Betting the postseason compared to the regular season in any major sport is a far more difficult assignment requiring a completely different mindset.

In the regular season, one of my simplest and most effective handicapping strategies is to project when good teams will play poorly or forecast situations in which poor teams will play well.

Both circumstances place me on the underdog side.

The best wagers occur when a complacent favorite meets a motivated underdog in a scheduling spot favorable to the squad viewed as inferior.

The postseason rarely presents this scenario because most playoff teams are winning squads that typically play to their power rating with consistently good efforts, a quality which defines superior teams.

Additionally, by the time the postseason arrives, the betting menu is reduced and there are no secrets and few surprises as everyone knows everything about the participating teams, making it difficult to find favorable spots in which the market misprices a game by a significant number of points.

For this reason, I like to attack a sport with aggressive wagers in the opening months and especially the opening weeks of a season and slow down my action as the season progresses.

PALMTREE SPEAKS…..Eric Strasser knows baseball and when he talks about handicapping America’s pastime, I listen.

PalmTree sends out a daily e-mail with selections and commentary on the day’s baseball card.

He recently explained his simple approach to handicapping a complex game.

“My forecasting of a baseball game starts and ends with starting pitchers. For me, the single biggest handicapping factor is the number of baserunners allowed by a pitcher,” said the Las Vegas-based gambler who dabbles in the game of poker at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa.

“I also place a critical importance on a starting pitcher’s lifetime performance against players in the lineup that day.”

PalmTree continued, “I’m not sure the reason, but I’m having a harder time securing reliable injury information this year than in past years.”

Expect more from PalmTree later this week as he promised one day he will allow me to post his e-mail offerings to our EOG community.

WEDNESDAY’S BEST BETS…..We had a chance to get lucky last night at Petco Park when the Giants rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to take a 5-4 lead entering the bottom of the eighth inning.

It was tough to watch the light-hitting Padres hit solo homers in the eighth and ninth innings for the walk-off win.

It goes down as a single loss but it sure felt like we lost the game twice.

The sport at times can produce some cruel outcomes, but there’s no crying in baseball and no crying in Nevada sports books either.

Three plays for today: 721 SAN ANTONIO +4.5 over Oklahoma City (NBA), 651 SEATTLE +12 over Minnesota (WNBA) and 919-920 Cleveland-Detroit “UNDER” 9.

COMING THURSDAY…..A review of Alan Dinkenson’s appearance on the Wednesday night edition of The EOG Sports Hour.

COMING FRIDAY……An in-depth look at the five-game card in the WNBA.

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