Sharp Input CAN YOU SUSTAIN MORE THAN A 53% AVERAGE?
Sharp Input LLC. California, U.S.A. [email protected]
Sharp Input Chula Vista, California 91913-1818 Sharp Input- Can You Sustain More Than A 53% Average? A Sharp Input LLC Book: May 2011. Copyright © Greg Mitchell, 2011. All Rights Reserved No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, by photocopying or by any electronic or mechanical means, Including information storage or retrieval systems, without permission in writing from both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book. ISBN xxx-x-xxxxxx-xx-x Library of Congress Catalog Number: xxxxxxxxxx First Printing: May 2011 Printed by Mitchell Printing Company San Diego, California 91913-1818
This Book Is Dedicated To The Novice Player Needing A Way To Make Additional Income Without Getting Another Job.
This is a book about Sports betting. Grinding out a profit is the way it’s done. You have to be able to win more than 53% of your picks or you stand the chance of losing! It all depends on your bet size that you win with or lose with. I will teach you how to control your bet size utilizing money management so you will not go bust. Remember what you bet after a win and what you bet after a loss is also a key to being a consistent winner.
Contents SHARP INPUT WITH SOME BASIC MONEY MANAGEMENT SKILLS 8 WIN GOAL 8 BANKROLL SIZE 9 BET SIZE 9 CALCULATING NET RETURNS 11 SPORTS BOOKS 13 HOW DO SPORTS BOOKS MAKE MONEY 13 WHAT WIN RATE DO I NEED TO MAKE A PROFIT? 14 WHAT IS THE HIGHEST SUSTAINABLE WIN RATE? 14 TOUTS FOR PICKS? 14 SHARP BETTORS DO THEIR HOMEWORK 15 DETAILED INFORMATION ON BETTING SPORTS? 17 SEARCH FOR VALUE BETS 18 SCARED MONEY 19 LOSS LIMITS 19 MONEY MANAGEMENT 19 KELLY CRITERION AND THE KELLY CALCULATOR 21
TYPES OF BETS
ARRANGING YOUR BETS TO MINIMIZE LOSSES TEASERS 28 HEAVY LAYS 29 MIDDLES 30 FLAT BETS 30 HEDGING BETS 30 SHORT BANKROLLS
PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TO LINE MOVEMENTS 33 LINE SHOPPING 34 ARBITRAGE 35 SCALPING 35 SCALPS ARE FREE MONEY 36 SHARP LINES 36 ARCHIVED LINES FOR DATA MINING 36 AFTER A BET THE LINE IMPROVES 36 ROGUE OR SOFT LINES 37
INTANGIBLE EVENTS 38 HOME DOGS 39 OVERLAYS OF POINTS 39 INJURIES 40 WEATHER 40 COACH PHILOSOPHY 40 HANDICAPPING BASKETBALL 40 NBA HOME DOGS 44 HANDICAPPING BASEBALL 47 BASEBALL RUN LINES 47 BASEBALL PARLAYS AND ROUND ROBINS BASEBALL OVER AND UNDER 48 HANDICAPPING FOOTBALL 49 THE LINE AND GETTING POINTS 53 OVERLAY AND UNDERLAY 54 YOUR EDGE IN THE NFL 54 POWER VERSUS DOG 55 REALITY OF AN ESTABLISHED LINE 57 LIVE DOGS 58 BETTING ON FAVORITES 59 HOME EDGE 61 NHL LINES 61 HANDICAPPING HOCKEY 62 POWER RATINGS 64 HANDICAPPING INFORMATION? 66
BONUSES, PUBLIC OPINION & PROPS CLEARING BONUSES 67 FADING THE PUBLIC 68 PUBLIC OPINION 68 SOFT PROP BETS 69
MORE SHARP INPUT
BETTING EXCHANGES 72 BEATING THE CLOSING LINE KEEP SHARP RECORDS 74 LIVE BETTING 75 NHL LIVE BETTING 76 HALFTIME BETS 76 BUYING POINTS 76 FUTURE BETS 76
WORDS FROM THE AUTHOR APPENDIX 79 GLOSSARY 81 BIBLIOGRAPHY 84
Sharp Input With Some Basic Money Management Skills Are You Ready To Gamble? | For The New Sports Bettor Looking For Extra Income.
f you don't like to grind out small winnings to build your bankroll, then you haven’t any need to take on sports betting. With that said, your starting bankroll could be as little as $200 dollars to have a fair shot. Can you afford to lose it? Is losing your entire bankroll going to make you sick? If so, you shouldn't be betting it. Now if you can handle a loss, you should be able to make a part-time income at sports betting. Win Goal Establish a win goal that can be reasonably attained, such as 2% of your starting bankroll. You can increase your goal as your bankroll increases, so don’t worry about how small your win goal is at the beginning. 8|Page
Bankroll Size Again how much can you stomach to lose? I know it’s a faster way to buy that new High Definition TV you’ve been wanting, but let’s keep it real; losing is part of the equation. Nobody can afford to lose, but you have to pay to play. Bet Size A commonly accepted guideline is 1-2% of your bankroll if you’re going to bet long-term. A bet size is generally referred to as a unit. Why 1-2%? A unit size greater than 2% dramatically increases your risk of ruin, risk of going broke. If you don’t care about going broke, use whatever size units you're comfortable with. If your goal is to last many betting seasons without replenishing your bankroll then you should wager only 1-2% as previously stated. Keep in mind that 4-5% gives you a good chance at going broke over the long term, so only use this percentage if you can replenish your bankroll. Increase your bet size as you win and decrease your bet size as you lose. There are two reasons to increasing your bet size: 1. If the bet is greater than -110 such as -130 then you will have to lay more money to win your daily goal.
2. Some bets you will have the right amount of information available to give you the reason to make a bigger bet. Bet in Units: Good Bet
1 Unit - $5
2 Units - $10
3 Units - $15
Bet 2 or 3 units as you have confidence in a particular game. Winning at these bigger bets gets you ahead in your bankroll, but if you lose then your bankroll shrinks faster than if you bet flat. Or another way is to keep your units small. If you have $100 to wager, bet $1 per game. Don't go to $2 a game until you have $200. Most people deposit $200 and wager $25 or $50 a game and go busto in a couple weeks. Start small, be smart, and don’t go broke. You have to know the difference between a good bet and a bet you have more confidence in. In knowing this you need to change the amount of your bets in order to maximize your profits. When you wager a max bet (3 units) it should be a bet where you have most confidence in. Think long term. Keeping in mind your goal is to make a profit over a season. Cash out on a regular basis, not keeping your entire bankroll in the sports books. We will start you out having an edge of 5% or 10 | P a g e
55% win probability and your win goal will be 2% of your total bankroll. You can make a lot of bets at the same time without running out of cash. For instance, $200 bankroll with 5% edge your win goal should be $4. (200 X 2%) = 4. Use the Kelly Calculator to calculate your bet size every day located at the SBR website or use the following method: Allocate your bankroll for the week; decide on a certain amount to bet each night, starting with equal amounts per day, based on your week’s bankroll. If you have $700, break it down to $100 a night. If you win some money, you can add half of the profits to your next day's wagers. If you lose you’re done for the day. Calculating Net Returns Lets’ say the Utah jazz are the favorite at -350 with the Denver Nuggets the underdog at +310. To calculate net returns with Utah, convert the -350 into 3.50. If you want to wager $1,000 you take 1,000 divided by 3.50(odds), which equals 285.71. If you win, this is your profit. However if you wagered $1,000 on the Denver Nuggets, convert +310 into 3.10 and multiply 1,000 by 3.1(odds) and you profit is $3,100. Some odds are displayed as fractions. For example, 3/2 odds, 3 divided by 2 is 1.5. Therefore 1.5 is +150 odds. Look at the following figures on the next page. These are the calculators that are on the SBR forum website. 11 | P a g e
Figure 1 Odds Converter
Figure 2 Money Line Converter
Figure 3 Parlay Calculator
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Sports Books Check out Sportsbookreview.com for full references and reviews on all the sports books out there. Sports Book Review has a clear idea of which books allow US players. If you're in the US and serious, you should establish accounts in all of the SBR recommended list. If you're outside the US, the general consensus is that PinnacleSports.com is one of the best options to add to that list. Also use an exchange like Betfair to obtain better prices for the games you choose although games are limited. How do Sports Books make Money? Let’s take a standard wager, where you must lay -110 (11 to 10) odds. Most point spread wagers are approximately a 50/50 proposition, something akin to flipping a coin. So you are laying 11 to 10 on a coin flip, while the book is taking 11 to 10 on a coin flip. Over time, the book wins. Also, the book has a margin for error established in the lines. For you to win, you must overcome this inherent advantage by finding bets that are not true 50/50 propositions through handicapping and line shopping. Note: There are lots of other types of wagers but the idea is the same the sports book takes a fee, called vigorish, by making you lay odds that are greater than the true odds of the wager. You have to pay to play! 13 | P a g e
What Win Rate do I Need in Order to Make a Profit? This depends on the odds you are laying or taking. At the standard vigorish -110 you need to win 110 / (110 + 100) = 52.4% of your bets to break even. At any other price, you can use the same method to calculate the necessary win rate. Just remember if you lose your bankroll betting sports, it will be because you do not get more than 52.4% winners or 53%. Keep in mind that you can sometimes get by with a smaller win rate if you are collecting bonuses from the sports books. What is the Highest sustainable Win Rate? Generally, somewhere in the 55%-60% range is considered the maximum that is sustainable. However, if you start approaching the higher end of that range, you are probably passing up some +EV wagers. EV means expected value, the mathematical description of the edge that you have. Expressed in terms of how much you are likely to win on average if the bet could be made over and over again. Touts for Picks? Most of the sites advertising for-pay picks significantly exaggerate their records and very few are actually worth paying for. Go to vegasinsiders.com to check out the handicapper records in the drop-down menu. I should also note that don’t play their picks 14 | P a g e
blindly. If you absolutely hate one of their picks, then don’t play it, and this might help increase your winning percentage. Really it doesn't make any sense. If you had the ability to make strong, reliable picks you're not going to sell them. You're going to grow your bankroll significantly and exploit the edges yourself, not sell them to others. On the other hand, if you're a winning handicapper, why not place your bets, and then sell them to make more money? Even if you're the best sports bettor in the world, there is still risk involved, as it's pretty common knowledge there's no such thing as a true lock. But the money you make from selling your picks is a lock. You want my advice? If you are serious about winning money betting sports, learn how to become a winning handicapper yourself, instead of relying on a service. If you are betting sports as a purely recreational activity, don't have a problem with losing your bankroll, and don't want to put in the time and effort to properly handicap, then I would think its fine to use a reputable service. Sharp Bettors do their Homework Sharps are willing to shop for the best number; they also have some predictions as to the overall line movement for the bet and try to time their bets to 15 | P a g e
obtain the best number. Sharps actively try to find and bet middles, scalps, +EV promotions and bonuses whenever possible. A large part of this again depends on their predictions of line movement. Also any +EV straight bet combinations whenever they can be found such as parlays and teasers. Sharps handicap the sport without the aid of the seeing the lines already in place, they constantly use tools such as data mining, insider knowledge, statistics and winning subsets to help them improve their handicapping. They also present value after the game is over to see how accurate their original cap was and how they can further improve the process. This is then factored into their next handicap with the most recent results more heavily weighted. When sharps have active discussions with other sharps whom they respect to be sharp (or reading their books or posts), they're more interested in discussing and learning their winning methods than just to obtain their picks. They consistently show that they can beat the average closing line. Sharps have a bankroll set aside for gambling purposes only, and have kept detailed long term records of all their bets. They have won 16 | P a g e
consistently over the long term at the sports that they're presently betting, and they have cut back or ceased altogether betting on the sports that they have not consistently demonstrated a profit in. They use some derivative form of Kelly Criterion to help them size their bets according to the estimated edge based on both their current calculations and previous records. Detailed Information on Betting Sports? Generally, Sports Betting is about edges in market information, much like the stock market. For the most part, successful sports bettors don't have as much of a motivation as for example poker players to share techniques on how to be successful. As an example, if a sports bettor were to tell every little detail of how they bet sports, someone could simply beat that person to the lines they want and would negatively affect the success of the person giving out the detailed information. In other words, giving out detailed information on how to bet sports is a significantly –EV proposition for those who do it well. Here is the reason you don't see as much good stuff on sports as you do poker. In poker, if someone tells 5,000 people how to play a hand, it really doesn't affect their own poker games that much, if at all. On the other hand, if for example I were to tell which 17 | P a g e
props I bet, someone else could easily beat me to the lines and lay out a max bet and the line moves against me. So it is very -EV for sports bettors to tell intricate details of how they do things. Generalities are fine of course, but specifics hurt. Search for Value Bets This is the cornerstone of successful sports betting. You must select bets that have value in the line. This is what separates long term winners from losers. The more sports books you're signed up at, the better the possibilities are that you will find this value. Short term fluctuations are only masked by a long term opportunity. If you can find a line at one certain shop that is off, by half a point, or by 15 cents of juice, a lot of times that number gives you an edge against the 2.5-5% fee the house always charges. You have to acquire enough knowledge so that you understand a particular sport, or subsection thereof, a certain league, conference, team, or even a coach or player better than the public. In order to do this you must be a record keeper. Second, you must have the discipline to act only when you have an advantage and can come out ahead based on that knowledge and understanding. However, this is not an overnight process, but entails a lengthy apprenticeship that is performed mostly by one self, making the task particularly difficult. But it can be done. Gambling is a tremendously rough road losing all the time. Sometimes you will bet above 52.4% and you will 18 | P a g e
still be losing and then there's days where you will be betting below 52.4% and you will have a profit. It all starts with your expectation of winning based on the amount you bring to the table. It is knowledge of the matchups and present trends of the teams in the game you intend to bet on. The things I want to make you aware of will be geared to cutting your losses, so find those value bets! Scared Money Scared money is betting without a sure knowledge of the sport or you bet too much money. Now you’re scared of losing. If you’re scared of losing no matter what size your bankroll is, stop betting and don't bet again. Get a part time job somewhere. Loss Limits The loss limit in sports betting is built into the fact that you want to bet only up to the amount you have readily at hand. If you have $200 available, then that is the amount you spread over the number of days you will wager. Learn how to reduce your bets after a win. The trick is to fluctuate your bet. Another way is to use a teaser bet which allows you to add points to a team for a higher price. Money Management Say you bet on an NFL game and you wagered $110 to win $100. Well you won congratulations! Now you decide to bet on another game, but this time you make 19 | P a g e
a wager with only a portion of your profit say 50%. You bet $55 to win $50. Whether you win or lose the second game, a profit is guaranteed. As you win, you increase your next bet, bet a certain percentage of your winnings and take the rest as profit. The idea is you need to pay yourself after every win and pocket some kind of percentage of your winnings. Many people can pick more than 53% of their games correctly and be in the red. They don’t pay themselves and risk everything on the next bet and lose when they could have had a small profit for the day. Try not to recoup previous losses on subsequent games, this can put you further in the hole. The tremendous feeling you get when you win, should force you to follow this system. There is nothing worse than to see a guy win four games in a row and be out of all of his money. Money management is not easy, and even when you follow it. There will be days when you will break the rules. Money-management sometimes restricts you from the big kill. How little you lose, that's important. The amount you bet is your choice and doesn't matter if you play aggressive or conservative, what concerns me is that you accept small returns after winning a game. Sure, it's a grind, but this method is very powerful. Understand what I am telling you is how to bet, not who to bet. Do I discourage you from playing aggressive? No, but the aggressive moves should not be the whole days bets. As you continue to win, then increase your bets, but at least keep putting something aside as a guaranteed profit. Follow the advice of one 20 | P a g e
who knows how to lose it because I have done so much of it. Nothing beats winning. The pros know that and control their bets until a hot streak occurs. The way of a gambler is the constant walking on edge with winning and losing streaks by his side. Kelly Criterion and the Kelly Calculator The Kelly Criterion is a type of money management. A formula used to determine the optimal size of a series of bets. In most gambling scenarios, and some investing scenarios under some simplifying assumptions, the Kelly strategy will do better than any essentially different strategy in the long run. It was described by J. L. Kelly, Jr. in a 1956 issue of the Bell System Technical Journal. Edward O. Thorp demonstrated the practical use of the formula in a 1961 address to the American Mathematical Society and later in his books Beat the Dealer for gambling and Beat the Market with Sheen Kassouf, for investing. Although the Kelly strategy's promise of doing better than any other strategy seems compelling, some economists have argued strenuously against it, mainly because an individual's specific investing constraints override the desire for optimal growth rate. The conventional alternative is utility theory which says bets should be sized to maximize the expected utility of the outcome. (To an individual with logarithmic 21 | P a g e
utility, the Kelly bet maximizes utility, so there is no conflict.) For those who want to reduce their risk even more use fractional Kelly. It protects against volatility and errors in your edge calculations. Just remember, bet small when you lose. Betting small when you lose cuts your losses down until you can start being a winner again.
Figure 4 Kelly Calculator
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Types Of Bets The Know-How |Getting rid of the Ignorant Mind.
he most common way to bet sports is against the spread. The spread is the number of points that must be added to or subtracted from a team’s final score. This enables you to win your bet with a little bit of help by paying less juice and if you’re taking the dog, getting points. The most common terms for betting sports are -110 which means risking $110 in an attempt to win $100.
When someone says he is betting the Broncos he could mean is he is betting on the Broncos to cover the spread. If the Broncos are favored by four points then it means to say, Broncos -4. If the Broncos win by fewer than four points or lose the game outright, then a bet on Broncos -4 is a loser. Because they did not cover the spread. If a game falls right on the spread it is a push, thus you get your money back. 23 | P a g e
Spreads on favorites are negative numbers. Spreads on dogs are positive numbers. If you bet on a dog against the spread you win your bet if your team wins the game and you will also win your bet if your team loses the game but by less than the amount of the spread. The money lines are bets for which you will be betting on a team straight up to win with no points given to either team. And then you have total bets. On these bets you bet either over or under a specified number. Play a Money line bet in games where you can string them out into a parlay. In baseball you have the run line. Look at figure 9 and see Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays. If you bet Toronto you would be giving away 1.5 runs at a +150. So you would need Toronto to win by more than 2 runs to make a profit. As you can see they are the favorites. And you can also see who won, the dog. That’s Sports betting! As for Hockey, the puck line, you’re giving away goals instead of runs.
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Figure 5 NBA Spreads
Figure 6 NBA Money lines
Figure 7 NBA Totals
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Figure 8 NHL Puck Lines
Figure 9 MLB Run Lines
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Arranging Your Bets To Minimize Losses Style of Betting
time to consider betting a parlay is when you can take advantage of an obvious situation. A good example is cold-snowy weather on the football field in Green Bay at game time and the Packers are a strong team to win against a weaker opponent. So what do you do, you ask, well I would take the “under bet” on the total and parlay it with a Green Bay Packer money line bet. There is your 2team parlay that makes plenty of sense. Generally speaking, it means combining two outcomes which are more likely to occur together. In sports betting, the basic idea applies often to NCAA Football. Here is another example, in a game with a large underdog and a relatively low total over/under, if you think the under is a good bet, there is value in parlaying it with a huge underdog. A parlay nearly doubles your payout on the under bet, giving it a 27 | P a g e
higher EV. At least, that's the general theory of the parlay. Teasers There is a very specific teaser that is generally regarded as +EV, which Stanford Wong details in Sharp Sports Betting. Wong states that, “using only teams that, when teased, will pick up both the three and the seven. If you consider teasing teams that will pick up all of the threes and sevens, and given six more additional points you will be looking at favorites of -7.5 to -8.5 and dogs of +1.5 to +2.5.” You have a wager with a statistically positive expectation. That means in the long term a winning result. For example, teasing from -8 to -2 would cross key numbers at -7, -4 and -3. Likewise teasing +2.5 to +8.5 would result in crossing +3, +4, and +7. Catching the seven or three isn't gaining the probability of a win when the game lands on those key numbers, only a push. You want to move across them. This is why picking a winner is so tough. This is also why teasers give an extra edge, because they give you more points. You can't handicap human beings and expect them to perform exactly the way you figure they should, based on a handful of statistical numbers. You will find instances where a certain team has better athletes and should win the game. But the point 28 | P a g e
spread, a fumble, a lucky or unlucky bounce, officials’ bad call, dropped passes, interceptions, block opponents, and a number of other unforeseen things that cannot be handicapped may cause you to lose the game. You may have figured the game correctly, but the volatility of human error created a bunch of miscues. So zero in on getting points, along with the use of power versus dog theory. Heavy Lays Don’t be afraid to bet bridge jumpers, or heavy lays. These are bets where you lay big odds, like -400, 1000, etc. A heavy lay for example, is when you have to pay $400 to win $100 to play the favorite. The line maker establishes a line with a high price, because he figures the dog team is overmatched, and he knew if he made it less the books would be flooded with money on the dog side. The sports books are in business to make money, not lose it and go broke. Consequently you will often find some real values laying large odds. Much depends on personal circumstances though and tolerance for rate of return. Sometimes limits dictate huge +EV lines that need to be hedged out. Most people don't have the bankroll to afford a full $500 bet on a 100-1 shot when the true line is 50-1. By hedging a portion they allow themselves to get at the money quicker despite losing some of the expected return in an ideal situation. 29 | P a g e
Middles A middle in a football game is, let’s say, Florida State -7 vs. Boston College. I search at another sports book and see Florida State -10 vs. Boston College. So I take a line of +10 Boston College at that second sports book for a 2 point middle. So if Florida State won by 8, 9 points I would win both sides. If Florida State won by 10 or more points I would win the Florida State wager and push, meaning tie, with the Boston College wager. Finding these middles will be difficult nowadays, but always look to grab 3, 4, 5 point middles. You can also bring about middles with the use of teasers, the profit is cut down but you have extra points on your side. The way I see it is as long as you end up with more money at the end of the day then you started with, you’re a winner. Flat Bets Flat betting is a decision to bet the same amount hand after hand. Hedging Bets The time zone factor is used. So I have a chance of hedging off the last game in a teaser or a parlay to ensure a no lose situation. This cuts into my potential profits, but any gain is good. The idea is to spread out 30 | P a g e
enough time between each game in your parlay or teaser. This way you will have enough time to make a bet on the opposing team of that particular game. Example: 1. Denver Broncos versus San Diego Chargers at 1pm EST. 2. Atlanta Falcons versus Carolina Panthers at 4pm EST. You bet on the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons in a 2 team parlay. If you win the 1pm game taking the Broncos then you can hedge betting an amount to cover your original bet or a certain percentage thereof, on the Carolina Panthers in the final game at 4pm. Carolina Panthers is the opposite team of the Falcons. All I'm asking you to do is bet smart, bet small until you get ahead, except small returns, hedge bets to cut losses, and get in the habit of winning consistently. There are many examples of ways to hedge your bets in sports. Let’s say you bet on Dallas Mavericks to beat New Orleans Hornets at 2 ½ points. At halftime they have a 7 point lead. The sports book put out a line of Hornets – ½ a point for the 2nd half. You can then put a wager on the Hornets. If Dallas ends up winning by 3-6 points, you win both wagers. At the very worst you go 1-1. Short Bankrolls Do you have a short bankroll? Take a $40 parlay on two or three teams to see if you can pick up some 31 | P a g e
change to increase your bankroll. This is when a parlay is good. You have a huge bankroll? Then bet flat. Obviously you don't have to worry about laying big money. Your economic situation dictates which is better for you. You don't have the money to bet flat in high round robins or teasers? Then bet small parlays all down potential losses and collect small returns, this is a grind, but this is what it's all about.
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Paying Close Attention To Line Movements Get the Best Line Across as many Sports Books as you can.
an sports be beaten consistently for a profit? Yes. You simply have to find lines that are far enough away from the true line for the bet to be profitable. This requires good line shopping and handicapping. The Line is designed to balance the money at the sports book and is not a true line of value that equates the quality of each team playing. So why do people bet the favorite just because it’s listed that way, I have no idea. When the line comes out it is called the opening line. The closing line is the final line before game commences. As you know the line is moved for two reasons: 1. It’s reported that a key player will not be playing due to injury or suspension. 33 | P a g e
2. Significant money is placed on one side. Line Shopping Line shopping is critical. If you only have a $100 bankroll you really can't afford to shop much. So you're going to have to pick a great book, but you could split your money across two top books as well. Once you find the difference in the line that gives you +EV throw some money into that particular book and take the line. If there's a scalp to be had, then at least one of the lines has to be more +EV then the other, and usually one line is +EV and one if -EV. A sharp, by definition, can and does notice the soft line. In an ideal world you would take a position and bet the soft line to the maximum, and then bet the sharp line up to the point where you reached the amount of risk justified by whatever fraction of Kelly you were comfortable betting. But as a lot of these square books have low limits, cut limits, in some cases even confiscate funds; the amount you can win at the square book is pretty limited. So it's often more feasible to just bet the soft line. Finding scalps and arbitrage opportunities to reduce the amount of vig that cuts into your bonus is not easy by any means; it requires constant work and attention 34 | P a g e
to the lines. You have to get good at predicting line moves or find people who are and listen to them. Arbitrage Does the bookmaker change the point spread in response to a big bet? When a sharp puts his money down, how quickly do other sharps find out about his play and bet the same team as well? The sharp also uses his reputation to manipulate lines, called arbitraging. The sharp sees a game that he feels is sure to win, but the point spread is a couple of points off. He would like to move it closer to the line he thinks it should be. Say the line is -4 and he handicapped it to a +2. After baiting the books and seeing the line has been moved in his favor, he switches sides, or bets back at the original side, betting more money to cover the loss of his original bet plus make a profit. Scalping Scalping is the process of betting both sides of a game on the money line to ensure a profit. Example: 5Dimes Sports Book Bookmaker Sports Book 35 | P a g e
San Antonio Spurs -120 San Antonio Spurs -125
NY Knicks +120 NY Knicks +125
You take the San Antonio Spurs at -120 with 5Dimes and NY Knicks +125 at Bookmaker. Always making sure the dog is a higher number than the favorite. Hence, 125 is higher than 120. Scalps Are Free Money Scalps are free money, so why not bet as much as you can? The only reason I can think of to not always bet as big as possible is if you're trying to keep from getting flagged as a sharp bettor. If this happens, you may get bonus banned, get your limits reduced or be dealt a sharper line. So, there are times when discretion may be needed, but most of the time you should take all you can. Sharp Lines A sharp line is close to the true value of the teams playing as possible. A sports book dealing with sharp lines will have higher betting limits. Archived Lines for Data Mining DonBest.com Goldsheet.com Covers.com After a Bet the Line Improves If you're using any sort of proportional bet sizing, you should be betting more when the line moves in your favor.
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Rogue or Soft Line Let’s say you’re searching for a line on a Spurs vs. Pistons basketball game about ready to take place. If six books have it Spurs -3 and the seventh book has it Spurs -2, then you have one book that is Rogue because it is different than all the others. Sports books sometimes adjust their lines late resulting in this soft line. Example all the books out there in Vegas and online have a team at -7 and it changes to -6 except for that one book that’s not paying attention. This is a great time for the sharps to jump in and grab the soft line and get the most value for their money. I realize the sports book isn’t going to change their line because someone else does. It’s all based on how much money is coming in on the sides. This is where the sharp who’s paying attention, can take advantage of this situation. Unfortunate it may be for the sports book, but what can they do? In general you should be hammering the rogue number for as much as you can. This is because the rogue numbers have a shorter lifespan. In the NFL it's almost unheard of that a rogue number will last longer than 30 min at the bigger books.
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Sharp Handicapping Now You Can Pick More Than 53% Winners! | Information is What You Need.
icking a winner at sports requires inside information, knowledge of stats and a superior ability to process public information. Any kind of breaking news or a motivational factor that a team might have for winning is what you need to know. Intangible Events With all the information and stats available on computers and what is being said on ESPN Pre-Game shows, you still can’t accurately predict the final outcome of any game without some kind of luck. Certain circumstances you won't be able to handicap in games are human error, luck factor, officiating, and other situations that are committed during the course of a game. There is an instinct you acquire over time that is a type of knowledge that comes only with 38 | P a g e
experience. I don't believe it is possible to handicap the way touts would have you believe. That's because so many intangibles pop up during the course of a game and change the flow. There are certain statistics that we must apply to our handicapping process. With that said, chances are the game still won't be played out as you had hoped. Home Dogs It has to do with the fact that you have an edge when you bet on an underdog who is playing at home, getting points. While I admit that getting points and the home team is a nice position to be in, please don't think it's a sure bet. When the line maker makes his final decision on a game he is aware of all things. The home team getting points usually earns that distinction by playing lousy ball or by being matched against a powerful opponent. Home dogs will occur in all major sports and pop up every week. I'll take the home team if they are playing well and/or the road favorite is playing lousy. Overlay of Points An overlay is where a favorite is giving away too many points to the underdog in which case a question comes up, such as will they cover the spread? In such cases the underdog could possibly be a good bet to cover the spread instead of the favorite. The pro takes the points, not because he feels the underdog has a great chance of winning, but that the line maker is taking advantage of the public opinion 39 | P a g e
that glamorous teams will be bet regardless of the amount of points they lay. Injuries The line will be adjusted for the injury as the line maker finds out about it. If the injury is earlier in the week or earlier in the day, before the game, I’m sure the line has already been adjusted to account for it. I wouldn't give too much attention to injuries because they have athletes on the bench that are just as capable of stepping in and doing a good job. But it’s always good to be cautious. Weather The weather, as in the wind, is a big factor that needs to be taken into consideration. In a football game you might want to lean toward the under. As teams will run more which might lead to more fumbles. They will be less tempted to go for any long distance field goals. Coach Philosophy Every coach has a strategy that they adhere to and they build their team around that strategy. They get players adapted to this particular way of thinking which can lead their team to great success. Handicapping Basketball 1. Favorites tend to be overrated 2.
Home-court is strong but the laying of points brings it to an even game
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Lean towards taking points
Look for power teams on the road giving three points or less
Try to avoid laying six points or more even with power teams at home
Don't worry too much about injuries
Look for power centers versus teams weak in the middle
Don't bet against teams on long winning streaks
Watch for overlays
Lean toward under during playoffs
Lean toward dogs during playoffs
Definitely lean toward road dogs who are better than 500 away from home
Look to bet on teams with great records. Especially with teams that have good ATS records
Look to bet against teams with poor records preferably when they are home
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Figure 10 NBA Line Odds
Figure 11 NBA Game Match-Up
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Figure 12 OKC Thunder Against the Spread
Figure 13 Orlando Magic Against the Spread
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Figure 14 NBA Consensus Picks
NBA Home Dogs When looking at NBA home dogs you need to do some homework: which team is hot, which team is cold, what are the point spread records, is there a height advantage, is one team on a roll of holding opponents to under 100 points a game, is a team starting or ending a road trip, is there a coaching edge? Sure, I like to take the better team, but in football and basketball they have points attached to each game that make the game and even match. There are sharp pros, who bet only on power teams. There are sharp pros, who bet only on the dog getting points. Who's to say either is wrong. 44 | P a g e
Take the time to record every team's record against the spread or look at websites like donbest.com. I like the power teams, and I like getting points. Rarely will you see a power team getting points, unless it's on the road versus another power team. In that case, I'm looking to grab the underdog plus the points. If possible a dog team, must have a winning record, and a+ 500 record versus the spread, and was close to winning in the last three games, and getting at least three points. A real dog gets 7 to 13 points, which indicate that the lines maker sees them as being overmatched. When a team is getting one, two or three points, this is usually just a concession to the home team because they're in friendly surroundings. If your dog is holding teams to less than 100 points consistently, they are worth a bet. Also make sure that team is capable of winning the game outright, without any points. Example: Detroit 22 - 10 is at home to Boston 15 - 18, laying four points. Detroit's home record is 13-4, while Boston is 7-10, against the spread. Detroit is 11-6 at home, while Boston is .500 with a 9-8 against the spread on the road. Now the question is what teams does Detroit play to achieve the home record of 13-4? A closer examination of the games that were played showed Detroit ran up their great record against teams that were below .500 for the most part. Boston with their 9-8 record shows they were playing power teams, +.500. Boston was playing stronger teams. So 45 | P a g e
if I were to bet on this game as a pro I would take Boston and get the points. Remember these 8 points when selecting teams to bet on basketball: 1. Power versus dog. 2. Get points with power teams on the road. 3. Restrict the amount of your ladies to approximately 6 or lower at home in five or less on the road. 4. Look for live dogs. 5. Check for records against the spread. 6. Look to bet on teams on winning streaks. 7. Watch for overlays. 8. Watch for traps or false favorites. Take a look at games between two evenly matched teams with line spreads between two and four points. I watch the line move and bet either with the public or against the public. If you are fading the public, you will be betting the side that has less attention. Don't let the betting public affect your decision, if you're unsure pass on a game. There are links to download audio clips about 1 ½ hours long combined on the Sharp Input website with Alan Boston, a professional College Basketball 46 | P a g e
handicapper discussing his picks and why he chose them. He also discusses what makes a coach good or bad as well as many other things. Handicapping Baseball 1. Use the pictures listed to decide not to bet a game rather than to bet on it. 2. Go with teams on a winning streak 3. Go with pitchers who have good lifetime records first is his opponent on that particular day 4. Go against pitchers with lousy lifetime records 5. Stay away from betting on teams and a scoring slump 6. Try to avoid pitchers with a high walk ratio such as 5 or 6 per game 7. Be sure the team you bet on a has an ace reliever, at most ERA 3.50 8. Look to bet over in games involving pitchers with a high walk ratio 9. Bet on power teams versus weak home teams Baseball Run Lines The pros are willing to risk extra money, by reducing their chances of losing through the use of extra runs. 47 | P a g e
If the team you are going against is weak, giveaway the runs because you think the team you are going against cannot win outright. Baseball Parlays and Round Robins 1. -160 or higher get included in parlays. 2. -180 and higher with the laying of 1 ½ runs get included in parlays and round robins. 3. Teams that are -150 and lower go into round robins. 4. A dog will go into a round robin or flat bet. 5. +140 or more gets 1 ½ runs and enters into a parlay or round-robin. Baseball Over and Under 1. Are the teams in a low scoring streak? Bet under. 2. Starting pitcher is the ERA over five? Bet over. 3. Are the pitchers hot and in a winning streak? Bet under. 4. Are the teams dropping balls, bad fielding? Bet over. 5. Pitchers with high walk ratios? Bet over. 6. Pitchers that last 5 innings, bet over. Some teams don’t have ace relievers and end up 48 | P a g e
having a lot of runs scored against them in the late innings. 7. Strike-out pitchers are good under plays. 8. Below .500 teams get an over play. Meaning they win less than half of their games due to weak pitchers and/or weak fielding.
Figure 15 MLB Line Odds
Figure 16 MLB Match-Up
Handicapping Football Running teams are power houses the feeling is that the teams that establish the run as the dominant part of their offense tend to win more often. 49 | P a g e
But the biggest factor in checking out a football game is to concentrate on teams with low turnover ratios. A strong running game effects my decision on betting sides. Weak defenses affect my decision on betting over. Following are several factors I look for when checking the schedule: 1. Getting points 2. Power versus dog 3. Going with hot teams 4. Going against cold teams 5. Staying with teams over 500 6. Looking for overlays 7. Using totals 8. Weather conditions 9. Coaching philosophy
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Figure 17 NCAA Football Against the Spread Stats
Figure 18 NFL Football Against the Spread Stats
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Figure 19 NFL Pittsburgh Football Standings
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Figure 20 NFL Green Bay Football Standings
The Line and Getting Points When a team gets points this is to be considered the dog. Each game has the team giving the points listed as the favorite and the ones getting the points are called the dog. If a game is listed as pick’ em it means that the lines maker has trouble deciding if one team is better than the other. When you become proficient in setting your own lines, make them ahead of time. Then compare your line to the real one. Make your bet based on the difference you made on the game as opposed to the officials spread. The official line is supposed to bring the favorite and the dog to an even keel. So if I truly believe in my ability to handicap the 53 | P a g e
game, then a big difference in the officials’ spread and my number keys me onto the game. If a lot of other bettors see it my way and grab a certain team. The line will start to move. So it is in my interest to work fast on this game make a decision and get my play in early otherwise the line might move against me. And I will not be able to make an efficient play. Overlay and Underlay An overlay means you think the official line has the favorite, laying to many points. An underlay means you think the official line has the favorite, laying too few points. Your Edge in the NFL In the NFL supposed Washington is 5-5 playing at home against Cleveland, standing at 5-5, this is their win loss record for the season so far. The book makes Washington a 2 1/2 point favorite. You start to make notes looking for an edge. 1. Washington is a short favorite at home. 2. Washington has a better rushing attack. 3. Cleveland has a better field-goal kicker. 4. Cleveland has scored an average of 20 points a game over the past three games. 5. Washington has scored an average of 16 points for the past three games.
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6. Cleveland has won its last two games, Washington is 1-1. 7. Cleveland is getting 2 ½ points. What you have is a pretty even game. So where'd you get the edge? You could pass on the game or put the game into a teaser and take Cleveland, getting points. When it's this close the line maker is telling you, anybody can win, but he puts one side in the favorite role. Your job is to see if the team warrants it. There will be favorites in all games, but the question remains, do they cover the spread? Some teams have good straight up records such as 11-2. But against the spread they might be 5-8. So if the official line has a favorite team laying to many points they will fail to cover the spread. Power Versus Dog In sports, the term power versus dog must be introduced. It is my way of determining the best team in a matchup from the worst team. This is easy to see, because when the line maker makes a line, the power team, is usually giving points to the worst team. Remember, I want more points against a team with a comparable record. These are what teasers are made for even though teasers cut into your profits. If both teams are power teams utilize these teasers as well or pass on the game. Things I will look for with the dog that will make me consider betting them. 55 | P a g e
1. Dog has won 3 games in a row. 2. Dog is giving up 17 points or less in each of the last three games. 3. Dog has scored more than 28 points in the last three games. 4. Dog has covered to spread the last three out of four games. 5. Dog has beaten this team before outright. 6. Dog has covered 6 out of 8 games within the spread so far this year. 7. Dog has big edge over the power team in rushing yards allowed. 8. Look for dogs with better point spread records. 9. Look for dogs with both an offensive and a defensive edge. Personally, I like to use the power versus dog theory, because I'm getting the proven stronger team going into the game. Next you have to find reasons not to take that game. If you're unsure, just pass on the game. Picking dogs is easier said than done. You can't just pick any dog; you have to isolate teams that you honestly believe can win the game outright. Teams 56 | P a g e
that are better than their opponents. Look for dogs with better straight up records. I always set an amount of points that I will lay on a power versus dog bet and in pro football that amount is 4 on the road and 6 at home. Records past the previous three games are useless because coaches change your philosophies based on what the opponent is showing over the last couple of games. Reality of an Established Line This is the reality of the line. The line maker has Chicago giving six points to Cleveland. He has, in his opinion; brought that game to a perceived standoff the points make it so. Suppose Kansas City was playing at Chicago. And each team was sporting a win-loss record 4-6, each was locked into a three-game losing streak and both teams had scored less than 17 points in their past four games. Their near identical records make it a hard choice. But you still figure you have an idea of what the line will be, and make Chicago -3. The three-point edge is strictly based on home-field with a nod towards Chicago kicking game. Then you compare your Chicago -3 with the official line. You could see Kansas City -1 with a dog getting the nod on the road. That's a four point spread. You can either pass on the game or you can take Chicago getting +1 since you already had them at -3. The decision is yours. 57 | P a g e
Live Dogs Live dogs are teams that are getting points that really shouldn't. Their record indicates that they are weak, but there level of play in those games should be studied. If the lines maker made them a seven point underdog you would have to be cautious, but double digits with a team playing very strong versus good competition has to be a live dog. Here are a few ways to finding a live dog; 1. The favorite has a strong, straight up record but a weak ATS record. 2. The dog has a good offense, although losing. 3. The dog has held opponents to less than 20 points in their last three games. The line maker setting the lines is fabulous, but he is not perfect. He does not always have the right team as the favorite, yet most players look at the line and are immediately swayed by the figures. If you set your lines before looking at the board you would not be intimidated by the official line and will put your money on the side you perceive to be the best pick. When the line comes out each week, there are many teams put on top just on reputation alone. In college there are the NCAA Men's Basketball AP Top 25 teams and Top 10 teams in different conferences that are considered favorites. But really shouldn't be there, all because of the money flowing into the colleges. Just remember when you come to a game where you 58 | P a g e
think it's too high, pass on it or revert to a teaser to bring the overlay down to a realistic lay. Betting On Favorites Why should I go for the favorites in sports when it is a given that the favorites win only between 57 to 60% of the time while going for live dogs gives a much better potential return? A terrific point has been made but lets’ look at it in a couple of different ways. I agree that the favorites will win between 57 to 60% of the time so you do have that going for you. That leaves the dogs winning between 40 to 43% and think now would you rather have a 57 to 60% chance of winning or a 40 to 43% chance of winning? Lets’ suppose we’re looking to bet a 3 team parlay, the Boston Red Sox -200, Los Angeles Dodgers -147 and San Diego Padres -159. If all three won with a $30 wager you get back $89 about a 3-1 payoff which is good, seeing as how you have three favorites. Now suppose I went back and took the three dogs instead at +180, +147 and +149 and bet the same $30. Look at the return I get now for the same $30 that paid me $89. I would get about $351 for $30, $237 for $20 and $118 for $10. Those are tremendous payouts for a small investment. Although it would be near impossible to protect those higher paying parlays because the hedge (lay amount) would eat into the payoffs a great bit. Also you have to remember the 3-1 favorite payoff of $89 is wagered on teams that are 59 | P a g e
considered to be the better team with a much better chance of winning and still allowing a chance for a middle if you want. You can take the dog in a hedge at approximately a +145 amount money line bet or at least enough to cover half of your original wager. Or you can take +1.5 runs setting up a middle, reducing the amount of the potential loss either way. I pick and choose my favorites by first picking the Power team that is playing against a known dog like the Red Sox going againt Seattle. I am picking a very powerful team to go against a known dog but lets’ suppose Hernandez is pitching for Seattle, a Cy Young winner, you should pass on the game because two hot pitchers are going against one another. I only take the Red Sox if the 3rd, 4th or 5th starter is going and is in a bad run meaning we have a weak pitcher going against a power pitcher. I am picking and choosing the very powerful teams against the very weak teams and then going further and going against the worst pitchers on those weak teams. I figure my favorites would then not be in the 57 to 60% chance of winning but rather in the 68 to 71% chance of winning because I have refined my choices to eliminate pitchers who could beat my power team. This would be my edge that I am looking for. Now I have increased my chances of winning to around 70% and my chances of losing to about 30%.
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Home Edge It's definitely an edge to be planted in a packed gym with a bunch of cheering fans on their side. But the line maker knows this and makes the home team and overlay, thereby cutting into the edge the home team had. I agree being at home is an edge, but the opposition, amount of points, and spread records make the final decision when it comes to betting on a game. Personally, I only go back three games to see how a team is playing. These college coaches are so sharp that they keep tabs on upcoming opponents by way of scouts, videos, etc. And adjust their defenses and offenses according to how that upcoming opponent is playing. NHL Lines The NHL puck line wager is unique in that it is a combination point spread and money line wager. So, for example, you might have a line that looks like this: 1. Ottawa Senators +1.5 -150 versus Buffalo Sabres -1.5+130. In this case, Buffalo is the favorite, and would have to win by two goals, in order to win. If you bet Buffalo and they win by two, then you'd win $130 on a $100 bet. If you bet on Ottawa, and they win outright or lose by one goal, then you would need to bet $150 to win $100. 61 | P a g e
Handicapping Hockey Goalies are the guys to look to when handicapping hockey games. Let me tell you this isn’t easy either. Hockey is probably the hardest sport to handicap in my opinion. Is the team good enough to give away goals? Who’s the goalie? Is there any motivational factor you can key in on? And of course the price has to be right. The most critical number to look at when judging how a goalie will impact a game is their Goals Against Average. This will tell you how many goals they allow in an average sixty minute game. It tells how he and his defense work together to prevent goals. If you want a little more insight into how a recently traded or signed goalie might perform, save percentage can also come in handy. However, we don’t want to simply consider a goalie’s overall numbers when thinking about how he’s likely to perform in a game. Goaltending can be very streaky, and a hot goalie can make any team into a massive force to contend with. Check out how a goaltender has done over the last few games; if their numbers have been outstanding, it may mean that they’re in good form and can be expected to continue putting up good results. Conversely, if you see their save percentages going down during recent games, and especially if that number goes below 90%, you can feel confident that a goalie is headed for a cold streak. It may be best to bet against that goalie or pass on the game. 62 | P a g e
How many penalties a team acquires is another important factor in your handicapping. A team that converts power plays at a high rate will have a significant advantage over a team that often visits the penalty box.
Figure 21 NHL Puck Lines
All of these tips that we have covered in the top four sports are designed to increase your knowledge of handicapping. Handicapping is still very hard to do based on statistical data alone because of the prospect of human weakness and errors committed by the judges and the officials of these sporting events. 1. Knowledge of handicapping sports teams is more than cold statistics and betting favorites. There are hidden signs that give you an edge.
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2. It is more important that you concentrate on setting up your bankroll, using a strong moneymanagement method, and having the discipline to accept small returns. Handicapping is knowledge of the game. 3. Pregame shows and the internet give updated information right up to game time so if anything changes it will show on the line. 4. Knowledge is the most important tool to a handicapper. You must know the sport you’re betting on thoroughly. Watch a lot of games and learn about the teams and players. You may discover some teams are consistent playing teams and some are not. Power Ratings The Sagarin ratings, written in the USA Today newspaper, represent what the rating would have to be for a hypothetical team to have a mathematical expectation of winning precisely 50% of their games against the schedule played by the team in question in the games that it has played so far. The schedule difficulty of each given game takes into account the rating of the opponent and the location of the game. This is the same concept that is used when calculating to win 50% conference ratings. To make predictions for upcoming games, simply compare the ratings of the teams in question and allow an additional 4 points for the home team. Thus, for example, a home team 64 | P a g e
with a rating of 92 would be favored by 6 points over a visiting team having a rating of 90. Or a visiting team with a rating of 89 would be favored by 7 points over a home team having a rating of 78. NOTE: Use whatever home advantage is listed in the output below. In the example just above, a home edge of 4 was shown for illustrative purposes. The home edge will vary during the season. The numbers to the right of a team's schedule strength are its rank of schedule - (in parentheses) - and its record versus teams in these rating's current top 25 and top 50 respectively. For the first few weeks of the season, the starting ratings have weight in the process Bayesian, but once the teams are all well connected, then the starting ratings are no longer used and all teams are started equal and the ratings are then done in an unbiased manner from that point on. The teams are now well connected and so the ratings are unbiased.
Figure 22 Sagarin Ratings
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Handicapping Information? Donbest.com Goldsheets.com USAToday.com/sports/sagarin Sportsoptions.com Vegasinsider.com You may also check out all the individual sporting websites such as NBA.com or NFL.com, you get the point.
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Bonuses, Public Opinion & Props Strategies to make you a winner!
o offshore sports books a bonus whore is someone who opens an account at many books to obtain bonuses to build a small bankroll quicker. This is a good strategy to use as you will learn in the next section. Clearing Bonuses For Cash Bonus purposes bets are defined as either the risk or win amount, whichever is smaller. If you bet large favorites at Pinnacle Sports Book, say the money line on a basketball game is -450; they won't count $450 towards your bonus requirements, only the $100 you win. Of the risk or reward it’s the lesser of the two. If you want to clear the bonus safely without losing part of it to the juice then scalping is your best option, 67 | P a g e
though it requires some effort and isn't anywhere near as easy as it sounds. So you deposit $500 in Book A and $600 shows in your account ($100 bonus money). If their rollover requirement is 3x that means you need to give them ($600x3) $1800 in bets. So $1800 must be wagered through your account in at a minimum of three wagers to clear the bonus. Find scalps and arbitrage opportunities to reduce the amount that the vigorish cuts in to your bonus. It’s not simple or easy by any means; it requires constant work and attention to the lines. You have to be good at predicting line moves and the certain times they move. For example, you could have secured San Diego -2.5 +109 earlier in the week which could now be linked with Baltimore +2.5 -103 a day later for a decent scalp. Fading the Public In other words bet against the bigger percentage of what the public is betting on. You can check the consensus at covers.com or at the places listed down below. Public Opinion To find out where the general public is putting their money go to one of the following websites: 68 | P a g e
Donbest.com Sportsoptions.com Covers.com Soft Prop Bets The lines on many proposition bets are soft because not a lot of thought goes into them as in regular games. Many casinos offer proposition bets for just about any event. Evaluating a prop bet is a small process. First is to make a prediction of what is likely to happen. Second, search out all the possible probabilities of the prop. Third decide if you have an edge and place your bet. To predict the likely outcome, look at past performances, matchups, injuries, weather reports and consider motivation. Now you must figure out how much of a probability that each side of the prop will win. Now you can compare your answer to the terms of the prop to determine whether you have an edge. You only want to make the bet if the expected value of the payoff is higher than the bet you make. You can make two types of prop bets. A Player prop or a Matchup prop such as figures 23-26.
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Figure 23 NBA Player Props
Figure 24 Tennis Props
Figure 25 Baseball Props
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Figure 26 Mixed Martial Arts Props
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More Sharp Input Enough to Keep You Wise.
eople need to learn as much information as possible to remove their ignorance when betting sports. For this reason, I’m telling you more things that will bring you up to par. Betting Exchanges Betting exchanges like Betfair and Tradesports allow you to “trade” contracts directly with other users. The exchanges charge trading and settlement fees, much like stock exchanges. Currently, Betfair is the largest and best exchange, but it does not allow accounts from the United States. Even Matchbook.com just recently closed down all US accounts and is denying US residents from opening an account. The new owners of Matchbook have been informed by its legal advisors that accepting wagers from anyone located within the United States might constitute a violation of United States law. Accordingly, Matchbook will no longer accept a participant located in the United 72 | P a g e
States, where wagering on a sporting event or any other event in which chance predominates might be a violation of law. As a result, if you are a registered participant located in the United States, you will not be able to access your account for the purposes of placing a wager effective immediately. Things like this are happening all the time. I often wonder if any US citizen will be able to gamble on the internet in coming years, despite the revenue the states can generate. The big poker sites like Fulltilt, Pokerstars and Absolute Poker got banned from allowing all US players to play for real money. Beating the Closing Line If you bet a game at +3 and it closes at +2, you have beaten the market. The closing line is most efficient. Most people get caught up in win-loss records when they should be focused on bets vs. closing lines. This occurs often when people are focusing on just handicapping only. People say, “Well he’s hitting 60% over 400 games”. Who cares? How are his bets compared to closing lines? This is a very strong indicator of future success. For example, if he’s constantly taking +4 and the game closes +5.5, he’s a donkey or square, I don’t care what his won-loss record is. Also, late game changes affect the market as sharps may not be around to even out the action to a true line. It's obvious that most sharp bettors who enter the world of gambling everyday realize the need for money management. They know they lose when 73 | P a g e
they don't have money management. Just remember how you bet is more important than who you bet. The perception that many people have about sports betting is that, how many correct winners they can pick. My thoughts are based on where I stand from a dollar perspective at the end of the week. Add your own thoughts and conclusions, in this way you will have a more conservative approach to gambling. Keep Sharp Records Say you lose a game or you’re in a seven game cold streak. You never figured in the human element of sports handicapping. When things happened in the game, could you control them? Can you protect your bet from these things happening, human error, official errors, and human emotions? No. And maybe you did figure the game right, but so what! Say it came down to one play where you were close to being a genius, but things happened that you just can't handicap into the game. The devastation you will feel when this happens can only be lessened with hedging or by betting with smaller units of money. You must record the results of all of your picks. Unless you record your wagers and results, you may think that you are doing well when you’re not. Recording your wagers will help you maximize your strengths and enable you to review your mistakes. 74 | P a g e
Here at this website you can use their spreadsheet to keep track of your bets. Highly recommended.
Figure 27 SBR Spreadsheet
Live Betting Live betting is simply betting on a game while it’s being played. With live betting you have the option of hedging your bet when the time is right for you during the game.
Figure 28 NBA Live Betting
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NHL Live Betting
Figure 29 NHL Live Betting
Halftime Bets Does the original spread look like it will cover? Is the opponent dominating your team? Answering these questions may mean you need to hedge your bet with a halftime bet. Buying Points Buying points is a way you can add points to the spread. However in doing so, you pay more money other than the usual -110. Say you get a team at -3 ½ and you buy a point and moves the line to -2 ½ for the price of -130. Future Bets You can bet on who wins the World Series in baseball. See the following figures on the next page.
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Figure 30 MLB Future Bets
Figure 31 MLB Odds to win ALP
Unjustified Favorites In college ball many teams are favored based on reputation alone and should not be favored at all. They may have weak offensive and defensive skills and may be a young team with less experience. In the pros, do the teams cover the spread? The line indicates that they should win but not necessarily so, so you might want to get extra points whether buying them or putting your teams into a teaser. This brings the overlay to a more realistic lay.
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Words from The Author You can make your own decision on what advice to follow. This book is written so you can make extra income in these days of hardship. But, don’t quit your day job! This job isn’t easy. So at first, set a win goal. When you reach it, shove you original stake in your pocket, plus half of your profits and play with the rest. Try building that little bit up! What a challenge. If you are on the winning side, you claim that you're a good handicapper. If you're on the losing side, you blame God, and curse out your family. Games go your way and some against you. Half the time the games are decided by human error and other intangibles that go against you. You will be disgusted, but what can you do? Post your picks publicly on a forum, and post a write-up on WHY you're picking that game. Discuss the merits of your picks, and other people's picks. You'll gain a lot more from the discussion process than you will from just making your picks and posting your record for the sake of credibility. Be better informed than Joe Public. Live, eat, breathe your sport.
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Multiple Lines and Archives sbrlines.com covers.com oddschecker.com donbest.com sportsoptions.com showmetheodds.com Forums and Sports Radio To keep more in touch you need to read and participate in the sport forums. You may also listen to KWWN - ESPN Radio 1100 Las Vegas, NV. This station has some local touts speaking on air and you can listen to their picks and the reasons why they did so. Try using Google to locate the following websites. ESPN Radio Las Vegas Covers Sports Betting Forums SBR Forum Two Plus Two Forum RX Forum John Patrick's Message Board
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Sports Betting Terminology • Action Placing bets on games. • Bad Beat A term for a highly favored team to win but, nevertheless loses. It most often occurs where the opposing team plays poorly during the course of the season, eventually wins. • Beard A friend used to place bets to conceal identity of the other. • Book Establishment that accepts your bets. • Bookmaker/Bookie Same as Book. • Buck $100. • Buy Points When a player pays an additional price for more points. • Chalk The Favorite. • Dime $1,000. • Dime Line A line where the juice is 10% • Dollar $100. • Exotic A Prop bet • Exposure The max amount of money a sports book stands to lose on a game. • Fifty Cents $50. • Figure The amount owed to a book or by a book. • Getting Down Making a bet. • Half A Dollar $50. • Handle Total amount of money bet on a game. • Hook A half-point. • Hot Game A game that is drawing a lot of action. • Juice Commission book earns. 82 | P a g e
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Lock An easy winner. Longshot An unlikely win. Nickel $500. Nickel Line A line where the juice is 5%. Off the Board Book isn’t offering action yet. Outlaw Line The earliest line out to be bet on by the wiseguys Push Tie, no win or loss of money. Run Down Sports Book lists all the games for the day. Runner One who places bets for another. Sharp A sophisticated or professional gambler. Square A Novice sports bettor. Straight Bet A bet made on one team. Steam A lot of bettors are betting on the same team thus, moving the line. Value Getting the best odds in a game. Vigorish Same as Juice.
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Stanford Wong, 2001 Sharp Sports Betting, Pi Yee Press John Patrick, 1995 Sports Handicapping, John Patrick Productions Chad Millman, 2001 The Odds, Da Capo Press
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