Sports betting can sometimes be a minefield for the poor punter at the best of times. With the odds invariably stacked against him (or her) and in the sportsbook's favor, unless the bettor has faith of the information he has then he inevitably stands to make an overall loss, if not necessarily this time then certainly in the long term.
As well as being able to fall back on a balanced book fortified with its own built-in edge on every line, the bookmaker also has the advantage of being able to call on the talents of its own handicappers.
The handicapper is the expert entrusted with assessing all the available data and information on any particular option with a view to determining what the "correct" price is. In so doing every factor is analized meticulously and studied to the finest detail. The handicapper, or "capper" to use the US term, will have expert knowledge of the team or individual involved, of the sport's rules and of the strategies employed, of previous encounters between the two or more parties involved, of any injuries or absences , even of the weather that is and its likely effect, if any, on the outcome.
If a player is disillusioned, unhappy or discontented the sports handicapper will factor this in. If the team has a major fixture in a few days' time then the temptation it will feel to take its foot off the pedal a touch and save its best for the big day will be taken into account too.
So in the face of all this the person thinking of placing the bet rather needs a bit of help of his own, if only to balance things up and to create a more even contest. Whilst he may have some personal knowledge of the participants and their capabilities it is unlikely he would have either the time or the expertise to have weighed up in correct proportion all the sometimes conflicting factors that come together to set the price he is about to take.
What he needs therefore is the services of a sports handicapper who is firmly on his side. Someone who understands, just as the sportsbook understands, what are the true odds and who will be able to identify any weaknesses in the sportsbook's analysis which might have led it to offer an erroneous price.
Fortunately for the committed sports betting enthusiast not all handicappers are on the payroll of the bookmakers. There are too a significant number of sports cappers who ply their trade by offering their specialist knowledge and specific gambling picks to their punters.
Naturally they come in an entire range of abilities, from the very successful down to the obvious pretenders. Before signing up it is always advisable to study the handicapper's own form with just the same enthusiasm that one might study the form of a potential betting prospect. Who is involved and what is their track record in the field? Do they have a background in the sports in which they are offering advice? Do they offer free advice on sports picks by which their progress might be assessed before a commitment is entered into?
It can be profitable using the services of a handicapper who knows the ropes, that much is for certain. But my tip is to shop around before signing on the dotted line.