Larry Ness Picks
Larry Ness was a fixture on TV and radio for 18 years, and is one of the most recognizable names in the history of sports handicapping. The start of the 2020 season represents his 37th year as a professional handicapper.
Active since: 1984
Location: Homosassa, FL
Larry Ness was a member of the original cast of Proline (began in 1985), the nation’s longest running pre-game handicapping show on the USA-TV network (also hosted Sports Desk on the same network from 1996-98). Larry then joined the panel of The Winning Edge in the early 2000s. Although well-known on TV for his expert game analysis and no-nonsense handicapping style, Larry may be best known for his radio work. He hosted his own syndicated call-in radio show, Sports Central, which aired live from Bally’s Casino in Las Vegas in the early-to-mid-90s, and was heard in more than 100 markets.
Achievements in handicapping: Larry has achieved unparalleled success in his decades-long career. But one of his favorite awards came in 1985, when he won The Castaways Pro Football Challenge Championship, then the most prestigious handicapping contest in Las Vegas. Sports handicapping has always been (and will always be) a “What have you done for me lately” business. Larry entered NFL 2020 off back-to-back seasons (2018 & 2019) of going a combined 144-108-7, earning a profit of $22,458 at $100/unit (note: from 2019 Week 4 thru the Super Bowl, Larry’s top-rated NFL 10*s went 31-13, or 70.5% ATS). After a great 2018 CFB season (73-52-1, +$13,592), Larry stumbled in 2019 but expects to “bounce back” in 2020 (he had earned a profit in FOUR of the previous five CFB seasons entering 2019). The 2019-20 NBA season was interrupted but Larry finished 96-77, +$12,181, his FOURTH winning NBA season in five years.
Systems used for handicapping a game: Fundamental and statistical analysis. “I’m not typically a trend-and-system kind of guy,” Ness says. “I look at team strengths and weaknesses and compare them. It’s an all-encompassing thing, and over 35-plus years, you get good at it.”
Star Ratings: 9 and 10*s are considered “Best Bets.” All other plays are rated between 6 and 8*s, depending on strength and/or price.
Release Times: Larry releases “daily sports” (MLB, NBA, NCAAB and NHL) on the day of the game. His full card is almost always available by 10:00 ET (save Late-Breaking games). In the FB season, Larry begins releasing plays as early as Tuesday. His full CFB card is typically complete by Thursday (on Friday, at the latest) and his full NFL card will be mostly complete by Friday (definitely by Saturday at 3:00 ET).
37-Club Play: It represents Larry’s 37 years in the business and gets his highest star rating (10*s). Expect no more than one of these plays per month, per sport, during the regular season.
Legend Play: Larry’s often been referred to as a Las Vegas legend and he’s ‘borrowed’ the title for his other “signature play.” Larry’s Legend Plays were previously available to only a select group of private clients but they are now available to all, via the internet. Like his 37-Club plays, expect no more than one play per month, per sport (rated 10*s).
Game of the Month and Game of the Year Plays: Always rated 10*s.
Las Vegas Insider: Throughout his 37 years “in the business,” Larry has become known as “the ultimate Las Vegas insider.” The contacts he’s developed over more than three decades (on both sides of the ‘counter’), are arguably “unmatched!” He confers daily with his ‘friends’ and when “all the stars align on the same game,” Larry releases an exclusive Las Vegas Insider (rated between 7 and 10*s).
Oddsmaker’s Error Plays: Larry uses this term with “great respect” (and not very often), as he counts among his very closest friends many of Las Vegas’ most famous and respected sportsbook directors (past and present). However, when Larry feels “the line is significantly off,” he’ll release one of these “not to be missed” plays (rated 9 or 10*s).
Situational Stunners: Larry’s a fundamental handicapper at heart but he does pay attention to team and situational trends (especially in MLB). When his fundamental handicapping and a strong trend or situation match up, he releases a Situational Stunner. He began releasing these plays in MLB ’09 and he’s expanded them since to all sports (rated from 7-10*s, based on strength and/or price for moneyline sports).
Perfect Storm: Larry just added these plays the last few years and his accompanying expert analysis makes these popular plays self-explanatory (typically rated 9 or 10*s but moneyline sports may be rated 7 or 8*s due to price).
Weekly and Weekend Wipeout Winners: Larry added this self-explanatory moniker just a few years ago. They’ve become immensely popular and why not? Who wouldn’t want a game that has “blowout written all over it,” supported by Larry’s expert analysis (rated between 7 and 10*s, depending on strength and price).
Superstar Triple Play: Over the years, many of Larry’s regular clients have clamored for more three-game reports. You asked for it and Larry responded. Back in the late 1980s and into the mid-1990s, 900-numbers became “the rage.” While a panel member of Proline (see above), Larry created the Superstar Triple Play. One call got you three Superstar Triple Plays (in a particular sport). For almost a decade, anywhere from 1,500 to 3,500 callers responded each weekend, when Larry offered his famous “Superstar Triple Play” pitch on Proline. Starting in 2009, Larry began going “Back to the Future!” Look for 3-game reports this FB season on Saturday (college) and Sunday (NFL). Get three plays on a single report from Larry (many will be TV games), the originator of the “Superstar Triple Play!”
Late-Breaking Plays: Larry will always go back to take a “second look” at each day’s card, after posting all his games. When he finds something he missed the first time around, he’ll release a Late-Breaking Play. These plays are more prevalent in sports like baseball and basketball than football (typically rated at 8 or 9*s).
Quote: “No one works any harder and my work-product speaks for itself,” Ness says. “I have a no-nonsense style and my logic is easy to follow. Anyone buying my plays will know exactly what I was thinking when I made the selection. After 37 years, the Larry Ness brand is instantly recognizable and my analysis ranks with the best in the industry.”