Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Football picksSeptember 4, 2012

The AFC is always a competitive conference. With teams like the Texans, Ravens, Steelers, and Patriots at the top of the heap, the league is full of good contenders. So who will win the AFC in 2012? Who will represent the conference in the Superbowl? That is a good question and it is one that demands a long, hard look. There are many teams that could potentially come out on top. This year, it is going to be the surprising bunch in Houston. The Texans have what it takes to win the AFC in impressive fashion.

It starts with quarterback play

The Texans used to be an air show. Matt Schaub came over from Atlanta and put up impressive numbers in his first couple seasons with the team. Though Schaub probably is not the focus anymore, he is a good enough quarterback to lead the team to the AFC title. Schaub was injured a year ago, but he appears fully health in advance of this campaign. He will make enough plays down field to help the Texans overcome the rest of the conference in the march toward the big game.

Offensive balance matters

Many Superbowl participants get there because they have good balance on offense. This is certainly true for the Texans. They have arguably the best running game in the NFL. With Arian Foster leading the way, the Texans have the ability to pound people on the ground in the second half. They also have a serviceable backup in Ben Tate to carry the load when Foster gets tired. This makes for a formidable and balanced attack. With Andre Johnson still an elite threat on the outside and the Foster/Tate duo running behind a good offensive line, the Texans get it done on offense.

Their division makes it simple

The Steelers will have strong competition in their own division. The same is true for the Broncos and the Patriots. For the Texans, though, the path to the playoffs is a little bit easier. The Texans just have to beat out the Titans, Colts, and Jaguars in order to claim one of the top four seeds. The Colts show promise but they are breaking in a new quarterback. The Jaguars don’t have the QB play to make it to the playoffs. The Titans are intriguing, but they look like a slightly less effective version of Houston. This is a primary reason why the Texans will run all the way to the Superbowl in 2013.

The AFC is full of good teams. Could the Patriots repeat as AFC Champs? They certainly could. Would anyone be surprised if the Ravens made it all the way? How about Peyton Manning’s team in Denver? These are all very good choices. The Texans, though, are uniquely positioned to make a run to the big game. With solid QB play, a great running game, and an emerging defense, Houston is the cream of the conference’s crop.

Posted by Wunderdog’s trusty sidekick ” Wundercat “


Sports picksSeptember 4, 2012

If you hang around sports handicapping long enough, you will know that some guys just win. Some guys know how to pick games and they have their money sports. But what makes a sports handicapper good? What are the qualities that will take a sports handicapper from the land of complacency to the land of big profits? There are a few different things that a good sports handicapper will consistently do. For one, he will bet without emotion. He will also have good bankroll management skills. On top of that, he will understand the market in addition to the teams.

Betting without emotion

The best sports handicappers are those guys who can make their picks without letting emotion poison the well. These guys look at games with the kind of cold calculation that many bettors admire. They do not get tied to teams or ideas. They do not have league bias. They simply scan the board for good opportunities. If you want to be a good handicapper, you have to look for these sorts of opportunities. You have to be willing to leave emotion at the door. This means more than just not betting on your team. It also means not getting attached to teams that have won a lot for you.

Bankroll management skills are a must

One of the biggest challenges in sports handicapping is not just knowing which games to pick. It is also in knowing how much to put on each game. Many people struggle with this on a weekly basis. They put ten percent of their bankroll on one game. They think that they can continue to bet large amounts without going broke. The good handicapper will recognize that he is going to lose occasionally. This is why he rations his picks accordingly in order to get the maximum return on his investment.

Understanding the market is key

A good handicapper will understand a lot more than just the teams, players, and venues. He will also understand how different bettors perceive teams. This is important if you are going to ultimately get good value on a certain game. You have to understand that the market overrates or underrates certain teams. You also have to understand that the betting market overreacts to things that have happened recently. They tend to forget the past. This is a huge problem for the average bettor. The good handicapper, though, understands the fluidity of the market.

The good sports handicapper can do many things. He keeps his mind open and he leaves his heart at the door. He understands stats but he also uses his instincts. He knows when to make plays and how much to put on each one. He has patience and he does not overreact when he takes a loss. He also has a keen eye for value. If you are going to one day join the ranks of the very best handicappers, you will have to have at least some of these traits.

Posted by Wunderdog’s Trusty sidekick ” Wundercat “