Predictive Playbook Handicapping
Predictive Playbook
Sports Handicapping

How Does the Uncertain Playing Status of an All-Pro QB Impact Handicapping of the Game?

The status of Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is causing more than just a stir in the betting community. His uncertain status goes far beyond whether he will play or not. I always presume that an All-Pro QB will make a start, especially in the playoffs. The trouble comes from how to handicap how effective he will be in the game, if at all in the case of Mahomes, who has a high ankle sprain suffered in last week’s Divisional Roud Playoff win over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. 

Coincidentally, he played with a high ankle sprain in the 2019 season opener against the Jaguars. He and the Chiefs defeated them 40-26 and covered the spread as 4.5-point road favorites. Mahomes passed for 378 yards and recorded an outstanding 143 quarterback rating. He rushed just once for two yards and head coach Andy Ried revisited this game in his Monday press conference. 

So, what do you think the preventive defensive strategy will be for the Bengals? First and foremost, they will prepare for Mahomes at full strength and will anticipate a slight reduction in his scrambling and rushing attempts. They will employ multiple looks pre-snap to try and confuse Mahomes, which does happen more than you see on the field. Mahomes does get confused, but he continuously extends the play and creates downfield opportunities with his legs. The Bengals focus, whether he is at full strength or not, will not change, and their goal will be to maximize quarterback hits and pressures – not sacks. 

The Bengals ranked 4th in the NFL averaging 4.125 quarterback hits per game. The Bengals ranked 16th in blitz percentage because they have an excellent defensive front that could generate pressure on the quarterback without having to blitz. So, preparation of their defensive game plan will not be questioning how effective Mahomes will be on the field, but rather Mahomes at full strength and will include a game plan for Chad Henne. If Mahomes’ ankle gets hit again, he may have to leave the game. We saw that last week and his replacement Chad Henne took the Chiefs on a 98-yard touchdown drive because the defense had not studied him and may have let up just a touch. The Bengals will not get caught by any surprises like that one. 


The market pricing reflects everything we know about this game right now just like the price of Microsoft stock reflects all the forward-looking expectations investors have for that company. The line and total are not Vegas' prediction or their attempt to trick us up. As much as we are confused and frustrated with the unusual line movements so far this week, the sportsbooks are even more so. Vegas books want to open the line at a price that will have minimal price change throughout the week. They are exposed to Bengals money right now and will be exposed even more if news arises that brings in a huge wave of money on the Chiefs causing another line reversal.  

I am a documented 7-1-1 ATS the last four years in the NFL Conference Championships and 18-5 ATS in the Super Bowls by WagerTalk and SportsMemo. Send me a Direct Message that you read this article and provide me this promocode (NFLSB1) and I will give you the conference championship best bets, player and game props, and the Super Bowl for just $50.00 and send the payment to PayPal or Venmo using the e-mail address 

John Ryan MLB Previews, Picks, and Predictions

One of the more surprising facts I happened to notice on the MLB standings is that the Chicago Cubs (23-30) have the second-worst win percentage in the National League. Only the St. Louis Cardinals (24-32) have a lower win percentage in the NL. Despite outscoring their opponents by 5 runs this season, the Cubs find themselves 5 games under 0.500 on the season.  

There have been 15 teams that had outscored their opponents and were at least eight games under 0.500 through games played by May 31 since 2003. The Houston Astros were eight games under 0.500 (24-32) but had outscored their opponents by 27 runs through the end of May of the 2014 season. From that point on, the Astros went 52-60 but averaged 133 wagers and earned a modest 6% ROI.  

Through games played by April 30, the Cubs were 14-13 and outscoring their opponents by 1.59 runs per game (RPG) on the season. The month of May has been a disaster for the Cubs as they are just 9-17 and getting outscored by an average of 1.46 (RPG) entering May 30 action. Their starting pitcher ERA was a solid 2.93 through April 30, but now they have posted a decent 3.76 ERA in May games. It has been the offense that has gone ice cold for the Cubs as they averaged 5.41 RPF through April 30, but for May, they have scored an anemic 3.74 RPG.  

Through April 30, the Cubs averaged 7.00 RPG in their wins while scoring just 2.67 RPG in their losses. Then in May, they averaged 2.64 RPG in their losses while averaging 6.57 RPG in their wins. So, the Cubs offense has been largely inconsistent from day-to-day, but there is a way to take advantage of teams like the Cubs heading into June.  

A Situational MLB Betting System 

The following situational betting system exploits these opportunities and has earned an 18-11 record using the –1.5 run line since 2007. The requirements are to bet on a team in a divisional matchup from games 51 through games 81 (mid-point of the 162-game season) that averaged 5.25 or more RPG through April 30 and then regressed significantly scoring an average of 3.80 or fewer RPG in May. So, I will keep track of this system and identify when the Cubs are playing a divisional foe and favored on the money line and then bet the Cubs using the –1.5 run line until we reach game number 81 on their schedule.  

The Cubs will be hosting their divisional rival Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-game series from June 13-15 and then will be on the road to take on the Pirates from June 19-21 followed by a two-game series at the St. Louis Cardinals, who have the worst record in the NL currently.  


Texas Rangers (34-19) vs Detroit Tigers (25-27) (Wednesday action) 
The Texas Rangers lead the AL West division and have won eight of their past 10 games heading into Tuesday's action. The Tigers have climbed back into the race for the AL Central lead trailing the Minnesota Twins by just two games entering Tuesday's action. So, this is the final game of a three-game series hosting the Rangers and I like this betting opportunity regardless of the result of Tuesday’s game. 

A Dog Betting Situational Super System 
The following situational betting system has earned a solid 72-47 record for 61% winning tickets averaging a +111 wager and making the $100 per game bettor a profit of $4200 over the past five seasons. The requirements are to bet on any home team that is struggling at the plate batting 0.240 or lower spanning their last 10 games and is starting a pitcher that has been roughed up allowing 5 or more runs in each of his last two starts. If our team is priced as a home dog, the record improves to 36-30 for 55%, but averaged a +150 wager and earning a highly profitable 34% ROI spanning the past five seasons. I fully expect the betting line to price the Tigers as a +130 or higher home dog.  

March 14 NBA Previews, Picks, and Predictions

Orlando Magic vs San Antonio Spurs 
5-Unit bet on the Magic minus the 6 points 

The Magic ended a three-game skid with a 126-114 overtime home win over the San Antonio Spurs Saturday. Now, with two days off they are focused on taking care of business and defeating one of the worst teams in the NBA in the Spurs, who are 3-3 SUATS over their last six games. However, the Spurs and Detroit Pistons have been tanking since the mid-point of the season (game number 41) sporting identical 4-22 SUI records. The Spurs are 7-19 ATS in these games and rank worst in the NBA. 

The following situational betting system is quite easy to track and bet and has earned a 43-19 SU and 36-26 ATS mark good for 58% winning bets over the past five seasons. Bet on road favorites coming off an overtime win. If that win was at home, the record improves to 15-10-1 ATS for 60% winning bets. If the game occurs after the all-star break, the record soars to 8-2 ATS for 80% winning bets. 
  From my predictive model, we are looking for the Magic to score at least 117 points, shoot 50% better from the field, and have fewer turnovers than the Spurs. In past games in which they met or exceeded these performance measures have led them to a 21-3 SUATS (88%) record over the past five seasons.  

Bet the Magic minus 6 points and is a valid bet up to and including 7.5 points. Consider betting 60% preflop and then look to add the remaining 40% at Magic –1 in-game.  

Round 1 Upset Alert NCAA Tournament Previews, Picks, and Predictions

Florida Atlantic vs Memphis 
Friday, March 17, 2023 
Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament 
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH 
8-Unit Best Bet on Florida Atlantic  


No matter what conference a team resides in, a season winning 30 or more games is always impressive and Florida Atlantic posted a 31-3 SU mark and 21-10-1 ATS mark with two games played having no posted betting lines. Over the past 10 NCAA Tournaments dogs that have won 30 or more games are 2-2 SU and 4-0 ATS so Memphis may be caught basking in their glory of upsetting No.1 ranked Houston in their previous game. 
     FAU is 7-1 ATS after two straight games allowing 65 or fewer points. Memphis is 0-6 ATS after covering the spread I two or more straight games this season. Memphis is 4-7-1 ATS following an excellent game in which they shot 50% from the field and allowed 33% or lower shooting in games played over the past five seasons. Memphis head coach Hardaway is a money-burning 9-20 ATS following three games in which this team scored 75 or more points.  

     From the predictive model, we are looking for FAU to score 75 or more points and have 13 or fewer turnovers. In past games in which they have met these performance measures has led them to an amazing 15-7 SU and 17-4-1 ATS mark for 81% winning bets since the 2015 season.  
     Last, consider the in-game betting strategy that I plan to use by placing 60% preflop on FAU plus the points and then adding 30% at FAU +5.5 and 10% at +350 using the money line.  

The Conference Championship Trends, Angles, and Situations


The Conference Championship Trends, Angles, and Situations 


To start with the NFL Playoffs, there has been tremendous entertainment filled with high drama in key parts of the games, and many role players rising up to meet the challenges and help their team to victory. Four of those teams have made it to the Conference Championship Round with the winner of these games representing their respective conference in the Super Bowl. The Cincinnati Bengals will face the Kansas City Chiefs in the first-ever neutral filed Championship game while the Philadelphia Eagles will host the San Francisco 49ers. 

My power ratings made the Eagles a 4.5-point favorite with a 45.5-point total. Meanwhile, I have the Chiefs as a 5.5-point favorite with a 52.5-point total. The Chiefs line is if they were playing at home in Arrowhead, which is a 3.5-point advnatge. So, playi gon a neutral field will make them valued as a 2-point favorite.  

Here is a starting point list of TnA You Need to Know for the Conference Championship 

  • Teams that earned the top-seed or top two seeds prior to the playoff makeover that started in 2020, coming off a double digit against-the-spread (ATS) win in the Divisional Round have yielded a 11-7 straight-up (SU) record, 9-9 ATS, and 14-4 Over-Under mark (78%).  

  • Favors Over Bet in 49ers vs Eagles 

  • Teams that earned the top-seed or top two seeds prior to the playoff makeover that started in 2020, coming off a double digit against-the-spread (ATS) win in the Divisional Round, and scored more points than their regular season scoring average have produced an 8-6 SU mar, 6-8 ATS, and 10-4 Over-Under record (71.4%) 

  • Favors Over Bet in 49ers vs Eagles 

  • Teams that scored in every quarter of their Divisional Round win have yielded a 19-21 SU mark, 17-23 ATS (42.5%), and 21-18-1 Over-Under (54%) 

  • Fade the Bengals 

  • Teams that led from start to finish in their Divisional Round win have yielded a 20-15 SU record, 18-17 ATS, and 21-14 Over-Under (60%) 

  • If that team covered the spread by double-digits has produced a 9-10 SU, 9-10 ATS, and solid 13-6 Over-Under for 68% 

  • Bet Over Bengals vs Chiefs 

  • Bet Over 49ers vs Eagles 

  • Home teams in the Conference Championship have gone 28-14 SU (67%), 21-21 ATS (50%), and 25-16-1 Over-Under (61%) in the last 20 seasons.  

  • Perhaps tease Eagles and Over and Chiefs and Over? 

  • Home favorites between 2.5 and 6.5 points have yielded a 15-6 SU record (71.4%), 13-8 ATS (62%), and 14-7 Over-Under (67%) 

  • Eagles and Over | Chiefs and Over 

  • Home teams that failed to cover the spread in the Divisional Round have produced an 8-4 SU ()67%) marl, 7-5 ATS (58%), and 4-8 Over-Under (33%) 

  • Bet Under Bengals vs Chiefs 

  • Home teams in the Conference Championship with a posted total of 46 or more points have produced a 16-6 SU (73%), 11-11 ATS, and 14-7-1 Over-Under for 67% 

  • Bet Over Both games 

  • Home teams in the Conference Championship with a posted total of 50 or more points have produced a 8-4 SU (67%), 5-7 ATS, and 7-4-1 Over-Under for 64% 

  • Bet Over Bengals vs Chiefs 

  • Top-seeded teams that have the same or more wins have produced a 27-18 SU (60%) record, 22-23 ATS, and 28-16-1 Over-Under (64%) 

  • Bet Over both games 

  • Top-seeded teams that have earned the same or more against-the-spread wins have produced a 21-27 SU (44%) record, 23-25 ATS, and 30-17-1 Over-Under (64%) 

  • Bet Over both games 

  • The team that had a losing against-the-spread win percentage (below 50%) facing an opponent that had a winning against-the-spread percentage have gone 5-2 SU (71%), 6-1 ATS (86%), and 1-6 Over-Under (14%) 

  • Bet on Eagles and Under | Chiefs and Under 

  • Home teams that played in the previous playoffs are 8-3 SU (73%), 7-4 ATS (64%), and 8-3 Over-Under (73%) in the Conference Championship 

  • Bet the Over both games 

  • Teams that had five or more rushing attempts than passing attempts and converted 65% or more of their red zone opportunities are 8-0 SU, 7-1 ATS (88%), and 6-1-1 Over-Under (86%) 

  • Bet on the Eagles and Over 

  • Teams that had 35 or more minutes in time-of-possession in their Divisional Round wins are 16-12 SU, 6-8 ATS, and 10-4 Over-Under 

  • Bet the Over both games 

  • Teams that had 5 or more minutes in time of possession in their Divisional Round wins and had the better red zone scoring percentage are 12-5 SU (71%), 11-6 ATS (65%), and 13-4 Over-Under 

  • Bet Eagles and Over | Chiefs and Over 

  • Teams that had converted between 55 and 65% of their red zone scoring opportunities on the season yileded 27-23 SU, 28-22 ATS (56%), and 33-15-2 (68%) 

  • Bet the Over 49ers vs Eagles 

  • Season-to-Date Red Zone percentages 

  • Bengals 70% ranking second 

  • Chiefs 71% Tied for first place 

  • Eagles 71% Tied for first place 

  • 49ers 54% ranking 20th 

  • Teams that posted a offensive yards-per-point ratio of 12 or lower (very efficient) [posted a 19-12 SU (61%), 16-15 ATS, and 20-11 Over-Under for 65%  

  • Bet Over 49ers vs Eagles 

  • Teams that posted a dominating defensive yards-per-point allowed of 30 or more in their Divisional Round win are 7-6 SU, 8-5 ATS (63%), and 11-2 Over-Under 85% 

  • Bet Over 49ers vs Eagles 

  • Teams that averaged fewer called penalties on the season have yielded a 17-25 SU, 14-28 ATS (33%), and 25-16-1 (61%) Over-Under 

  • 49ers 5.38 penalties per game vs Eagles 5.28 penalties per game 

  • Bengals 5.18 penalties per game vs Chiefs 5.0 penalties per game 

  • Bet on 49ers and Bengals 

  • If Home team: 10-7 SU, 5-12 ATS (29%), 11-6 Over-Under (65%)  

  • Bet on 49ers and Bengals 

  • Home teams that averaged more rushing yardfs than their opponents yielded a 14-9 SU (61%), 11-12 ATS 48%), and 16-6-1 Over-Under (73%) 

  • Bet on the Over 49ers vs Eagles | Bengals vs Chiefs 

  • Home teams that had five or more touchdown scoring drives went 5-4 SU, 2-7 ATS (22%), 2-6-1 Over-Under (25%) 

  • Fade the Eagles 

  • Teams that had more than twice as many scoring touchdown drives to scoring field goal drives went 8-9 SU, 6-11 ATS (35%) and 8-9 Over-Under 

  • Fade the Eagles | 2.58 ratio ranking 1st 

  • Chiefs | 2.46 ratio ranking 2nd 

  • Bengals | 2.04 ratio ranking 4th 

  • 49ers | 1.74 ratio ranking 8th 

  • Home teams that had no turnovers and covered the spread in their divisional round win are 6-4 SU (60%) and 3-7 ATS (30%), and 7-3 Over-Under (70%) 

  • Fade the Eagles and Chiefs 


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