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Finally, some software to help you handicap football

27 August 2009

It's been a few years since I've seen any new computer software for handicapping pro and college football. In essence, an old friend has returned. PDS, out of Illinois, is back, after a long absence.

PDS has two programs, each selling at $119.95 for the software and yearly data downloads.

Just what does it do? The software's main menu is divided into six sections: database, maintenance, stats, handicapping, utilities and instructions -- all displayed on the menu bar. For each program (there's one for the colleges and one for the NFL, sold separately), the database contains game logs by schedule, road, team, home games by team and all games by team.

The stats section lists all the stats that are maintained by the system (by individual team). The handicapping section uses an array of algorithms and the utility section is used for new-season game files, team files, rebuilding team files and merging downloaded data.

So, as a handicapper you can control the strength of the figures you used, keeping them loose, tight or medium. Registering the software will supply you with a password to access the PDS Web site, where you'll be able to download all the current files.

The PDS Pro Football ($119.95) and the PDS College ($119.95) require a PC only.

The creators of the software emphasize that "this is a revamped program with cosmetic and functional changes - it is a 'stand alone' system and will not function properly if mixed with an older PDS version." The creators recommend that buyers build a yearly (2009) database to make more accurate selections, usually starting the fourth or fifth week of the season.

In effect, the software automatically makes adjustments to the handicapping algorithms based on what it has learned for handicapping games. The following statistics are used by the learning module in adjusting the handicapping algorithms: power ratings; line efficiency ratings; strength of schedule ratings; offensive and defensive ratings; performance ratings; consistency ratings; value ratings.
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com