Everybody is always looking for an edge in sports betting, it’s what you do when making any kind of investment. What many people are somewhat surprised to learn is that there is much more to getting one up on the best offshore sportsbooks than knowing every player, combing over every stat, and following every trend.
We have already covered the green lumber fallacy in sports betting, based on the famous anecdote about one of the best construction material traders in the world not knowing that ‘green’ referred to wood that was just cut, not the color the boards were painted. That trader, Joe Siegel, rose to the top of his craft by evaluating order flow, price dynamics, and other factors instead of the product itself.
It’s important to dive deeper into other theories around sports betting besides the actual game itself. None of these are foolproof obviously otherwise Las Vegas wouldn’t be building new hotels every year – but at least knowing about these strategies can only help build a better overall gambler.
Fading Majority Wagers
Almost every seasoned sports bettor knows that if a point spread looks too good to be true it probably is. Sportsbooks set the line, so it doesn’t make sense that these well-paid, experienced professionals with insider information on every team in every sport would simply be wrong with their numbers.
As a sports bettor, it’s also really easy to overthink things, and not everybody is going to have the same ‘read’ on a game. That being said if something like 85% of the public is on one side and the point spread is not moving, that should get the Spidey senses tingling. Then again 100 bets at $1 still equates to the same amount of money on a game as 1 wager at $100.
Ultimately the best approach in fading the public is if that you’re not comfortable with the percentage of bets on one side, don’t play the game. Sportsbooks know the ‘fading the public angle’ so sometimes they lay the trap on the overthinkers as well.
The Value Is on the Better Price
To say that a wager such as the Yankees -500 doesn’t have value just because it is high priced is simply not true. Sure there are games on each slate that have better value, and there are games with a higher return on investment but a team can also have value at any price.
Underdogs definitely have better odds, but that’s for a reason because they are less likely to win. Ultimately taking huge favorites really depends on the bankroll. It’s not a great idea to go ‘all in’ on the Yankees -500 just to add $100 to your pot, but spending $5000 (of a $10,000 bankroll) to win $1000 is how high rollers build up their bankroll.
Parlays Have Better Odds
The theory on parlays is a combative one. On one hand, you’re probably just burning money putting in 10-team parlays every week – but at the same time with the crazy odds that a wager like that has you really only need one hit to have your bets covered for the year.
What many gamblers will say is that it’s hard enough to get one game right, so trying to correctly call 3,4, or 5+ games is nearly impossible. Most bettors are rational enough to know that a parlay is probably a lost bet – kind of like a lottery ticket – but they are still fun, which is ultimately what this should all be about.