Late January and February is all-star season. Over the course of three weeks three of the four major league have their all-star festivities. in 2011 the NHL and NFL even chose to have their games on the same day. When each league has their all-star game there are no other games to bet on. That can easily lead to bettor withdrawal for people who just can’t get enough action. That means that they could be compelled to bet on an all-star game.
If I were to give one piece of advice about successfully betting on all-star games it would be this – don’t do it. I just don’t have much love for them. In fact, with the slight exception of baseball’s festivities, I think that they are terrible – poor impersonations of good play. I wouldn’t bet on them, but a lot of people do. For those people here are four tips for giving yourself the best chance of success when making picks and betting on all-star games.
Consider motivation – In theory playing in an all-star game should be an honor for every player in it – one of the highest possible honors. That’s not always the case, though. In fact, it’s often not the case. While the all-stars are all playing the game and doing all the activities around it the rest of the players in the league are spending time with their families or on the beach or generally doing anything other than playing their sport. Missing out on that to play in the all-star game wouldn’t be bad the first couple of times, but when stars do it year after year after year they are inevitably going to start getting tired of it. Players who aren’t as excited to be there as they could be aren’t going to play as hard as they can, and that’s going to have an impact on the team. If one team has significantly fewer potentially disillusioned players than the other then they could have a big edge in the game.
Don’t worry about the form of players – In most games handicappers would spend a good deal of time and effort looking at how the teams and the players have been performing in the games leading up to the one in question. In all-star games that recent form is irrelevant. Players in all star games have different teammates than they are used to, different coaching, and they are playing a game that is far different than the one they are used to playing. No matter how bad the slump or how hot the streak coming into the all-star game the conditions in that game are so different that it’s far from a guarantee that the form will carry over.
Think of the style of play – Each sport’s all-star game is different, but there are a few consistencies between them all. In each one the players play a far less sophisticated version of their game than they normally would. The stars all play significantly less time in the game than they normally would. They are almost all playing for coaches and managers that they aren’t used to, playing with teammates they aren’t used to, and using systems or approaches that aren’t the same as they normally use. Because of all those situations you can draw conclusions about what the style of play is likely to be in a game. Once you have that you can think about what kind of player is best suited to the style of play, and which team has more of that style of player. For example, in the NHL game defense is a dirty word, so the focus should be on offensive players who are creative and aren’t dependent on one linemate – unless that linemate is at the game with them. In the Pro Bowl quarterbacks who are intelligent and highly responsive to the flow of the game are going to have a much better day than one who relies on play design and talent.
Look at props – The biggest reason I don’t like betting on all star games is that there are far too many things that you can’t be sure of – level of commitment and effort, game planning, effectiveness of coaching, chemistry, and so on. It’s hard enough to pick winners normally, so I don’t see any need to bet when the sports odds really are stacked against you. Prop bets are a potential way to overcome those problems. If you pick your prop bets well you can find situations where you only have to deal with limited uncertainties. In that sense betting on props in this game could be little different than betting on them in other games, and could be the easiest way to find value in these games.