Omega, The King of Mojo, explains his new exceptional Investment Strategies and 2015 NHL Playoffs insights
Scott: Hey guys, welcome back to the show. I will give you a hint – or a few hints, maybe – about who today’s guest is. And I bet within one, two, or at most three of these hints, most of you are going to know who it is. The first hint is that he is a legendary ZCode expert; former NHL star; master of live investment – real-time investments. He’s a motivational speaker and – this is the dead giveaway – he is the king of mojo. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Omega is back with us here today, sharing some of his newer strategies, insights and predictions for NHL playoffs and all kinds of wisdom that he always seems to be sharing in such a selfless way, which is why everybody loves having him around and in the forums.
As always, it is a pleasure that you are back for a new podcast, Omega – thanks for being on the show again.
Omega: Wow. All I can say is, I don’t know who you’re talking about, Scott, but I’d like to meet that guy.
Scott: Well, honestly… no take away from any of the other guys, but you are one of my favorite interviews without a doubt. You’re just a positive guy, and you are a great storyteller. And of course I think we have some offline connections as well, which probably helps. But I always thoroughly enjoy having you on the show, and it is really nice to have you back.
Omega: Thank you very much. It’s always a pleasure to talk with you, and it’s more like talking to a friend than doing a podcast, so I appreciate spending some time with you.
Scott: Exactly, I feel the same way. It’s always good. Now – recently you started testing a new system to predict a team to win a period outright. Can you talk about that for us? How did you come up with this; and how’s it going? What’s the results so far?
Omega: Well, I’m very blessed, Scott, to be friends with a gentleman who’s been sports investing for many, many years. At one time, he was one of the largest sports investors in the world. He’s from Everton, Alberta. I won’t mention his name, just to protect his anonymity, but he’s been doing this for such a long time and he actually had, for want of a better term, a mutual fund – he was managing other people’s money, because his track records went so well. He had a whole floor in his office building dedicated, with computer scientists and all that, and they were developing systems in sports investment. His systems are always based around data. There’s computing data, and – with sports like basketball, hockey, and baseball, there’s so much data that can be entailed that they’re able to find patterns, you know, with computer programs and algorithms. And we were just having dinner one night and talking. I was showing him some of the things I was doing with live investing in hockey, playing the team to score first, and just looking at teams’ percentages of scoring goals in the first period, second period, and third period. When I showed him these things, well of course his mind runs off and starts doing different calculations. And he was the one who introduced me to playing a team to win a period. And the interesting thing about that is: there’s a lot of games that have a strong team at home, a heavy favorite; odds to win the game are just unattractive because they’re so sharp. But if you take a look and you can see that they might be a favorite before the game, something like -300, then you can see that the odds to win the first period are +150, then that’s very attractive! So we started taking a look at – OK, what is the percentage of this team’s goals scored in the first period versus their opponent? And if they had a big edge over that team, then we started playing that team to win a period, and it worked fantastically. And the great thing is, with such great odds – the odds are usually plus – +100, +150, +200… to get a home favorite team at plus odds – you don’t have to win every single period to have a really successful profit track record with them. So that was the genesis behind it, and it worked extremely well.
Scott: Wow. A few days ago, you pointed out the odds-on favorites that seemed to have a better chance of winning. And you said that you preferred to play favorites with odds over 1.44. What are your reasons for this, and how does that work? I guess you look for a method to identify those favorites.
Omega: Scott, the interesting thing with that is I’ve established something called the Magic Odds. So the day of a game when all the opening lines come over, I take a look at the scheduled games, and I like to see the opening odds – and I’m looking for what I call the Magic Odds, and that’s a game that’s usually odds of around 1.44 to 1.47. And I have no idea what triggered us to this, it’s just something that over the years, we’ve noticed. We take a look at all the opening lines on any given day primarily for NHL hockey and college basketball. It doesn’t seem to work as strongly for NBA or MLB. So when I take a look at all the opening odds, I take a look at who is favorite closest to 1.44, and has the biggest spread. So I’m looking for a team that’s close to 1.44, and that their opponent might be 2.50, 2.7 – you’re looking for a good spread there. Every game that has the closest one to meet that criteria, for whatever reason – that’s why we call it the Magic Odds – they seem to win all the time. And I don’t know if it’s because the books look, and they see one game that’s going to be true to form, so those are the odds that they throw out; for whatever reason, they work. When the favorite goes below 1.44, I tend to stay away, because the odds aren’t as consistent. And you’ll often watch – I think it’s just to catch the public, because they’ll throw an odd on a team that’s like 1.3, so a person who’s looking at this thinks “Wow, that’s a heavy favorite – they must win!” So they’ll go and they’ll take a parley on the teams, and next thing you know, those teams often lose. And it’s just an interesting dynamic that we’ve noticed, and we call it the Magic Odds. A lot of times, I’ll take a look – like yesterday was a classic example between Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto. The opening line for Columbus was 1.47. And when you took a look at the ZCode line reversal chart that morning, it actually showed a drop-down against Columbus, showing that there was smart money coming in on Toronto. I went on the forum and I said, “I bet that by game-time, the line is going to go back up in favor of Columbus.” And the reason why is, that Magic Odd that I’ve noticed. It hit the criteria, I think the book is moving the line down to try to get money away from people coming in on Columbus because they know that Columbus has a 90+% chance to win that game. And then sure enough, by the time the game comes up, the line went hugely up in favor of Columbus, and last night’s game was an easy 5-0 win.
Scott: Did you say that it worked for college basketball, but not NBA?
Omega: Absolutely. And I can’t tell you why. But in college basketball, it works extremely well – whenever me and my friends have noticed these patterns and played these games, I’d say our success rate with the Magic Odd is usually around the 90% range. Every once in a while you might get a game that you lose in overtime, or – things happen! It’s not a 100% perfect five, but I’ll take 90% success any time.
Scott: Sure. Well, continuing with your strategies: I know that mostly I’ve talked with you about hockey, and I think we have touched on some basketball – what do you look for in soccer plays for first team to score?
Omega: Now there’s many guys on ZCode who are fantastic – I mean extremely, extremely competent and hugely successful investors – and I think take a look at the numbers and the game. I think it’s really important to understand what kind of investor you are. I do cap my games, I do play pre-game plays, but I say you’re either Warren Buffet or a day trader. A person who likes to play pre-game plays and go through all the data and that sort of thing – they’re like a Warren Buffet investor. They’re looking for value. For me: every game has a story. You take a look at all your data, and it depends on who scores first, if there’s a tie situation after second period, if the game goes into overtime – there’s all this kind of data that comes into play. And we can touch on how to use that later. When I was taking a look at how I was going to do who’s going to score first for hockey, I thought OK, I’m learning from some of the guys from ZCode about soccer. And I started to watch the in-game data on soccer. And what I looked for is, who’s got the most shots on goal – they call it shots on target, shots off target, attacks, and dangerous attacks. And if I see that a team has a big edge in shots on goal, shots on target, and dangerous attacks, that means they’re dominating the play and they’re pushing it. So logically you would think that if they’re dominating those stats, that their next goal’s going to eventually come. So I started applying that to soccer plays, and it has been working very, very well. I have noticed certain patterns for myself. There’s just so many soccer games that you can bet on, when you take a look at the schedules – so many leagues and it’s really tough to be competent on all these ones – Zcode’s got some tremendous guys who seem to just be amazing at everything. What I’ve noticed with playing who’s to score first or next is, I love the matches with these under-23, under-20, under-19 games. I think it’s just because of their youthfulness, they seem to be more aggressive, and just more offensively oriented. So I’m looking on the schedule for which games are available, and I see under-23, under-20, or under-19 games – those games really catch my attention to start looking at the data and just see if there’s an opportunity to make plays. And that’s been working very very well.
Scott: See, I’m listening to you, and I’m listening to how you approach soccer, and it’s obvious that you’re a master at reading stats. But to me – and maybe it’s just I’m not a numbers guys – but how do you manage the overwhelming number of stats? I mean, is there a way for the average guy coming into this to know how we can separate the wheat from the chaff?
Omega: I think it just depends what sports we’re looking at. For soccer – to me, the soccer that I used – we’re very blessed in Canada because we have access to all kinds of books. I know that some of our ZCode friends – if they’re living in Europe or the United States – they don’t have access to some of the sports books like Bet365. If you have access to Bet365, it’s a phenomenal resource. Because during each game, you can be watching the game through the box score, and see the data appearing there in real time – shots on goal, shots off target, the dangerous attacks, corner kicks, etc. And if you’ve ever played soccer, well, you understand that if a team is dominating the end corner kicks, if a team is leading in offensive attacks and shots on goal and shots off target, that shows they have a strong edge on play. I like to see a difference of 2 to 1, so I like to see a team have eight shots on goal vs a team that has 3-4 shots on goal. That means that they’re dominating the play, and chances are, if a goal’s going to happen, it’s going to be with the team that’s got the most offensive pressure. So those are the offensive stats that you want to look at. I did leave out one important thing: when I’m taking a look at the opening lines of the game, they show you what the book is anticipating is going to be the game total. And I’m looking to see that the game has at least a strong percentage of game to go over 2.5 goals in the game. If it’s below 2.5, those are the games that make me a little nervous and could end in a 0-0 draw. I want to see the opening line telling me that there’s going to be a favorite to go over 2.5. That means the book is expecting that there’s going to be goals scored in that game. And then drilling down into the in-game data: offensive attacks, shots on goal, etc.
Scott: A lot of great information already. I almost feel like we could end it here and there would be so much to profit from. To me, it always seems like you’re killing it; you’re doing well, always have the right attitude, positive attitude, always looking at the opportunities for tomorrow. What would you say to somebody who’s maybe new to this, and they’re kinda going through their first bad streak?
Omega: Just not to get down. Sports investing is going to be very challenging and very humbling on us all. I can give you all the data that I use every day, and I get angry when the data doesn’t compute. You’re looking at it, and all the data supports that the play happens, but – sports is played by people. It’s not 100% foolproof. We have bad bounces, there’s bad luck, there’s bad mojo that happens in a game, and it’s going to happen to us all. Through my hockey premium plays, I’ve been averaging, probably, close to 70% win rate on my plays all year. But the last two weeks, instead of 70%, I’ve been hovering around the 50% level. Now, you can’t get discouraged because you just trust in what you’re doing, you trust in the numbers, trust in the data, and you stay consistent. The biggest thing that you’re going to have to do is just stay consistent. And that’s if you’re trusting your information. Over the course of the year, I’ve been averaging close to a 70% win rate – so when I dropped down to 50%, does that mean I’m going to continue this? There’s a gentleman who’s been tracking my win and loss rates using a long term average, and he called it reverting to the mean. When I’m actually winning above 70%, I will probably revert to a mean. So I will probably won’t maintain an 80-90%, I will actually come down to where I’ve been averaging all year, which is in that 68-70% range. When I drop down to 50%, well, it doesn’t mean I’m going to stay there all year; I’m probably going to trend back up. And in this particular case, I went through about a two-week dry period where I was averaging around 50%, and I was getting some tough losses. Some tenders were stealing some wins from me; some bad breaks and overtimes, some bad breaks and shootouts… these things happen. You just have to stay calm and consistent, trust your data, trust your information. And the wonderful thing about ZCode is that there are just so many guys on there that are really good with data, really good with information, really good with numbers, really good with money management… and there’s just so much that you can learn from them. And the biggest thing is just to stay positive, and to keep moving forward.
Scott: I would 100% agree – anyone would. You have that human element in there that can throw you for a loop, but you also said that sometimes there’s just some bad mojo. And we know that’s not true when it comes to you! Like I said in the introduction, you are the king of mojo, you have the power of the mojo. For anybody who doesn’t really know what we’re talking about there, the power of your mojo working like a charm – why don’t you brief them on that a little bit?
Omega: I think it just started as a bit of a joke on the forum where sometimes we’re all on the same play and it’s going into third period and you don’t know what’s going to happen. We started saying hey, we’ve got to start sending some positive mojo to that team! And the next thing you know, the positive outcomes happened in our favor, and we started winning. So we started to use ‘good mojo’ to wish good fortune to each other. And ironically, I guess it follows me around a bit. I coach hockey, and a bunch of the players on my team actually get me to tape their sticks for them before the game, because they say that it’s good mojo if we score. And so – I don’t know, it’s just something with the mojo. You believe in it, you think positive, you expect positive, and positive usually happens.
Scott: There you go. If you’re one of those guys right now having a bad streak, you just need to get on board with the good mojo train.
Omega: There you go.
Scott: We’re coming up to the end of the NHL regular season, so what are your predictions for the playoffs? Is there a favorite, maybe a dark horse?
Omega: Well, the interesting thing about the playoffs is, there’s always a team that just seems to squeeze into the playoffs and just goes on an amazing run. Last year it was the Los Angeles Kings – they barely made the playoffs and they peaked at the right time – and obviously the rest was history. They went through and had an amazing run, and won the Stanley Cup. This year the team that I would be really, really worried about as a frontrunner is a team like Minnesota. They’ve been on an amazing run. Like Winnipeg – they’re still fighting to make the playoffs, we’re not 100% sure if they’re going to be in there. But if they squeak in, they’re a mean, nasty piece of business. They play a tough brand of hockey, they play a heavy game of hockey, great goal defending now, and if I was facing them in the first round of playoffs, I’d be very very nervous. Another team that can surprise a few people is Calgary. Calgary has just had a phenomenal run, there isn’t a lot of superstars on the team – they’ve got solid goal tending and they’ve got 20 guys all pulling in the right direction. They play hard and don’t quit – I think they’re one of the most successful teams at being down in the third period and coming back to win games. They’re some of the darker horses; the teams that are looking good – St Louis has been a solid team all year. They’re built to go far in the playoffs. Their only question mark will be goal tending. Their number one guy, Brian Elliot, he’s had a solid year; but he hasn’t had a successful track record in this season yet. So we’ll have to see how they do. Chicago – you can never count them out, they’re just a great team, a great Stanley Cup experience. They can go far. It seems like Washington can go far. A team like Nashville can go far. A team like Montreal, they can go far if they want to. They went to the finals last year and I dare say if Carey Price didn’t get hurt, it could’ve gone in their favor. A team like the New York Rangers, they’ve just got so much speed, so much skill, great goal tending… they’re a team that I think right now, if I was going to say who I see going into the Stanley Cup final, I think I’d be leaning a little bit strongly toward the Rangers right now.
Scott: OK. And of course we’ve talked about this, and anyone who knows you and follows you knows that you’re having really unbelievable results in most of the major sports – NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB. It’s clear that you really know your stuff and that’s why I’d like to know your thoughts on the next MLB season down here. Monday I was just down at the opening day for the Cincinnati Reds as we whipped the Pirates – but I want to know which teams look strong to you and are ready to fight.
Omega: Scott, in terms of baseball, I don’t know where these guys get the idea that I’m really good at baseball. I hate baseball. I play it – but if I take a look at it – last year was my first foray into baseball. And for me, my live betting strategies… I hate the game.
Scott: OK, but you had some success with it. Would it be safe to say, then, that you also really relied on the community and people to kind of help you out?
Omega: Absolutely. It comes down to knowing what sort of investor you are. And I’m not a Warren Buffet investor when it comes to baseball. I’m strictly the day trader. And the type of plays that I like winning and doing well with are ‘no runs scored in the first innings’, ‘no runs scored in certain innings’, ‘who’s going to get the first hit’, ‘who’ll get the first home run’. More doing prop bets – those are the sort of things that I like in baseball.
Scott: OK. So, kind of as a way of parting – I think you’ve given us a lot of information here today; in fact I’d encourage everyone to listen to this one. I think you’ve got to hear something at least seven times before it really starts to soak in. And I think this interview would be a good one to listen to maybe seven times, really get all that information to soak in. But just as a way of parting – you got any final tips for the listeners?
Omega: Yeah. I would really like to talk about how I use data. NHL.com is just chock full of useful information. And if you’re not using it – I’ve shared it on the forum, I’ve shared the link – the data that you can use and apply to each game is phenomenal. One of the stats that I love utilizing is who scores first. And when a team scores first… a great team, the most profitable teams that I’ve made money on all year, are the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. Now, Scott, you take a look – if Washington scores first, they win 86% of their games. When not score first, they win 0.211% of their games. That’s stunning. So if you’re taking a look and like, I’ll just pick two teams for an example, let’s just say Washington was playing Chicago Blackhawks. Washington’s win percentage when they score first is 86% – Chicago’s win percentage when they get scored on first is 0.382%. So in sports investing, we’re trying to find edges. Right there I’ve got 50% edge in my favor that Washington is going to win if they’re playing Chicago and they score first. So you take a look at the premium odds for those two – the particular odds for those two opponents would be pretty close to each other. And if Washington score first, what I do is I jump on and make the play for them to win money-line or win in regulation. For me it’s been hugely successful. And they’re so consistent. If I was capping, I’d still go through all my pre-game, go through all my data, and try to see who I expect to win – so then when the game starts, I see which story’s going to unfold. So in this particular game, we’re just choosing two teams between Washington and Chicago. I’ve done my pre-game data, and with my pre-game data saying that Washington is going to win this game, and the game starts and Chicago scores the first goal. Well, of a sudden all my pre-game data is out the window. Chicago scored the first goal – now I know when Chicago scores first, their winning percentage is 76%. And I know that Washington is -.211%. Now the data goes to favor of Chicago, so I would probably make the play for Chicago to win. That’s how I utilize data. The NHL.com data – that’s the score-first and the trailing data – that’s hugely profitable. The other data that I love is overtime and shootout results. So when a game goes into overtime, now I bring up the overtime and shootout record, and I can walk through to see all of the information and see if I have an edge. Because the data there shows you the home team’s record, it shows you the opponent’s overtime and loss record when they’re at home, when they’re on the road, and you can kind of see. We’ve come across so much data in overtime that you can find an edge, for example Nashville – they’re one of the more profitable teams when they go into overtime, especially at home – they’re like 9 and 4. Anaheim is 10 and 3. New York Islanders are 6 and 1. Columbus is a team that’s not really… I mean, they’re out of the playoffs, but when Columbus moves into overtime, they’re phenomenal. Their home record is 7 and 2. So these are the type of edges that I look for and the data that I watch when games are going into overtime. And the great thing about the odds when a game goes into overtime, it’s usually a pick-em. So the odds are usually 1.85-1.85 – so you get very very good odds to jump on these plays in overtime.
Scott: It’s just so amazing to me, all the information and statistics that’s out there, and I just wholeheartedly agree – it just blows me away how intelligent you guys are. So many geniuses in the community. After spending a year with this community or so, I couldn’t even refer to this anymore as gambling. It’s so sophisticated in this day and age that it really is investing. Without a doubt.
Omega: Absolutely. Investing in mutual funds and stocks etc – it’s more risk-averse to me than sports investing, because I’ve actually lost way more money in the stock market on supposedly sure things – investing in oil companies or gold mines – next thing you know, where they’re supposed to find gold is a dry well, and your investment goes down. We’re not talking blue chip type stocks – but even with blue chip type stocks, you’re so prone to economic and global situations that can happen and really have an adverse effect on your portfolio. This is what I love about sports investing – you are 100% in control. To the extent of – well, we can’t get on the ice or on the field and play the game, but you can go through and mine all the data, and basically come to the decision that, based on all the information and all the probabilities, this particular play gives me the greatest chance for success. And it’s so good to be in control of your own destiny that way. And when it comes to money – I don’t care if you have a great financial advisor or whatever – when it comes to your money, no one cares more about it than yourself.
Scott: I agree. I second everything you said. I have spent six years in financial investing, 401K rollovers and wealth preservation – and you, the guys in the community and the guys I interview and interact with – I’m telling you I have more confidence in what you say than any of the stockbrokers or mutual fund advisers that I sat across from in those six years.
Omega: Absolutely. It’s wonderful and it can also be overwhelming, because there’s so many sports for us to invest in. And it literally can be 24/7. I’ve been caught in that habit where I’d be making money and I’m enjoying it so much that it can actually get so consuming that you start to neglect your family or your business because when you find something that’s so lucrative, it can become all-consuming. I would just caution folks to put some balances in place; and there’s nothing more important in the world than your family and your health. If you’re sacrificing either of those, then you better give yourself a little check up from the neck up and get in balance.
Scott: Omega, I think that is the positive mojo that we need to go out on.
Omega: Sounds good, my friend.
Scott: Thank you for your time today, sir.
Omega: Always a pleasure, Scott.
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