Category Archives: Sports

Bankroll Management

WagerWebEmploying a good, consistent sports betting bankroll management system will reduce the chances of extreme losses and help turn a hobby into an investment. Check WagerWeb and find the best online betting site!!!!

What are you trying to do when we focus on money management? Simply, trying to manage your money to minimize the chances for loss and, more specifically, minimize our risk of going broke.

Here are some tips to help keep your bankroll in the black.

Reason for Betting on Sports

How do you determine how much your maximum bet is? Depends on your reason for placing sports bets. Different bettors are looking to accomplish different goals

If you’re placing bets for pure entertainment, betting $100 per game on Monday Night Football will only set you back about $5 a week if your picks break even; that’s cheaper than going to a movie every week, and if it adds excitement to your sports viewing it’s well worth the cost.

If you’re more serious about wagering on sports, you have to treat your wagers as investments. In this case, you’re basically running a business in which your bankroll is your inventory. In this case, you might set your max wager amount a little higher when you see good opportunities for investment, i.e. good lines on games that you can easily handicap.

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Use Sportsbook Tools

Bankroll management tools built into various online sportsbooks can be your best friend. Online books that post your account balance clearly on every page of the site and those that have user-friendly account management tools can be the bettor’s best friend. When selecting an online book to do business with, look into their user interface and what kind of financial tools they offer to help you keep track of your wagers.

Use Flat Betting to Maintain Profit

Flat betting means placing similar or identical bets on every game that you bet on. Varying your bet size can turn a winning day into a losing one, a situation in which you win more bets than you lose but still lose money.

f you’d used flat betting, placing the same wager on all three games, you would have turned a profit. In this example, you place a flat bet on all three games, putting up $220 to win $200 on each. Even if any one of the teams loses, you’d still profit $180. Varying your bet size puts you in a situation where picking more winners than losers doesn’t turn a profit. By placing flat bets, all you have to do to end up turning a profit is pick more winners than losers.

Bankroll management is an easy concept to learn but a difficult one to keep in practice. All gamblers have a tendency to want to take a big risk in search of a big payoff, but sticking to a fairly rigid set of rules about your bankroll can keep you from blowing your budget based on a hunch or an emotional wager. Work out your total gambling budget, your max bet size, and stick to the tips above to maintain your bankroll

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How to win at Sports Betting

Best online betting siteThere are also many ways to win at sports betting. Let’s examine some of these ways now.

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. 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.

Line Shopping and Steam Chasing

Line shopping is an easy way to gain an edge. This method involves looking for sharp, trusted lines and then finding other sites that are slow to update their lines. This can happen a lot in the last hour before game time.

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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. Hunt online for books, talk to your friends, and search forums to find the best bonuses available.

Do It Yourself

You can also “do it yourself” and become a handicapper. However, most, if not all, information that you come up with 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.

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Getting 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.

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.

Things 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.
  • Avoid betting on your hometown team if it becomes a big deal if you lose.
  • For the most part, avoid teasers, parlays, and future betting. The same goes for betting in running.

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Tennis Betting Strategy

sports betting siteWhile the live wagers offered by sportsbooks are similar to more traditional pre-match wagers, there are some key differences. By using the tips below you can make sure you get the most out of your live tennis betting experience.

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Wait for a few games to be played

The whole point of live betting is to be able to place wagers as the action unfolds, so there is no sense in jumping in too early. Watch the first few game of a given match, and take note of how each player is performing and any trends you might see developing. While you are watching the match you should also be keeping an eye on the live updated odds. It is good practice to not have a predetermined plan for when you are going to make your first wager. Rather, let the odds come up

 

Don’t fight yourself

It can be easy to make so many bets during a match that you lose track and starting making wagers that are mutually exclusive (can’t both be winners). Be sure to keep close tabs on all of the wagers you have outstanding and try not to double-cross yourself.

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Consider hedging a big win

That last point goes out the window in this one very specific scenario. Imagine you bet on an underdog early in the match, and that underdog is getting close to pulling off the upset and landing you a big win. As the match gets close toward the finish, consider a smaller bet on the other player to hedge your big win. This way, you still win if the underdog pulls it out, but you can ensure a smaller win if the favored player manages to come back and take the match.

Listen to the analysis

The commentators announcing the match for the television station are highly experienced in tennis either as players or coaches. Listen to what they are saying during the match and use their observations as a guide to direct your live wagering. They are often good at spotting trends in the points and indicating what player they expect to have an advantage over the long run.

Live tennis betting is a little bit different than traditional betting, but can be even more exciting. Use these tips to put yourself ahead of the competition and in line for big winnings.

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Sports Betting Strategy

sport bettingThe best sports bettors in the world rarely (if ever) win more than 60% of the time, so clearly betting on the outcome of sporting events is a difficult business. Because of the juice required to place bets with bookmakers, the breakeven point for sports gambling is around 53% – anything above that is pure profit. Believe it or not, sports bettors who consistently win and make a living off their hobby do exist, though they are in the minority.

What do they do and know that separates their betting habits from people who consistently lose? After all, sports bettors go through losing streaks, even those who make a living from gambling on sports. The formula is simple enough: win more often than you lose, and follow basic sports betting strategy tips, and you can profit from your wagers in the long run.

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Winning Sports Betting Strategies and Tactics

The following pieces of sports betting advice can help you turn a profit from your wagers. These basic sports betting strategies are common knowledge; nothing written in this article is a deep dark secret of the sports gambling industry. The trick is to follow these tips at all times, never letting your heart get in the way of a smart wager. If you want to win money betting on sports, you need to follow some basic strategies for sports gamblers.

Money Management / Bankroll Management

Setting aside a specific amount of money, known as your “bankroll”, will help keep your gambling on-budget. It’s true that you should never use your rent money to bet on sports, but the converse of that is that you should never use your sports betting bankroll to pay rent, if you want to be a profitable gambler.

Establishing a bankroll means deciding on an amount of cash that you can afford to lose.

Establishing a specific bankroll for a given sport’s season includes breaking that budget down by the month, the week, and per game. General sports betting strategy advice in terms of your bankroll will tell you that you shouldn’t wager more than 1% of your total bankroll per game. Anything above 1% is considered a risky bet, while wagers made up of 1% of your bankroll are considered conservative, smart wagers.

As an example, let’s say you’ve decided your bankroll for the entire NFL season is $1,000; you don’t want to wager more than $10 per NFL game. Bets of that size keep from losing too much on a bad wager, and can still help you turn a profit.

Bankroll strategy also teaches gamblers not to try to make up for losses by placing larger bets. Your brain may tell you that you have to “win back” your losses by doubling your wagers on your next round of bets, but this sort of wager manipulation is more likely to lead to even bigger losses. Always work within your established bankroll, and if you have some success, then consider increasing your wagers a few bucks at a time over the course of a season.

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Bet in Your Right Mind

There’s an expression common to all forms of gambling, known as “going on tilt.” Poker players, slot machine junkies, and sports bettors are all liable to bet “on tilt” when they let their emotions get the best of them and forget about basic strategy. Betting when you’re in your right mind means ignoring your emotions and wagering only when you are sober and in a good mood.

One way to think of placing sports wagers is to only bet when you would feel safe driving. Brick and mortar sportsbooks often include bars – why do you think that is? People who have imbibed a little too much beer or whiskey tend to place wagers based on their emotions, and as a result lose more than they win. Gambling on sports while you’re drunk (or under the influence of drugs) will keep you from using good judgment and can put your bankroll in jeopardy.

As for the advice to avoid allowing your emotions to take over, understand that being angry or even being extremely happy can impair your judgment just as easily as a few too many beers. Let’s say you’ve just experienced a round of bad beats and you’re down in the mouth – that’s the perfect time to walk away from the sportsbook until your head is clear. If you’re on a losing streak, you need to take a break before you start placing other sports bets. It’s no surprise that many professional sports bettors understand the ins and outs of meditation and emotional control; clearing your mind after a series of bad losses will help you keep your bankroll in the black.

Do the Homework

Probably the most important sports wagering tip is to do your homework before you place a bet. Researching before you place a bet means handicapping teams as well as shopping for the best lines. In fact, line-shopping is often more important than knowing the ins and outs of all the teams and players involved in your wagers. Studying your picks before you make them means comparing stats, betting trends, past performances, and hunting for the best possible lines before you lay down a bet.

More on Line Shopping

Winning sports bettors are often those gamblers that have the patience and ability to look around for the best lines. That’s one reason why opening accounts at multiple online sportsbooks is a winning strategy – different books have different lines and odds, and membership at a variety of these sites gives you the chance to find the best line and lay your money on those odds. Here’s an example; let’s say you want to bet on the San Francisco 49ers and most books are offering a point spread of 7. If you spend time line-shopping, you may find a book offering the same bet at 6.5 points or even better. Repeat that practice over the period of an entire sports betting season and you’re more likely to find yourself winning more often than you lose.

For the most part, sports betting strategy is just common sense. Establish your bankroll and acceptable bet sizes, control your emotions, avoid betting when you’re under-the-influence, and shop for the best lines. The rest is up to the teams you wager on and the finicky gods that watch over sporting events.

 

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Parlay Betting Strategy

sports betting siteA parlay is simply a combo bet where, rather than betting several teams individually, you group them into a single wager. Using this option, the payout is greater and the risk is less, but you need all teams selected to win.

To give an example, say you’re interested this week in betting Jets -4, Patriots +3, Dolphins +2.5 and Colts -7. If your bankroll is limited to just $100, using straight wagers you’d make four separate bets of $25 to win $22.73. If you we’re feeling both lucky and in the mood to gamble, you might instead bet them all together as a four team parlay. Under the parlay option, the stakes would be $100 to win at least $1,000. To win, you’ll need to go 4-0; if one or more games push while all others win, the payout is reduced, and with any other outcome, the bet is a loss.

Parlay bets can be very tempting as they can offer some big payouts.

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Are Parlays Sucker Bets?

There is a general misconception in sports betting that all parlays are sucker bets. This is simply because most sports bettors are not familiar with how they work, or how to bet them properly. In this article, I’ll address parlay betting strategies, but first let’s look at parlay odds and how they are calculated.

The parlay odds at most Las Vegas sportsbooks are:

2 teams 2.6 to 1
3 teams 6-1
4 teams 10-1
5 teams 20-1
6 teams 40-1
7 teams 80-1
8 teams 150-1

Online the odds are similar.What’s important to note is that these are fixed odds based on a 50/50 wagering proposition. If a spread is listed at Home Team -7 / Road Team +7 this is 50/50 proposition. If, instead, the spread was Home Team -7 -105 / Road Team +7 -115, this is no longer a 50/50 proposition, and the payout will be calculated using a method bookmakers refer to as “true odds”. I’ll cover that later in this article, but first let’s take a moment to understand where fixed parlay odds are derived from.

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Let’s say you decide for the next eight weeks you’re going to bet the Monday night football game, starting with a $1.00 bankroll and betting your entire bankroll each week until you go 8-0 or bust. The potential win is as follows:

Week 1: $1.00 to win $0.91: If win total profit = $0.91 (Bankroll =$1.91)
Week 2: $1.91 to win $1.74: If win total profit = $2.65 (Bankroll =$3.65)
Week 3: $3.65 to win $3.32: If win total profit = $5.97 (Bankroll =$6.97)
Week 4: $6.97 to win $6.34: If win total profit = $12.31 (Bankroll =$13.31)
Week 5: $13.31 to win $12.10: If win total profit = $24.41 (Bankroll =$25.41)
Week 6: $25.41 to win $23.10: If win total profit = $46.51 (Bankroll =$47.51)
Week 7: $47.51 to win $43.19: If win total profit = $89.70 (Bankroll =$90.70)
Week 8: $90.70 to win $82.45: If win total profit = $172.15 (Bankroll =$173.15)

The reason parlays are often sucker bets shows up in this middle column. Had you bet these in an 8 team parlay, you’d only get paid 150 to one. Essentially, a parlay is no different than betting all in each time, only parlays generally pay much worse. However, you’ll notice the odds are not poor until you get to four teams, where the sportsbook has a whopping 31.25% advantage. Two teams pay a smidgen worse than the manual parlay (all in each time) option, where three team parlays pay a smidgen better. Rarely ever is a 2 or 3 team parlay a true suckers bet.

True Odds Parlays

Earlier, I mentioned fixed odds are only given when all selections are 50/50 propositions. If one side of a line requires a greater stake than the other to yield the same payout, this is not a 50/50 proposition, and the bookmaker will now use “true odds”. What’s important to note is that true odds doesn’t actually mean the “true odds” of winning. Rather, true odds pays the same as if you bet each team individually and rolled the profit forward each time, which is what I showed in the example of 8 all in bets starting with a $1.00 stake.

To calculate true odd parlays, each bet first needs to be converted into a multiplier. To do this, take what a winning ticket would return and divide it by the amount risked. For example, at -110 a $110 stake returns $210 ($110 stake + $100 win). Calculating the multiplier as return/risk here, we plug in 210/110, which means the multiplier is 1.91. If we did the same on -115, the multiplier is 215/115=1.87.

Let’s say you’re in the mood to gamble on an 8 team parlay, but the only out available to you is a bookmaker paying 150-1 fixed odds. A trick of the trade here is to include one bet that is priced differently than -110 in order to force the bookmaker to use true odds. So, let’s say you make 7 selections priced at the standard -110 pricing and one at -115. A true parlay calculates by multiplying each modifier together. The math is 1.91 * 1.91 * 1.91 * 1.91 * 1.91 * 1.91 * 1.91 * 1.87, which equals 173.41. This bet returns 173.41 times the stake, which includes the risk amount, so the bet is 1 to win 172.41. Notice this is significantly better than the fixed odds payout of 1 to win 150 on an 8 team parlay. In short, the trick of the trade when dealing with poor fixed odds is to simply add one team to the parlay that is priced differently than the standard -110.

As you can now see, if you know how to bet parlays properly, they are not always sucker bets. There are, however, a few reasons that parlays are generally not a good move. I’ll cover these, and then cover the times it does make sense.

Top Reasons to Avoid Parlays

1) Progressive betting systems are generally regarded as poor strategy for both bankroll management and bankroll growth. Professional bettors make wagers based on their quantified edge per game. While the math can work out, doing the math for proper bet sizing on a parlay is a lot of added work with little to no upside for most sports bettors.

2) Parlay bets have higher variance than straight bets. Here you’re getting the same odds, but your chance of hitting a dry spell is greatly increased. When the odds are the same it is most often better to go with the lower variance option, which in this case is straight wagers.

3) Line Shopping – Sports bettors maximize their profit by always shopping for the best price. For example, finding -4 when other sites are -4.5, and finding reduced vig options such as -104 instead of -110. When betting parlays, you’ll need to find the most favorable odds for each team at a single betting site. This scenario is rare, so generally you’ll end up with better odds by making straight wagers at multiple betting sites.

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How To Get Maximum Value When Betting

sports betting siteA topic that doesn’t get discussed often in sports betting is how to maximize value. Let’s take NFL football for example. If we like the Jets this week, we could bet the Jets on the moneyline or the Jets on the point spread. This is a basic decision gamblers make on a regular basis, some using strategy, others using feel.

The question I’ll pose is: how many NFL bettors dig deeper than that to look at the effects of buying half points, teasing/pleasing, as well as evaluating the first half betting lines and prop bets derived from the primary betting market. In this article, I’ll address this topic. If you pick up on, understand, and apply a percentage of what I share here, you should immediately increase your sports betting earnings.

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To Maximize Value Line Shopping is Critical

One of the biggest leaks in most sports bettor’s game is failure to shop for the best line and price. For example lets say the betting line for the Cleveland Browns at various betting sites is Betting site #1 +4.5 -108, Betting site #2 u +4 -110, Betting site #3 +4 -110, Betting site #4: +4.5 -115, Betting site #5 +4.5 -120. In this case, Betting site #1 has the best line.

To illustrate the importance of line shopping, if I give the Browns a 54% chance of covering +4, hence the reason I am looking to bet them, my expected return at each online betting site above is: Betting site #1 6.7%, Betting site #2 and Betting site #3: 3.14%, Betting site #14 1.87%, Betting site #5 1.1%.

Compare and think about those figures for a few minutes. How much are you betting per game? How many games do you bet (per day, per week, per year)? Most sports bettors throw hundreds or even thousands of dollars away each year because they don’t line shop. This applies to losing sports bettors the same as it does to winners. Losing bettors end up losing considerably more than they should, while winning bettors don’t win as much as they could.

While the ability to pick winners is nice, more often than not sports bettors are going off instinct and can’t win at a high enough amount to beat the vig. When shopping multiple betting sites for the best price, the effects of vig are nearly negated entirely. Be sure to read the conclusion of this article where I share which sites are best for line shopping.

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Understanding Half Point Value

When shopping betting sites, both point spread and price are a concern. Deciding between +4 or +4.5, when both are equally priced, is a no brainer; we’re going to take the extra half point. Where it becomes a challenge is when one site is offering +4.5 -110 and the other +4 -103. A professional sports bettor would head to his NFL database and calculate that over the past five years underdogs have lost by exactly 4 points 3.38% of the time. He might choose to refine that further, running only games where the spread was 3.5 to 5.5, or where the total predicted scores were similar, and then take weighted average. For this sample, we’ll just go with 3.38%.

To calculate which line is better, the first thing we need to know is how often we must win at -103 to break even. The math for that is risk divided by potential return. Example, $103 risked, wins $100; so a ticket returns $203 (stake +win). Here we take 103/203 and get 0.5074. This means we need to win 50.74 percent of the time to break even betting at -103. Now to see how much the half point is worth, lets go back to our 3.38% push rate on the 4. Keep in mind that we can’t take credit for the full 3.38% when moving from +4 to +4.5, because half of that push probability is built into our opponent’s line of -4. Taking credit for half, we add 1.69% to 50.74% to determine +4 -103 is the same at +4.5 (52.43%).When we consider that we don’t bet in percentages, we need to figure out what line breaks even 52.43% of the time. While we can solve this with simple algebra, the math is boring; so let’s just Google search “Moneyline Converter”. Using a moneyline/percentage calculator, plug in 52.43% to determine +4 -103 is the same as +4.5 -110.2. Therefore, while not by much, we’re getting a little better expectation on +4.5 -110, so that’s the line we’ll bet.

If you’re betting professionally as a source of income, you’ll eventually want to get a database where you can calculate push rates on your own. For the casual bettor, here is some rough value of half points on and off of key numbers.

1=5.5 cents, 2=4 cents, 3=22 cents, 4=7.2 cents, 5=3.4 cents, 6=7 cents, 7=12 cents, 8=4.5 cents, 9=1.8 cents, 10=10.4 cents, 11=4.5 cents, 12=0.9 cents, 13=2.6 cents, 14=10.5 cents

To explain the above so it is clear, you’ll see 1 point is worth 5.5 cents. This means that +1.5 -110 is the same as +1 -104.5. Take another example, where 7 is worth 12 cents. This means +6.5 +100 is the same as +7 -112, and the same as +7.5 -124. As you can see in the second example, this can be used both ways. It also can be used on the favorite: -7.5 +100 is the same as -7 -112, which is the same as -6.5 -124. The push charts shared above are good enough for the casual gambler shopping lines.

Buying Half Points

Most online sportsbooks offer players the opportunity to purchase half points at 10 cents each when the 3 or 7 is not involved. While this is generally a bad idea, looking at the push chart above you’ll find 10 and 14 are worth more than 10 cents. Therefore, after all your line shopping is done, if the bookmaker also sells half points at 10 cents, you should purchase them under the following circumstances:

1) +9.5 to +10 always purchase one or two half points to get the line to +10.5

2) -10.5 to -10 always purchase one or two half points to get the line to -9.5

3) +13.5 to +14 always purchase one or two half points to get the line to +14.5

4) -14.5 to -14 always purchase one or two half points to get the line to -13.5

These days, there are very few sites that sell points on and off the 7 for ten cents.

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Prop Betting Strategy

Betting StrategyIn sports betting on a proposition, also called a prop bet or a prop, a wager is placed on anything other than a point spread, moneyline or game total. Exactly what this wager might be is anything from which team will score first, to which quarterback will have the most passing yards, to any other scenario described by a betting site

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This form of wagering is generally considered the easiest to beat. To support this, Las Vegas’ number one sports book for prop wagers, the Las Vegas Hilton, has gone on record many times claiming that Las Vegas sports books frequently lose money on prop bets. Meanwhile, many betting sites willing to take $5K-$40K per bet on NFL sides limit props to $200 or $300 max bets.

The reason props remain the easiest wager to beat relates largely to careless bookmaking. Don’t get me wrong: this is not at all a knock on the bookmaker. With several hundred lines to create and manage, lines managers are content with simplistic methods and low betting limits for small market props. This means that it is quite possible for a serious low to mid-stake pro to analyze a single prop in far greater detail than the odds maker that created it. Meanwhile, the small max betting limit keeps the sharks away and allows for line movement based on recreational action. Careless bookmakers, no sharks, and lots of fish, sounds like a profitable market to me

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To make one thing clear about prop betting, the more smart bettors there are betting props, the lower the opportunity becomes. No one in their right mind is going to write a detailed guide to betting props. To learn, you’ll need to pick things up in bits and pieces. So, while you’ll need to do some digging to get to the point where you can analyze any prop offered, I’ll go ahead and get you started in the right direction. Here, I’ll cover a prop widely available for NFL football, “Which team will score first?”

A Little About Derivatives

The prop bet we just analyzed was a two level deep derivative: Which team to score first is derived from the half time line, which is derived from the full game line. If you’ve read my article on the current betting market, you likely understand that the top level derivative here is the most efficient. The beautiful thing about derivatives in sports betting is that as the main market moves, derivatives follow at a slower pace. Going back earlier in the week to when this prop market first hit the board, the Patriots were favored by more points than they are now. The fact that a small-market level two derivative never fully caught up, combined with recreational bettors moving the line, are the reasons we were able to find this +EV bet. This is an article for another time, but one of the top ways to win in sports betting is to find slow moving derivatives. When you go forward to learning other props, look for ones that are as many derivatives deep as possible, and you’ll have an easier time quantifying your edge.

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Teaser Betting

online gamblingA teaser is a parlay bet that uses modified point spreads. In football, the most common modification is six points. So let’s say this week there are three bets you like: Jets -7.5, Raiders +1.5, and Bills +5.5. Rather than betting these straight or in a parlay, you could make a three team six point teaser bet of Jets -1.5, Raiders +7.5, Bills +11.5. To win the bet, you’ll need all three teams to cover. At most online betting sites, a winning three teamer pays 1.8 to 1.

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Standard Teaser Odds

Teaser odds vary from site to site. When betting six point football teasers, you want to find 2 teams -110 or better, 3 teams +180 or better, 4 teams +300 or better.

5Dimes.eu is worth mentioning as well, as they have industry leading odds with 2 team six point teasers at +100. The catch however is 5Dimes often shades lines in such a way that it is hard to find good value teasing. What I mean by this is that if every site has Jets -8.5 / Redskins +8.5, 5Dimes might have the line listed as Jets -9.5 +105 / Redskins +9.5 -125. The pricing +105, -125 etc. has no relevance to teasers, because you can tease either side six points and get the same payout as when both sides are -110. The reason 5Dimes lists the line this way is teasing +8.5 to +15.5, doesn’t have as much value as teasing -8.5 to -2.5 for reasons we’ll cover later in this article. When you get deeper into advanced teaser strategy, 5Dimes is a great out to have; but as a beginner, just know that +100 on two team six point teasers can be deceiving.

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Teaser Rules for Pushes

The rules for pushes are generally the same at each site. If a leg in a teaser pushes while any other leg is a loss, the teaser bet is graded a loss. A push and all wins reduce the same as they would in a parlay. For example, a three team teaser with the results: push/win/win is paid as a two team teaser. In the case where there are no losses, but only a single win, bets are refunded (example: 2 Teamer with push/win = no action and bets are refunded).

An Intro to Advanced Teaser Strategy

As we mentioned, a teaser bet is a parlay using a modified point spread. In order to analyze teasers strategically, we need to break the bet down to the point where we understand what odds we are paying per leg. If this is at all confusing, don’t worry, it should make sense momentarily.

Let’s start with 2 team 6 point (-110) teasers. As you might already know, to break even at -110 you need to win 52.38% of your bets. The formula used to calculate this is risk divided by return, where return equals stake plus win. For example, a bettor risks $110 to win $100, the return is $210, so the math here is $110 risk/$210 return=0.5238 which is 52.38%. This is how often “both” legs of a teaser must win for the bet to be break even. In order to do any sort of statistical analysis of teasers, we need to ask ourselves “how often must each leg individually win to achieve a 52.38% win rate?” To calculate this, what we need to know is what number times itself equals 0.5238. Using a square root calculator, we find 0.7237 x 0.7237 = 0.5238. This means that each individual leg must win 72.37% of the time on average for the teaser bet to have neutral (break even) expectation. To keep from getting math intensive, I’ll simplify things and tell you to Google search “Moneyline Converter”, plug in 72.37%, and see in American odds format that this equates to a moneyline of -262.

We’ve now deciphered a two team six point teaser at -110. What we have is a two team parlay at -262 per team. The bookmaker sold us six points and charged us 152 cents (from the standard -110) for those points.

This same math can be used on other teasers as well. To run through one more example, we’ll look at a three team teaser at +180. A bet at these odds is $100 to win $180, so a winning bet returns $280 (our $100 stake plus $180 win). Using the break even formula of risk divided by return, we get 100/280=0.35714. This teaser has three teams, so we need to know which number times itself three times equals 0.35714. Here we use a cube root calculator to determine that the answer is 0.7095 x 0.7095 x 0.7095. So in a three team six point teaser, each leg must win 70.95% of the time to break even. We plug that into a moneyline converter and get -244.

We’ve now deciphered that a three team six point teaser at +180 is a three team parlay at -244 per team. The bookmaker sold us six points and charged us 134 cents (from the standard -110) for those points.

After running this math on several options, I get the following odds for how often individual legs must win for the given teaser to break even:

2 team -110 = 72.37% / 2 team +100 = 70.71% / 2 team -105 = 71.57%
3 team +180 = 70.95%
4 Team +300 = 70.71%
5 team +450 71.11% / 5 team +500=69.88%
6 team +600 = 72.30% / 6 team +700 = 70.71%

The four to six team options have a higher variance, and it’s not often we’ll find that many teams in a given week worth teasing. So, in comparing the other options, you can see that 3 teamers at +180 offers us the best value, unless we can find a site offering 2 teamers at +100.

The Golden Key to Teaser Betting

We now know that when betting three team teasers at +180, we need each team to win 70.95% of the time. To determine if it was better to bet straight against the spread or in a teaser, let’s compare. If we bet straight at a reduced juice sportsbook such at 5dimes, we’d pay -105. To calculate our required break even rate at -105, we use the risk divided by return formula again. A $105 bet returns $205 (our $105 stake plus $100 win), so the math is 105/205=0.5122, which is 51.22%. The difference between the 70.95% break even rate in a teaser and the 51.22% betting straight with reduced juice is 19.73%.

Now, if you’re a savvy bettor familiar with teasers, a light bulb might have just turned on in your head. If not, don’t worry, you’re likely overwhelmed and need more time to adjust. To determine if a teaser is a better option than a straight bet, we need to know if those six additional points increases the win probability by 19.73% or not.

The truth of the matter is that most teasers are sucker bets, because very few times will six points increase your win probability by 19.73%. To do this, you need to cross key numbers. In the NFL, the most common margins of victory in order are 3, 7, 10, 6, 14, 4, 1, 17, 13 and 2. This is why basic strategy teasers have historically been +EV.

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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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