I called up Teddy Covers on Wednesday afternoon to get his take on this week's college football line moves. And when I asked him how he was doing he said, "Ehh, just OK."
Really, I was just being polite as I fired up my computer. I figured he'd say, "Great!" and we'd get down to business. But his answer stopped me. I knew he wasn't talking about his personal life. I said, "Wow, it's not often I hear a handicapper tell me he's doing just OK."
"Well, last week I kissed my sister and the week before I didn't even kiss her so I am a little frustrated," Teddy said. "I feel I have been slightly off. I had good plays on my short list, the games I am thinking about, but when I've cut that down to 5-8 games I haven't made the right cuts. I've let the market talk me out of plays I should have made. But it doesn't matter what happened last week -- you have to do the work and the results will come."
I've known Teddy for a couple of years now and there aren't many people who work the data harder. He's not in the game to get rich; I've never once seen him act like a poser. He's grinding out a nice living as a wise guy because he loves the challenge of finding an edge and taking advantage of it. He is at his desk every day, mining info, betting fundamentals, doing it the right way. Because of that, he doesn't panic. He's been around long enough to know that: "It doesn't matter what happened last week -- you have to do the work and the results will come. Some years you are clicking and other years it takes a few weeks to get into a rhythm and get on the right side of some breaks. The best years I have had in NFL and college, I didn't get off to a great start. I found my groove in conference season and November and December of NFL. I am not destined for long-term mediocrity. If you spend 12-14 hours researching games, you will find winners."
This week would be a good start. Arkansas is a good bet against Alabama, which I wrote about here yesterday, and Covers sees opportunity in more than a few of this weekend's other biggest matchups.