In Case You're New Here...

I'm an actual statistician and current statistics professor for Texas Woman's University. I have built mathematical models (named SideLine) for predicting various sports outcomes.

For college basketball, the model incorporates pace of play and both offensive and defensive metrics in order to predict the average margin of victory as well as the total number of points scored in the game.

For MLB, the player based model uses historical and current season data that is rolled up to the team level based on current active rosters. It assumes normal starting lineups, so my recommendation for these predictions is to use them before starting lineups are announced (or only after seeing that the lineups are relatively normal). For players injured or coming off the IL, check the Notes cell in the Teams tab of the MLB Google Sheet to see if I have manually adjusted a roster to adjust for what we know that isn't reflected in the current active roster. I also pull weather data in order to predict the average number of runs scored in each game as well.

For FBS college football, the model gives each team a rating, where the difference between two ratings (adjusted for expected number of possessions) is the projected margin of victory in a game between those two teams on a neutral field. These ratings are not a resume ranking, but rather a forward facing metric that is the best guess of how well the team will perform in their next game.

For all MLB and college basketball, SideLine will make a graded A, B or C pick on every single game at BetOnline. Note that for MLB money line plays, I recommend a "selected" bet type unless the starting pitcher for the team you are backing is subpar. This will give you a push if that pitcher doesn't start, and my results will reflect this practice. All run line and total bets operate as "listed", meaning that both pitchers listed in the Sheet must go for a play to be active, as this is the typical way sportsbooks (though not all) operate. For college football, all plays are weighted the same.

Do I recommend betting every single game? Almost assuredly not. The grades given to each pick reflect my confidence level in that A picks are the ones I love, B picks are the ones I like, and C picks are just leans. I recommend combining this information along with your own knowledge and research to come up with picks that you are comfortable and confident with. Over some stretches, B plays will do better than A plays; some stretches will have the C plays perform the best! The idea with the C plays are simply that I like them less. The 3-2-1 unit scaling for the A-B-C picks reflects how much more I recommend risking on A plays vs B plays -- 50% more. If you traditionally put $10 on a wager, that's what I would risk for a B grade play, while an A grade play would be a $15 bet. From a mathematical standpoint, it's almost impossible to justify your best plays being 2 or 3 times what your normal ones are, which is the purpose of the 3-2-1 scaling. Note that all of these could (maybe should?) be divided by two if thinking of this from a units standpoint, but 1.5-1-0.5 adds more decimals to type out and that seems annoying to me.

My goals for each season? Because I make a pick on every single game and don't shop around, it is to show a profit. I could shop around and show larger profits, but if you don't have access to the same books and aren't paying attention at the right times, it doesn't do you any good. My goal is that you select a subset of games, shop around, find good numbers... and that combination allows you to profit more than is shown in the Sheets (links on the home page). It's a better experience if you profit more than I do, not the other way around, so I'm placing some difficulties on myself (Who doesn't love a challenge anyway?) to ensure that you're not frustrated because you aren't able to achieve the results that are posted. (Note that all plays are tracked and verified on betstamp.)

Will this make the overall results look less sexy? Absolutely. But if you're looking for a get rich quick on gambling place, this isn't the spot for you. Picking every game is going to prevent 20% ROI seasons, but it's also going to prevent -20% ROI seasons. My hope is to help every gambler do a little bit better, and for so many bettors, not losing money on a season should be the goal. (Who doesn't love free entertainment?) So following along by playing more games at a smaller amount might be a good idea in order to prevent the wild up and down swings that can make sports betting less fun. Or, if you filter through a lot of the coin toss games, your ROI will be larger than my official ROI (because the denominator will decrease).

So... I give out a LOT of picks. I'm going to be wrong a lot. My goal for the Twitter and the YouTube community is to foster a fun and educational environment. A non-exhaustive list of examples of good comments include adding new pieces of information to the discussion, your own predictions, and questions about the games or the picks. Rude comments, lies, and pointing out games that I was wrong on aren't welcome, and likewise I won't comment when you're wrong either :)

For other benefits beyond free picks and predictions on every game as well as the YouTube shows, visit the Patreon. For $3 per month you'll get the plays of the day where I highlight my favorite bets for that day. Additionally, you'll receive any added plays that we make on games between the time of the show recording and the start of the game. For $5 a month, you'll receive that and access to our Discord server -- the best place for quick answers to your questions. I'm unable to always respond quickly to tweets and YouTube comments, but the Discord is like a text message -- if I'm able to be on my phone, I see it, and I'll respond. It's also a great place to get input from other sports bettors, along with Cousin Jared and our friend Jake. For $10 each month, you get the above benefits as well as ad-free shows and access to the shows right after recording (usually midnight Central) instead of the following morning. Included here is also a screenshot of the picks to accompany your show viewing. The top level supporter contributes $15 every month, and gets everything listed above along with early access to SideLine's predictions. For college basketball and MLB, this means projections usually before noon the day before, allowing you to jump on early mispriced sides and totals. For college football this means model projections on Sunday afternoon in order for you to grab key numbers before they disappear early in the week. The prices tend to move towards my model (though not always!) so this can be a good resource to know when to jump on a number and when to wait it out. Getting the best of the number doesn't guarantee betting success, but it can be a big part of the puzzle.

Lastly, I close every show with the same saying -- you can eat your betting money, but please don't bet your eating money. It's a little silly but illustrates a helpful point: it is possible to eat dollar bills, but wagering money that goes towards basic life needs is not recommended. Please don't try to turn a certain amount of money into enough to pay off a credit card bill (or whatever other thing needs to get paid). Every dollar spent on sports gambling should be separate from other finances, as there's a reason why people say you shouldn't bet money you can't afford to lose. There are no such things as locks in gambling, and every professional in the world still has losing months. Most have had losing years! And almost every sports gambler who has been doing this for any amount of time will say that they had to learn a lot before they reached break even or profitability. It often last years and incurs a lot of losses. Track your wagers -- I'm a fan of spreadsheets with tabs and formulas and formulaic color coding, but free services like betstamp also do the trick -- and start small, being aware that the early years of sports gambling usually are the worst. If you do find yourself betting your eating money, or are concerned you might have a problem, please visit this website. Know that seeking help is not a sign of weakness.

About Us

Professor Sides earned his Ph.D. in statistics from Baylor University where he met his wife (Mrs. Professor). He spent five years working as a statistician in the "real world" before returning to education, fulfilling his life's purpose of helping others. It is with this in mind that he built mathematical models to predict various sports outcomes. He can be found on Twitter @ProfessorSides.

Cousin Jared (the professor's actual cousin) took one statistics course in college, but not by choice. His perfect Saturday includes long walks on the beach and Mountain West football. Michael Bishop was an amazing quarterback. Model whisperer. Ask him about Christmas movies. (Editor's note: maybe don't, actually?) He can be found on Twitter @CousinJared.

Jake (the professor's actual friend) is a college basketball addict who decided should be watching the game instead of playing it after his third ACL tear. When he is not watching college basketball he enjoys taking his puppies on walks and smoking meat. His one true love is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and he either has or doesn't have the tattoo the prove it. He can be found on Twitter @MyFriend_Jake.

Email us at pickswiththeprofessor@gmail.com