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Sports Betting Secrets: How to Spot an Upset

Aug 17, 2007
Sports betting experts often can make a killing by being able to spot an upset. Why do they make money from an upset? Because they often play the "money line" on underdogs. This means that they may make $200-$600 for every $100 they bet on the underdog.

Here's an example of my analysis of two NFL football games where I was able to spot an upset that was about to take place. Notice the thought process that went into analyzing these games, and how anybody interested in sports betting could have made money from these games:

Atlanta at Detroit +5

I know what you're thinking... how in the world can you think Detroit can hang with Atlanta? Simple. Detroit by default has had to pass the ball a lot this season, averaging over 250 yards a game, and Atlanta's pass defense is lousy. This fact alone is enough to make me think that Detroit will be able to keep this game close, if not win outright.

More importantly, Atlanta has just come off two very emotionally draining wins against Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Don't underestimate the "let down" factor in this game. Plus, Detroint has played very tough at home this season, beating Buffalo when the Bills came into town favored, and only losing to the defending NFC Champion Seahawks 9-6.

Also, don't forget that in Atlanta's last road game before they beat the Bengals they laid an egg in New Orleans, losing 21-3 to the Saints. If there's one thing that's characterized Atlanta in the last few years (say 30 maybe?) is that they're inconsistent. Want numbers to back that up? In their last twenty games, Atlanta has not won or lost more than two games in a row ATS. And it doesn't matter whether Atlanta is playing at home or away. In their last 20 road games, they haven't won or lost more than 2 games in a row ATS.

What's all this add up to? Atlanta is vulnerable for a let down, and Detroit is just bad enough to lull Atlanta into a sense of complacency. Look for the Lions to stay in this game, 23-21.

So what was the final score? Detroit trounced Atlanta, 30-14.

Minnesota at San Francisco +4 1/2

This game is very similar to the Atlanta/Detroit game. Minnesota has been historically inconsistent, and SF is playing the role of the home dog. Minnesota most recently got crushed by New England on Monday night, and they've even lost to the hapless Bills earlier in the year, 17-12. Minnesota also has the reputation of being strong at home and poor on the road. Is that rep deserved?

Probably. Minnesota is much stronger at home, going 13-7 SU and 12-8 ATS while only playing .500 ball on the road during the same period. In other words, the Vikings look like playoff contenders whenever they play at home, but turn into an average team on the road.

Meanwhile, SF has been bad this year, but they've still been able to pull out two games straight up at home, beating Oakland and the Rams.

But the real interesting stat relating to this game is that Minnesota has traditionally played very poorly against the NFC West teams, going only 7-13 ATS. I look for Minnesota to be in a battle down the the final seconds of this game, with SF maybe even coming out on top, 30-27.

And what do you think the final score in this game was? How about this: San Francisco won outright, just as I predicted, 9-3.

How much money do you think sports betting pros made on these games?
About the Author
David James is one of the world's foremost sports handicappers. Not only does James have an uncanny knack for knowing who to bet on, but he also is one of the best at providing in depth explanations and statistics showing exactly why each pick meets his criteria. Click on this link if you would like to learn how to be successful at Sports Betting
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