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As I See It

30 August 2002

It is rare that I speak of future bets because it has been talked about from people who understand the math and surely understand the logic that it is not a very good play.

If I make any it usually only involves 1 or 2 spots a year. The math is not that hard to figure and the logic is quite simple. That is, you must give your money up for anywhere from 4 to 6 months. Do you take your money out of circulation for that long where you may find places that it could be better invested?

So the answer that I give when I am questioned is the following: Nothing is a bad bet if you feel the value is in your corner, but it has to be higher than the standard 55% to 58% that is the norm for straight wagering. I feel the thought you must give is that this play, by your own deductions or calculations, should range anywhere between 65% to 70% that you have a winning chance to collect.

"Sure," you say, "but where do I find these things that can yield such a high expectation?"

Well, naturally, that is the hard part because the built-in juice is usually so high on most props you simply turn the page. I mean I have seen local books here in Las Vegas posting the Texans as anywhere between 50 and 75-to-1 to win the Super Bowl. I even saw one place, which I will not mention, that had them as low as 25-1. The total season wins are usually straddled by a 30 or 40 cent line. Once again it does make it hard to play, but maybe once a year you really believe that the wait will be well worth it when you do find something.

With that being said, the second part is asking yourself, "How much is it worth?" Meaning, how much of my b.r. should be used to invest in something that I, first, have to win and, second, wait a long time to get my cash back. These decisions have to be made on an individual basis.

I would suggest the following: 10% of your bankroll that is designated to be used for your football betting or double unit play that you would play on individual games.

Well that is the easy part, the hard part is plucking the winner. I believe I have one and have played it. I bet under 4½ season wins against the Houston Texans and that number is still around at some stores. This expansion caused a lot of media stir with the drafting of Carr and making the first expansion draft pick of Tony Boselli. Their other two early picks were Aaron Glenn and Jamie Sharper. These guys, at full strength, will be effective but I think they got damaged goods with Boselli. Their veteran free agent picks include people like James Allen and Kent Graham. They are the weakest team in the league once you get through some decent front-line players. They will not shore up any spots if anyone gets hurt and are truly thin to begin with.

David Carr is another talented rookie who will get better, but he will get his head handed to him for at least another two years. We live in a media age and the writers like these rags to riches stories, but the silver slipper will not fit for quite a while.

They are in a division where the only legit shot to win a game is when Jax plays them at their place. I can not find a spot where they will be favored, even with both Buffalo and the Ravens playing them; you can throw in the Bengals too. They go to Philly, Pgh., Washington, and San Diego for their out-of-division games. This will be a very long year from a team who, once you break it down, is not very talented. We all know that the number equalizes every pointspread play, but talking about winning 5 games outright puts me around that 70% of winning my bet.

You will not get rich betting future props, but if the spot is there you must play. In my mind the spot is there so I played.

Stay smart,

Jimmy V.

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