Joe Gavazzi

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The Contrary Solution
By Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

I was first introduced to Roger Larson in 1980.  This bettor turned bookmaker (or was it the other way around) was a highly successful sports gambler who operated “Big Green Sports”.  Besides being one of the best handicappers in the business, Roger will forever be remembered as one of the best writers the Sports Service Industry has ever known.  Not only was his game analysis insightful, it was also constructed in a way that was intellectual, insightful, thought provoking, as well as entertaining.  Many of his conclusions were of the contrary nature.  There was little if any technical analysis in the game write-ups.  After all, it would still be a decade before data bases were created.  In my conversations with Roger, he would offer hypotheses such as the one on which this article is based.  At first, doing the results by hand and later, with the help of a data base, I refined the thinking of “The Contrary Solution” to be represented with the following parameters.

This is not hard to use on a weekly basis if you are a self-handicapper.  You will find the results to be most rewarding.  The plays that result from these parameters not only will put you onto the contrary side of the game, ALWAYS BACKED BY VALUE, but of equal importance KEEP YOU OFF THE POSITIVE MOMENTUM (SQUARE SIDE) in games each week.  Enjoy the winners and the money it saves you by keeping you off the obvious, and thank Roger Larson for making your bankroll bulge.  

The Contrary Solution

Parameters for the team to PLAY ON
It is Game #6 or more of the regular season.
Our team has 6 or fewer losses for the season (not “tossed the towel” on Bowl hopes).
Our team has at least (1) SU win AND (1) ATS win for the season.
Our team is 3 or more games BELOW .500 ATS for the YTD.
Our team is coming off a SU AND ATS loss in their previous game.

Parameters for the FOE
Foe is .500 or better ATS for the season with a positive AFP.
Foe is off EITHER an SU or ATS WIN in their previous game.

Through at least the last week in October, the qualifying teams will be presented to you in the Pointspread Prognosis newsletter along with the 50 POINT AFP solutions.  They will point out numerous value laden selections and keep you off the SQUARE SIDE of the game.

Good luck with The Contrary Solution and remember to thank Roger when the winners start pouring in!

                                2017 COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOWEL TOSSERS & SUPER SURGERS
                                                  By Joe Gavazzi
                                                                 Monday, October 23, 2017

The concept of “Towel Tossers” is one I have successfully used for years in the 5 sports I handicap.  Those are College ad NFL Football, College and NBA Basketball and MLB.  The basic idea is very simple:  there comes a point in the season, when a team’s hopes for post-season play dim to the realization that they will not be invited to a post-season party.  It is at this point in time, before the line becomes over-adjusted, that we can look to PLAY AGAINST THESE TOWEL TOSSERS, WHO ARE LINING UP WITH NEGATIVE MOMENTUM.  This Article deals specifically with College Football. Let’s take a look at how it plays out in that sport.

As we enter the 9th Week of the 12-game College Football (regular season) most of the teams have played 7 or 8 games.  They have had a chance to compare themselves to a slate of non-conference opponents in September, followed by 3 or 4 weeks of conference action against teams they play each season.  In short, the reality has set in, as to where they stand in relationship to the other 129 college football teams on the betting line, as well as within their own conference.

The college football post-season is unique in that the NCAA has set a standard of a minimum of 6 wins (with a few exceptions) in the 12-game regular season, if  you are going to be included in the post-season party, known as the “College Football Bowl Season.”   At this point in the season, if a team has already suffered their 6th defeat and is playing with negative momentum, they have come to the realization that a post-season party invitation is likely not going to be forthcoming.  THIS IS THE TIME WHEN A TEAM BECOMES A CFB TOWEL-TOSSER.  Exceptions to this rule come in the month of November, when a team plays a rivalry game as underdog.  For, that rivalry meeting becomes THEIR BOWL GAME!  For those of you who are looking to define this play in more specific parameters, try using the following:


As is the case in all handicapping, I advise you to FADE these Towel Tossers, only after you have done your statistical, situational and technical handicapping that uncovers additional reasons to PLAY AGAINST them.  One further note, as a general rule, it is best to limit the line on these games to 21 points and to always look for any remaining value in the betting line.  

Check my game analyses on this site for examples of games, in which I am looking to FADE a Towel-Tosser this weekend.

At the other end of the spectrum, we look to isolate teams who are SUPER SURGING IN THE EARLY PART OF NOVEMBER, as they vie for a Bowl bid.

Please note, these are NOT teams who are playing for a position in the CFB Championship.  Nor are these teams, who are vying for their conference lead and BEST BOWL BID.  These are the type of teams, who are overrated on a weekly basis. Rather than backing these continually overpriced public teams, we look to favor the value laden 5-win teams, who are seeking that valuable 6th win, which makes them eligible for a Bowl.  

That 6th win and Bowl eligibility may seem meaningless to many considering it is often a minor Bowl bid.  But, the reality is that Bowl eligibility means an average of 2-weeks extra practice, as well as the money that fills the coffers of a school’s athletic department.  As a result, 6 wins is a big deal!  In a way similar to Towel Tossers, we look to use positive momentum along with the urgency of win number 6 to isolate this year’s SUPER SURGERS using the following theory.


The basis of the theory is as simple as that.  As I pointed out in Towel Tossers (above), any single premise is simply not enough reason to make your investment.  It must be reinforced by fundamental, statistical, situational and technical reasons other than this single entity.  Nonetheless, it is noted that this single premise often provides great value as the calendar turns to November each year!  

40 Bowls $39 

40 Bowls $39 

The Defensive Dandies, Duds, and 200 Clubs
By Joe Gavazzi
Monday, October 09, 2017

With 6 weeks of statistics in the books for many of the CFB teams, I am ready to make definitive conclusions about the defensive abilities of the 130 CFB teams.  In this week’s article, I divide the teams into 3 groups.   First is the Defensive Dandies, who are the best statistical teams in the nation.  The second two groups, entitled the Defensive DUDS and the 200 Clubs represent the worst statistical defensive teams on the CFB landscape.  Below I will list the parameters for each of these groups followed by a chart of the 3 groups of teams and their numbers.  Next week, we will look at the offensive side of the ball.  To see the way you can use these numbers to your advantage, I urge a subscription to the Pointspread Prognosis Newsletter, available on this site and a review of the statistical conclusions entitled “Keep on Trackin’”.

​As long as these teams remain qualified Defensive Dandies, fade them at your own risk, and always look to PLAY ON them in the role of underdog or with a reason to play.

The above group of teams are vulnerable defensively.  But they are especially vulnerable to the run.  Check “Keep on Trackin’” in the Pointspread Prognosis to see again this year how poorly CFB teams do when they are double rushed.

​Much like the Defensive Duds above, you should avoid playing on these teams unless they are getting plentiful points, have a reason to play, or their opponent is in letdown mode.  There are few circumstances in which you should ever lay points with any of the teams who are Defensive Duds or 200 Club members. To see how well you would do by fading teams who allow 200 or more yards both rushing and passing in the game, make sure to review “Keep on Trackin’” in your Pointspread Prognosis Newsletter.

Now you know who are the worst defensive teams on the CFB landscape through the 2nd weekend in October!  By updating their stats weekly, following the parameters laid out in the conclusions for each above, and following results in the “Keep on Trackin’” section of the Pointspread Prognosis Newsletter, you can be a very wealthy man by the end of the CFB Season.  We return next week with a look at the offensive statistics.

The Offensive Double Rushers,  200 Club and Offensive Oafs
By Joe Gavazzi  

Last week in this space, I authored an article on “The Defensive Dandies, Duds and 200 Clubs” for 2017 CFB.  Refer to last week’s article at to review those findings.  I also promised we would take a look at the offensive statistics this week.  They are presented in a group of 3 charts below pointing out the best and worst offensive teams in the nation.  If you follow “Keep on Trackin’” in the Pointspread Prognosis Newsletter, you will see the value of the first two lists presented in this article.  This millennium it is a long term 75% ATS situation to “Bet On” any team who double rushes their opponent as well as to “Bet On” any team who, in any given game, runs and passes for 200 or more yards if their opponent does not.  With that as a background, I present the 3 groups of teams entitled “The Double Rushers, the 200 Club and The Offensive Oafs” along with the parameters for each.  


Average 250 or more RYPG
Average 4.5 or more OYPR
Allow 50% or less RYPG as their offense gains
Allow less than 4.5 DYPR

It should come as no surprise when we add up the ATS column to find out that these qualifying teams have a 41-21 ATS record.  But you do not have to isolate your pointspread winners to only these teams.  If you review the “Stat Matchup” for CFB games each week, you can project which teams will “Double Rush” their opponent and, IF THEY ARE NOT ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF THE TO MARGIN, will provide you a great opportunity for pointspread winners.  Now let’s take a look at the Double Rushers with the parameters outlined below.  Note that in this list there are several teams which overlap with the double rushers.


Average 32 or more PPG
Average 200 or more RYPG
Average 4.5 or more OYPR
Average 200 or more PYPG
Average 7.5 or more PYPPS

Unlike the above list of Double Rushers, the ATS results show only a 50% ATS return.  The reason for this is that, due to space considerations, I have not included any defensive parameters for these teams. That does not mean you should ignore the thinking of this highly successful theory.  Once again, if you go to your Statistical Matchup of the teams on a game-by-game basis, you can draw your own conclusions about which teams will run and pass for 200 yards against this week’s opponent, while holding their foe to less than 200 YPG both running and passing.

Now let’s look at our 3rd offensive list which, unlike the groups above, point out the impotent offenses this CFB Season.  I call them…


Score 20 or less PPG
Average 340 or less YPG
Average 120 or less RYPG
Average 3.5 or less YPR

In an era where there are more high scoring CFB games than ever, it is clearly important to score the football.  No longer does defense only win football games.  The pointspread record of the teams on this list are proof of that fact.  There are several teams who were “almost qualifiers” for this list.  Such teams include Kent State (3-4 ATS), ODU (1-5ATS), Temple (2-5 ATS) and Texas State (2-5 ATS).  As the season goes into the 2nd half, you want to stay far away from these teams unless they are getting substantial points against a disinterested favorite.  

There you have it!  A look at our statistical review for the offensive side of the football at the half way point of the 2017 CFB Season.  Along with the defensive groups presented last week, you have all the ammunition you need to make solid conclusions from a statistical perspective on each week’s card.  For the conclusions of this bureau, while incorporating situational and technical considerations, enjoy the read of the CFB Pointspread Prognosis selections each week.

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