I define handicapping as analyzing the chances of each team winning a game and by how much for the purpose of making money on point spread or money line bets. What I do, prop betting, is not handicapping.
This definition would mean handicapping is making a good bet on a point spread or moneyline. Any bets on totals, first half, props, futures, etc, could never be handicapping.
To me, handicapping means equalizing. Suppose team A is stronger than team B and would win most of their games. But if you give team B seven points, that makes it a 50/50 even matchup
Can "equalizing" be done on anything the sports books offer, or is it limited to certain things?
To me, handicapping is to figure out whether I can win the bet. I mean whatever I bet on. E.g. , point spread on football game, win/place/show/exacta.
To me a handicapper makes lines on events and if the offered prices are much different than his numbers he bets it.
These are similar to how I've always interpreted it, which is making good bets.
To me it means looking at both teams, their tendencies, and predicting an outcome. Looking for what is important. For example, say two teams have identical takeaway/giveaway ratios and both are positive. But Team A has done it mostly with interceptions while Team B has picked up fumbles. Team A is stronger as interceptions are more skill while picking up fumbles is more chance.
Or instead of looking at yards per completion look at yards per attempt, which is more important.
Take all of that and predict a result.
This would mean I wouldn't even have to make any bets. I could just write a blog with my predictions and I would be handicapping.
To me handicapping is assigning probabilities to events. If someone is good at handicapping then the assigned probabilities tend towards the actual probabilities.
So if I analyze a football game and decide the home team will win 62% of the time, thatís handicapping. Alternatively, I can say that the spread for the game that ends with the favorite covering 50% of the time is -2. Then I can compare my handicapping numbers to the offered lines.
And it doesnít have to just be sports. You can handicap and election. Or the chance of rain tomorrow. Etc.
Many people think they are good at handicapping. Few are I think.
"handicapping" is just a word
like so many words it can have different meanings to different people
there's no one definition that trumps all other definitions
nobody's definition here is wrong
and there is no definition here that is the ultimate definition
my definition would be:
estimating whether a bet would have a positive or negative expectation and estimating how large or small that expectation might be by estimating the relative strengths of the teams or persons competing; and then correlating that estimation to the payouts or spread lines offered by the sportsbook
it's an awful lot of estimating - nothing is carved in stone - or if it is it's very very rare