Category Archives: Sports

Sports Betting Math

Sports Betting Most people who want to place bets on sports are fans to begin with. It isn’t unheard of for a gambler to place some sports bets, especially during big games like the Super Bowl or the NCAA basketball Final Four, but for the most part, sports bettors are sports fans looking to use their knowledge of a game or of a game’s players to earn a little extra cash. Being a fan of a particular sport, a team, a college or professional squad—these are all precursors to placing sports bet. Sports betting is also a way for a fan to get in on the action of the game, with something more than self-respect at stake.

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All gambling is mathematics, even games of chance. If you understand the math behind the game, you understand the game and can give yourself an advantage. For many games, like penny slots or poorly placed roulette bets, are so bad that smart bettors earn their advantage by avoiding them altogether. In sports betting, the math is more complicated. Depending on your favorite sport, you may need to think about things like bye weeks, underdogs, quarterback ratings, and injuries with the same fervor other connoisseurs reserve for fancy winces.

So how difficult is sports betting math? The math behind placing a winning bet is fairly complicated, but the way to stay ahead of the bookmaker is rather straightforward. If you collect on 52.4% of your bets, you’ll break even. We’ll have more details on that number later, including why it takes more than 50% wins to break even, but first some general knowledge about sports gambling and the numbers behind it.

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Sports Betting Basics

The easiest way to demonstrate the math behind a sports bet is to make up an example. Let’s say you and your buddy walk into a casino, each with $200 burning a hole in your pocket. There’s a big game on tonight, the Cowboys and the Redskins, so you wander into the sportsbook to check up on the latest news about the game. While you’re sitting there, you see the wagering board, with some funny numbers on it. It looks like this:

428 Cowboys +175
429 Redskins -4 -200 38

Some of this is easy enough to read. The Redskins -4 means the Redskins are favored to win and must do so by at least 5 points for a bet on the ‘Skins to pay out. The next number (-200) is the moneyline, in this case the Redskins are a 2/1 favorite. The last number (38) is the total, the over/under of the expected number of points scored in the game.

More on Placing Sports Bets

Look at that over/under number, in this case 38. If you or your buddy thinks this is going to be a particularly high or low scoring game, based on your knowledge of the team’s offenses and defenses, or information about a hurt player or bad playing conditions, you can place a wager on the total of points scored.

So how is a guy supposed to know how to literally lay down a sports bet? You need to know three things:

*the type of bet you want to make
*the number of the corresponding team you have chosen and
*the amount you wish to wager

Knowing all that beforehand gives the ticket writer the details he needs to write the ticket without having to bend over backwards to process your bet.

Sports Betting Odds

Remember at the beginning when we talked about the magic number necessary to guarantee a break-even week in sports betting? If you read enough about sports betting, you’ll hear this number repeated often: 52.4%. If a bettor can win 52.4% of his bets, he’ll break even. Where does that number come from?

When betting the spread, you get odds of -110. Sometimes, sportsbooks will offer a -105 line as a promotion or to welcome new business. But for the most part, if you’re betting the spread, you’re getting -110.

We draw that 52.4% break even number right out of the odds. -110 is equivalent to 11/10. That means if you bet 21 games, you’d have to win eleven of them and lose ten of them to break completely even. Even at -105, you’d still have to win an astounding 51.2% of the time just to break even.

If you don’t trust the basic math behind this break-even principle, look at another real-world example. Let’s say you get really into sports betting after your Cowboys cream the Redskins and you go home with a nice fat wallet. You then bet on the next 10 Cowboys games, winning six times and losing four times. That 60% betting record (with the odds of -110 that is traditional for against the spread bets in football) will leave you with a profit of $160. Think about it—your $600 profit from your 6 winning bets minus the $440 you lost on losing bets leaves $160. It took you $1,100 to win $160, meaning you have to bet $6.87 to win $1 on average. So you see the small differences between a 52.4% winning rate and a 60% winning rate—inside those 7.3 percentage points lies hundreds of dollars in profit.

Now imagine instead that you lost one of those six winning bets, leaving you with a 50% betting record. You spent a total of $1,100, won $500, and lost $550. That means overall your 50% record drained your wallet by $50. That’s where the vigorish will get you. Not even winning half the time is good enough to break even in sports betting.

Professional Sports Bettors

Believe it or not, some people really do bet on sports for a living. Maybe they work part time at a sportsbook or in some other marginal job in the casino industry, but there is a group of gamblers who bet on sports for their life’s work. With all the math swirling around in our heads after the last bit of the article, it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to do this for a living.

If you know that a 52.4% record will mean you break even, the simplest way to turn sports betting into a career is to bet enough so that a 53% winning record will bring in the kind of money you want to make.

Another example. After your successful Cowboys experiment, you decide to invest $10,000 in sports gambling over the first four months of the following football season. That $10,000 is set aside to win or lose in sportsbooks.

You plan on betting on 160 games during your investment period. You dream of a 55% winning record because your win-loss with a 55% winning record would give you an 88-72 record. That’s an expected profit of +8.8 units. How did we get to that number? To calculate your units, subtract the total of your losses (multiplied by 1.1 to include the vig) from your wins and you’ll get your unit profit.

Placing $460 bets on each of these games, a number pulled from some quick and dirty math about how much you could afford to bet in a single week’s NFL play without blowing your bankroll, would result in a $4,048 profit if you maintain that 55% winning record. Turning $10,000 into $14,048 in just four months is an investment return of 40.48%. I dare you to ask your bank for that kind of return on your savings account.

But that’s all assuming you can pick the winner 55% of the time. Do your research, look into the records of professional sports gamblers. 55%, while not impossible, would place you among the elite sports bettors in the country, if not the world.

Professional sports bettors have to worry about variance more than any other type of gambler. Working against the forces of variance means managing your bankroll over the course of the season to avoid the negative possibilities that could totally empty your wagering account. Professional sports bettors have the time and resources necessary to calculate these variances, and there are even a few pieces of software out there that can help you figure out your ideal bet in the face of negative variance. But the bottom line is that professional sports bettors would dream of having a 55% winning record, simply because it guarantees you’re beating the house.

Pro bettors make their money on bets that sportsbooks offer that give them even the slightest betting advantage. The key to becoming a profitable sports bettor is being able to find advantages, opportunities where the line a book is offering is vulnerable.

This is why many long-term sports bettors are math freaks. Good sports bettors understand statistics, particularly what are called inferential statistics, though any higher math will help when it comes time to place a bet.

Here is what a professional baseball bettor might do in his head. After looking over statistics from MLB (kept religiously by all sorts of bloggers, data archives, and magazines) between the years 2000-2010, he notices a particular statistic pop out. For example: when the home team starts a left-handed pitcher the day after a loss, that team wins 59% of the time. Good sports bettors can do this sort of math in their head or very quickly on paper. From that bit of information comes a new betting theory—look for game situations that mirror the above example and bet on them. That means he’ll only bet games where the home team starts a left-handed pitcher the day after a loss. Does he just jump in and start betting based on this back of the napkin math? No way. More statistical analysis is required—he may find that this was a fluke for that particular decade and isn’t a trustworthy statistics, or he may find an even more advantageous bet based on his original theory.

Pro sports bettors also keep near-obsessive records of their bets. Obviously, no edge in sports betting lasts longer than a single game. Taking proper records will also help you test theories, like the above one about left-handed pitchers and losses. Without taking good records, no sports bettor’s bankroll will last very long.

What Is a Good Record for Sports Bettors

So, at the end of the day, what could you call a “good” record for a sports bettor? Most casual gamblers looking into sports betting see a pro advertising his 1100-900 record and shake their head a little. How could such an abysmal record be something to be proud of? That’s a 55% winning percentage, and it indicates to those in the know that this bettor is actually turning a profit placing bets on sports.

A good record for a sports bettor is any record equal to or larger than 52.4%, because that number or anything higher means you’re not losing money. A 53% winning record, while not impressive on paper, means you’re actually beating the sportsbook and putting money back in your pocket. Ask your friends that play the slots or play online poker how often they end up putting money back in their pocket.

A -110 wager, standard for spread bets in the NFL, gives the house a built-in advantage of 10%. It means that even if you do win, and you line up to collect your $100, some sucker behind you just spent $10 to hand the casino $100.

A good record for sports bettors is any record that ensures they at least break-even. If you bet 16 games this NFL season and you won 9 and lost 7, you probably made money. And taking money away from a casino is always something to be proud of.

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Types of Sports Betting

Sports BettingWhen most people think of sports betting they tend to think of it in its traditional form. That is, simply placing straightforward wagers on the outcome of sporting events. Even though the internet has changed things dramatically, online sports betting is still largely about making traditional wagers. However, there are a few other ways of betting on sports too.

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In Play Betting

Most sports betting sites offer in play betting these days, and it’s one of the most popular ways to bet on sporting events. Although, relatively speaking, it is something of a new development, in a few years it has had a huge impact on the way people place wagers. It’s also incredibly straightforward. Basically, it’s all about placing wagers while a sporting event is taking place rather than before it starts.

It’s also known as live betting and it opens up a whole new range of betting opportunities. There are all kinds of different wagers you can place such as which player or which team will score next. One of the biggest reasons it’s so popular is that it allows you to get a feel for how an event is turning out before deciding where to put your money.

Exchange Betting

Exchange betting is another relatively new development in the world of sports betting. It has proved to be incredibly popular though and many people now choose to place their wagers in this way. The wagers you can place are essentially the same as in traditional sports betting but there is one fundamental difference in the way it works. Instead of using the services of a bookmaker, you are betting against other people who are taking the opposite position to you.

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Fantasy Sports Betting

Playing fantasy sports is not about betting directly on the outcome of sporting events at all. It’s still about trying to make money out of your sporting knowledge. The basic concept is that you create a fantasy team by picking your chosen players and then put that team up against teams created by other players. The betting aspect is that you stake money on how your team will perform against your opponents.

You can play on a number of sports and there are various ways in which you can wager money. Playing fantasy sports has become very popular and it’s a great way to combine having a bit of fun and also trying to win some money.

Spread Betting

There are actually two types of spread betting. One is betting on the point spread, which is a very common way of betting on sports – particularly in America.

The other form of spread betting is not quite as straightforward, or as common. It can be very profitable but there is also a lot of risk involved too. This is because the amount of money won or lost is not a fixed stake, but varies depending on how accurate a wager is.

In some ways it’s similar to totals betting, in that you predict whether a specific value (for example the number of goals scored in a soccer match) will be higher or lower than the amount set by a bookmaker. However, wagers are settled based on how much higher or lower the value is. To understand exactly how this works, please read our dedicated page on the subject.

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How to Bet on College Football

College FootballThe college game is a completely different animal from its NFL counterpart, providing bettors with a greater slate of games throughout the week, including 30+ matchups on Saturday alone. We will prepare by starting with the basic college football betting types, including: spread bets, moneyline, totals, parlays/teasers and halftimes.

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Spread Bets

Just like the NFL, college football’s most popular wager is the spread bet. The spread is a type of bet that equalizes the chance of winning a wager (see example below). The spread, or line, for college football is generally released days in advance of the game (these release dates will vary due to college football’s games taking place Tuesday-Saturday). An underdog team’s spread will be accompanied with a “+”, while a “-” indicates a team that is favored. The example below demonstrates an example of a spread bet:

Team Spread Final Score
Michigan +3 -115 30
Ohio State -3 -105 31

The juice for this game is -115 for the underdog. The juice can be thought of as a fee the bookmaker charges for you to place the bet. Typically, the juice for any side wager is -110, but several sportsbooks offer reduced juice. In this example, a winning bet of $115 would yield $100 profit, for a total of $215 ($115 bet + $100 profit = $215 total). Despite losing the game, Michigan covered the spread by losing by less than 3 points.

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Moneyline

A Moneyline (ML) takes the spread out of the equation as bettors simply pick who they think will win the game. Different odds placed next to each team will quantify the payout of betting on either team. The example below from the SI Archive should clarify things:

Team Moneyline Final Score
Michigan State +260 7
Alabama -375 49

As you can see, a bet of $375 on Alabama would yield a profit of $100. Generally, the Moneyline is a direct reflection of the spread. For example, the spread for this game closed at 7.5, which helps to explain the drastic ML odds. With the amount of games available on any given Saturday, a bettor may choose to parlay (see below) several big favorites, which will increase the risk AND the payout of the wager.

1st Quarter/Half Lines

Every major U.S. sport is broken down into division, whether it is quarters, halftimes, periods, or innings. Naturally, the bookmakers have made available wagers for these partitions, and for NCAA football, they are known as the 1st quarter and Halftime lines. As one might expect, the 1st quarter line is generally a quarter of the entire game’s line, while the first half line is usually about half of the entire spread. These lines are available at all reputable sportsbooks.

Halftime Lines

Halftime wagers are only available during halftime of the contest.

Team Halftime Score Halftime Spread Final Score
Duke 10 +10 28
North Carolina 21 -10 35

Halftime lines use the events of the 1st half to help determine how the rest of the game will play out. In this example, the bookmakers expect the Tar Heels to continue to dominate their rivals, however, the Blue Devils endure the 1st half deficit to help cover the halftime spread, despite losing the overall game. Halftime action can be a good way to capitalize on middle plays.

Totals

Another popular side bet for NCAA Football is the Total or Over/Under (O/U). The sportsbooks determine what they believe will be the total points scored by EACH TEAM and the bettor places a wager on the over or under of that total. The example below shows the final total for the 2011 Texas Bowl:

Team Opening O/U Closing O/U Final Score
Illinois 61.5o -105 64.5o -110 38
Baylor 61.5u -115 64.5u -110 14

Like many bowl games, the majority of bets in this contest were placed on the over, to the tune of 77%. In this instance, public money pushed the total line up three full points, while the final total landed under at 52. A wager of $115 on the opening under would earn a profit of $100 due to the increased juice originally placed on the under.

Parlay/Teasers

A parlay is spread, moneyline, or total bet in combination to increase the payout. In order for a parlay to payout, or hit, EACH one of the wagers must win. A teaser involves the same stipulations as a parlay, only you select a number of points to put down to decrease the risk (and reward) of a parlay. For example, if a proposed line is -7 (a popular number for football lines) and you have a 3-point teaser bet, your new line is -4. This 3-point advantage applies to each part of the teaser play. Below is a chart of the typical parlay payout structure:

# of Teams Payoff
2 2.64/1
3 6/1
4 12.28/1
5 24.35/1
6 47.41/1
7 91.42/1
8 175.44/1
9 335.85/1
10 642.08/1
11 1226.70/1
12 2342.79/1
13 4473.51/1
14 8541.25/1
15 16306.94/1

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Major Line Moves

betting oddsA major line move is as sudden, drastic and uniform line movement across the entire sports betting marketplace.

This is often the result of a sudden overload of money placed at multiple sportsbooks and, in most cases, occurs due to betting groups, betting syndicates and a few key players with the resources to “get down heavily” at multiple locations, all at once.

Since the advent of sports betting, the holy grail in sports betting strategies has been to beat the move.

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This strategy had its ups and downs for years. Blindly following every move caused a lot of players to go broke. Wiseguys knowingly bet on the wrong side just to obtain a more favorable number when they finally “bought back” on the other side.

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Some of biggest names in sports betting (The Billy Walters’ of the world) do exactly that. By betting $50K on the home team, they’d force an overreaction in the market. Once this occurred, they’d then bet $150K on the side they wanted, usually getting a 1.5-point to 2-point move in their favor.

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Betting Against the Public

online betting Betting Against the Public is one of the most popular and simplest methods used . The logic is simple: always bet against the public. Whichever team the public is loading up on, simply bet the other team.

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There is a reason why sportsbooks are in business. We’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to conclusively prove that the Betting Against the Public betting strategy will produce a positive return on investment.

How can simply Betting Against the Public produce a profitable result?

The answer is based on psychology. The public loves to bet favorites and “overs”. It’s human nature to root for winners and scoring. The media, which over-hypes winning teams that score a lot of points, further inflates this human tendency. Sportsbooks understand this and shade their lines accordingly. Sportsbooks do not look to balance their books. They look to exploit sports bettors’ tendencies by shading favorites and overs.

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With the difference in long-term winning and losing measured by 1-3%, continually getting an extra 0.5 to 1.0 point every time you bet an underdog or under will increase your win percentage by 1-3%. This is a measurable fact!

Every new season we update the betting percentage data and tally our earnings from betting against the public. We also reveal the latest optimal betting percentage threshold when betting against the public. Is it 65% or maybe 70%? Every sport is different so check back at the beginning of every season for an updated report.

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Sports Betting Strategies

online betting siteThe following concepts represent some of the most lucrative historical betting trends and are the same tools used by sharp bettors to turn consistent profits.

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Betting Against the Public

Betting Against the Public is one of the most popular and simplest methods used by Sports Insights to maximize value in the sports betting marketplace.

Reverse-Line Movement

We’ll show how analyzing betting trends data and line movement can help you identify which games the sharp money (wagers placed by sharps, wiseguys or betting syndicates) is taking.

Major Line Moves

Our major line move analysis explains how to interpret line moves across the sports betting marketplace in order to find value.

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Shading Sports Betting Lines

This article explains how sportsbooks shade their lines to exploit human tendencies and how you can take advantage by using our Betting Against the Public strategy.

Shopping for the Best Line

Shopping for the best possible number is an easy way to improve your winning percentage over the course of an entire season.

The Importance of Units Won

Understanding the importance of units won vs. winning percentage will help you evaluate the true worth of any sports betting system.

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Winning at Sports Betting

sports betting site

Here there are the tips for Winning at Sports Betting

Line Shopping and Steam Chasing

Line shopping is an easy way to gain an edge. This method involves looking for sharp, trusted lines (usually from well respected, liquid books) and then finding other sites that are slow to update their lines. This can happen a lot in the last hour before game time. One book may list a team at -3 and then all of the sudden the line starts dropping, first to 2.5 and then all the way down to 2 and finally 1.5. However, while the line is at -2.5 at one book, another may still have -3. This would provide a great opportunity to take the underdog and “chase the steam.”

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Tailing a Respected Capper

Sometimes, you will find a handicapper who sells or gives away picks who has a solid track record. There are a few reputable sites that offer picks for sale that you can use to profit. Being early is key here, as this can be where the “steam” mentioned above often originates. If a big time syndicate is pounding a line into shape, you want to be in as early as possible, before books catch on and adjust.

Bonus Chasing

Bonuses are in shorter supply than in years past, but there are still good values to be found here. Sportsbooks often offer a “first time deposit” bonus or a reload bonus for players who are depositing. This can be a goldmine when played correctly. It is good to always try and max out the bonus while it is available. So if a book offers a reload bonus of 20% up to a $2000 deposit, it is in your best interest to deposit the full amount and take advantage of the $400 bonus. Signing up for a new book just to get the bonus is often a good play as well. Hunt online for books, talk to your friends, and search forums to find the best bonuses available. Be especially aware of special bonuses during busy times such as the NFL Playoffs or big soccer betting events such as the World Cup, Euros or even the Champions League finals, since books will be highly competitive and vying for your action.

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Do It Yourself

You can also “do it yourself” and become a handicapper. However, most, if not all, information that you come up with (widely available information) is already priced into the lines. So, it doesn’t do you much good to look up the weather forecast or the coaches’ records on primetime games or other stats such as rushing yards or goals scored. The bookies, and other smart handicappers, have already pored over all this information and it has been accounted for. But if you are a computer whiz, or good with numbers, you may be able to develop a computer program to crunch tons of numbers in order to come up with an edge. A tip here: the smaller the market, the less attention paid to it, by bookies and other gamblers. So you may have a better shot at finding an edge in a smaller sport or market such as certain props.

Become the Bookie/Bet on an Exchange

Exchange betting is becoming more and more popular nowadays, with the advent of the internet and online books over a decade ago. This can allow you to effectively “become the bookie” and offer other gamblers odds on a certain outcome. Even when taking into account the house commission, this can still prove very profitable.

Let’s look at an example now.

Respected sportsbook A has a MLB baseball game listed as

Team A -130
Team B +110

You are browsing your favorite exchange and see the best available offer at

Team A -145
Team B +100

You decide to put in an offer and put up $105 to win $100 and pick Team B to win. Now the exchange will update to show

Team A -145
Team B +105

Someone decides to take your offer and bets the full $100 to win $105. Even taking into account the house’s cut (2% of all winning bets), you are still in good shape and better off than taking this bet at the well respected Book A.

Getting Paid

Of course, if you win at sports betting, it is no good unless you ultimately get paid. Make sure you bet with highly respected books for the most part, but don’t be afraid to take a shot at a smaller, up and coming book. Read up online about the book and find out what others are saying. Try the live chat and see what withdrawal options they have. Maybe start off with a small deposit and then withdraw after a few weeks and see how they treat you. If you are getting endless emails and vague answers, it might be best to avoid this book. Initiating a cashout during peak times (NCAA March Madness, Super Bowl, World Cup) might be a good idea, since the books will probably be flush with cash and able to pay to keep the business going.

Things to Avoid

Probably the most important aspect of winning at sports betting is knowing what to avoid. There is a myriad of things to avoid when betting sports. For example, try to avoid paying -110 when -105 is easily available somewhere else. Don’t bet more than normal because you’re stuck for the day/week/month/year. Don’t bet more because the game is on TV. Take any picks with a grain of salt. Most picks, especially picks that are given away, are worth their weight in gold, so 0. Occasionally you’ll find someone worth following, but chances are they are just trying to sucker you in to purchase future “locks” with the promise of a free half-season if they happen to lose.

Avoid betting on your hometown team if it becomes a big deal if you lose. What I mean is that it’s fine to bet on your hometown team, but not if a loss will cause you to automatically bet bigger and bigger on later games that day. Some fans become so emotionally invested that it is best to just watch the game and avoid making a bet. Another solid reason to avoid this is because most local bookies will bump the lines to account for heavy action on the hometown team, giving you a worse value.

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NHL Live betting

online betting siteFor every NHL game, once the action is live, bettors can place the following bets during intermissions:

For all 1st and 2nd period intermissions:

  • One handicap line
  • One money line
  • One total

We will not offer live odds after the third period in tied games, and there is no offering between OT (Over Time) and shootout.

For selected high profile games, especially so during the playoffs, we may also offer up to three alternate handicaps and totals, giving you even greater options in-play.

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As with all of the odds offered at Pinnacle Sports the margins are extremely competitive at 4%, which in American odds is 16 cent, or -108/-108. You will do well to find value like this anywhere else.

The limits are also what you have come to expect from Pinnacle Sports and will generally be as follows, though they vary by game, and may increase during the Playoffs:

  • Handicap $1,500 or equivalent in your currency
  • Money Line $3,000
  • Total $1,500

NHL Live betting strategy

Betting on an NHL game as it progresses can simply add an extra interest to watching the action unfold. Ice hockey is fast, furious and adrenalin packed, so what better way to match that excitement than by trying to interpret the ebb-and-flow of the game with a live bet.

Your basis for making a pre-game bet – such as tactics, formation & form – can quickly unravel once a game begins to unfold, so live betting enables you to wait to confirm your pre-game ideas about how things will pan out.

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As well as providing an alternative to pre-game betting, Live NHL betting can also provide a compliment. Should you bet pre-game on the Leafs to win in regular time against the Kings, and they take a 2-0 lead in the first period, you can hedge this bet using updated intermission odds by taking the expanded price on the Kings. This kind of basic hedging can work across handicaps, money lines and totals.

Understanding team mentality is vital for live NHL betting. For instance a team trailing by one goal towards the end of the game may pull their goalie and replace him with an additional attacker. However, this often leads to the winning team scoring again, rather than an equalising goal, which should interest bettors betting on games with -1.5 handicaps during the second intermission of close matches.

For more expert bettors Live NHL odds can enable correlated betting based on perceived relationships between the three main markets offered.

Hopefully you have read enough to encourage you to bet the next NHL action live

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Straight Wagers Explained

online betting siteA point spread is installed for game that tabs the favorite as well as the underdog in a particular match up. The favorite gives points, while the underdog receives points on the betting line. This handicap is installed based on what oddsmakers believe will make it an even match up. The bet is placed on which team a bettor believes will cover the line. The bet is won by picking the correct team that wins against the spread. The underdog does not necessarily have to win the game outright to cover the installed spread for them as the favorite can win the game but still not cover the spread. Spreads go strictly by margin of victory/defeat.

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he money line and and the point spread aren’t that dissimilar from each other. There is a favorite, and an underdog set in the match up. But the big difference is that there is no point spread installed for either team. The bet is placed on which team that is believed to win the game straight up with no spread. Yes, this sounds easier, but the payouts are a lot different than with a point spread. The payout on a favorite is typically very low, with much more required to risk to profit. The opposite is true for the underdog, where the payout can be much higher because they are not favored to win. A money line is set on a $100 parameter.

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Every match up for a game will typically have three basic straight wagers, of which two we’ve discussed. A point spread, and a money line are two of them. The third is a game total. The game total is set for the two teams combined points, runs, or goals in the match up. From there, a bet can be placed on whether the game total will go over that mark, or go under that mark. Betting on game totals is particularly attractive because you do not need to root for one team or the other but rather for offense or for defense. If you wager the over, you don’t care who wins as long as they are scoring a lot of points & the opposite can be said for the under.

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The best live football betting strategies

sports betting siteMatch Betting

The most-simple form of in-play betting. Fancy your side to win on the road this weekend but don’t think much of their pre-match price? Patience is a virtue. Hold your nerve with the bookies and wait it out. The longer your team stays at 0-0, struggling to break through the opposition defence, the more they will drift in the market. Confidence and timing are key here. If you keep faith in the fact that your team will score and win, wait until they ease to a price more in-line with your thinking and then get on. If you’re really confident you could even lump on your side to win the match despite going a goal behind. If you’re boys start slow and find themselves 1-0 down after 10 minutes, there’s still plenty of time to claw it back. Arsenal start week eight in the Premier League an unappealing 1/3 with Paddy Power vs Hull but it pays to remember that The Gunners were 2-0 down after eight minutes when the sides last met before coming back to take a dramatic 3-2 FA Cup win.

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Match Corners

Get a feel for the game and then make your bets. Is the match swinging from end-to-end? Are the hosts battering down on the goal of their unwelcome visitors or is the tie bogged down in midfield with neither side able to force things their way? It’s worth watching how the match has started and figuring out how it’ll shape the rest of play. Chelsea took a famous 2-0 win over Arsenal in week seven of the Premier League but much of the battle took place in no-mans-land meaning the game produced just three shots on target, all from The Blues. That sort of tussle would have me reaching for the corners market, less goalmouth action means less corners and under 10 in the game would have been a bet pretty early on, we ended up with just four. If it’s a midfield battle, back under a certain amount of corners and you’ll be happy to watch the sides cancel each other out.

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Booking

Whether it’s a relegation dog fight or derby at the top of the league, passions are sure to be running high when there’s more than just three points at stake. The first Merseyside Derby of 2014/15 ended 1-1 at Anfield thanks to goals from Gerrard and Jagielka, not much good if you came down either side of the fence pre-match. It’s always worth playing the bookings in games like this however as the referee will be all too aware of the rivalry and want to stamp his authority all over the fixture. Have a look through the line-ups and players preparing for kick-off. Is this a derby debut for anyone or are there players in the away dressing room looking a tad nervous and caught up in the occasion? Back them to be the first player booked, or back his employers to be the first team booked. The man in the middle won’t stand for too much so if you see a player push his luck early, his card will be marked, one way or another. An example of this came in the Merseyside Derby where former England skipper Gareth Barry went into the book after just 2 minutes. I’d put good money on that not being the last in live play either.

Under/Over Goals

Another market where it pays to have your trigger finger poised and ready for action. Has the game started at a nervous pace with both teams more worried about conceding than scoring themselves? Have a play on the under goals market, for example under 2.5 goals. You’ll need to have your senses about you when playing this market however as the closer the game gets to full-time, the smaller the odds will become. Watch the first 10 minutes with interest and make your play judging on how things are shaping up.

Asian Handicap

This is a valuable market but one you must fully understand before placing your bets, get it wrong and see how much sympathy you’ll get from bookmakers, and rightly so I suppose. Asian Handicap is about forgetting what has happened so far in the game and making your call on what is about to happen. If your team are 3-0 up and you think it’s free money to back them on the Asian Handicap -0.5, think again! The bet will be settled as if the game was level at the time of you having your say and the handicap re-sets after every goal scored. So if you’re team are 3-0 up after 70 minutes there’s every chance they’ll make a few changes to safeguard the points and avoid injuries, whereas if they are 3-0 up after 20 minutes, I’d say there’s more goals to come. Backing your side -0.5 means they will still have to score at least one more goal during the match.

Bet Smart

Betting is full of fads but it’s testament to in-play betting that it’s as popular now as it was when it was first announced, perhaps more so, punters just love it. However with the game in a frenzy and prices constantly updating across the board in front of your very eyes, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment! Play safe, understand the market you’re going to be betting on and keep your stakes in-line with what you would stick to before kick-off. In-play betting is all about having confidence, nerves of steel and being in the right place at the right time. Bookies still want most things on their own terms so will be watching the game on a feed which is probably a second or two quicker than your TV at home and will suspend betting when needed. If your team get a penalty you won’t be able to jump on first goal scorer, that’s for sure. They will have around an eight second time delay on you placing a bet and it being accepted, so the quicker you act the more chance you have of getting on.

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