Scott is off to a great start in 2016:
34 bets in the first 4 weeks
61% winning strike-rate
Full Excel results sheet here.
Scott Kellen has produced profits for his members in 8 of the last 10 NFL seasons by combining a mix of technical, fundamental and statistical handicapping and now, for the first time ever, Champion Bets members have access to Scott’s tips within our easy-to-use delivery platform.
His NFL Tips model has been in operation for over 14 years, producing very strong results including winning the Las Vegas Friday Football Showdown contest in both 2011 and 2014, so we are very excited to have him on board as a Champion Bets analyst for the 2016 season.
Featuring write-ups on every NFL game backed up by 5-8 bets with a clear staking plan, this is package is informative, easy-to-follow and allows both novice and professional punters alike to quickly and easily make quality bets.
The season package covers you for every game of the NFL season right through until (and including) the Super Bowl on February 7th. It’s exceptional value at just over $100 a month – you can expect 5-8 bets a week plus the previews of every game so there’s plenty of action to be had!
Scott has previewed each team and division in the following PDF’s that are free to download.
AFC East – Bills, Jets, Patriots and Dolphins
AFC North – Ravens, Steelers, Browns and Bengals
AFC South – Titans, Jaguars, Colts and Texans
AFC West – Broncos, Chargers, Raiders and Chiefs
NFC East – Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles and Giants
NFC North – Bears, Vikings, Packers and Lions
NFC South – Falcons, Bucs, Saints and Panthers
NFC West – Rams, Seahawks, 49ers and Cardinals
You can also listen to the following interview (or read the full transcript) where he explains his approach and his expectations for this season.
Scott Kellen: Yeah, well you know, math’s always been kind of my strong suit and I probably got involved in this like many people, I’d say it was probably 35 years ago. I was in high school and my brother showed me what a parlay card was and obviously that was pretty intriguing at the time. That’s kind of where it all started. You know, I’ve probably been pretty serious with this for the last 16 years or so. I had a few jobs about 20 years ago that dealt with programming databases and what that allowed me to do is really learn how to program so I could take databases, in this case specifically at the time, college football, NFL football and program those databases and kind of get to the point where I’m at now.
Now recently over the last ten years or so, I’ve been hooked up with a few friends that are actuaries as well, so that’s always a great resource to kind of bounce things off of and pick their brains as well. That’s kind of where it all started and here in Vegas I’m known pretty well. Won a few contests, the contest they call the Friday Football Showdown, I’ve won that a couple times, placed a couple times in what they call the Super Contest, which is now at the West Gate Hotel and a frequent visitor on ESPN 1100 during the football season here as well a few articles in the Las Vegas Review Journal.
For any of your listeners out there, I don’t know if anyone knows who Fezzik is, but he’s won a few contests out here, I’ve worked with him in the past a little bit as well. Long experience, pretty serious, like I said, the last 15, 16 years give or take.
Dave Duffield: How much has that changed over the last 16 years, because I imagine way back when, the database skills that you had at the time could give you a nice edge on the market but then the market gets smarter and smarter every year and definitely they are more technological advanced?
Scott Kellen: Yeah, it’s changed, I mean you know, we’ll probably get into it today but I’m a system oriented handicapper and you know I would say from 2005 to 2010 that stuff was like clockwork and you could just line up your systems and run with them and do very well for the most part, even probably 2000-2010, but it’s changed. I mean, some of those systems obviously have become outdated, the numbers are tighter and tighter, as tight as they’ve always been, or ever been. Injuries, you know, are playing a key factor and like you said it’s an information society right now. I’ve always had just a really great knack in the NFL for whatever reason.
A lot of people find that a very tough sport to beat. I think college is tougher and a lot of people tell you they think college is much easier, but I’ve always had a good knack in the NFL but that information’s out there. It’s readily available and like you said, technology has really changed it, the numbers are tighter and people catch on to things, more information is published so you’ve got to kind of just keep changing a little bit.
As I said, the systems are still the backbone of everything I do but I’ve got to just always kind of look for different things, tweak different things and just try to learn new things to where I can gain an edge. For me what I try to do is, I’m just trying to find things that aren’t just apparently obvious to the average Joe Blow bettor out there, kind of stuff behind the scenes where you have to dig a little bit deeper, do a little bit more work and that’s typically where you’re going to find some of the value in your lines and your games.
Dave Duffield: Because you mentioned that it’s a mix that you use, a mix of technical, fundamental and stats and then, like you said, the not so obvious stuff, so what’s a normal week for you in assessing the next week of games?
Scott Kellen: Yeah, it starts nice and early on Sunday night. The games really aren’t even done, I’m sitting home watching, for us here in the US, the Sunday night game I guess would be a Monday whatever time game for you guys. I’ve got a guy who feeds me all the stats from the week. He’ll feed them to me on Sunday night, I’ll kind of go clean them up for my purpose and then import them in my database, literally push a few buttons and I’ve got last week’s stats in a format that’s useful to me. All my match up stats for the week, which compares opponents against opponents if they’ve been playing and whatnot.
I’ve got power ratings that will spit out and then I’ll just kind of go through all my systems and see what applies for the week and that’s all done literally Sunday, obviously there’s another game on Monday yet, so it kind of goes into Monday as well but by Monday night when that Monday night game for us is done, my work is basically done and now I just have to match all that stuff up with my power ratings and then on top of that, just checking injuries early on in the week and just during the course of the week and then just monitoring line movement. If I think something’s going move and we need to get down on that early, I’ll bet that early.
Obviously if I think something’s going to move in our favour, I’ll try to wait. I’m not always right in guessing that stuff, but then it just becomes kind of a line game to a degree over the course of the week, based on where you think something’s going to go. Something might move in your favour that you didn’t expect, you know, something becomes a play so you know how to deal with it since you’re constantly watching it from that standpoint as well.
Dave Duffield: You’ve mentioned systems and that’s just one part of what you do and the lesser part than what it was a decade ago, do you want to just touch on a couple of angles there, because some of the people listening here may not be NFL aficionados, so just a couple of angles there in terms of the systems.
Scott Kellen: I’ll even give one that still is working today. I may not have this to the exact points of it because I don’t have it in front of me but first of all I’ll tell you, the NFL is a contrarian league and that’s why, I think, it’s hard for a lot of people to beat the NFL. It’s hard for people that think contrarian when they’re betting sometimes but a great contrarian system that’s worked for years and years and years is you take a team who’s won exactly two games, so three games ago they lost and now they’ve won their last two games and now they’re at home and they’re favoured by four or more points and they’re playing a team below 500 that’s playing on the road. That road team is an excellent proposition in this play.
Again, I don’t have it in front of me but it’s probably a 65 to 70 percent play, I believe. I may be slightly off in those numbers but that’s a perfect example of a contrarian play, where you’ve got a team who’s hot, who’s just won two games, they’re now playing a really, really, really bad team and they fail. They don’t do very well and what’s happening here is, that team, again, just making up a number, they might be favoured by seven points in this game, where prior to those two wins, if they would have lost one of those games or both those games they might only be favoured by four points.
They’ve got a little hot, they’re playing a bad team and now the line has got adjusted the wrong way and now you’re starting to pick up a little bit extra value on a team that may not be great but just good and they’re just laying too many points. That’s a perfect situation that I’ll look for, where you can be a contrarian, get a little bit extra value and if you get a dog, sometimes that’s even better obviously because getting points is always great to have if you’ve got the right scenarios.
Dave Duffield: That’s interesting, so some recency bias in that the team gets hot so if you go back a couple of weeks in your power ratings, you may have had that team two and a half point favourites at home, they win a couple of games, the other’s team’s not going particularly well and suddenly they’re giving up a touchdown.
Scott Kellen: Yep, I mean you see it all the time, right? The one good and bad thing, I guess it’s really probably it’s mostly a good thing in the NFL, but the NFL is such a liquid market and it’s the one sport where even sharp money isn’t always necessarily going to move the money, but square money will move it maybe even more often sometimes just because there are so many people playing the NFL. A perfect situation like that, the bookmakers are just going to adjust that because they know where the money’s coming and they will just adjust that accordingly and allow you to get a few extra points from time to time in situations like that.
Dave Duffield: With the way you do it, are you actually coming up with your own line and then comparing it to what’s available, like you might have a team as three point favourites and you’re getting them at pick’em or is it more about some of those systems that you mentioned before?
Scott Kellen: It’s both. The systems are kind of the backbone of everything. I’ll never go against the system. I mean, I guess there’s probably a time or two where that may happen but that would be pretty rare because the systems I use I have a lot of belief in and have done well in, so I typically won’t go against them. They may keep you off a game. If I look and it’s telling me to play the dog and they’re only getting four points but they should be getting six points or something, then I might have to think twice, but those systems in and of themselves have value as well. I’ll also tack on any kind of value that those systems are providing which are kind of separate from just a generic line.
Yeah, I’ll look at this a couple ways. I’ll say, what’s the system tell me? Where does that lead me to, what’s the true line on the game, like you said, and then I’ll also go back and just look to the last four or five games. I mean that’s the beauty of course in having a database. A couple clicks of a button and I can just incorporate just the last four games, I can weight them if I want. It just tells me what’s happening, what’s trending here from a line standpoint and just gives me a better idea. Then again, just take a look at injuries.
You look at the Broncos last year, who won the Super Bowl, I’ve had a lot of success in the Super Bowl lately because obviously you’ve got a little bit more time to dig in to these games, but the Broncos had a period last year where the defense wasn’t very good and they were simply missing their safetys and some cornerbacks for like three or four or five weeks and you pull those games out of the stats, because they’re not really representative of what that team was like in the Super Bowl and all the sudden you got a completely different team.
I’ll incorporate injuries into that as well and again, with a click of a button I can eliminate games where I think this team, the stats really weren’t relevant because they didn’t have their quarterback or whoever it might be, and just kind of look at all the situations just to make sure I’m not missing anything. The heart and soul of it is the systems and then the line that I create and then those other things I talk about are just kind of check and balances, check points just to make sure that I’m not missing something that’s out there that I need to be looking at as well.
Dave Duffield: We’ve spoken mostly about betting against the spread but you also do some totals betting as well?
Scott Kellen: Do a lot of totals betting and last year I started playing a lot more first half stuff as well, and last year I started playing a lot more unders as well. You know, it’s kind of funny, I’ve done NCAA basketball tournament for a number of years. I haven’t done it as much lately but for the longest time my systems there were just about all unders. In the NFL for a long time it was a lot of overs but I started playing a lot more unders last year, found some nice situations that really, really worked well, so yes, I will play totals. I’ve had a lot of good experience with totals and then last year I started playing more first half totals as well.
All those first half totals that I’m playing are typically under plays as well, just seem to have a pretty good knack of when first half totals can come into play and be a good opportunity to play on those as well.
Dave Duffield: What are your expectations this year? Sounds like you’re quite bullish, because NFL’s renowned as being quite efficient so we’re not expecting you to hit in the 60s or anything, but what are your expectations overall for the year?
Scott Kellen: Yeah, I’ve had 11 out of 14 winning years, Dave. Eight of those 11 years that I’ve won, I’ve hit 55 percent or better. I always go into this kind of saying hey, I want to get somewhere between 55 and 60 percent. If I have a really, really, really good year, I’m going to be at that 58, 59, 60 percent and if I just have a good solid year, it’s going to be 55 percent, 56 percent and if we have a winning year but I don’t quite get to where I would like to get to, then obviously 54 percent might be the right number. I go in every year with the expectation 55 to 60. 60 obviously is the high end and very difficult to do but I’ve had a few 58, 59 percent years.
If I hit 55 I’m very, very happy in the NFL because it’s a tough sport to beat but you get enough value on that then you can end up having a nice year by 55 percent.
Dave Duffield: Yeah, and we’ve got a lot more outlets, a lot more options to bet with here so I’m sure we can actually increase that winning percentage just by shopping around.
Scott Kellen: Well that’s huge, right? I mean, I was just talking to a buddy a little earlier today, you know, what’s really happened in Vegas, it’s really nice in Vegas now, there’s a ton of casinos here, sportsbooks and everybody just about has an app now so you can literally sit at home and you don’t have to leave. The nice thing about Vegas, just like any online sportsbook, you’ve got square shops, you’ve got sharp shops and you can just about find any line you want, you get an extra half point many times and I’m sure you guys obviously have access to all that as well. You got to have multiple outlets to really do well at this thing and you just should never take a bad number.
I mean, I may hold off in a game because I think the number’s going to go in my direction and I might be wrong in that, that’s one thing, but to take plus three when you can spend a little bit more time to get three and a half or four to get four and a half. That’s just foolish. You got to get the best number whenever you can. It’ll come back and bite you probably two, three times a year at least, if not more, and you think about it, if you’re only getting 100 bets in the NFL and you’re losing two or three games because you didn’t get the right number, that weighs into your winning percentage pretty heavily. You got to have multiple outlets and you got to always search for the best number regardless.
Dave Duffield: For sure. Let’s talk about the upcoming season, because one of the beauties of the NFL is it’s generally pretty open. It’s different in say the NBA where there’s normally only four or half a dozen teams that might be able to win. It’s very different in the NFL and down under here it’s probably about $9.00 the field amongst all the teams this year. Is there one that you think is under valued right now?
Scott Kellen: Yeah, I think a team that’s a little under valued right now might be the Houston Texans. From a season wins standpoint, I think they’re at eight and a half wins right now. They’re going to have a great defense again this year. Looks like J.J. Watt will probably play hopefully in the first week even. They took him off the injury list the other day. Their defense is going to be solid, their front seven is fantastic. Secondary’s always been a little questionable but it’s a little bit better, I think, this year, but their offense has always been their problem.
Looks like their offense could be drastically improved this year. They’ve got a good coach in Bill O’Brien but they brought in Lamar Miller, a running back from Miami who’s very dynamic. He can run the ball, they can throw to him out of the backfield and he can make big plays. I think he’s going to make a big difference for them. They drafted a couple speed burners, that wide receiver in Will Fuller from Notre Dame and Braxton Miller, who’s a little bit, he was a quarterback at Ohio State, so he’s still learning the receiver position but he’s a big, strong, fast receiver.
They already had DeAndre Hopkins last year, who is a stud from a receiver’s standpoint, I think, and preseason is preseason and it’s really hard to gauge sometimes what you see in the preseason, if that’s really going to translate to the regular season. Houston has been pretty dynamic on offense early on in preseason and so if they can get any kind of offensive production and they brought over Brock Osweiler from Denver, who’s still kind of a project but at least we got a little bit of a sense of what he can do when he was at Denver last year. He just needs to be serviceable and now they surrounded the quarterback with some talent, so I think they can be very good.
They’re probably going to sweep Tennessee. At worst they split with Jacksonville and probably split with Indianapolis. That gives them four out of six wins in their division. They got four very easy games, three of them which are at home that they are likely to sweep. That gets them eight wins right there and they do have six tough games after that but they only need to win one of those games to go over the season win total and quite frankly they could probably win two or three and get out of here with 10 or 11 wins, win the division. They’re a much better team than Indianapolis.
Indianapolis will have Andrew Luck back, he’s a very good quarterback but short of that, the base of the Houston Texans team vs Indianapolis, that’s night and day. Jacksonville and Oakland are two teams that people are high on and I like where those teams are going but they’re a couple years away yet, so I think Houston’s got an excellent chance to win the division. If they get a record that’s good enough, meaning top one or top two records in the conference, then they get home field advantage and with that defense and if their offense can do something, this team’s got a chance to do some damage this year, I think.
Dave Duffield: We’ll definitely keep an eye on the Texans. What about on the flip side, is there a team that you think is actually overrated by the bookmakers right now?
Scott Kellen: Yeah, I think a team that’s a little overrated right now is Arizona. They had a great year last year. I think they were 13 and 3. I was looking earlier today, their season win total, now you can get under nine and a half at Pinnalce and get a whole bunch of juice, I think it was $2.84 or something, but like Bookmaker has 10, I would probably take the 10 in this chance and in this situation. The numbers are relatively the same based on the juice but if you can get them under ten wins at $2.45, here’s why, and they’ve looked horrible in preseason.
Again, you don’t really know what a preseason really means but Carson Palmer went out with a horrible performance last year, he was kind of hurt. He’s not looked good in preseason. They overachieved, they were 13-3 last year, they overachieved by about one win but they were 5 and 1 in close games, games decided by seven points or less. That stuff usually does not continue year by year. Even if that goes to 3 and 3 also, now they’re down to about 11 wins and the reason, they have a fairly easy schedule this year, so the schedule is not terribly tough in terms of playing really, really tough opponents but they play a lot of teams,
for example, they go to Buffalo and that’s a very, very tough environment to play in, but Buffalo’s coming off a Thursday game, so Buffalo’s got 10 days to prepare, in other words, an extra three days to prepare for them. They’re always tough at home anyway. Even if they go 4 and 2 in their division, there’s enough games outside their division where I can see them losing. They go to Buffalo, they go to Carolina, they got killed there last year. They go to Minnesota, that will not be an easy game. They get the Jets at home, which could be easier but the Jets are a team that are going to be able to match up pretty well with them.
They go to Atlanta, who’s not a great team but Atlanta beat Carolina in Atlanta last year and they can pull an upset at home. There’s enough games there where I can easily see Arizona going 9 and 7 and then if Carson Palmer or you get some other injuries, they were relatively injury free last year for the most part, that’s the one nice thing about going under a fairly decent sized number, injuries are only going to help you. I think Arizona has been over valued a little bit this year and their two games against Seattle do not set up well.
Seattle’s coming off a bye, I think, in one of them and the other one, I forget what the situation is, but both games against Seattle, who’s obviously their main competitor there in that division, Seattle’s coming in very good scheduling situations against them as well. I think Arizona might be a little over valued this year. Time will tell of course, but I would look to play them under the ten wins.
Dave Duffield: Okay, it’s great to hear your passion and also your knowledge for NFL. We’re excited to have you on board. One of the reasons to have the chat was just so that guys could get a feel for what you do, how you go about it and your level of knowledge and experience. It’s been great to have that chat. I’ll include a lot more information when this chat goes up on how people can get on board for a membership because NFL is going from strength to strength down here. The timing’s great for some of the games, like obviously the Thursday night, Sunday night, Monday night football works perfectly for our time zone. We get the Red Zone channel. There’s two ESPN channels, there’s online streaming so it gets bigger and bigger every year and we’re excited to have you on board, so welcome.
Scott Kellen: Well I appreciate you having me on, Dave, and looking forward to the season and I think the one thing your listeners will find out, I’m very, very transparent, very honest and all the records are out there so if anyone’s got any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Happy to answer anything and everything and looking forward to a great season and football’s a great sport so if you can throw a little money at it and watch it at the same time, it makes it even that much better, so be glad to help out anybody we can and again, appreciate the opportunity.
Dave Duffield: No worries. All the best, Scott, thanks very much.