Handicapping, in sport and games, is the practice of assigning advantage through scoring compensation or other advantage given to different contestants to equalize the chances of winning. The word also applies to the various methods by which the advantage is calculated. In principle, a more experienced participant is disadvantaged, or a less experienced or capable participant is advantaged, in order to make it possible for the less experienced participant to win whilst maintaining fairness. Handicapping is used in scoring many games and competitive sports, including go, shogi, chess, croquet, golf, bowling, polo, basketball, and track and field events. Handicap races are common in clubs which encourage all levels of participants, such as swimming or in cycling clubs and sailing clubs, or which allow participants with a variety of standards of equipment. Often races, contests or tournaments where this practice is competitively employed are known as Handicaps.
Some motorsport events, especially in sports car racing, demand teams to stop the vehicle in the pitbox a fixed period of time depending on the drivers' classification, thus giving advantage to less skilled drivers. An example of a championship using this system is the International GT Open. The advantage of this system over ballast weight systems is that vehicles have the normal performance on track, so better drivers will be able to recover time and overtake slower drivers.
Because of the importance of drafting in cycling events, riders are usually grouped into a limited number of "bunches" based on previous results, with the bunches containing the weakest riders leaving first. Prizes are typically awarded to the first finishers, first female finisher (in mixed events), and fastest time recorded (who may not have crossed the line first due to the handicapping).
The first very well known sports handicapper in American culture was Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder. During his career he worked for CBS on their Sunday morning show, The NFL Today. Because sports betting had a social taboo at the time, Snyder was not allowed to mention betting on games specifically. Instead, he would predict the score. Over the years the attitude towards sports betting, and handicapping in general, has changed. Billy Walters was profiled by 60 Minutes because of his handicapping abilities. Billy Walters, and other unknown members of the Computer Group, developed a system for handicapping games and beating Las Vegas sportsbooks. The Huffington Post covered Jon Price a reclusive sports bettor that hires Ph.D's and works off of algorithmic information for his predictions. ESPN wrote an article on Haralabos Voulgaris naming him as the one of the premier NBA handicappers in the world. He claims to have developed a system that uses advanced statistical analysis to predict the outcomes of games. In the past, very few people did any mathematical calculations when handicapping sporting events. Predictions were usually made from hunches or information not readily available to the public. However, with the advancement of technology computers powerful enough to run advanced simulation models now frequent homes and offices. Advanced statistics such as DVOA, Win Shares and Points per Possession are talked about in mainstream media. Brian Burke, author of The Fifth Down blog featured in The New York Times, wrote a formula using advanced statistical techniques that has shown consistency correctly predicting NFL winners. Handicapping, as a profession, is very similar to being a stock analyst. Like Wall Street did in the 1970s, the sports handicapping industry is undergoing a quantitative revolution. Many successful handicappers also use money management systems similar to financial investment professionals. The most popular, and mathematically superior, system is the Kelly criterion. It is a formula for maximizing profits and minimizing losses based on payout odds and win probability of the underlying asset.
As the single most popular handicapper in the two-decade history of Covers Experts, Ben Burns' reputation precedes him. Known for possessing an uncanny ability to consistently deliver with his biggest plays, Burns has numerous documented #1 titles to his credit in all the major sports.
Bianco has been wagering on Europe's top soccer leagues for the past 13 years but has never sold his picks before. The Prez one of our co-founders at Wagertalk has been betting and winning with his soccer information for years and has finally talked him into joining us. With soccer being the most widely bet sport in the world Bianco can help you diversify your betting portfolio by adding winners to your sports investing bankroll.
Adam Trigger has been betting on sports professionally since 2013 when he co-founded the profitable venture Top Flight Sports. Adam provides extensive analysis for every move and is thrilled to be part of the WagerTalk team!
Jimmy Adams provides expert advice to sports bettors worldwide. Specializing in Football, Basketball, and Baseball at both the professional and collegiate levels, Jimmy provides you with the best chance to beat your book. With experience that spans well over a decade, Jimmy has proven that he can generate long-term profit and win for you on a consistent basis. If you like winning, join the client list now and watch the money roll in!
Sports Investment Group Las Vegas aka SIG Las Vegas has gambling in his DNA. His grandfather ran numbers in a Pittsburgh steel mill, and he developed a love for poker and horse racing at a young age. He spent twenty years working for Wall Street investment firms and now applies the principles of investment theory and risk management to handicapping horse racing and sports. SIG's favorite tracks are Saratoga, Del Mar, Keeneland, but his greatest success comes at Gulfstream Park during their Championship Meet every winter.
Steve Merril has won consistently for 25+ years as one of the best sports analysts in the nation. He credits his success to employing a variety of different handicapping techniques such as statistical analysis, quantitative systems, and fundamentals such as matchups and emotion. By relying on numerous handicapping methods, Steve continues to beat the pointspread on a consistent basis in both college football and pro football, college and pro basketball, and baseball.
Looking for a surefire way to win big? Look no further than Jazz Ray! With his unmatched expertise in handicapping and wagering on all the major North American sports, Jazz is the go-to guy for victory. As a college sports specialist and a dominant force in the NBA and NHL, Jazz is the winning choice for anyone who wants to come out on top. So why wait? Join the winning team today and experience the thrill of victory with Jazz Ray!
Known in the sports betting industry as Ace, Vegas-Runner, & Gianni the Greek, professional sports bettor & handicapper Gianni Karalis is one of the most esteemed movers in Las Vegas for over 20 years. VR broke into the industry as a bookmaker in Philadelphia in the late 1980's and by the mid-90's he was moving steam with the most profitable and respected betting syndicates at that time. Information was not as readily available back then and the multiple wiseguys they bet for won at a rate unimaginable even by today's sharpest groups.
If standing the test of time matters, Smokin' Dave Cokin earns a big check mark as one who has withstood the rigors of handicapping sports professionally for 40 years and counting. Dave has literally been around sports gambling for virtually his entire life. His experience was initially on the other side of the counter in Rhode Island, where he was born and raised. Dave began the process of switching sides in 1981 after winning the National Handicappers Bowl, which was featured in Pro Football Weekly, and decided at that point that it was time to start making the move to Las Vegas.
McInnis is well known for his 15-0 NHL run in 2021, and his 8-0 start to the CFL season in 2019. Being north of the border, Andrew specializes in the NHL and CFL, along with handicapping the MLB, UFC and NFL. Andrew joined SportsMemo as a sports handicapper, and a few short years later he found a new home here at WagerTalk. His experience in the sports world, a sports journalism background and his ability to break down games, read lines, and team trends all set Andrew up to be a successful sports bettor.
Founded in 1957, GoldSheet is the country's longest-running sports betting newsletter. Each week, the GoldSheet team delivers analysis on NFL and college football games, along with NBA and college basketball matchups. For over 60 years, GoldSheet readers have received Key Releases, as well as access to proprietary power rankings on all teams. GoldSheet maintains in-depth point spread and results logs, giving sports bettors and enthusiasts the insight needed to maximize their wagers.
Drew Martin left JP Morgan in August of 2014 and never looked back. Last season he placed in the top 10 in the Famous Vegas Golden Nugget Football Handicapping Contest. Also, has put together six straight college basketball profitable seasons with one of the more impressive track records you will find in CBB. Plus, he has been published in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes for his financial/sports betting views. A former standout two sport athlete in high school, Drew uses his numbers background combined with his experience in sports and finance to get an edge in the betting markets. Martin is actively handicapping College Basketball and the XFL. (MLB available in late March).
Host of the DB's FREEBIE$ sports betting show on YouTube
2018 WagerTalk Handicapping Champion
Sports betting consultant since 2000
No GOM/GOY marketing hype
Produced an UNMATCHED 20-game football win streak
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