Finding early value in the NFL 

August, 5, 2011
08/05/11
1:06
PM ET

The debt crisis has been averted, which is swell. But the drama clearly ain't over. The chicken little cries that the sky was falling actually came true anyway. It was really hard to miss when I turned on my Internet machine and logged onto the New York Times: Markets down! Worst day since 2008! Global slowdown feared! Seriously, a global slowdown. Not just regional, not just nationwide. We are talking around the whole world the economy is not just sputtering but downright flailing. I know, it's not a newsflash. But when the news comes at you in waves and with such spectacular, visceral fear, it's hard not to think, This is it, another recession. Even the good news of job growth released this morning only caused a minor, albeit early, bounce in stock market gains.

Why, you may ask, do I sound like I just morphed into the idiot brother of Paul freakin' Krugman? Because I happen to have a lot of friends who work in Wall Street and have MBAs and like to sound pretentious by pronouncing the word finance like it's some noble field and not just a legitimized racket (apologies, of course, to my pals, who deserve all the cash they're making).

And I can tell, while all these guys see the Dow tumbling and are probably hedging their bets right now, a lot of them will pour money right back into the market. That's because they see -- all together now -- VALUE!

Here at the blog, column, whatever you want to call it, we preach value-investing every day of the week when it comes to betting. I beg you people to determine what a game or team or season is worth before you see the lines -- using sound logic and maybe some analytics -- so you can pounce the second a number is posted and you see an opportunity. That was particularly true this past week, as many sports books got around to posting their NFL season win totals following a frenzied week of free agency.

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