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You Can Bet On It!

16 January 2004

First of all I want to wish all of you a Happy, Healthy New Year filled with lots of laughs and luck. This past year seemed to fly by. Take advantage of the time you have and put it to good use. Spread a little joy to the joyless and treat yourself to something that you've always wanted.

The college bowl season is upon us and for many years the smart handicapping technique would be to start out looking to bet the underdog. Of course each game has to be handicapped individually, but taking the points overall was a smart play. This is not a shortcut to success. It's just a starting point when you begin to analyze the match-up. It gets a little tricky because you have teams playing each other from different conferences and many times it's like comparing apples and oranges.

It's very important to have an established set of power ratings. Power ratings are a numerical rating system that judges how strong a team is. Many handicappers use this as their primary reference point for analyzing the sporting events that they wager on. The Gold Sheet newsletter has been providing power ratings to the public since 1957 and is available at newsstands or by calling 1-800-798-4653.

When handicapping the bowl games it's very important to weigh the motivation of the team in the bowl they are playing in. For example if the team is a Nebraska or Michigan and started off the season with national championship status in their minds and now find themselves playing in a mid-December game you would think they would be less than motivated. On the other side of the coin, if a small school that hasn't been on national television for a couple of years is playing AND getting points, you would figure them to be more excited and motivated to play to the very best of their collective ability. Again, this is just one factor, but one that shouldn't be overlooked.

Another factor should be strength of schedule that the two opponents faced during the season. If the team is from the Big 10 then you know they played the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue, etc. If the team is from the SEC they played teams like Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, etc. When you compare the two teams and the teams that they played during the year you can get a fairly good idea as to how they fared against certain teams of comparable talents. Now let's go a little further in this examination. When they played the games how healthy were they in reference to their star athletes at the key positions? Also, were they looking ahead to their big rivalry game and didn't play well in the game before or after? How many turnovers are they plus or minus for the year? Certain teams really make it a point to go after the ball on a regular basis. Other teams seem to always have their special teams (kicking, punt blocking) geared up to make significant plays. Much of this information is readily available if you want to take the time to find it on the internet. Go to the team's website that you are interested in and go to the sports section. If you don't find what you need there are many other avenues to try. Just surf and use your common sense and you'll find what you are looking for.

Don't get too carried away betting on the bowl games. There will be some betting opportunities that will be better than others. Considering that there are 28 games in which 56 teams are involved, many are just a flip of the coin proposition. More than a few of the teams that will be playing are not bowl worthy. They had lousy seasons and in a perfect world they wouldn't be rewarded for their mediocrity. Be careful and choose wisely the games to bet on.

Most, if not all of the games will be on television. That should NOT be your sole reason for wagering on a game. Find some better reasons by putting in a little time and finding solid handicapping edges to support your reason for making your wager.

"Gambling heats the mind like an oven." - Henry Ward Beecher (1896)

Larry Grossman

Larry Grossman is host and producer of Las Vegas' most popular gaming and handicapping radio show, "You Can Bet On It." Since 1989 he has interviewed World Champion poker players that include Amarillo Slim, Puggy Pearson, and Tom McEvoy. Regular guests during the football season include Lem Banker, Mike Lee, Mort Olshan, and Andy Iskoe.

During the 1997 and 1998 season, Grossman hosted a nationally televised show that featured many of the nations' top handicappers.

Larry Grossman is the author of two books, "You Can Bet On It" Volume 1 - Casino Games and Volume 2 - Sports Betting. He is a regular columnist for many gaming publications. Larry has hosted and produced handicapping seminars in Las Vegas. Visit AudioVegas.com to listen to archives of his "You Can Bet On it" radio show.

Larry Grossman Websites:

www.AudioVegas.com

Books by Larry Grossman:

You Can Bet On It! -- Volume 1: Casino Games
Larry Grossman
Larry Grossman is host and producer of Las Vegas' most popular gaming and handicapping radio show, "You Can Bet On It." Since 1989 he has interviewed World Champion poker players that include Amarillo Slim, Puggy Pearson, and Tom McEvoy. Regular guests during the football season include Lem Banker, Mike Lee, Mort Olshan, and Andy Iskoe.

During the 1997 and 1998 season, Grossman hosted a nationally televised show that featured many of the nations' top handicappers.

Larry Grossman is the author of two books, "You Can Bet On It" Volume 1 - Casino Games and Volume 2 - Sports Betting. He is a regular columnist for many gaming publications. Larry has hosted and produced handicapping seminars in Las Vegas. Visit AudioVegas.com to listen to archives of his "You Can Bet On it" radio show.

Larry Grossman Websites:

www.AudioVegas.com

Books by Larry Grossman:

You Can Bet On It! -- Volume 1: Casino Games