Bookmakers Will Want their Money Back if You Know the Backup Quarterback
Joe Duffy (JoeDuffy.net)
Not all of the best wiseguy information I share comes from professional gamblers, the select few quality professional handicappers, high rollers or even daily bettors.
Steve Presson is a very successful entrepreneur who now sells luxury real estate for Corcoran Group, a high end realtor in Palm Beach, Florida. Steve pays minimal attention to any sport but one: pro football. A fantasy football guru, Steve is approaching legendary status in NFL “Last Man Standing” or “Survivor” pools.
They go by some other names, but essentially participants pick one game a week and if they lose, they are out. The winners advance until there is one man (or women) standing.
The reason Steve doesn’t bet more often or play higher stakes is that his keep-it-simple philosophy only presents limited opportunities, perhaps 10-15 times per year. His strategy? It’s going against second string, incompetent quarterbacks.
Our only minor disagreement is that we believe successful teams are built around quality skilled position players with quarterbacks topping the list, but Presson believes the oddsmakers can’t compensate enough when an injury forces a significant downgrade behind the center.
I heard an NFL General Manager once say the most important player on a team is the starting quarterback and the second most important is the backup QB.
Look no further than Steelers’ Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s recent brush with stupidity and death. Literally every qualified opinion I’ve heard is that Pittsburgh is on firm legal grounds if they voided his humongous contract, which would free up plenty of money for non-quarterback additions.
Yet also unanimous is that every NFL talking head agrees as long as an eventual full recovery is likely, there is zero chance of Pittsburgh voiding his contract.
This is because while Mike Lupica and his cohorts can ramble on about the Steelers’ great defense but clearly Pittsburgh management realizes their defense performed best where all defenses pick up their best stats—on the sidelines. And nobody is more responsible for that than Roethlisberger. The handicapping ramifications behind the indisputable fact are enormous.
Ironically Roethlisberger is a rare exception to another rule of thumb Steve has. However, arguably he was the first notable one since a young Dan Marino. “Another trend is to look at young quarterbacks making one of their first 10 starts and preferably against a tough defensive team. Rookie QBs don’t win and they should be taken advantage of.”
For every Marino and Roethlisberger aberration, there’s an Elway, Aikman, Manning (insert your choice of first names), Palmer and many, many others proving that theory extremely reliable.
Nobody uses the Information Age in sports handicapping better than I do. But as Steve and I were discussing strategy over 2-for-1 beer at Pete Rose’s sports bar in Boynton Beach, Florida, I was reminded of something I can’t be reminded of enough. It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then, winning sports betting comes down to keeping it simple.
Most enlightened conversations happen over beer and in my never ending quest to acquire further knowledge, I’ll be handicapping back-up quarterbacks more than ever.
Oh and luckily I’ll be getting Steve’s survivor pool picks.
Joe Duffy’s premium plays are available exclusively at Godspicks. Get his exclusive news and notes from his own clipboard at JoeDuffy.net home of the Handicapper’s Sampler rundown of top sports service plays.