Friday, March 30, 2007

Sports Betting Made Easy

I love to bet on sports so today, due to a situation last night, I'll share some insight into how to make money finding 'fishy' lines.

Sports betting like most gambling is about patience and discipline. The more times you go to the window the more you give the house an advantage so I've learned how to take the quality over quantity approach by betting larger amounts on fewer plays. I follow the daily lines and I keep up with a number or trends, but what I'm really looking for are lines that are either too good to be true,(fishy) public baiting, (where the bookies trap the public) and flat out mistakes.(though seldom sometimes the books fuck up and make bad lines)

It takes some time to learn the counterintuitive thinking needed to figure out the difference between a bad line and a trap but I now feel comfortable enough that when I see through the linemakers intent I make the play no matter how much my logical reasoning might disagree. Since the start of football these plays are hitting about 75%, too bad they don't happen with more frequency.

Last night the situation to make money presented itself and I was there to take advantage. Memphis played at Portland and the line in question is the Over/Under which opened at 198. Now in doing some research these two teams played in late January and again in late February with the following O/U.

1/23 Portland at Memphis. Total 209'. Final Portland 135 Memphis 132. So the game goes way over the total for an easy winner.

2/27 Memphis at Portland. Total 208. Final Memphis 103 Portland 102. The game goes under but just barely.

So all of a sudden last night we have a huge 10 point drop in the expected number. There are no major injuries, both teams are at full strength and basically just trying to get the season finished. So this is the first red flag.

Memphis scores points. The average O/U in their last ten games is 209' 8 of which have gone over the total. Portland struggles to score points. Their average O/U in their last 10 games is 192 with 5 going over the total.

Now in the NBA when you have a tempo conflict as these two teams, you have to determine whether the up tempo team causes the slow tempo team to pick up its pace or vice versa. Here there is a good mix throughout the league, teams like Golden St or Phoenix are up tempo teams that force action, Indiana and Chicago are slow tempo teams that slow down the action, then there are the fickle teams like Houston or Charlotte that play either style.

My thoughts here are Memphis will force Portland to pick up its pace as evident in the linesmakers previous numbers and also from the previous scores. So again the question I ask myself is why is this number so low? Seems like the Over is the easy and obvious play.

Before I go forward let's clear up one very big myth, that the bookies want half the money on each side of the action thus guaranteeing a profit. Total Myth. Booking bets is a business and if in this business the books can take advantage of a perception causing 80% of money to come in on one side when they are confident the other side will prevail they will gamble per se and set a line accordingly. When a number is made as such there are two sides to be on, the public side or the house side, and if you have action on this game you better hope you're on the house side.

With that said there are three types of line moves in sports betting; the steam, and the public, and the lay off. The steam is where the big time smart bettors (sharps) see a line they feel is a mistake and hammer it causing a jump of up to 2 points. This happens almost immediately after a number is posted or perhaps when inside info is known. Historically you want to be on the side of the steam.

The public(squares) moves are slow movements caused by the accumulation of Joe Publics money liking a certain side. Historically you don't want to be on this side.

The lay off money occasionally moves a line but its when bookies from all over the country have runners here in Vegas laying off or hedging a certain side to eliminate risk. This usually happens in the last 30 minutes before a game starts. If a bookie in Boston has 90% of his clients money bet on say the Patriots, he will sometimes have runners bet the other side so in case the Patriots kill the Jets the bookie doesn't get cleaned out.

Back to the Memphis-Portland game. The line opens at 198 and immediately the steam hits it and bets it down to 195. This is a huge swing. 3 points this fast is rare so it sends up another red flag.

Over the course of the day the number slowly climbs up to 196' meaning the public is slowly but surely thinking they found a mistake and I'm guessing 90% of the action now coming in is on the Over. I talk to a couple friends and all are thinking about playing the Over, again feeling the line is a mistake.

For me, when situations as above come together, I bet the other side, in this case the Under. It's also a situation where no matter what the line is, whether I have any personal opinion or not, I make the bet. Always! Now like I said it doesn't always win but it wins 75% of the time which in sports betting is as near as a lock as you'll ever see.

Final Score Memphis 96 Portland 92 for a total of 188. That's an easy winner if you bet the Under.

Follow the steam, get on the house side and not the public side, and if it looks too good to be true it probably is. Those three things alone takes the edge from the house and gives that edge to you and we all know whether sports betting or poker, it's all about having that edge.

Good Luck at the windows this weekend.


At 12:11 PM, Blogger jjok said...

very interesting......

At 12:18 PM, Blogger DrChako said...

Good meeting you in Vegas. I still can't remember the cross street in DelRay.


At 1:58 PM, Blogger Tom said...

I play teasers because I'm a pussy, but I also bet fairly large amounts and win a very large % of the time. I teased the Portland game and the Bulls game, taking the Under on both. $500 bet.

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Great post, Don. Very interesting.

Now please tell me the steam is on Georgetown tomorrow against Ohio State.

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Raveen said...

definitely just opened me up to a whole other language that I know nothing about...interesting post though

At 11:09 PM, Blogger smokkee said...

i see strange lines on NFL games every so often (too good to be true). gonna pay closer attn to that this season. good post.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Great post. I actually just bet on the football games because I feel like I do better (mainly because I follow football a lot closer than any other sports). And I do a lot of teasers in football because that's almost too easy, I feel. But now that you mention that, I am definitely going to start paying a lot closer attention to the lines that seem "obvious."

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Schaubs said...

so how did it turn out?


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