- Q. How would you describe your handicapping style?
- A. My style would best be described as a combination of situational and technical handicapping. By situational, I mean that I look at each team's most recent game(s) and look for an unusual event that may give me an edge to bet on or against that team. This could be a blowout loss, or a blowout victory, which might indicate a rebound or letdown to follow. Or maybe a team is coming off an emotional match with a fierce rival. Then, whether that team won or lost, I may look to go against them in their next game because the players may not be able to rekindle their fire for their next opponent--especially if that next game is on the road. With technical handicapping, I try to develop systems that incorporate my basic ideology. And technical systems are important for 2 reasons. First, a system is objective and not subjective. And related to this is that systems produce hard data--that is, W/L records that can be tallied. For example, my subjective analysis may lead me to go against Michigan after they beat Notre Dame, but a system would tell me if it's actually a worthwhile investment. Typically, I only use systems that apply to ALL of the NFL, or ALL of College Football. I try to stay away from team-specific trends (e.g., how Michigan does after beating Notre Dame). Thus, when I examine the universe of Football teams, I may look at how College Football road underdogs of less than 14 points (or PK) perform off a shutout win away from home (they're 28-5 ATS from 1980 to 2016), or how an NFL home team does after scoring 9 points or less in three straight games (they're 4-12 ATS from 1980 to 2016).
- Q. I've noticed that other famous handicappers sell their selections at Bigal.com. Are their styles similar to yours?
- A. With handicapping, there are several different, and equally valid approaches. Some handicappers (like ASA and Bryan Leonard) are more fundamental than technical. That is, they evaluate team rosters and try to find advantages in player match-ups. And some handicappers, like Larry Ness and Ben Burns, are great because they know so much about the teams (through watching games and/or scouring the local newspapers on the internet) that they have developed an unequaled knowledge for understanding how to break down a game. Tom Stryker, Hollywood Sports, Oskeim Sports and Matt Fargo approach handicapping much like I do: from a situational and technical standpoint.
- Q. When are your plays released?
- A. The vast majority (over 90%) of my Late Phone Selections are released well in advance of game time. For Basketball, Hockey and Baseball, that means overnight. And for Football, it could be as early as on the Monday in advance of the weekend, or overnight, prior to the day of the game. Sometimes, however, I need to confirm the line precisely, and a play is released within an hour of game time. All in all, my Late Phone Service is by far the most convenient of any handicapper. With respect to the plays sold online, most of the handicappers have their plays posted by 10 AM Eastern for games played that day. You are welcome to purchase any handicapper's selections over the phone or online.
- Q. How did you get into the handicapping business?
- A. Although I had handicapped games since the age of 12, I had no intention of becoming a professional handicapper. I attended the University of Michigan, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and then a Law degree. I was practicing corporate law in Dallas in 1992 when I met a handicapper named David Flynn, who thought so highly of my handicapping abilities that he put me in business. We split the profits for the first 6 months, and then I achieved enough success that I decided to go out on my own. With the growth of this business, I haven't practiced law since 1995.
- Q. What methods of payment do you accept?
- A. On the internet, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and Amex, as well as Paypal. The Paypal system also accepts any major credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Discover), or you can enter your Paypal user name and password. If you prefer to speak with me personally, you can use a credit card through my office, as well as Western Union, checks, money orders, etc. Should you use a credit or debit card through the office or over the internet, your purchase will be billed discreetly by "Al McMordie's BigAl.com."
- Q. I'm new to sports gambling, so could you explain how a Money Line works?
- A. With money lines, there is a spread between how much one stands to LOSE if one bets on the favorite and loses, and how much one stands to WIN if one bets on the underdog and wins. Money lines are based on a hundred dollar wager. For example, a typical money line might be -150/+130. In that situation, if you take the favorite, you will win 100, or lose 150. That's what the minus 150 represents. And if you take the underdog, you will win 130 or lose 100, which is what the plus 130 number represents. When the numbers are close to 100, the spread is smaller than when the numbers rise. Thus, in baseball, one could have a game be -130/+120, but when the game involves a big favorite, it could be -300/+260.
- Q. Do you subscribe to the money management theory that bettors should increase or decrease the size of their wagers based on their existing bankroll?
- A. Absolutely not. I believe that bettors should wager the same amount per unit (or star rating) on each play throughout the season. Thus, if you follow my method, and bet 3 through 5 stars per game, your wagers would always be in the same increments of 3, 4, and 5 throughout the season. If you start the season betting 50 dollars per star (i.e., 150, 200, and 250 per game), then you should end the season betting 50 dollars per star-whether or not you're up or down for the year. The problem with the "Kelly Criterion System" (the system which advocates changing your wagers based on your bankroll) is that your successes are not evenly distributed throughout the season. You may have a lot of success in the early part of the year. But then, if you faltered in the latter stages of the season, you would be betting more on your losses. Conversely, you might start off poor, but come on like gangbusters toward the end. In that instance, your wins in December wouldn't help you as much as your losses in September hurt you. There is absolutely no reason why a 3 star play should be valued more or less at one point in a year than another, when the chance of cashing the ticket is virtually the same. So the only variance that I advocate is related to the strength of the play, not the size of your bankroll.
- A. As an attorney, I am well-trained when it comes to privacy issues, and I will not use any of your personal information unlawfully, or distribute it to any 3rd party without your consent. If you join my service, and want to keep your name and address private, you may send me a money order or cashier's check. However, should you use a credit card, I am required by my processing network to obtain your name and billing address for verification purposes. That information will solely be used for such purpose.
- Q. How can I contact you to ask you questions or join your service?
- A. I'm available by telephone virtually 24 hours a day. Feel free to call me at 800-524-4250 or, if you prefer, you can email me at email@example.com. When you call, you will speak directly to me. I employ no secretaries or salesmen.