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2022 Playbook Football 10 Questions Interviews

1. When did you begin handicapping sports professionally, and how did you get started?
I began as a professional handicapper in 1975, and launched our Preferred Picks Service in 1980, and then the Playbook newsletter in 1986.
2. Who has most influenced your handicapping career?
While Gold Sheet publisher Mort Olshan had a profound affect on my handicapping, I worked closely with the Mike Lee and Dave Maiinsky, along with Larry Miller - AKA Southern Comfort - who became a major steam player. Unfortunately, all three have since passed. Between myself, Mike and Dave, Miller came to appreciate the three necessary fundamentals of sports handicapping - technical, statistical, and fundamental. And to his credit, before he passed, Miller was as revered as Billy Walters.

3. What is your primary method approach to handicapping sports?
My primary form of sports handicapping is technical. I have a proprietary sprites database - the "Well Oiled Machine" - one that I utilize the most. But in order to become a well-rounded handicapper it's critically important to incorporate all three facets of sports handicapping - technical, statistical, and fundamental - into your arsenal.
4. What is the biggest score you've made in your sports wagering career?
My proudest accomplishment was winning the 2005 STARDUST INVITATIONAL Football Contest. I eked out the win over Steve Fezzik, an accomplished pro, who is as sharp at they come.

5. What is the worst bad beat you've suffered in your sports wagering career?
After 40-plus years the wins and losses begin to run together and eventually even out. However, I'd say the toughest loss to watch was in 2013 when Northwestern (+6.5) hosted Ohio State. Not only did they blow a lead in the 4Q, but they gave the spread away when the Wildcats took possession on the 16-yard line with 21 seconds remaining, trailing 33-30. QB Trevor Siemian was sacked on 1st down, and with Northwestern out of timeouts the Wildcats were forced to spike the ball with five seconds remaining. Their attempt at a last-ditch hook-and-ladder play resulted in a fumble into the end zone, which the Buckeyes recovered to cap scoring and cover the 6.5-point spread in a gut-wrenching 40-30 victory by Ohio State. I can still feel the pain today as it was our 10* CFB Game of the Year. Ouch.

6. Who are your favorite NFL and College Football teams, and why?
Like most football fans we tend to be biased to the teams in or around the city and state in which we are raised. Being born and bred in Cleveland, Ohio it was a no-brainer to follow the Browns, led by legendary Hall of Fame RB Jimmy Brown. Brown was also a legendary lacrosse player, too, where he earned honors at Syracuse. Ironically, upon Brown's retirement, the Browns traded for RB Ernie Davis, the first pick of the 1962 draft. He was said to be the next Jim Brown. Unfortunately, Davis died of leukemia in May of 1963. On the college football front I became a fan of Ohio State whose head coach at the time, Woody Hayes, forged my love of underdogs. Hayes loved to run the football because, as he said, "When you pass the ball three things can happen and two of them are bad. When you run the football three things can happen and two of them are good." The same analogy applies to betting underdogs as opposed to favorites.

7. Which NFL and College Football teams do you feel will be the biggest surprise in 2022?
On the NFL front I feel the Baltimore Ravens will bounce back from a losing effort last season, while on the college football side I feel Nebraska is poised for a breakthrough.

8. Which NFL and College Football teams do you feel will be the biggest disappointment in 2022?
I look for the Cincinnati Bengals to take a big step backward in 2022, while in college football look for Nevada to hit the skids in 2022.

9. Do you feel the College Football Playoff should expand, and if so to how many teams?
Yes, and it will in the wake of the soon to be formed "super conferences". I feel the first expansion will grow to 8 teams - and then who knows where from there.
10.What is your best handicapping advice heading into the 2022 football season?
It's a long season. Don't chase games. Let them come to you. Every loss you avoid by not betting games that lack a solid handicap is an opportunity to pick up and additional win or two down the road.



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