Michael Carlson is one of the faces of NFL in the UK and has featured as an analyst and presenter on the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky Sports as well as the Matchbook Betting Podcast. He will be a key member of our NFL Pro Panel discussing lessons learned from the season so far and insights into finding value for the remainder of the year. So we tracked him down for a quic
What is your area of expertise and what will your talk be focusing on?
Michael Carlson: My expertise, such as it is, is in the sport of [American] football, which I played and have covered in the UK for 25 years. It’s a sport of immense complexity, even as it is simple in nature, and it’s one that is evolving rapidly, in ways that have to change our perspectives on gambling.
How did you end up in the world of gambling?
Michael Carlson: I’ve entered the gambling world only peripherally, mostly from announcing poker on television and of course from covering football.
I tend to shy away from gambling on the sports I’m covering, for fear of overstepping the lines between analysis and emotional analysis.
What are you looking to get out of the Traders Conference?
Michael Carlson: Like the attendees, I’d like to pick up strategies that are not totally dependent on micro-knowledge of every match
How much have you gained over the years from listening to other gamblers?
Michael Carlson: Lots. Particularly on overall value.
In that sense, gambling resembles baseball, in that you are in for the long haul, so you play the percentages most of the time because in the long haul you will come out ahead.
What is the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given?
Michael Carlson: Nobody knows anything. Originally said by the screenwriter William Goldman about Hollywood.
What is your favorite sport to bet on and why?
Michael Carlson: It has to be American football, because the 16-game season makes each game more important, and because spread and specials betting makes it possible to narrow your options. Although, especially in the days when I was involved with it, I thought you could do pretty well with boxing, on fights where the outcome was pretty much assured not to be predetermined.
In your opinion what has been the biggest sporting moment in 2017 so far?
The Patriots amazing comeback to win Super Bowl 51 has to rank with the greatest games ever.
Though that took place in February, it was actually the end of the 2016 season so how about Sloane Stephens winning the US Open? Or the Lions taking the series in New Zealand with a draw.
What is your favorite event on the sporting calendar and why?
Michael Carlson: That’s a tough one…I’d say it’s a moveable feast.
I watched the All Ireland football final a few weeks ago, and what I like about it is the lingering sense that the players are still relatively amateur, relatively natural-sized, and relatively free to play on the day.