Wiseguy says goodbye but looks towards bright future

Sep 20, 2016 3:00 AM

Editors Note: Ted Sevransky is the Peyton Manning of sports handicappers in terms of both success and exposure. Teddy Covers knows how to make the most of opportunity through the media. So with the many projects on his daily calendar like SportsBet, his weekly column at GamingToday concludes after a glorious run of 10-plus years.

Not to say TC won’t be back at some point… we will be happy to feature his betting wisdom whenever it fits his schedule. I’ve known Mr. T since he started appearing on SportsMemo when it was aired daily in Las Vegas. Ted is as dedicated to his craft as anyone in our business and one of the most respected voices in sports wagering. We wish him the very best and hope he keeps throwing those August BBQs to mark our start of the football season. – Mark Mayer

I’ve been writing a weekly “Wiseguy Report” column for GamingToday for more than a decade. At least for the time being, this will be my last Wiseguy Report. The issue, of course, is time (and deadlines).

I’ve been outlining my report on Sunday night, then filling in the details early Monday morning for the 10 a.m. deadline for the past decade plus. Weekends for a handicapper are brutal – both Saturday and Sunday are legitimately 16-hour jam-packed days. And this football season, I’ve added even more to my plate – a daily “Sportscenter for Gamblers” called SportsBIT (Sports Betting Insight Today).

My co-host Pauly Howard and I work on SportsBIT Sunday evening and record early Monday morning. Instead of being able to write a balanced, nuanced column, I’ve been trying to cobble together enough coherent thought on deadline to pass for a serviceable article. It’s just too much, and after a decade plus, I feel as if I’ve hashed and re-hashed many of the concepts I’m writing about. It’s time for me to take an extended break.

Let me write about SportsBIT for a few moments. It airs every weekday, posted approximately 10 a.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, on YouTube and at Sportsbookreview.com. You can get daily updates when the show is posted from my twitter feed, @Teddy_covers.

The sports betting demographic is enormous. Based on the latest survey results, 118 million US citizens placed a sports bet of one sort or another last year. Estimates vary, but at least 10% of those 118 million people bet on a daily basis, quite possibly closer to 20%. And there’s virtually nothing in a “mainstream” arena to cater to this constantly growing segment of the population. That’s not even mentioning the international audience, as US sports grow in popularity for overseas bettors on a yearly basis.

Advertisers covet the sports betting demographic in a real way. Sports bettors tend to be men with disposable income. And the younger half of the sports betting cohort – men aged 21-39 with disposable income – are increasingly difficult for advertisers to reach through traditional “TV commercial” based methods. That’s not a trend likely to change any time soon.

About the only things live TV (and their ad salesmen) has going for it in the modern era are live sports and live news. Sports betting content certainly falls into the “much watch quickly, before it becomes obsolete” category, just like live sports. And when it comes to live news, think about the stock markets for a moment.

There are far fewer daily stock traders than there are sports bettors, based on survey results. Yet there are three major national TV networks that cater to stock bettors (Bloomberg, Fox Business, C-NBC). The next national network catering to sports bettors will be the first. Yet it’s very clear there is a market out there for quality, non-sales driven sports betting content on a daily basis.

The American Gaming Association just announced they would be throwing their lobbying weight behind legalized sports betting in 2017. That comes on the heels of the AGA’s estimate that $145 billion were bet illegally in the US last year, dwarfing the 4.2 billion in wagers accepted legally here in the state of Nevada. Over the long term, whether it’s two years, five, 10 or 20, at some point sports betting will be legalized nationwide. And the show that captures the sports betting audience will be primed to go mainstream once that happens.

Our goal is simple – treat sportsbetting like news. Pointspread information is news. Pointspread moves are news. Pointspread results are news. Bad Beats are news. Bad bets are news. Middles and other bad results for the house are news.

SportsBIT is not just about reporting what just happened in the betting markets. It’s also about quality game previews. You’re not going to find mediocre analysis and stats on this show. Every day, Pauly and I delve into the key betting highlights in our Big Game Breakdown segments.

Unlike mainstream “game breakdown” analysis, our breakdowns are all about pointspread results, using historical ATS data and current market valuations as the guide. This is not the type of info readily available anywhere else online. Pauly and I do our best to present it quickly and thoroughly – a 22 minute show takes you around the sports betting world in-depth! Of course, we have fun doing it – nothing wrong with a few laughs, anytime you can get them! Most importantly, the show stands alone – we’re not trying to sell anybody picks, or anything like that, although the long term goal is to attract mainstream advertisers.

SportsBIT brings in strong guests, like legendary Vegas oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro from the Southpoint race and sportsbook for a segment every Tuesday. On Wednesdays, we do a Deep Dive on one key sportsbetting topic. Last week, for example, we did a great segment on “How Wiseguys Attack Teasers in the NFL.” Mondays bring a detailed Weekend Recap of the betting action in both NFL and college, while Thursday and Friday shows are loaded with Big Game Breakdowns, previewing all the biggest games upcoming over the weekend.

So that’s what I’ll be doing moving forward, pouring my excess energy into writing and producing a daily show that aims to take the sports betting world to the next level when it comes to quality content. It’s a labor of love and it’s time consuming; not a “cobble it together at the last minute” type show. Check out one SportsBIT one time and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

I want to thank GamingToday for giving me this platform for the past decade plus. Mark, Eileen and the staff put out an excellent product every week – don’t take it for granted! And I’d like to thank you, my loyal reading audience, for the opportunity to serve you, via quality content. You can still find my work at Sportsmemo.com, and I hope to see you checking out a SportsBIT show in the not-too-distant future!


Twitter: @teddy_covers