There is even one MLB. And if you take a step back, it is not so crazy of a statement. The Houston Astros have been the leaders of the AL West for some time but they are losing some core players next season. Their center fielder George Springer is a free agent and seems to be heading elsewhere. Michael Brantley is also a free agent and will most likely be pursued by several other teams.
Astros ace Justin Verlander is coming off of surgery and will need to work his way back. The Los Angeles Angels have been busy trying to put together a winning team, but it seems like they have been doing that forever since Mike Trout became the star player and they have been unsuccessful. They hired a new general manager and acquired a closer , and Jose Iglesias to replace Andrelton Simmons, but it is still unclear how much better they have gotten. The Oakland Athletics somehow always put a good team together.
But their shortstop Marcus Semien and closer Liam Hendriks are free agents and it seems unlikely that both will return to Oakland next season. They have been offloading some of their players this offseason, the most notable one being Lance Lynn who went to the Chicago White Sox.
I do not see the Rangers being competitors anytime soon, leaving Seattle in an interesting position. The Seattle Mariners even made a late run push for a playoff spot last year and gave fans a glimpse of hope. I think fans should keep that same faith going into because our young talent will only get better, and Seattle will be calling up some other talented prospects next season.
Fans should feel especially good about the team after the recent additions to the bullpen including Rafael Montero and Keynan Middleton. The World Series odds were heavily inflated because of the shortened season and are usually not that high. As I said before, the odds to make the playoffs for MLB teams have not been readily available online, but the odds for winning the World Series are out.
Personally, I do not think the Mariners have a shot at winning the World Series, so that is something I would stay away from. If anything, a small gamble on a Mariners title in is the only thing that could make sense for those that want to bet on the Mariners. However, a bet on the Seattle Mariners to make the playoffs is not so ridiculous as it may seem. But do they even bet sports as a full-time job? Pro is short for professional. If you make money selling picks for Pregame, you are quite literally a Pregame Pro.
In other words, what qualifies you to sell picks is selling picks. He routinely advertises winning streaks from 54 to 73 percent. He picked the total score over It not only lost—despite overtime, the game ended at His analysis included cryptic references to other bets:. Power Rated Click Up The Orange button and play right along side the Oster Why would sports betting picks be held to a higher standard than mutual funds?
But mutual funds must reference their one-, five- and year performances in all ads. And on the Vanguard website, as WagerMinds pointed out , it takes all of 30 seconds to find complete and customizable long-term performance data for any of their funds, over any length of time. Wheatley-Schaller, 28, is one half of the pair who cracked the code to the Pregame database. Last June, he was looking through older picks on Pregame when he noticed that the entire grading system had changed.
The grading system at Pregame seems designed to encourage chicanery. Teaser and prop bets also cannot be entered into the system. The same goes for bets placed on the first half of a game. The tout has to load a full-game play and then specify in the write-up that it is not for the whole game. If these are incorrectly graded as wins, the tout has to ask tech support to manually re-grade the play. I found plenty of examples where touts never amended winners to losers, or they did so only after pressure from Contrarianville.
On October 10, , for instance, Fezzik sold a first-half college football bet on Miami , a four-point underdog. Miami covered the full-game spread, however, so the Pregame system incorrectly auto-graded the first-half play as a win. They were actually two-point favorites. There had been no move. George told me it was an honest mistake, although he was not regretful. After an outside uproar , George got the axe. I was probably a career percent capper over there.
I also found several touts who made a habit of releasing plays at a casino after it was closed for the night. Stephen Nover, a former Las Vegas newspaperman and radio host, has done exactly that at Pregame on at least 41 picks, according to the Pregame data and a pick-by-pick analysis of one watchdog. Five hours earlier, sportsbooks had taken the game off the board because of the scratch of one of the starting pitchers.
Their reasons? Nover told me he spends a lot of time in Europe due to family considerations, and the time difference forces him to work with overnight numbers. Wheatley-Schaller says that Bell profits from the fact that the public understands so little about sports betting.
Selling picks in six or more sports, plus different bets in each, plus the ability to segregate plays by the number of units, gives touts dozens of options from which to advertise on any given day. Streaks are arbitrary—their beginning and endpoints are chosen to make a point—but recreational bettors are attracted to them nonetheless.
So the more touts an operation can employ, the more chances it has of digging up streaks to push. Few outfits are as large as Pregame. Pregame makes sure that its handicappers know what to do when they do string some wins together. We wanna create special packages around that level of hotness. Judging by the public record, RJ Bell never did much winning himself.
He saw that his talents lay in selling those who sell picks. An oft-repeated claim by Bell is that he graduated valedictorian of his class with a Finance degree. According to the university, Bell graduated summa cum laude with a B. Bell was a recipient of a Pace Setter award, which honors top business students. Between 50 and 60 undergraduates receive the award each year. He said he has now removed it. If he was able to earn a living as a full-time bettor, his performance as a pick-seller at Pregame offers little support.
Bell sold 30 picks from October through March His results at Pregame prior to this are long gone from its website. Eight months after his final sale, he came out of retirement to offer a freebie in college-football: Army as an eight-point underdog against Notre Dame. Army lost Before launching Pregame, Bell offered free picks. But where was the money in that? His NCAA domain squatting may offer a hint: The real profit was in lucrative referral deals with offshore sportsbooks.
Bettors signed up for free picks, and Bell accumulated a massive database of names and email addresses that he could sell to sportsbooks. According to a Pregame advertising kit circa , the average Pregame and FPBE user was a fairly avid bettor who played at multiple books. Sportsbooks less able or inclined to spend six figures could sign up as standard advertisers.
Johnny Detroit was and is known for his sportsbooks connections. A testimonial of his is featured on the home page of WebPartners, an affiliate go-between and Costa Rica-based bookmaker. Ads for Mybookie. A cookie-based tracking system and unique token ensured that those who clicked on the ads and then deposited money at Mybookie would be credited as referrals of WagerTalk. Every month thereafter, site heads would be sent a monthly statement and a check for their cut of those losses.
Industry standard Sportsbook Review gives Mybookie a C rating. WagerTalk ranked Mybookie as its top sportsbook. As Johnny Detroit was handling the arrangements with sportsbooks, Bell was doing his part to push their merged tout service to the public. To this day, numerous outlets still say Bell provided the statistical evidence that broke the Donaghy story.
For example, Bell pointed out that Donaghy refereed 13 games during the season in which the margin fell within one point of the spread. Suchanek showed that this was what would be expected from random chance. But when asked by Suchanek to disclose the list of those games, Bell declined.
He has still never explained how he possessed such sensitive information. You guys would rather a sober recitation of the facts. Accurately, he had pegged what reporters and editors and producers and bloggers want: sensational claims, concisely delivered, for undiscerning consumers. Waiting for them was an ocean of ads from sportsbooks and offers of generous sign-up bonuses.
And maybe some surprises. Pregame would have to sell subscriptions and single-game picks by the truckload. Then I learned about the affiliate sheets. Based on the rates Bell was charging sportsbooks just to advertise on Pregame, the multimillion-dollar valuation seems logical. At any one time, Pregame appeared to carry seven preferred sportsbooks.
Just watch the money roll in. If tout services knew their customers were winning, the smart choice would be the one-time deposit, instead of one tied to losing. The oddsmaker said he has never seen touts choose the deposit. So they funneled their sportsbook referrals through Canadian-registered Pregame Action, a go-between which may have provided a way around a U. In August , the Pregame Action website went down and started redirecting to Sharpbettor. The reason for the switch from Pregame Action to Sharpbettor.
Two months before Pregame Action went missing, Johnny Detroit left. Johnny Detroit apparently recuperated quickly. There were rumors on sports betting forums that he and Karalis had asked to share in the affiliate spoils, but were rejected by Bell. He responded to claims of foul play in August Neither do I personally.
Not a penny. It did not mention Pregame Action or Sharpbettor. Update, p. He declined multiple times to answer those questions, instead issuing a statement that did not address them. After this story was published, he emailed me, denying involvement with Pregame Action and Sharpbettor. Update, July 1, , p. The bettor whose livelihood is dependent on having an edge can only be so helpful.
If enough people get a whiff, the value is gone. It is counterintuitive that anyone good enough at betting sports to make money on it would ever publicize his picks, no matter the price. Maybe Americans would like to believe that successful sports bettors resemble average joes more closely than they do the mathematicians, financial analysts, statisticians, and software developers who actually do this for a living. The real bettors, like Jacob Wheatley-Schaller, offer fewer absolutes, and less interesting soundbites.
It makes for great radio when Fezzik calls out his three-star game of the year, but far less exciting when a bettor explains that he bet three-quarters of a percent of his bankroll based on his perceived edge against the closing line.
And if revenge were a computable variable, bookmakers would have already factored it into the line. For poker magazine All In , he looked at more than public handicappers and found that not one had a lifetime win rate of 55 percent.
The data showed that only about five percent of these touts could achieve a lifetime win rate of Not much has changed since then, except now the hundreds of touts out there have a wider audience for their questionable logic. In a low-budget documentary on sports betting called Life on the Line , a group of sad-looking touts known as the Tuesday Group meet to discuss their ideas before the Super Bowl. I saw Tiger Woods get humbled, I saw Brett Favre get humbled, I think Roethlisberger on the biggest stage of the world is gonna get humbled.
Later in the film, Covers mocks a young bettor for not being able to show him a spreadsheet of his allegedly excellent results. This explains why Bell almost never mentions Fezzik without including his past glory: back-to-back NFL contest wins from and In recent months, Bell has circled the wagons around Fezzik, his flagship pick-seller.
Eichenlaub wrote that he found several errors in its grading and record-keeping early on, when Johnny Detroit was in charge of the records. Bet Like a Pro was, according to Pregame, up 26 units year-to-date when Eichenlaub stepped in on August 7, Since then, it has taken a unit loss. There was outright dissension on the Fezzik forum thread, and Bell banned people left and right for their slights against his star handicapper. Bell encouraged his customers to buy subscriptions and not daily selections, thus bringing down the cost of each pick.
I asked Fezzik for comment about about his pick-selling record, and the other issues raised about him in this story. He responded in a written statement:. My personal picks are also monitored daily by an independent documenter. Plus, a dedicated Pregame forum thread is prominent for anyone to report any pick grading or win streak mistakes, ensuring that necessary corrections are publicly made. No other pick selling site even comes close.
The Robert Morris Colonials have been led by Coach Andy Toole for the past decade, which will go down as the best decade in program history. The Colonials are currently in the conference only behind Merrimack, the new team on the block. A key to Robert Morris' success has been a balanced rotation, as the team plays eight players with balanced minutes and plenty of interchangeable guards. The key will be getting another strong performance from junior forward AJ Bramah, who had 18 points and 20 rebounds in his earlier game against the Colonials.
The Sacred Heart Pioneers returned much of their production from last year, but have not quite met up to the high expectations that followed last year's upstart team that was one win away from an NCAA tournament appearance. Coach Anthony Latina's team is anchored defensively by senior center Jare'l Spellman, who averaged 3 blocks per game last year.
The Pioneers dropped the matchup between these two teams in Moon by double digits, and have shown continued inconsistency in conference play. The North Carolina Central Eagles have been playing at a high level of late, with seven wins in their last nine games. February and March are usually a bad time to bet against Coach Moton. Juan Dixon, who won a national championship as a player at Maryland and produced a productive NBA career, is in his 2nd season as the head coach and is still trying to establish the team's identity.
Before the season, Coach Dixon hyped up freshman guard Nigel Marshall as "Baby LeBron," but Marshall played sparingly in November and subsequently got shelved for a redshirt season. Then, Coach Tony Shaver, who had been at the helm for 16 seasons, was fired in March and replaced by year old Dane Fischer.
Knight has played otherworldly this season, averaging Combining Knight with the Wisconsin transfer 7-foot Belgian stretch forward Any Van Vliet has provided the Tribe with a dangerous force that is nearly unguardable. Coach CB McGrath entered the season with high hopes, as his returning sophomore point guard Kai Toews ranked second in the nation in assists last year and showed poise beyond his years.
Toews made the surprising decision midseason to depart for his home nation of Japan to pursue a career of professional basketball and the Seahawks have been reeling. Luckily, they get an opportunity against one of the few teams that have struggled more than them. The Idaho State Bengals basketball program has been in a funk for years.
This season, the Bengals lost by 19 points at Sacramento State, and are currently in the midst of a seven-game losing streak. Coach Ryan Looney inherited a barren roster and brought in five players from one junior college alone. Expecting players who were backups at the College of Southern Idaho to contribute the following season at Division I level probably isn't a plan that will work long-term.
Freshman guard Nico Aguirre is a member of the Chilean basketball team. Coach David Patrick, best known as the godfather of Ben Simmons and the lead recruiter to get Simmons to LSU, has plenty of interesting pieces in a competitive conference. Sophomore Callum McRae of New Zealand lost 40 pounds this offseason and has emerged as the most consistent contributor on this year's team. The biggest fault for the Highlanders is that they seem to forget how to play when they go on the road, with a road record opposite their impressive home record.
CSUN got one of the biggest boosts at the season's midway point when star sophomore forward Lamine Diane rejoined the team after missing the first semester due to being academically ineligible. Joining Diane with electric diminutive guard Terrell Gomez makes the Matadors an extremely potent offense. The Matadors have only lost one home game since Diane's return. It's the offseason! Except when it comes to dynasty leagues, there is no offseason. We'll be spending some time this year thinking about how to value individual players in dynasty in our Dynasty Price Check series.
What's a player's current value? Should you trade them or trade for them? Are they being overvalued or undervalued Read More. The NFL season is officially coming to a close, which means it is time to start preparing for fantasy football drafts! Free agency will have a chance to change the landscape of the league for several teams and players and could have a massive fantasy impact for next season.
Throughout the next several We continue with our evaluation of the dynasty league value of high-profile players in our Dynasty Price Check series. Are they being overvalued or undervalued by dynasty players? We've already covered Ezekiel Elliott, which you can read here.
The Seattle Mariners even made a late run push for a playoff spot last year and gave fans a glimpse of hope. I think fans should keep that same faith going into because our young talent will only get better, and Seattle will be calling up some other talented prospects next season. Fans should feel especially good about the team after the recent additions to the bullpen including Rafael Montero and Keynan Middleton. The World Series odds were heavily inflated because of the shortened season and are usually not that high.
As I said before, the odds to make the playoffs for MLB teams have not been readily available online, but the odds for winning the World Series are out. Personally, I do not think the Mariners have a shot at winning the World Series, so that is something I would stay away from. If anything, a small gamble on a Mariners title in is the only thing that could make sense for those that want to bet on the Mariners. However, a bet on the Seattle Mariners to make the playoffs is not so ridiculous as it may seem.
Based on and , I would expect the Mariners to be rated as underdogs again. I will say though, the odds could change depending on the format of next season and how many teams make the playoffs. The more teams that can make the playoffs, the smaller the odds would be because Seattle would have a better chance of making the playoffs. Taking a chance on the Mariners making the playoffs is a lot more realistic and could be something worth betting on.
If you are allowed to sports gamble based on where you live and are feeling lucky, I think a small bet on the Seattle Mariners making the playoffs is reasonable. Previewing 53 Will Vest. View all NFL Sites. View all NBA Sites. View all MLB Sites. View all NHL Sites. View all Soccer Sites. View all CFB Sites.
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