::.. The Ultimate Guide To Chasing ..::
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The Ultimate Guide To Chasing

The Martingale System and its many variations can be used for games other than roulette.  In this section we will take a look at how to utilize the system for betting the NFL.  It should be apparent that you can use the system for any team sporting event where multiple games are played and thus you can wager on; NHL, NBA, MLB, etc.  The main point is to get you to think strategically instead of just flying by the seat of your pants, or betting on your favorite teams simply because you like them.  I have chosen the NFL because there is more time between each game.  It allows you more time to research and process information before choosing your next move.  Baseball, on the other hand, has games virtually every day.  It gives you more opportunities to win money, but less time to be prepared.

In any wagering situation Vegas never wants you to have a fair shot.  They always develop an imbalance that gives the illusion of a 50/50 chance but in reality the odds are always tilted slightly in their favor.  This is called the “edge”.

In the game of roulette the edge is the two green squares: the zero and the double zero.  The roulette wheel gives the appearance of 50/50 odds but this is not actually true.  While you can wager $1 to win $1 you will lose if the zero or double zero come up.  There are 18 black squares and 18 red.  You therefore have roughly a 45/45 chance, and the green squares give the house an approximate 5% edge.  (5.26% according to wizardofodds.com)

As we have discussed earlier, these strategies do not increase your odds of winning.  The odds are always 45% if you bet the 1/1 areas; red/black, even/odd, and low/high.  Systems allow you to increase your profitability within the construct of these odds by sacrificing longevity.

Football is different from roulette.  In most cases the two teams are not evenly matched.  This gives you a favorite and an underdog.  Nobody would bet on the underdog in a straight win/lose scenario, so what Vegas does to get people betting both sides of the game is to handicap the favorite.  The favorite has to win by more than say 7 points for a bet on the favorite to be a winner.  This would be indicated by a -7.  The underdog would have a +7 meaning they could lose by up to 7 points and be a winner.  If the difference is exactly 7 it is called a “push” and bettors on both sides get their money back.  This 7 point handicap is called the “point spread”.

The spread alone is not what gives the casino its edge.  The spread is to get people to bet on both teams.  The edge comes from a slight differential in payout.  Typically, you must bet $110 to win $100 when betting the spread.  The $10 is called the “Juice” The winner gets his $110 back plus $100, and the bookie keeps the $10 difference from the losing bet.  According to Dan Gordon, author of “Beat the Sports Books” this makes the odds 52.4% in favor of the house.

I will explain a couple examples.

Week 1 in the 2010-11 season

Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints -4.5

The Saints were the home team and were favored by 4.5 points.  There are no half points scored in football so the only logical explanation is that the 0.5 makes sure that the game does not result in a push.  The Saints must win this game by 5 points or better to win as the favorite.  The Vikings must lose by 4 points or less to win as the underdog.

The actual score was Vikings 9 vs. Saints 14.  The Saints won by 5 points thus Saints bettors won this bet.

Week 2 in the 2011-12 season

Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers +10.5

The Panthers are the home team and are 10.5 point underdogs to the visiting Packers.

The score was Packers 30 vs. Panthers 23.  If you bet the Panthers you won this bet.

Another kind of bet that is common to team sports is the over/under.  The Vegas odds makers will crunch numbers and come up with a total for both teams.  If the combined score is over this number the over wins and naturally the opposite is true for the under.

The over/under for the Packers vs. Panthers game was 45.  The actual total of both scores was 53, so the over wins in this bet.

 

Streak Theory

Just like on a roulette wheel, streaks can and do happen in football.  The difference between a roulette wheel and NFL teams is that there are tangible factors that can tilt the odds in your favor.  The spreads and totals that Vegas put out are not a prediction of the game but rather a reflection of public opinion.  Remember that their goal is to simply get people betting both sides of the game as evenly as possible.  If they accomplish this they make money every time.  There are many instances where the line or spread is out of line with the teams entering the field.  When you find such discrepancies there is money to be made.

I will first talk about “undervalued” teams.  The 2007 Patriots were a fantastic moneymaker in the first 8 games.  People knew that they were going to be good but nobody knew just how good.  They came out and were blowing teams out in the early part of the season.  They were favorites and started with spreads like -6 or -10.  As they kept blowing teams out the spreads got bigger and bigger.  I believe -24 was the biggest spread against the Eagles.  As the spreads got bigger the other teams started figuring out how to play this juggernaut.  The pendulum swung the other way and you did better betting the underdogs in the second half of the season.

So what happened?  The team started the season extremely undervalued in the eyes of the public.  As they caught on that the Pats were hot this forced the odds makers to keep raising the spreads until people would start betting the underdogs in these games.  This continuous raising of the bar was like the dotcom bubble and became over-inflated.  The teams were catching on and playing the Pats hard but the public was slower to catch on and thus the underdogs started to emerge in the second half of the year.

Here are the stats for the 2007-08 Patriots season.  The stats were pulled from goldsheet.com. 

 

NEW ENGLAND (FT)
(SUR: 18-1 PSR: 10-9 O-U: 12-7)
S.09   NY Jets           W    -6'  38-14  o41
S.16*  SD                W    -3'  38-14  o46
S.23   BUFF.             W    -16' 38-7   o41
O.01*  Cincinnati        W    -7'  34-13  u53'
O.07   CLEVE.            W    -16  34-17  o48'
O.14   Dallas            W    -5'  48-27  o53
O.21   Miami             W    -16  49-28  o51
O.28   WASH.             W    -15' 52-7   o47'
N.04   Indy              L    -5   24-20  u56'
N.11   Bye
N.18*  Buffalo           W    -15' 56-10  o46'
N.25*  PHILA.            L    -24  31-28  o51
D.03*  Baltimore         L    -19' 27-24  o48
D.09   PITT.             W    -10' 34-13  u47'
D.16   NY JETS           L    -21  20-10  u42'
D.23   MIAMI             L    -22  28-7   u45
D.29*  NY Giants         L    -13  38-35  o46'
J.12*  J'VILLE           L    -13' 31-20  o50
J.20   SAN DIEGO         L    -13' 21-12  u47
F.03   NY Giants         L    -12' 14-17  u54'
(Super Bowl XLII at Glendale, Az)

Notice how the Pats beat the spread on all of the first 8 games.  The Martingale System wasn't even necessary for the first half of the season.  Switch to the underdogs for the second half and you would have made even more money.  The Martingale would make this second half more profitable, for you would have lost twice.

Let's take a look at a 4 level deep Martingale system with $50 as one unit. 

  • $50
  • $100
  • $200
  • $400

You have a total of $750 at risk.  4 levels is not very deep, but as you can see it is very expensive.  Adding a 5th level would be an additional $800 for a total risk of $1,550.

So how much would you have made in this situation?  The first 8 games were all wins.  At $110 to win $100 you make a 91% return each time you win.  91% of $50 is $45.50.  For the first 8 games you would have made $364.  This is a 49% return on your bankroll on the 4-level system, and a 23% return on the 5 level.  Now let's take a look at the second half of the season betting the underdogs.  Week 9 they played the Colts and the Colts covered by 1 point (NE24 vs. IND20).  There is an additional $45.50.  The next week they annihilated the Bills.  We would have lost the underdog bet here so we bet $100 on the next game.  The Eagles were 24 point underdogs and none-too-happy about it.  They did not win, but the Eagles were the first team of the year to give the Patriots a real run for their money.  We win this bet and make $91.  Baltimore nearly wins the game the next week which is another $45.50 for us.  In week 14 they squash the Steelers, we lose $50 so we must bet $100 in week 15.  The Jets cover so we make $91.  The next two games the underdogs cover to finish out the season with another $91.

Let's tally this up.

Weeks 1-8 bet the favorite:

  • win $45.50
  • win $45.50
  • win $45.50
  • win $45.50
  • win $45.50
  • win $45.50
  • win $45.50
  • win $45.50 (Switch to underdogs)
  • win $45.50

10. bye week
11. lose $50...  ...bet $100 on next game
12. win $91...  ...Martingale starts over so bet $50 for the next game
13. win $45.50
14. lose $50...  ...bet $100
15. win $91...  ...bet $50
16. win $45.50
17. win $45.50

Total Profit:  $728 for a 97% return on the 4-level system.

Note that I do not try to ride this pattern into the postseason.  The playoffs are a different animal entirely.

Is this an isolated incident or are there more teams to be found like this?  Just before the 2011-12 season started last year a friend gave me a tip that he thought the Detroit Lions were going to be hot.  They had been cellar dwellers for several years.  They got some decent picks, and started assembling some good talent.  They were vastly improved in the quarterback position, receiving, and defense.

In this case we are not sticking with favorites or underdogs like in the case of the Patriots.  We are betting for the Lions in the first half of the season, and against them for the second half.  We are assuming that the Lions are undervalued in the public's eye and that they will have a knee-jerk reaction and overcompensate in the second half of the season by pushing the spreads too far in the other direction.

I watched in amazement as my friend's prophecy came true.

DETROIT (AT)

(SUR: 10-7 PSR: 7-9-1 O-U: 11-6)
S.11 T. Bay W +1' 27-20 o43'  $45.50
S.18 K. CITY W -8 48-3 o45   $45.50
S.25 Minn.-OT N -3 26-23 o45   push
O.02 Dallas W +2 34-30 o46'   $45.50
O.10* CHI. W -6 24-13 u47'    $45.50
O.16 S. FRAN. L -4' 19-25 u46  lose $50, bet $100
O.23 ATLANTA L -4 16-23 u47' lose $100 bet $200
O.30 Denver W -3 45-10 o42      win $182
N.06 Bye                                     (start betting against the Lions)
N.13 Chicago L +2' 13-37 o43   win $45.50
N.20 CAR. W -7 49-35 o47'       lose $50, bet $100
N.24 G. BAY L +5' 15-27 u55    win $91, bet $50
D.04 N. Orl. L +9 17-31 u54      win $45.50
D.11 MINN. L -10 34-28 o47     win $45.50
D.18 Oakland L -2 28-27 o47'    win $45.50
D.24 S. DIEGO W -2 38-10 u52'   lose $50, bet $100
J.01 G. Bay L -6' 41-45 o42        win $91
J.07* N. Orl. L +11 28-45 o59'

 

Look at the first 8 games.  If you used the Martingale System you cleaned house.  In the second 8 games you switch against the Lions and clean house some more.  This is a predictable pattern that happens often if you can find the right team.  You again come out with $728 for the season.

Look at Green Bay for the same year

GREEN BAY

(SUR: 15-2 PSR: 11-6 O-U: 12-5)
S.08* N. ORL. W -4' 42-34 o47'  win $45.50
S.18 Carolina L -10 30-23 o45'    lose, bet $100
S.25 Chicago W -4 27-17 u45'     win $91, bet $50
O.02 DENVER W -12' 49-23 o46'  win $45.50
O.09* Atlanta W -6 25-14 u53'      win $45.50
O.16 STL W -14' 24-3 u47            win $45.50
O.23 Minn. L -9' 33-27 o47           lose, bet $100
O.30 Bye
N.06 S. Diego W -5' 45-38 o50'    win $91, bet $50 (switch to opponents)
N.14* MINN. W -13' 45-7 o49'    lose, bet $100
N.20 T. BAY L -14 35-26 o48'     win $91, bet $50
N.24 Detroit W -5' 27-15 u55      lose, bet $100
D.04 Nyg L -6' 38-35 o53           win $91, bet $50
D.11 OAK. W -11' 46-16 o51     lose, bet $100
D.18 K. City L -13 14-19 u46     win $91, bet $50
D.25* CHI. W -12' 35-21 o42     lose, bet 100
J.01 DET. W +6' 45-41 o42        lose
J.15 NYG L -7' 20-37 o53'

 

Use the Martingale on the favorite for the first 8 games and switch to the underdog for the second 8.  The pattern is not as strong as the first two but you had a winning season if you did this.  You would have made $487 for the season. 

You would have been better off to stick with Green Bay for the entire season.  Hindsight is always 20/20 but it would have been impossible to know this during the season.

Let's look at the San Francisco 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO

(SUR: 14-4 PSR: 12-5-1 O-U: 8-10)
S.11 SEATTLE W -6 33-17 o38   win $45.50
S.18 DAL.-OT N +3 24-27 o41'   push
S.25 Cincinnati W +2 13-8 u39'   win $45.50
O.02 Phila. W +9' 24-23 o44        win $45.50
O.09 T. BAY W -2' 48-3 o41        win $45.50
O.16 Detroit W +4' 25-19 u46      win $45.50
O.23 Bye
O.30 CLEVE. W -9 20-10 u38'    win $45.50
N.06 Wash. W -4' 19-11 u37'        win $45.50  (switch to opponents)
N.13 NYG W -3' 27-20 o42'         lose, bet $100
N.20 ARIZ. W -10 23-7 u40'        lose, bet $200
N.24* Baltimore L +3' 6-16 u39'  win $182, bet $50
D.04  STL W -13' 26-0 u38           lose, bet $100
D.11  Arizona L -3' 19-21 o39'      win $91, bet $50
D.19* PITT. W -2' 20-3 u37          lose, bet $100
D.24 Seattle L -2' 19-17 u37'        win $91, bet $50
J.01 St. Louis L -12' 34-27 o35     win $45.50
J.14 N. ORL. w +3' 36-32 o47
J.22 NYG(OT) L -2' 17-20 u42

You make $728 for the season.

 

  • a word of caution

Do not just blindly use this strategy with any team or you will go broke.  You have to have a solid reason to believe the teams are undervalued in the public's opinion.  The more pronounced this is than the stronger this pattern will be when it emerges.

I would also experiment with different chase strategies.  The Grand Martingale would produce excellent results.  The Anti-Martingale would produce the best results in the case of the Patriots, but look at the Example with Green Bay.  I do not believe this is the best choice.

By switching against our chosen team after 8 games we are using the Gland Martingale.  We are expecting the other teams to catch on and eventually catch up.

Can you expect any teams like this in 2012?  I think the Patriots are a good candidate again.  They have improved their defense in the draft and their offense is top tier.  I do feel that it is iffy at best.  In 2007 I knew that the Pats were badass.  When I search for these I want more than just a guess.  I do not have a strong candidate for this theory in the upcoming season, but I do have one for another streak theory.

Over/under bets are roughly the same odds as betting the spread.  In 2011-12 we saw an anomaly that could have been very profitable for Martingale System users. 

Teams with strong offense and poor defense were prime candidates for over bets.  Let's again look at the Patriots.  Here is their 2011-12 season.  If you see an “o” next to the last number in the column it means the game went over.  “U” means under. 

 

NEW ENGLAND (AT)

(SUR: 15-4 PSR: 10-9 O-U: 12-7)
S.12* Miami W -7 38-24 o46           win $45.50
S.18 S. DIEGO W -6' 35-21 o53'     win $45.50
S.25 Buffalo L -7' 31-34 o54            win $45.50
O.02 Oakland W -6' 31-19 u55        lose, bet $100
O.09 NY JETS W -7' 30-21 o50      win $91, bet 50
O.16 DALLAS L -7 20-16 u55'       lose, bet $100
O.23 Bye
O.30 Pittsburgh L -3 17-25 u52       lose, bet $200
N.06 NYG L -9 20-24 u51               lose, bet $400
N.13* NY Jets W +2 37-16 o47'      win $364, bet $50
N.21* K. CITY W -16' 34-3 u46'      lose, bet $100
N.27 Phila. W -3 38-20 o50'             win $91, bet $50
D.04 INDY L -20' 31-24 o48'           win $45.50
D.11 Wash. L -7' 34-27 o47              win $45.50
D.18 Denver W -7' 41-23 o47           win $45.50
D.24 MIAMI L -8' 27-24 o48'           win $45.50
J.01 BUFF. W -10' 49-21 o50           win $45.50
J.14 DENVER W -13' 45-10 o50'
J.22 BALT. L -7 23-20 u49'
F.05* Nyg L -3 17-21 u54

If you stuck with the over you walked away with $910 for the season.  You also had some scary moments.  At one point you were betting $400.  One more loss and you would have been out.  This is the risk of using the Martingale System.

Here's another; Green Bay

 

GREEN BAY

(SUR: 15-2 PSR: 11-6 O-U: 12-5)
S.08* N. ORL. W -4' 42-34 o47'        win $45.50
S.18 Carolina L -10 30-23 o45'          win $45.50
S.25 Chicago W -4 27-17 u45'           lose, bet $100
O.02 DENVER W -12' 49-23 o46'    win $91, bet $50
O.09* Atlanta W -6 25-14 u53'          lose, bet $100
O.16 STL W -14' 24-3 u47                lose, bet $200
O.23 Minn. L -9' 33-27 o47              win $182, bet $50
O.30 Bye
N.06 S. Diego W -5' 45-38 o50'       win $45.50
N.14* MINN. W -13' 45-7 o49'        win $45.50
N.20 T. BAY L -14 35-26 o48'         win $45.50
N.24 Detroit W -5' 27-15 u55          lose, bet $100
D.04 Nyg L -6' 38-35 o53                win $91, bet $50
D.11 OAK. W -11' 46-16 o51          win $45.50
D.18 K. City L -13 14-19 u46         lose, bet $100
D.25* CHI. W -12' 35-21 o42        win $91
J.01 DET. W +6' 45-41 o42
J.15 NYG L -7' 20-37 o53'

You would have made $728 for the season.

My gut tells me that New Orleans will be the team to watch for this pattern.  The commissioner has come down hard on them for the bounty scandal.  They have lost several key defenders, as well as the coach.  My guess is that the defense will not be too good.  Their offense is a powerhouse.  This means that the offense will have to carry the team if they have any hope of winning.  I would expect to see some shootouts. 

Keep in mind that if it becomes too obvious than Vegas will adapt their lines.  If this happens you can expect them to overcompensate.  This did not seem to happen for 2011-12 so perhaps it will fly under the radar.  Keep a watch for it and switch strategies or abandon it if the change occurs.

In most situations you are not looking to follow one team for an entire year.  You look at each individual game for something that will give you and edge.  This can get very complex because there are a lot of variables to consider.

For example, in the 2012 Super bowl Vegas had New England as 3 point favorites.  This was truly questionable in my mind.  It is easy to say now because we know the result of that game, but I said it to myself before the game was played that the spread was wrong.  If anything, the Giants should have been the favorites going into that game, and there are a multitude of reasons why.

Rob Gronkowski was New England's top scorer for the season and he was injured going into this game.  This removed their best weapon.  The Giants have successfully beaten New England ever since the 2008 Super bowl.  It is clear that they know how to defend the New England offense.  The Giants were a more balanced team going into this game.  Their defense was stronger, they have a power running game, and their pass offense was strong.  In contrast, New England had a very strong pass offense. Their running game was productive but was not a power running game.  I believe this gave a psychological edge to the Giants.  New England would trick you into allowing running yards, but New York would run the ball down your throat and dare you to try and stop them.  That is truly demoralizing.  The Patriots defense improved greatly in the playoffs, but the Giants clearly had the edge in this department.  Finally, the Super bowl was held in Indianapolis.  This is home to the Colts, arch rival of the Patriots.  If an enemy of your enemy is a friend than this made the Giants the home team.  Judging by the crowd reactions this turned out to be true.

The -3 spread on the Patriots was completely out of whack with what was really going on.  When you are searching for individual games to bet on, this is the kind of thing you are looking for.  I do not see these things very often but when I do I usually have a strong gut reaction.  There is no number crunching or massive research involved; I just know instinctively that the spread is out of whack.  Don't give up on research though; I have only had this reaction maybe 5 times in the past 4 years.

Another pattern that I had noticed a few years back was with the West Coast teams coming to the East Coast to play early games.  My theory is that the time difference of 3 hours really affects them.  You must consider who they are facing in these situations but most of the time they lose (at least against the spread).

You must constantly be on the lookout for patterns like this.  The stronger the pattern is, the more money you will make.

 

Gambling vs. Handicapping

I opened our discussion about the Martingale System by explaining that there were two camps.  One camp swears by the system and the other camp is vehemently opposed to it.  There are no objective discussions on the matter that I can find, only polar opposites.  I will attempt to have that discussion here so you can decide for yourself which approach is best for you.

When I talk about a “gambler” I am referring to someone who is either oblivious to the odds stacked against him/her or accepts those odds and chooses to play anyways.  The Martingale System and its variations are a gambler's strategy.  They do not increase the odds in your favor, just the profits if you can successfully work the system.  The odds are still stacked against you.  This is why you must make a profit and run.  If you continue to use it indefinitely you will lose your entire bankroll.  That is what the Vegas systems are set up to do.  They bleed you slowly. 

The pro handicapper is a different creature entirely.  These folks are generally very good at math.  Their objective is to create an edge in their favor.  Betting against the spread has 52.4% odds in favor of the bookmakers.  To create an edge the pro handicapper must pick winners at a higher percentage rate.  A top notch handicapper can pick winners 60% of the time.  Dan Gordon picked winners an average of 57% of the time over the course of 20 seasons.

If you are able to pull off such a feat it is like having the zero and double zero on the roulette wheel working for you.  If you can consistently pick winners and have an edge over the house then there is no need to chase.  In fact, you will most likely view chasing in all its forms as dangerous.  Chasing puts your entire bankroll at risk fairly quickly.  The compromise is that you profit faster.  If you are consistent in picking winners than risking your entire bankroll is unnecessary.  All you have to do is continue to bet and over time you will make money, just like the roulette wheel.  That is why the pros so viciously object to chasing.

Picking 57% or better consistently is easier said than done though.  It is a tremendously time consuming venture and the payoff is not as good as time spent in other ventures.  Dan Gordon says to make a living betting on football your minimum bet would need to be about $3,000 to make $60,000 a year.  Your total bankroll would have to be enormous to support bets that size.  At 2% per unit your bankroll would need to be $150,000.  What is worse is that even the best bettors have losing seasons.  That is a whole lot of money to risk.

(If you are interested in learning how to truly handicap the NFL than “Beat the Sports Books” by Dan Gordon is a good place to start.  It is easy to follow and there are no special math skills needed.  It is a ton of work though.  Another good book is “How to Beat the Pro Football Point spread” by Bobby Smith.  These two books give practical advice on what to look for in teams and situations that can give you an edge.  A more advanced book would be “Sharp Sports Betting” by Stanford Wong.  This book gets deeper into the math aspects.  He explains it well.  “Conquering Risk” by Elihu D Fuestel and George S Howard is a very advanced book that will fly over the head of most average readers.  This book is heavily math-based and I found it difficult to follow.  (This book is a clear demonstration of the difference between the pro handicappers and the average bettors.  The amount of work involved is mind-boggling.)

Here are a few pointers.

First, you must be able to calculate your own point spreads.  Dan's book shows his system for doing this.  It is complicated in that there are a lot of pieces to consider when making these calculations, but it is fairly straight forward and easy to understand.  The main point is so you can tell if there is value in a line or not. 

Second, shop the sports books for the best line.  0.5 could be the difference between a push and a loss, or a win.  You must be good at making your own spreads or you will not know if one has value or not.

Third, concentrate on underdogs.  They give you 2 chances to win.  They can win the game in an upset, or they can beat the spread.  If a favorite team is winning they are not motivated to beat the spread in the last 2 minutes of the game.  Their job is to win, not make bettors money.  The underdog will fight to the very end if they are down.  This increases your chances of a win because they will play the full 60 minutes. 

That being said I was curious to see what the difference was between winning bets on the favorites vs. the underdogs for an entire season.  I went through every game in four seasons.  Two seasons the underdog had a slight edge.  One was up by 6 games and the other season up by 2.  The third season was dead even.  The last the favorites edged out the dogs by 3 games.  Now keep in mind that this is well over 200 games per season so the differences mentioned are miniscule.  It is actually stunning to me to see how close to a 50/50 split these are.  All of that work and number crunching and the truth is the difference between the favorite or the dog beating the spread is really just a coin toss.  To be a good handicapper you are searching for a needle in a haystack.

Beyond Dan Gordon's book, the systems for research get increasingly more complicated.  Math plays a big part in what these guys do.  Binomial Probabilities and Poisson Expectations were just a couple of things I managed to glean from these mad scientists as “need to know” info. 

The point I am making is that to be a pro capper is no picnic.  I have been on the forums and talked to many people, but only a handful that really knew their stuff.  It is my experience that there are very few people that can actually beat the spread consistently.  I feel most of the people would be better off to use the Martingale Systems.

You have now seen an objective discussion of both points of view.  Both have advantages and disadvantages.  If you are truly capable of beating the spread then chasing is not a good idea.  If you are like most of us mere mortals than you will make more by using it than if you don't.

You now have a more realistic view of Chasing vs. Handicapping.  Handicapping takes a tremendous amount of work, solid math skills, and the ability to create models that give you a true idea about which games have value.  If you can do this then it is the better way to go.  If you can only pick winners 50% of the time than you are better off using a chasing system.  You will win some and lose some, but your wins will be much bigger than just straight betting.  Ultimately, chasers rely on luck, while cappers rely on a percentage-based edge.

 

Taking A Shot

We have talked about several strategies involving the Martingale System.
Now we are going to talk about some ideas to ramp up your betting leverage.

Chasing helps keep you profitable longer then straight betting, but will eventually fail in the long run, thus you must take a shot if you plan to double your money.

I prefer to use a system 6 levels deep or deeper.  This is obviously pretty expensive.  The more levels you have the harder it is to double your money.  First let's look at some 6 level chases to calculate the cost.  Next we will discuss ideas on how to get some leverage to double your money.

Minimum bets are a consideration.  A $5 minimum is preferable, but minimums on the NFL can be more expensive.  5Dimes is $50.  This is pretty expensive if you want to use a chase system.  I have listed out 6 level chases from $5 to $25.  I have included a $50 chase as well.

  • $5         $10          $15          $20          $25          $50
  • $10       $20          $30          $40          $50          $100
  • $20       $40          $60          $80          $100        $200
  • $40       $80          $120        $160        $200        $400
  • $80       $160        $240        $320        $400        $800
  • $160     $320        $480        $640        $800        $1,600

Total Cost

        $315     $630        $945        $1,260     $1,575     $3,150

The $5 and $10 chases are reasonable (of course that is a matter of opinion).  Beyond $20 you are now risking over $1,000.

I will use the $5 chase for each example that follows.  In order to double your money on the larger chases you will have to adjust your numbers accordingly.

The first thing we can look at is a Grand Martingale system.

  • $5
  • $15
  • $35
  • $75
  • $155
  • $365

Total Cost
$650

A Grand Martingale system will win one unit for every bet you place.  In order to double your money you would need to place 130 bets. That would be 8 bets per week.  Since each bet works progressively from the results of the last there are simply not enough available bets in a 17 week regular season to accomplish this.  Not to mention that in 130 bets you have a fairly good chance of hitting a losing streak 6 deep.  The Grand Martingale is effective but you want to settle for less than 100%.  25% would be reasonable.  You would need to bet 33 times and your return would be $165.

The Hybrid Martingale system would be effective.  The parameters can be adjusted to suit you, but the main focus is to use the Martingale system to gain a small chunk of “house money”.  We will use $25 for this example.  Once you have gained $25 you then switch to the Anti Martingale System.  4 levels will allow you to double your money. 

  • $25
  • $47
  • $89
  • $170

Total winnings
$324

Winning 4 in a row could prove to be a challenge.  There are some tools available that can help.  Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Parlays allow you to bet on 2 or more teams.  The payout is larger, but so is the risk.  If you bet on a 3 team parlay the payout is 6 to 1.  All three teams must beat the spread or you lose the bet.

Let's create a hypothetical parlay.

Eagles -13 vs. Browns
Patriots -7 vs. Titans
Panthers -8 vs. Buccaneers

The point spreads are my own since the season is several months away at the time of this writing.  I chose all favorites to beat what I consider to be weak teams.  I believe that each of these games could result in blowouts.

Now let’s say the actual scores look like this

Eagles -13 vs. Browns              31 - 10
Patriots -7 vs. Titans                38 - 17
Panthers -8 vs. Buccaneers      24 – 13

In this case you would win.  If you bet $53 you will have $318 and double your bankroll

Eagles -13 vs. Browns              31 - 10
Patriots -7 vs. Titans                38 - 17
Panthers -8 vs. Buccaneers      24 – 17

In this case you would lose.  The Panthers are 8 point favorites but only won by 7.  Parlays are tough to nail.  As such they are often called sucker bets.

If you were to include this into the Hybrid Martingale System I would build $30 using the Martingale system.  I would then bet $30 on a straight wager bringing us to $57.  I would then bet a 3 team parlay.  If you win take your profits.  If you lose you start over.

Another variation would be to use the Martingale System to build $15.  You then switch to the Anti Martingale.  You bet $15 and win bringing you up to $28.  You bet $28 which brings you up to $53.  Then you take your shot with a 3 team parlay.

Parlays are very high risk but can be used to increase leverage.

Another approach would be to use something called 10 point teasers.  This is like a parlay in that you bet on 3 teams and they all must beat the spread in order to win.  The difference is that you get to alter the spread on each team you choose by 10 points.  The payout is risk 13 to win 10.  This comes out to 77%.  According to the mathematicians the odds are worse than straight betting, but I have had really good luck with these.  Let's use our parlay example and convert it into a 10 point teaser.

Eagles -13 vs. Browns              31 - 10
Patriots -7 vs. Titans                38 - 17
Panthers -8 vs. Buccaneers      24 – 13

We stuck with all favorites on this and we will do the same here.  We now get to alter the spread 10 points in our favor on each team.

Eagles -3 vs. Browns                 31 - 10
Patriots +3 vs. Titans                38 - 17
Panthers +4 vs. Buccaneers      24 – 13

The eagles still must win by 4 points, but look at the Patriots and Panthers.  They can both lose by a small margin and you will still win.  This bet lost as a parlay but with a 10 point teaser it is a winner.

Let's see what happens if we tease the underdogs in this bet.

Eagles vs. Browns +23                31 - 10
Patriots vs. Titans +17                38 - 17
Panthers vs. Buccaneers +18      24 – 13

The scores remain the same, and by betting the underdogs you still win this bet.  That is why I like 10 point teasers.  I have heard people call them sucker bets, but 10 point teasers have turned losing bets into winners for me on several occasions.

Now let’s incorporate 10 point teasers into our Anti-Martingale System.  Use the Martingale System to build up $10.  Switch to the Anti-Martingale.  After 2 bets you have built up $36.  We will now use a series of four 10 point teasers to double our money.
Here is what it looks like:

  • $35
  • $61
  • $107
  • $189

Winnings
$334

This is my preferred method.  I will even use the teasers when building the $10.  There are people that would debate this method.  In fact, if you put any system out there people will debate it.

I have told you why I like it.  The extra 10 points often is the difference between a losing bet and a winning one.  Add this to the corrective qualities of the Martingale System and its variations and you have something that is very powerful.

You must respect the Martingale System as a short term strategy.  If you just continuously use it you are bound to lose eventually.  This is why you exit after you double your money.  The Martingale System does not increase your odds of winning; it increases your profits within the construct of those odds through increased risk.  It is a gambler's strategy.

The pros will lash out at the mere mention of this method.  You now have both sides of the story.  Investigate this system and I think you will come to the same conclusions that I have.  This thing is extremely powerful and worth looking into.