In order to keep this fun and less stressful, you must incorporate these disciplines. Your average bet size should be around units during your season. Using this system based upon your numbers which are the estimated odds compared to the implied odds from the sportsbooks. The larger the discrepancy the larger the bet. Only use discretionary money in your savings, meaning if it all goes bye bye, then it will not affect your family, credit, happiness, and lifestyle.
In most sports, and especially American ones, there are certain key numbers that have more value to you and more risk to the sportsbooks unless properly accounted for. The reason for this is because final scores tend to end on certain numbers more than they do on others due to the way the game is played and scored. Being that there are so few points scored in Hockey, and especially in soccer, the smaller numbers are much more valuable and expensive to buy on and off of.
An example of buying on or off of a number is paying the sportsbook 25 cents on the dollar to move from a -5 to a Football key numbers are definitely the most significant due to how the game is scored and the amount of points scored per game. Being that most scoring is increments of 3 and 7, those two key numbers are definitely the most common, for example, games ending with final scores of or The key numbers in order of significance in the NFL are 3, 7, 10, 6, 14 and 4.
Below is a sample taken from a sample from an article on Sports Insights of 2, NFL football games from to and here are the results which can be used as predictive probabilities that future NFL games end on these margins of victory or as we call them spreads. Being that key numbers are more prominent, and games end landing on these denominations more than not, the price to buy on or off of them is higher.
To buy off of a 3 in NFL football it will cost you 25 cents on the dollar and to buy off of a 12 it will cost only 10 cents but that does not make it a good decision necessarily. Also keep in mind that in college football, the percentages on key numbers are not quite as large as the NFL due to a larger variation in final scores.
I comprised a chart of implied winning percentages based on the spread below for NFL football. These numbers are called implied odds because it is based on an implied spread from the sportsbooks. Remember that we have to be correct on our bets on average over This means that bets with an expected value of over As you see from the chart below, moving from a 0 to a 1 is a much smaller change in winning percentage than going from a If your number is at on a game and the book's number is a , then it would not be a smart play to make since it only adds 1.
However, if the line moves to a As long as there isn't many outliers injuries, trends or bad spots this could be a play. The larger your deviation from When it comes to key numbers, you should always at least look to bet both sides and I can explain later in this article.
I can probably write multiple books on sports betting methods and systems, but I will try and keep it short for the sake of this article. When discussing this section it is important to define what a sports bettor is and what a handicapper is.
A sports bettor is simply someone who bets on sports and a handicapper is someone who assigns advantage through numbers in order to even the odds of the outcome in a game. You do not have to be a handicapper to bet on sports and you do not have to bet on sports to be a handicapper, although being good at both certainly helps your chances of becoming profitable. Handicappers have a framework or a methodology of coming up with a number for their estimated odds to assign against the spread on a game.
In sports like football and basketball, the most common way that good handicappers come up with a line or a spread is using predictive power ratings. Power Ratings are a system to develop a handicap in a game by ranking all the teams in one league from worst to first with a number assigned to that team representing the denomination on how my points better or worse they are from their peers.
For example, if the Patriots are playing the Dallas Cowboys, you can predict the difference in points that the game will finish at. Say the Patriots are a 6. If this game is being played on a neutral field like in London, your line on the game would be the Patriots favored by 5. If the sportsbook line is the Patriots favored by 7 and there are no injuries, trends, bad matchups or bad spots to account for, you might bet the Cowboys here based on the fact that you are coming off of a key number and went past the 6.
According to my chart above, you would have at least 4. In football and in basketball there are also points assigned for home-field advantage. Each home field has its own number based on past performances but usually, it is about 3 points and rarely over 3. This means that if the Bears are playing the Packers in Chicago, and both teams are rated equal, then the Bears would be favored by 3 points and if the game was in Green Bay, the Packers would be favored by 3 points.
The Handicappers that set lines for the sportsbooks factor this in just as you should when coming up with your number. There are many different methods and ways that people use to create power ratings and nobody ever wants to give up the recipe to their secret sauce.
In general, power ratings are created by a handicapper who assigns numbers to certain aspects of a team. In order to create your own power ratings, you will have to have a vast knowledge of each team while updating your numbers on a daily basis. Creating and constantly keeping up on your own power ratings takes up a whole lot of your free time. For College football, this could take up 3 or 4 hours of every Sunday morning during the season. If you haven't tried to do this before, or you are pressed for time, I highly recommend using somebody else's power ratings that are reputable.
At least this way you can get your number without having to take a ton of time to put in the work and instead focus more on individual match-ups and situation spots. If you want to eventually start making power ratings yourself, you can use these public power rating numbers and compare them to your own.
You can find these updated during the season early every week on their respective websites. It is important to ask yourself if you trust yourself more than companies that do this for a living. Even the best handicappers compare their power ratings in case they missed something. After you get your power rated number, you next have to look at things like injuries, individual match-ups, situational spots, and trends.
When it comes to injuries, it definitely matters who it is at what positions in order to deduct the appropriate amount of points for each sport. In football, it might take three starting offensive lineman to be listed as out in order to affect your power rating by 1 point, yet when it comes to quarterbacks, you may have to adjust your power rating by up to even 11 points depending on who it is. For example, Deshawn Watson over the last two years was worth 8 to 10 points to the line and that was made obvious when he didn't play.
When factoring in injuries, we also must remember to give back points depending on how good the backup player is to that position. Laveon Bell could have been a larger difference when he sat out for the Steelers last season if it wasn't for the good play of James Connor. Looking at individual match-ups is also very important to a handicap. You might have two teams power rated very closely together, but one of those teams might be great on offense and pass-defense but so bad against the run that they will rarely possess the ball and get clocked most of the game without being able to stop the other team that can rush the ball.
Looking at these match-ups may not only take you off of a play, but it also can swing you so much that you start to like the other side of the play betting on the other team. Remember that sportsbooks, just like you, also may have factored in the match-up adjustment to these lines so make sure to always question your number and compare your results with your sharper peers. Situational spots are also very important to the handicap.
The schedule is definitely something that cappers will adjust for. In Basketball, sometimes you will catch a team that played less than 2 days before and could be tired while the other team is rested. In football, the Thursday night and Monday night games either give teams a shortened week or extra rest. In some sports, the rest may be so long that teams could come in rusty and it is always good to fade them in the first half.
Travel is also very important. Cappers generally adjust anywhere from 0 to 3 points on the power rating depending on the team and the schedule spot. Lastly, there is the look ahead and the letdown spots to factor in. The good handicapper would look to bet the dog in this spot. Finally, we need to look at trends. Maybe a quarterback has a history in playing bad in cold weather. Maybe there is a stadium that favors unders. Maybe there is a coach that always gets the best of a good team.
Trends are hard to assign an actual number to but something you should at least pay close attention to. It is always best to ask yourself why when noticing a trend so that you can learn from it in the future. The last way that I am going to discuss some handicapping techniques is the use of algorithms to come up with a final score. An algorithm pronounced AL-go-rith-um is a procedure or formula for solving a problem, based on conducting a sequence of specified actions. An everyday example of an algorithm is a cooking recipe.
The ingredients are the data and the mixing with the baking is the mathematics. An algorithm is really nothing more than a function with changing variables. Being that the match-ups and the stats differ from week to week, you will always get different variables and predictive values for the final score. Some of the stats used in the NFL are Yards per game on offense and defense, yards per point, penalty yards and more.
For basketball, some of the stats are team efficiencies on offense and defense and pace of play. I certainly like to use algorithms for totals predictions due to the use of pure numbers and statistics. I use algorithms for football and basketball, but I do rely a lot more on individual power ratings especially for betting ATS against the spread. Remember when I said that those casinos didn't build themselves? It takes lots of people losing a lot of money to do this and as smart players, it is our job to beat these books.
Don't bet on pure emotion and do not get sucked into stupid plays that favor the sportsbooks. Many people like to play parlays because it is very fun to watch their money multiply by winning multiple bets. Betting a 3 game parlay pays in most books and people love to get that fat return. The problem with is that it isn't actually a good payout for what they are risking. Let's look at the math. It is basically the same chances of flipping a coin three times in a row getting and heads every single time.
Minus out your unit that you would be paid back 1 that you would make back and you are at 7. This means you should be paid at to accomplish this feat. Now don't get me wrong, parlays are FUN and even I play them from time to time such as during the NCAA tournament and college bowl games, but I do not bet as much as I bet a normal game and I only use a separate amount of additional discretionary income fun money. Playing parlays to me is kinda like playing the power ball and should not be done often.
Future bets, on the other hand, can be extremely profitable if properly played. I have seen books favoring a team at to win the national championship while others have it at Remember to shop these books and read up on them before you make your plays. Sports betting is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be good days and bad days. As a result, we recommend a flat-betting approach.
They are unique to the team, sport and league, and universal across most sportsbooks. Much like stocks on Wall Street, the sports betting market is fluid. Lines can vary based on the sportsbook, because different books have different clienteles. As a result, one book may post the Cavs -8 while another has Having access to more than one sportsbook allows you to shop for the best line. Getting an extra half-point might not seem like a huge deal, but it adds up over the long haul and increases your chances of winning.
Our live odds pages will automatically surface the best line for every game. These are all a good thing to know, and it can allow you to maximize your winnings. Check it out for free here. Sports Betting. Best Books. Action Network Staff. Download App. Read now. Action's Preferred Sportsbook. Bet Now. BetSync book. Get refunded in free bets if it loses.
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