All summer this guy had been pestering me with e-mails. He claimed to have a statistical formula that helped him consistently beat the spread. He was tracked last season by The Sports Monitor, which ranks handicappers, and could prove he had a winning record. Blah blah blah. Quite frankly, he was annoying.
But when someone goes to the trouble of including spreadsheets and data sets and detailed explanations for all of it, I feel like it's my responsibility to check it out. Who's to say the guys with 20 years' experience are the only ones who know how to gamble? They started out with just a theory and a dream once, too.
So I examined this guy's sheets and checked up on his picks. Everything he told me was true -- and his analysis was interesting, too. Then, last month, I gave him a call to get a better sense of his philosophy and his background.
He goes by The Sports Boss, but his name is Patrick Donovan, and he works in finance for a Fortune 500 company in Philly. He's got an MBA from Villanova, but it's sports betting that is in his blood. From the time he was a wee boy, "I liked to make sense of everything I saw and made models on paper about the NFL," he said. "I had a natural curiosity to try and figure things out."
To read more about Donovan's system, plus his take on the most volatile lines of the past week, you must be an ESPN Insider.