EDITORS NOTE:Each week GamingToday will feature some helpful hints and angles from the top sports book managers in the industry. This week: Lamarr Mitchell, MGM Grand.
BY MARK MAYER
When it comes to the NFL, Lamarr Mitchell says "take the points."
"There are a couple of trends I like, but most of the time bettors should stay with the underdogs. Heck, I certainly wouldn’t bet against the Patriots or Eagles."
Mitchell offered a personal play that differs from the norm. But, you have to be brave.
"Follow a team in the NFL that is 0-6 ATS," he said. "Then, bet on them the rest of the way until they cover. I did that with the Miami Dolphins when they were 0-6 and they won outright the next week as a home underdog against St. Louis."
Of course, there is a caviat to the theory.
"When the Dolphins won, I immediately got off the bandwagon," Mitchell said. "I wouldn’t trust them or any other 0-6 team past the first game."
For college football, Mitchell uses the opposite wisdom. He plays favorites.
"If you study college football like I do, you’ll find that 75 to 80 percent of the heavy favorites will cover. Parity doesn’t exist like it does in the NFL. You won’t see inflated lines in college like you do in the pros.
"You always want to lay the chalk with Florida State, Miami and Oklahoma, compared to riding Duke, Baylor, Rutgers and Temple.
If we had used that strategy this past weekend, our pockets would have been lined pretty well.
Turning to the NBA, when the teams aren’t in the stands fighting, Mitchell suggests betting the "under" when long road trips are involved.
"Most of the time, you want to bet on an East Coast team taking a long trip out West," Mitchell said. "Offenses take time to start clicking. You see many poor shooting percentage games. That lends itself to a lot of "under" success.
Mitchell also follows the "back-to-back" scheduling.
"Any time you have teams playing on consecutive nights, it’s a good bet to go against them. Maybe if Michael Jordan were playing, I would back off. But, only then."