a bite of some tasty Mahi Mahi today.

Tampa Bay over Carolina by 2

The visiting Panthers enjoyed the finest season in their franchise last year when they captured the NFC South division in a 12-win campaign. With that, we’re reminded of the idiom ‘what goes up must come down’ and in Carolina’s case, we’re confident it will play out in a major way in 2014. Aside from the fact that no team has ever repeated as NFC South champs since its formation in 2002, Tampa enters knowing that teams who finished last in the NFC South (as they did in 2014) have won the division 11 years in a row the next season. To that we say geez, Louise! Carolina’s biggest hurdle today is the shaky status of star QB Cam Newton whose bruised ribs certainly won’t aide him in finding a new starting cast of mediocre free agent wide receivers. The fact that the dog is 1-6 ATS in this series doesn’t help either. The Bucs welcome former Bears boss Lovie Smith and his new DC Leslie Frazier, former Vikings head coach, with open arms. That’s because his teams averaged 9.5 wins per season during his stay in Chicago. The icing on the cake today comes from the well-oiled machine with The Clincher: Teams in Game One of the NFL playing with double division revenge exact are 18-3 ATS since 2002.

Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at - One Click Handicapping
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Friday, January 24, 2014

Denver Looks Super


To better visualize the winner of Super Bowl XLVIII we look to Winston Churchill, who once said, “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” In the case of Super Bowls past, we can look back as far as 1967.Coupled with the power of our way-back machine – aka the PLAYBOOK database – let’s break down what appears to be a very evenly matched Super Bowl game between Denver and Seattle. Here is our list of checks and balances for SB XLVIII. Even Steven – Not only is SB XLVIII the first Super Bowl in 20 years to pair No. 1 seeds from each conference, both teams bring identical 15-3 records into the fray.
Looking deeper, each team squared off against five common opponents (both faced the AFC South) this season, both going 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS in those games with Denver going 5-0 ITS (In The Stats) for a net of
+748 yards. Seattle was 4-1 ITS for net of +428 yards. In games versus fellow playoff teams this season, the Broncos went 6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS, 7-2 ITS for a net of +621 yards. The Seahawks were 4-2 SUATS and 3-2-1 ITS, for a net of +244 yards.

Edge: None

Head-To-Head – The Broncos are 16-5 SU and 12-8-1 ATS in games versus the Seahawks since 1993. Denver has won the last 10 games in a row in this series in games in which they’ve owned a win percentage of .800 or greater. Seattle is 1-19 SU in its last twenty games versus AFC West opponents who sport a win percentage of .800 or greater.

Edge: Broncos

Statistically Speaking –
Seattle’s defense is ranked No.1 overall, surrendering 284 YPG while allowing a league low 15 PPG. Denver’s offense is ranked No. 1 overall, gaining 454 YPG, scoring a league best
36 PPG. This marks the fifth time in Super Bowl history that a team with the No.1 defense has faced the team with the No. 1 offense. Defense has won over offense in three of the four previous meetings. In addition, teams with the better defense have won 39 of the previous 47 Super Bowls. However, teams with the better defense are just 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS the last seven Super Bowls.

Edge: None

Logistically Speaking –
Teams arriving to the Super Bowl off three consecutive home games (Seattle) are 2-6 SU and 1-7 ATS since 2000, including 0-5 SUATS off a win of 6 or less points Super Bowl teams off four consecutive home games (Seattle) are 0-3 SU and ATS since 2000, losing all three times SU as a favorite. The Seahawks’ last game away from Seattle was 34 days ago (December 15). Super bowl favorites of 5 or less points in ‘double rest’ affairs – a week of rest before their first playoff game and week of rest before the Super Bowl – are 1-7 SUATS (Broncos).

Edge: None

Behind Center –
To no one’s surprise, both quarterbacks bring terrific QB Ratings in to the contest. Denver’s Peyton Manning finished the regular season as the league’s top-ranked signal caller at 115.1 on 55
TDs and 10 INTs. Seattle’s Russell Wilson owned a 101.2 QB Rating, with 26 TDs and 9 INTs. The postseason’s QB Ratings show Manning at 107.0, while Wilson’s numbers have further regressed during the playoffs down to 89.1. Manning is 2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS in his career versus Seattle, including 2-0 ATS as a favorite. He is also 28-7 SU and 22-12-1 ATS with the Broncos, including 8-0 ATS as a favorite of 6 or less points. After winning SB XLI with the Colts in 2007, Manning has completed 248 of 366 passes for 18 TDs and 7 INTS in a total of nine postseason efforts since Wilson is 27-9 SU and 25-11 ATS as a starting QB with the Seahawks,
including 5-4 SU and 8-1 ATS as a dog. He has tossed for less than 200 yards in over half of his starts, 19 to be exact, including nine this season (including each of his last six games). FYI: the Manning-led Broncos are 12-2 SU and 10-4 ATS in games where they hold opponents to 200 or less passing yards.

Edge: Broncos

On The Sidelines –
Denver’s John Fox brings an 8-5 SUATS NFL postseason career mark into this game, dropping a 32-29 decision as a 7-point dog to New England in SB XXVII. Fox is just 11-22 SU and 12-
20-1 ATS in his NFL career in games versus .769 or greater opposition. Seattle’s Pete Carroll is 5-4 SU and 6-3 ATS in his NFL playoff career. The good news is Carroll is 36-24-4 ATS as a dog in the NFL. The bad news is he is 1-5 SUATS as a dog of 2 or less points, and 0-11 SU as a dog in games in which his team owns a win percentage of .647 or higher.

Edge: None

Super Bowl History

• The NFC has controlled the last 32 Super Bowls, going 21-11 SU and 20-10-3 ATS, including 4-1 SUATS the last five years. The AFC, though, actually holds the upper hand of late, going 10-6 SU the last 16 years.

• The last NFC No. 1 seed (Seahawks), other than New Orleans in 2009, to win a Super Bowl was St. Louis in 2000.

• Teams who lost SU as a favorite in the playoffs the previous season (Broncos) are 4-9 SUATS the next year in the Super Bowl since 1982, including 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS as a favorite.

• Favorites of 3 or less points (Broncos) are 7-4 SU and ATS, and 5-6 UNDER.

• 17 of the last 20 quarterbacks have owned a QB Rating of 92.6 or better.

• Teams who lost SU as a playoff favorite last year (Broncos) are 4-10 SU and ATS, including 0-6 ATS as favorites.

• Favorites who allow 3.9 or more Yards Per Rush (Broncos) are 3-7 SU and 2-8 ATS.

• Teams who won their last two playoff games against foes that were off a playoff road win (Seahawks) are 4-8 SUATS, including 1-5 SUATS since 2000.

• Teams who score 20 or fewer points in the game are 6-30 SU and 9-33 ATS. Teams who score 21 or more points in the game are 40-12 SU and 36-14-2 ATS.

• The SU winner of a Super Bowl game is 39-6-2 ATS all-time.

Edge: None

The Bottom Line –
Tallying up the scorecard we find Denver holding a… 2-0 edge. That’s it. The main advantage – and it’s a big one – is having league MVP QB Peyton Manning at the controls. The edge is
quantified when experience is added into the mix as he certainly passes the eyeball test over his sophomore counterpart, Russell Wilson. Granted, league MVP QB’s have struggled throughout the history of the Super Bowl (6-11 SU and 5-10-2 ATS in all games), but if Winston Churchill – after venturing into the past – could look into the future, he’d like what he sees in this sure-fire future Hall of Fame signal caller. And so do we.

Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at - One Click Handicapping
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Marc Lawrence NFC Championship Upset Jan. 19

49ers Over Seahawks by 3

This should be interesting. Yes, Seattle brings the NFL’s No. 1 defense into this fray but Pete Carroll’s Seahawks have not been playing with the same fiery intensity they used to lock up home field advantage for today’s game, especially QB Russell Wilson. Wilson may own an intimidating 16-1 SU and 12-5 ATS record on his home turf but he’s looked like ‘Little Boy Lost’ in recent weeks, failing to throw for 200 yards in the last five games and finishing 9 of 18 for a career-low 103 yards in Seattle’s 23-15 win over the Saints last Saturday. Not so for Frisco QB Colin Kaepernick, who has clearly saved his best for the playoffs, battering foes with both his arm and his legs. ‘King Tat’ thrives on the NFL highway, going 10-4 SU and 10-3-1 ATS in his brief career, and his 49ers can become the 4th team in a row to reach the Super Bowl despite having to win three straight playoff games on the road. According to our powerful database, that’s a good news-bad news scenario for San Francisco.

Good: playoff road teams who were favored on the playoff road in their previous game are 8-1 ATS. Bad: Super Bowl losers are 0-11 SU and 2-8-1 ATS as playoff dogs of 3 or more points. Even so, the Niners are the first Super Bowl loser since 1977 to make it back to a conference championship game – which speaks volumes about who they are – plus it’s the 3rd straight year Jim Harbaugh’s gold-diggers have reached the NFC
title game. Our well-oiled machine also informs us that since 1990, playoff matchups involving division rivals who lost the most recent game involving a series split have gone just 4-10 SU and 5-9 ATS, including 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS when facing a .720 or greater foe. Harbaugh owns a solid ATS edge over Carroll, too: Jawin’ Jim is 12-2 SUATS versus greater-than .700 opposition while Petey is only 1-7 ATS as division chalk off back-to-back wins, including 0-5 ATS when favored by 3 or more points. Remember, no NFC #1 seed has won the Super Bowl since 1999 – and you can’t win the prize if you don’t get there. The 49ers fi eld a pretty stout defense of their own (ranked No. 5 in the league) and with the hungry Kaepernick making all the right moves, we’ll call for San Fran to crush the Seahawks’ Super Bowl dreams in Seattle.

Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at - One Click Handicapping
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