There are many harsh lessons to be learned from the gambling experience, but the harshest one of all is the difference between having fun and being smart
- Hunter S. Thompson
In the summer of 1963, my Freshman year of college, I lost all my money betting football. The picks I chose to play were based on a mixture of guessing and prayer, which, as you know, isn't typically a winning combination.
Would Notre Dame beat Florida State by eight? Would USC beat Oklahoma? I had no idea. I couldn't stomach another loss, mentally or financially. Jimmy Connors once said, "I don't enjoy winning as much as I hate losing" - and nothing could describe me better.
In a desperate moment, feeling like there had to be a better way, I commissioned a high school buddy of mine, a math genius who was attending his 2nd year at MIT, to attempt to devise an olio of statistics that he felt were vital in predicting what teams might score in their future games. No simple task, but we were always up for a challenge. It wasn't like I could do any worse!
After a few months of us (mostly him) analyzing the data, back-testing, and tweaking the model, the Legendary Math Model (LMM) self-correcting algorithm was born ... and hasn't changed since.
I had used this math model for forty-something years with reasonable success. I had bad days, bad weeks, and bad months, but fortunately NEVER a bad year.
Five or so years ago, I was listening to the Marc Lawrence show when I heard "Tuley the Tout" talking sports handicapping. I decided to send him seven game
predictions for that current week from the LMM. He liked what he saw, started to contact me with his picks, and liked to run his choices past the model's predictions to filter out games to derive a set of games that we could agree on.
A pretty successful partnership developed and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Tout has been generous enough to rent radio space the last few years when I come to Vegas each December to go over all thirty five bowl games.
The LMM has been documented at about sixty percent for those five years. More amazing is the roughly 16-5-3 from the "agreement" games between Dave's picks and the LMM.
There have been instances where the Tout has called it "eerie" as the LMM has nailed some of the games within a point or two on more than enough occasions to NOT be considered coincidental or lucky.
There are a lot of algorithms out there, some have merit, some are like I was in college, just throwing darts at a board to pick the winner. That said, I truly feel that my high school friend has
the best available that I have seen in my 52 years of football handicapping. I have never seen any other model consistently come as close to the final scores and spread as he has done with the LMM.
"G-d willing and the creeks don't rise, each year I will dust off the model" - as The Tout likes to say in August, for its 52nd year.