Service plays forums (also known as free sports picks forums) are where many conspiracy theories about handicappers are created, harbored and perpetuated. Members of these sites frequently promote outlandish claims that have little to no merit in an effort to cater to the lowest common denominator. Members spend countless hours defaming the same sports handicappers they are trying to get free picks from. Think about it for one moment: if these forum members truly hated the handicapping industry and genuinely believed that every handicapper was a scam-artist, why are they desperately seeking free sports picks? It’s a rhetorical question that highlights the hypocrisy often times found on these forums.
Since establishing Oskeim Sports Consulting, LLC in 2007, I have found myself on the receiving end of these conspiracy theories, many of which are defamatory as a matter of law. While I have ignored much of the noise over the years, I have also felt compelled to address many of these allegations in previous blog articles:
Over the last eight years, the same 3-5 members of the SBR Service Plays Forum have perpetuated the following claims, all of which are baseless and have no merit:
- I was disbarred from the practice of law in the state of Connecticut. In fact, I remain a member in good standing of the Connecticut Bar Association and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. I am proud of the successful law practice I developed following my graduation from the University of Connecticut School of Law. From 2000 to 2007, I was a litigation associate at the law firm of Green and Gross, P.C.;
- I post pictures of my son on social media (i.e. Twitter) in an effort to deceive the betting public into thinking that I am a “good guy.” Believe it or not, the allegation does not end there as it would not be outlandish enough for these SBR Forum members. These members take it to an entirely new level by also claiming that I do not even have a son! Similar to how President Obama had to release his birth certificate to quiet the “birthers,” I am here to dispel the SBR Forum myth with the following: my son, Trevor Morgan Keim, was born on November 13, 2011 at Anna Jaques Hospital. I could not be more proud of my son or the blessing of being his father;
- I am not a +EV sports bettor and lose over the long-term. In fact, my sports advisory firm has consistently outperformed the investment industry in each of the last seven years. These results have been achieved with industry-leading transparency, together with independent verification. I am the only handicapping service with a Code of Conduct, together with being accredited by The Better Business Bureau, CapperTek.com and CappersFile.com. Many handicapping services like to use popular buzzwords like honesty and transparency, but my firm adheres to those attributes by (a) publishing every pick after the start of each game; (b) grading each pick against a widely available line at the time of release; and (c) submitting each pick to an independent third-party monitoring service for verification. While most just talk the talk, Oskeim Sports walks the walk because I understand the simple axiom that actions speak louder than words.
- I bribed the owner of The Sports Monitor of Oklahoma to get the 29 awards I’ve achieved since 2007. This conspiracy theory continues to be perpetuated by many competitors who either (a) do not have the courage to be documented by a reputable third-party monitoring service, and/or (b) cannot afford to pay the annual fee to be documented by an independent, third-party agency. Either way, the claims that Ruth can somehow be bribed are laughable on their face as I would have many more #1 finishes at The Sports Monitor if I could simply “bribe” the owner. However, in an effort to put this baseless claim to rest, I recently joined Handicapper’s Watchdog, one of the industry’s most trusted monitoring services. As of September 23, 2014, I am a documented 54-30 (64.2%) overall, including going 20-9 (69%) in the NFL and 18-11 (62.1%) in college football.
Skepticism of the handicapping industry is both well-founded and necessary based upon the unregulated nature of the business. I have recently addressed the need for regulation and vigilant oversight of the handicapping industry in two blog articles:
At the very core of service plays forums (and its members) is a complete lack of credibility. The vast majority of the members of these forums have been exploited by unscrupulous handicapping services that robbed them blind, and their anger is real. Many have lost thousands of dollars on account of losing sports picks, subscription costs and/or a lack of money management. I understand their anger and frustration, but these members have no right, legal or otherwise, to defame my sports advisory firm with unfounded claims. And, not surprisingly, my firm is not the only reputable service targeted by members of free sports picks forums. Right Angle Sports, one of the most respected and successful services in the industry, is frequently on the receiving end of these member’s wrath. I have come to learn that you cannot make sense out of nonsense, which is why I generally ignore the nonsense that is found in free sports picks forums.
They are entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.