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I'm on a 590-551-22 roll with comp plays the past 694 days following Wednesday's Run Line split (Winner - Cards; Loser - Blue Jays). No Video Report today; I'll be returning on Friday. As usual when I don't have a video you can find your free pick in this space.

For Thursday I'm going to back the Cubs (-145 on the Run Line) on the road against the White Sox.

Chicago's Jon Lester's was struggling when the calendar flipped to July. His first start on the 4th was no celebration as he allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings at Tampa. Five days later at Wrigley was even worse as he was pounded for 10 runs on six hits by the Pirates in a game he managed to record just two outs.

Since the All Star break, however, both the Cubbies and Lester have charted a more positive course. The team has won 10 of 12 and the veteran left-hander bounced back from those aforementioned debacles with strong performances at Atlanta (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 6 K) and home versus St. Louis (8 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 10 K).

The White Sox, who went 0-5 on their last homestand, returned to the south side last night and lost once more, 8-3, to Jake Arrieta. They're in a 2-14 slump as they also lost at Wrigley on Tuesday, 7-2, after winning Monday's series-opener, 3-1.

The Pale Hose have lost each of Mike Pelfrey's last three starts and he has a 6.08 ERA in four July outings.



10 of 15 Winning Football Seasons

(NFL & College Combined)


212-166-13 NFL Roll
past five years combined
(FYI - 99% of my plays are rated between 5 and 15 dimes)

with highest rated 30 Dime NFL releases
past five years combined

Most Recent Release

1/18/15 - Seattle/New England Teaser - Winner

103-74-7 Run
with NFL 15 Dimers past six seasons


Biggest NBA Plays Since 2009


15 Dime Releases


100-74-3 Record


Payment Types

Top-Rated 15 Dime Release

Another Afternoon Bankroll Builder

Has not started yet

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Gotta love Chris Sale.

The Red Sox needed a win.

I needed a win.

We're both happy.

Sale dominated Seattle and I picked up a third Top-Rated 15 Dimer in as many days on Wednesday as Boston beat the Mariners 4-0 at Safeco to snap a four-game skid. 

But, let's be real: I'm still 16-27 over the past 43 days, a lousy stretch after a winning seven-week roll. Yeah, I'm still up big because I've limited the damage as always because I don't play big favorites, relying on smaller chalks and dogs with a healthy mix of run line releases along the way.

However, there's no denying 16-27 still SUCKS.

But, it's better than the 13-27 mark I was staring at after Sunday's action.

As for the comp plays, I'm on a 590-551-22 roll the past 693 days following Wednesday's Run Line split (Winner - Cards; Loser - Blue Jays).

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Al DeMarco's Rating System

Over the 25 years I've been doing this, one of the biggest misconceptions I've encountered from customers is their belief that winningpercentageactually matters in this business. Bottom line is that a straight-up winning percentage means absolutely nothing when your handicapper - such as myself - releases rated selections. Read further and you'll understand why.


I use the "dime" rating system, going in 5 dime increments, generally keeping those plays between 5 and 50 dimes. Yes, that's a wide range, but truth be told, I usually max out around 30 dimes, rarely venturing into the rarefied air toward 50 dimes unless I've built a substantial bankroll. Doing anything different would be irresponsible bankroll management on my part and a total disservice toward you, my clients.


I like to keep it simple from a money-management system so my customers can always know exactly how they should beallocatingtheir bankroll in proportion to the rating I assign to a selection.


Obviously, a 50 Dime play is five times stronger than a 10 Dime release and twice as strong as a 25 Dime pick.


And each day when you see my compiling or mentioning my NET profit figures, keep in mind I've computing them based on the following formula:


Net Profit = Wins - Losses- Vig


Of course let's not forget my golden rule of gambling: Never bet more than you can afford to lose. No rating system - including mine - is effective unless you pay attention to that rule. By heeding my advice you can never fall into a financial abyss from which there is no escape.


A question gamblers always pose is "How much should I be playing?" Obviously, there is no set, firm answer, but my advice would be to follow my money management system and base the size of your wagers on a percentage of your total bankroll.


Let me explain further...


Take your total bankroll - the amount you can afford to lose in an absolute worst case scenario on a single day. Let's say it's $400 on a college football Saturday. And on that Saturday I release a 50 Dime play and two 20 Dime picks.


Let's do some quick math...I've got atotalof 90 dimes of action on the table (one 50 dime play and two 20 dimers).  You've got amaximum one-day bankrollof $400. Simply divide the $400 by the 90 dimes and you've got a per dime wager of $4.44.


Now it's time for some simple multiplication. If a dime is worth $4.44, my 50 Dime rated release equals approximately a $222 wager on your part. And my two 20 Dime rates picks equal approximately $88.88 wagers each. Add everything back up and you've got your initial $400 bankroll all over again.


This obviously all applies to a single wagering day. It's up to you to figure out how to allocate your bankroll over the course of a week or month.


Now, back to how inconsequential winning percentages can be: Let's say I have a 50 Dime play and three 10 Dime releases on an NFL Sunday. If I win the 50 Dime play and go 0-3 with the 10 Dime releases, my overall record is a dismal 1-3 but my net profit is a healthy 17 dimes. Conversely, let's say I lose the 50 Dime play and go 3-0 with the 10 Dime releases. My overall record is an impressive 3-1, but my net profit is a negative -25 dimes.


Which would you prefer, the losing record and winning day, or the winning record or losing day?


Believe what you want, but I'm telling you the truth: Winning percentage means nothing in this business as the above illustration will prove time and time again. Of course, crafty salesmen masquerading as handicappers can spin gold using the second scenario, but I feel it's my job to educate you about what is the TRUTH in this business - whether you become my customer or not.

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NATIONAL LEAGUE, Thursday, July 27, 2017
12:05 PM 901 MIL (M Blazek -R)
902 WAS (M Scherzer -R)
7:10 PM 903 CIN (R Stephenson -R)
904 MIA (C O'grady -L)
7:15 PM 905 ARI (Z Godley -R)
906 STL (L Weaver -R)
9:10 PM 907 NYM (C Flexen -R)
908 SDG (L Perdomo -R)
AMERICAN LEAGUE, Thursday, July 27, 2017
12:10 PM 909 LAA (J Ramirez -R)
910 CLE (T Bauer -R)
12:35 PM 911 OAK (S Manaea -L)
912 TOR (M Stroman -R)

7:05 PM 913 TAM (C Archer -R)
914 NYY (C Sabathia -L)
INTERLEAGUE, Thursday, July 27, 2017
8:10 PM 915 CUB (J Lester -L)
916 CWS (M Pelfrey -R)
NATIONAL LEAGUE, Friday, July 28, 2017
7:05 PM 951 ATL
952 PHI
7:05 PM 953 COL
954 WAS
7:10 PM 955 CIN
956 MIA
8:10 PM 957 CUB
958 MIL
8:15 PM 959 ARI
960 STL
10:10 PM 961 SFO
962 LOS
10:10 PM 963 PIT
964 SDG
AMERICAN LEAGUE, Friday, July 28, 2017
7:05 PM 965 TAM
966 NYY
7:05 PM 967 LAA
968 TOR
7:10 PM 969 KAN
970 BOS
7:10 PM 971 HOU
972 DET
8:05 PM 973 BAL
974 TEX
8:10 PM 975 CLE
976 CWS
10:05 PM 977 MIN
978 OAK
INTERLEAGUE, Friday, July 28, 2017
10:10 PM 979 NYM
980 SEA
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