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how does vegas work? (1 Viewer)

No, I meant it. I read the thread and learned something. It's a nice primer.
I agree - it did throw me for a loop that it was from 2008, but it's an interesting subject that I'm forever fascinated by.

It's truly amazing how close Vegas is to the scoring total and the spread. Not 100% of the time, but enough of the time that it's almost spooky.
(I'm sure "spooky" = math, and tons of information)
 
Someone mentioned locking in odds with the early lines. One reason I don't bet much horse racing these days is that you don't lock in, the odds move a bunch and you are stuck with the late money perhaps deflating your odds.
 
it is almost as if vegas is financially incentivised to get the most accurate analysis they can of what they think the result of a game will be

To me, that was always the question. Who’s setting the lines across the board and what is to keep others from setting other lines?
Also one of the reasons most of us prefer contests (including FF) against other people instead of betting against the house.
 
it is almost as if vegas is financially incentivised to get the most accurate analysis they can of what they think the result of a game will be

To me, that was always the question. Who’s setting the lines across the board and what is to keep others from setting other lines?
Also one of the reasons most of us prefer contests (including FF) against other people instead of betting against the house.
Places are free to set their own lines
 
it is almost as if vegas is financially incentivised to get the most accurate analysis they can of what they think the result of a game will be

To me, that was always the question. Who’s setting the lines across the board and what is to keep others from setting other lines?
Also one of the reasons most of us prefer contests (including FF) against other people instead of betting against the house.
Places are free to set their own lines
Of course all books are free to set their own lines but most don't. In the sports betting world, just like in the stock market, there are market makers. There's a handful of large books that specialize in specific sports. There are different market makers for the NFL, College football, College basketball, soccer, professional darts, etc. Typically the way it works for the NFL, is the market makers will release their initial lines fpr the following week right after the 4:00 Sunday games but they'll just release them to a small number of high volume clients (with betting limits). Based on how those bets come in they will adjust their lines then release them to the rest of the world. The retail books will follow the market makers.

The idea that they're always trying to get an equal number of bets on both sides of every game is not really correct. They're thinking long term. They know their process is correct. Some games they'll take a beating, some games they'll win big but they'll always collect the juice and over the long run the games will even out. About the only time they stress about it is the Super bowl. There have been years where the books took a beating on the super bowl but even that they know will even out over the long run.
 
I've done really well lately betting money lines in-game.

The KU Jayhawks are damn near a money machine - they are favored in a lot of games. But they have been known to go down 8-10 points early in a game, and when that happens the odds will flip and they will become dogs and I can get plus money for them

This weekend they were down at half by 15 and I got +340 on them. They were at Allen Field House and they ALWAYS go on a run in the second half. Which they did again and won.

But this works a lot in college basketball. Have had some good luck this year on that.
 
it is almost as if vegas is financially incentivised to get the most accurate analysis they can of what they think the result of a game will be

To me, that was always the question. Who’s setting the lines across the board and what is to keep others from setting other lines?
Also one of the reasons most of us prefer contests (including FF) against other people instead of betting against the house.
Like playing blackjack vs playing poker.

In a poker game I have a much better chance of beating the other players at the table vs at a blackjack table where I'm gambling against the house.
 
it is almost as if vegas is financially incentivised to get the most accurate analysis they can of what they think the result of a game will be

To me, that was always the question. Who’s setting the lines across the board and what is to keep others from setting other lines?
Also one of the reasons most of us prefer contests (including FF) against other people instead of betting against the house.
Places are free to set their own lines
Of course all books are free to set their own lines but most don't. In the sports betting world, just like in the stock market, there are market makers. There's a handful of large books that specialize in specific sports. There are different market makers for the NFL, College football, College basketball, soccer, professional darts, etc. Typically the way it works for the NFL, is the market makers will release their initial lines fpr the following week right after the 4:00 Sunday games but they'll just release them to a small number of high volume clients (with betting limits). Based on how those bets come in they will adjust their lines then release them to the rest of the world. The retail books will follow the market makers.

The idea that they're always trying to get an equal number of bets on both sides of every game is not really correct. They're thinking long term. They know their process is correct. Some games they'll take a beating, some games they'll win big but they'll always collect the juice and over the long run the games will even out. About the only time they stress about it is the Super bowl. There have been years where the books took a beating on the super bowl but even that they know will even out over the long run.
I don't agree at all.
If every game resulted in the bookie making their 5% of the total amount wagered, they would be very, very happy.
Meaning, yeah, they set the lines hoping equal action on both sides, depending on moneyline odds and all that factored in
 
I've done really well lately betting money lines in-game.

The KU Jayhawks are damn near a money machine - they are favored in a lot of games. But they have been known to go down 8-10 points early in a game, and when that happens the odds will flip and they will become dogs and I can get plus money for them

This weekend they were down at half by 15 and I got +340 on them. They were at Allen Field House and they ALWAYS go on a run in the second half. Which they did again and won.

But this works a lot in college basketball. Have had some good luck this year on that.

The only problem with things like this is you have to be careful because you get more and more confident and the bets get larger and larger and then when the trend turns, it's usually when you have the largest bets in.

That's what happened to me this year with the Bucs and Brady. They went on that run where Brady just didn't bother showing up until the 4th quarter and the Bucs would have 3 points through the first 3 quarters and then mount some big comeback in the 4th. So made a little money on that, but then eventually got to a game where as usual they were down at halftime, threw in a bet, they fell further behind in the 3rd, kept adding more and more at better and better odds, and then that week the run never came and all the winnings were wrapped up in that game.
 
I've done really well lately betting money lines in-game.

The KU Jayhawks are damn near a money machine - they are favored in a lot of games. But they have been known to go down 8-10 points early in a game, and when that happens the odds will flip and they will become dogs and I can get plus money for them

This weekend they were down at half by 15 and I got +340 on them. They were at Allen Field House and they ALWAYS go on a run in the second half. Which they did again and won.

But this works a lot in college basketball. Have had some good luck this year on that.

The only problem with things like this is you have to be careful because you get more and more confident and the bets get larger and larger and then when the trend turns, it's usually when you have the largest bets in.

That's what happened to me this year with the Bucs and Brady. They went on that run where Brady just didn't bother showing up until the 4th quarter and the Bucs would have 3 points through the first 3 quarters and then mount some big comeback in the 4th. So made a little money on that, but then eventually got to a game where as usual they were down at halftime, threw in a bet, they fell further behind in the 3rd, kept adding more and more at better and better odds, and then that week the run never came and all the winnings were wrapped up in that game.
That's why Vegas loves gamblers. Farrrrr too many lose money cause they start betting more. They may win more bets than they lose, but always end up losing what they have.
 
I've done really well lately betting money lines in-game.

The KU Jayhawks are damn near a money machine - they are favored in a lot of games. But they have been known to go down 8-10 points early in a game, and when that happens the odds will flip and they will become dogs and I can get plus money for them

This weekend they were down at half by 15 and I got +340 on them. They were at Allen Field House and they ALWAYS go on a run in the second half. Which they did again and won.

But this works a lot in college basketball. Have had some good luck this year on that.

The only problem with things like this is you have to be careful because you get more and more confident and the bets get larger and larger and then when the trend turns, it's usually when you have the largest bets in.

That's what happened to me this year with the Bucs and Brady. They went on that run where Brady just didn't bother showing up until the 4th quarter and the Bucs would have 3 points through the first 3 quarters and then mount some big comeback in the 4th. So made a little money on that, but then eventually got to a game where as usual they were down at halftime, threw in a bet, they fell further behind in the 3rd, kept adding more and more at better and better odds, and then that week the run never came and all the winnings were wrapped up in that game.
That's why Vegas loves gamblers. Farrrrr too many lose money cause they start betting more. They may win more bets than they lose, but always end up losing what they have.
Yeah, definitely on both counts.

Most of my bets are small - $3 to $5. Kansas just got sports betting this last September, so I only put $50 in to try it out. So far I've more than doubled by money while learning how it all works.

If I ever lose my original stake I won't re-load - this is more for fun for me. I try to win small stakes to build the bankroll a few bucks at a time.
 
I've done really well lately betting money lines in-game.

The KU Jayhawks are damn near a money machine - they are favored in a lot of games. But they have been known to go down 8-10 points early in a game, and when that happens the odds will flip and they will become dogs and I can get plus money for them

This weekend they were down at half by 15 and I got +340 on them. They were at Allen Field House and they ALWAYS go on a run in the second half. Which they did again and won.

But this works a lot in college basketball. Have had some good luck this year on that.

The only problem with things like this is you have to be careful because you get more and more confident and the bets get larger and larger and then when the trend turns, it's usually when you have the largest bets in.

That's what happened to me this year with the Bucs and Brady. They went on that run where Brady just didn't bother showing up until the 4th quarter and the Bucs would have 3 points through the first 3 quarters and then mount some big comeback in the 4th. So made a little money on that, but then eventually got to a game where as usual they were down at halftime, threw in a bet, they fell further behind in the 3rd, kept adding more and more at better and better odds, and then that week the run never came and all the winnings were wrapped up in that game.
That's why Vegas loves gamblers. Farrrrr too many lose money cause they start betting more. They may win more bets than they lose, but always end up losing what they have.
Yeah, definitely on both counts.

Most of my bets are small - $3 to $5. Kansas just got sports betting this last September, so I only put $50 in to try it out. So far I've more than doubled by money while learning how it all works.

If I ever lose my original stake I won't re-load - this is more for fun for me. I try to win small stakes to build the bankroll a few bucks at a time.
Thats how addictions start. A small taste. For gambling an early win is the worst thing for you long term.
 
This always comes up in discussion for me to the question of: "Is Las Vegas trying to set the line so the money is as close to 50-50 as possible or are they setting the line to what they really think will happen?"

When you have super popular teams or very unpopular teams, I can see how they'd veer from what they think will actually happen if the goal was to keep it 50-50.
 
This always comes up in discussion for me to the question of: "Is Las Vegas trying to set the line so the money is as close to 50-50 as possible or are they setting the line to what they really think will happen?"

When you have super popular teams or very unpopular teams, I can see how they'd veer from what they think will actually happen if the goal was to keep it 50-50.
Vegas doesn't like to lose money. There's more than one guy setting these lines. It's unlikely multiple guys will agree exactly how a game will go. However, I think they have a great chance to agree on how the public will bet, and set the line accordingly to try and guarantee that 5% rake of the total wagers placed.
Of course not every game ends up a 50/50 split, but if I was a betting man, I'd wager they try to get as close to 50/50 as they can right from the start so they don't have to move the lines much if at all.
 
it is almost as if vegas is financially incentivised to get the most accurate analysis they can of what they think the result of a game will be

To me, that was always the question. Who’s setting the lines across the board and what is to keep others from setting other lines?
Also one of the reasons most of us prefer contests (including FF) against other people instead of betting against the house.
Places are free to set their own lines
Of course all books are free to set their own lines but most don't. In the sports betting world, just like in the stock market, there are market makers. There's a handful of large books that specialize in specific sports. There are different market makers for the NFL, College football, College basketball, soccer, professional darts, etc. Typically the way it works for the NFL, is the market makers will release their initial lines fpr the following week right after the 4:00 Sunday games but they'll just release them to a small number of high volume clients (with betting limits). Based on how those bets come in they will adjust their lines then release them to the rest of the world. The retail books will follow the market makers.

The idea that they're always trying to get an equal number of bets on both sides of every game is not really correct. They're thinking long term. They know their process is correct. Some games they'll take a beating, some games they'll win big but they'll always collect the juice and over the long run the games will even out. About the only time they stress about it is the Super bowl. There have been years where the books took a beating on the super bowl but even that they know will even out over the long run.
I don't agree at all.
If every game resulted in the bookie making their 5% of the total amount wagered, they would be very, very happy.
Meaning, yeah, they set the lines hoping equal action on both sides, depending on moneyline odds and all that factored in
You're not really disagreeing with me. Of course they are trying to get as close to what they expect to be a 50/50 split when they set their initial lines. That's the reason for them opening it up to select regular clients early and adjusting the line accordingly. We also see lines get adjusted during the week but it takes a lot of money on one side for them to move the lines more than half a point or so. In the end there's almost always going to be more money on one side than the other especially since a high percentage of the money comes in on game day. Even in the Super Bowl this year there was more money bet on PHI so the books were happy when KC came back to win. If PHI would have covered, the books would have lost money. Sticking with their process is what makes them money over the long term.
 
This always comes up in discussion for me to the question of: "Is Las Vegas trying to set the line so the money is as close to 50-50 as possible or are they setting the line to what they really think will happen?"

If they are shading a line away from the true line, they will only be doing so ever so slightly so that the bet is still -EV for the punter. To simplify hugely, the coin toss would usually be priced at -110 take your pick. A Vegas book might know that they want more action on tails, because it never fails, and price it at -105 accordingly. But as soon as they move it to better than +100 then anyone sharp will be all over it and they lose money.

The only time I've seen a line so far off that what people suggest might happen in terms of getting an even spread of bets any time recently was Mayweather/McGregor, but there they knew they could put an obviously bad line out there knowing that for all the intelligent money knowing that PBF at -450 was the greatest betting opportunity of the century, there was much more dead money going on Conor
 
it is almost as if vegas is financially incentivised to get the most accurate analysis they can of what they think the result of a game will be

To me, that was always the question. Who’s setting the lines across the board and what is to keep others from setting other lines?
Also one of the reasons most of us prefer contests (including FF) against other people instead of betting against the house.
Places are free to set their own lines
Of course all books are free to set their own lines but most don't. In the sports betting world, just like in the stock market, there are market makers. There's a handful of large books that specialize in specific sports. There are different market makers for the NFL, College football, College basketball, soccer, professional darts, etc. Typically the way it works for the NFL, is the market makers will release their initial lines fpr the following week right after the 4:00 Sunday games but they'll just release them to a small number of high volume clients (with betting limits). Based on how those bets come in they will adjust their lines then release them to the rest of the world. The retail books will follow the market makers.

The idea that they're always trying to get an equal number of bets on both sides of every game is not really correct. They're thinking long term. They know their process is correct. Some games they'll take a beating, some games they'll win big but they'll always collect the juice and over the long run the games will even out. About the only time they stress about it is the Super bowl. There have been years where the books took a beating on the super bowl but even that they know will even out over the long run.
I don't agree at all.
If every game resulted in the bookie making their 5% of the total amount wagered, they would be very, very happy.
Meaning, yeah, they set the lines hoping equal action on both sides, depending on moneyline odds and all that factored in
You're not really disagreeing with me. Of course they are trying to get as close to what they expect to be a 50/50 split when they set their initial lines. That's the reason for them opening it up to select regular clients early and adjusting the line accordingly. We also see lines get adjusted during the week but it takes a lot of money on one side for them to move the lines more than half a point or so. In the end there's almost always going to be more money on one side than the other especially since a high percentage of the money comes in on game day. Even in the Super Bowl this year there was more money bet on PHI so the books were happy when KC came back to win. If PHI would have covered, the books would have lost money. Sticking with their process is what makes them money over the long term.
"Of course" they are trying to get as close to a 50/50 split?

Imagine you're the kind of guy (and I'm sure it's all guys) who decides to spend years doing big data analysis of game results and betting patterns so you can go be head oddsmaker for a huge Vegas casino. You run your model and it says that Detroit should be favored to beat Green Bay by 3 points, but to get 50/50 action you have to put the line at Detroit -5.

You're suggesting that the bookie is going to put the line at -5, which over time will lose him money (according to his model), because he's risk-averse and has a one-week time horizon?

That's hogwash.

Here's an analysis of Vegas lines on college games: The lines track the game results, which is not what you would expect if they're trying to balance wagering. (I assume that Vegas knows more about the game outcome probabilities than the general public.)
 
it is almost as if vegas is financially incentivised to get the most accurate analysis they can of what they think the result of a game will be

To me, that was always the question. Who’s setting the lines across the board and what is to keep others from setting other lines?
Also one of the reasons most of us prefer contests (including FF) against other people instead of betting against the house.
Places are free to set their own lines
Of course all books are free to set their own lines but most don't. In the sports betting world, just like in the stock market, there are market makers. There's a handful of large books that specialize in specific sports. There are different market makers for the NFL, College football, College basketball, soccer, professional darts, etc. Typically the way it works for the NFL, is the market makers will release their initial lines fpr the following week right after the 4:00 Sunday games but they'll just release them to a small number of high volume clients (with betting limits). Based on how those bets come in they will adjust their lines then release them to the rest of the world. The retail books will follow the market makers.

The idea that they're always trying to get an equal number of bets on both sides of every game is not really correct. They're thinking long term. They know their process is correct. Some games they'll take a beating, some games they'll win big but they'll always collect the juice and over the long run the games will even out. About the only time they stress about it is the Super bowl. There have been years where the books took a beating on the super bowl but even that they know will even out over the long run.
I don't agree at all.
If every game resulted in the bookie making their 5% of the total amount wagered, they would be very, very happy.
Meaning, yeah, they set the lines hoping equal action on both sides, depending on moneyline odds and all that factored in
You're not really disagreeing with me. Of course they are trying to get as close to what they expect to be a 50/50 split when they set their initial lines. That's the reason for them opening it up to select regular clients early and adjusting the line accordingly. We also see lines get adjusted during the week but it takes a lot of money on one side for them to move the lines more than half a point or so. In the end there's almost always going to be more money on one side than the other especially since a high percentage of the money comes in on game day. Even in the Super Bowl this year there was more money bet on PHI so the books were happy when KC came back to win. If PHI would have covered, the books would have lost money. Sticking with their process is what makes them money over the long term.
"Of course" they are trying to get as close to a 50/50 split?

Imagine you're the kind of guy (and I'm sure it's all guys) who decides to spend years doing big data analysis of game results and betting patterns so you can go be head oddsmaker for a huge Vegas casino. You run your model and it says that Detroit should be favored to beat Green Bay by 3 points, but to get 50/50 action you have to put the line at Detroit -5.

You're suggesting that the bookie is going to put the line at -5, which over time will lose him money (according to his model), because he's risk-averse and has a one-week time horizon?

That's hogwash.

Here's an analysis of Vegas lines on college games: The lines track the game results, which is not what you would expect if they're trying to balance wagering. (I assume that Vegas knows more about the game outcome probabilities than the general public.)
I imagine they do combine both, however, the line will more heavily favor towards what they think the public will bet rather than their own analysis.
For example say they analyze a game and think Detroit should be -10, but their research puts the public at a split at Detroit -3. Maybe they make the line Detroit -4 or -4.5 and hope they get a 60/40 split.
Even Vegas is smart enough to not let their ego cause them huge losses.
 
I've done really well lately betting money lines in-game.

The KU Jayhawks are damn near a money machine - they are favored in a lot of games. But they have been known to go down 8-10 points early in a game, and when that happens the odds will flip and they will become dogs and I can get plus money for them

This weekend they were down at half by 15 and I got +340 on them. They were at Allen Field House and they ALWAYS go on a run in the second half. Which they did again and won.

But this works a lot in college basketball. Have had some good luck this year on that.

The only problem with things like this is you have to be careful because you get more and more confident and the bets get larger and larger and then when the trend turns, it's usually when you have the largest bets in.

That's what happened to me this year with the Bucs and Brady. They went on that run where Brady just didn't bother showing up until the 4th quarter and the Bucs would have 3 points through the first 3 quarters and then mount some big comeback in the 4th. So made a little money on that, but then eventually got to a game where as usual they were down at halftime, threw in a bet, they fell further behind in the 3rd, kept adding more and more at better and better odds, and then that week the run never came and all the winnings were wrapped up in that game.
That's why Vegas loves gamblers. Farrrrr too many lose money cause they start betting more. They may win more bets than they lose, but always end up losing what they have.
Yeah, definitely on both counts.

Most of my bets are small - $3 to $5. Kansas just got sports betting this last September, so I only put $50 in to try it out. So far I've more than doubled by money while learning how it all works.

If I ever lose my original stake I won't re-load - this is more for fun for me. I try to win small stakes to build the bankroll a few bucks at a time.
Thats how addictions start. A small taste. For gambling an early win is the worst thing for you long term.
“You know I'm born to lose
And gambling's for fools
But that's the way I like it, baby
I don't want to live forever
And don't forget the joker”
🎶
 
"Of course" they are trying to get as close to a 50/50 split?

Imagine you're the kind of guy (and I'm sure it's all guys) who decides to spend years doing big data analysis of game results and betting patterns so you can go be head oddsmaker for a huge Vegas casino. You run your model and it says that Detroit should be favored to beat Green Bay by 3 points, but to get 50/50 action you have to put the line at Detroit -5.

You're suggesting that the bookie is going to put the line at -5, which over time will lose him money (according to his model), because he's risk-averse and has a one-week time horizon?

That's hogwash.

Here's an analysis of Vegas lines on college games: The lines track the game results, which is not what you would expect if they're trying to balance wagering. (I assume that Vegas knows more about the game outcome probabilities than the general public.)

First, I find it's way more productive when discussing something, if discussion is the actual goal, to go super light on the "let's call the other sides's point 'hogwash' if we don't agree with it."

With that said, why do you think that? You think they have a better idea of how the game will go then they do how the public will bet?
 
South Point bookmaker Chris Andrews

Andrews runs the South Point book in Vegas, and each Monday of the NFL season he goes on this show and discusses what his opening lines will be for the following Sunday. He mentions his "power rating" which tells him how much one team should be favored by, and he references where he sees other books have the line set. He then shares what number he is going to post. It' more nuanced than just "try to get 50/50 bets on a game." Bookmakers can and do take stances on teams and games all of the time. Maybe two or three weekends of the year are bad, two or three are terrific, and the rest are decent to good profitability-wise for the books.
 
"Of course" they are trying to get as close to a 50/50 split?

Imagine you're the kind of guy (and I'm sure it's all guys) who decides to spend years doing big data analysis of game results and betting patterns so you can go be head oddsmaker for a huge Vegas casino. You run your model and it says that Detroit should be favored to beat Green Bay by 3 points, but to get 50/50 action you have to put the line at Detroit -5.

You're suggesting that the bookie is going to put the line at -5, which over time will lose him money (according to his model), because he's risk-averse and has a one-week time horizon?

That's hogwash.

Here's an analysis of Vegas lines on college games: The lines track the game results, which is not what you would expect if they're trying to balance wagering. (I assume that Vegas knows more about the game outcome probabilities than the general public.)

First, I find it's way more productive when discussing something, if discussion is the actual goal, to go super light on the "let's call the other sides's point 'hogwash' if we don't agree with it."

With that said, why do you think that? You think they have a better idea of how the game will go then they do how the public will bet?
I think Vegas probably has a good idea of both how the game will go and how the public will bet. The 50/50 mythology asserts that, when they find a discrepancy between the two, that they set the line at what they think the public will bet, not how they think the game will go. For that to make logical sense you have to assume that that bookmaker in Vegas is worried that the public knows more than he does.

I don't think there's evidence for the 50/50 mythology. And per the study I posted, Vegas lines (at least for college) track game results, which is not what you'd expect to see if they are setting lines to get 50/50 betting.
 
I don't think there's evidence for the 50/50 mythology. And per the study I posted, Vegas lines (at least for college) track game results, which is not what you'd expect to see if they are setting lines to get 50/50 betting.
Soooo, is the money wagered close to 50/50?
 
I think Vegas probably has a good idea of both how the game will go and how the public will bet. The 50/50 mythology asserts that, when they find a discrepancy between the two, that they set the line at what they think the public will bet, not how they think the game will go. For that to make logical sense you have to assume that that bookmaker in Vegas is worried that the public knows more than he does.

I don't think there's evidence for the 50/50 mythology. And per the study I posted, Vegas lines (at least for college) track game results, which is not what you'd expect to see if they are setting lines to get 50/50 betting.

I did find this interesting from the article;

Several very interesting questions result from this data. Does Vegas adjust the lines based on the known betting habits of certain fan bases? They almost certainly do, but I have never been able to detect any clear bias in the data. Also, it would certainly be very easy to do that for just a handful of games, and that data would just get swamped by all the other data. So, I just ignore this possibility. If I can’t measure it systematically, I don’t care about it.

I think it's an interesting subject.
 
I don't think there's evidence for the 50/50 mythology. And per the study I posted, Vegas lines (at least for college) track game results, which is not what you'd expect to see if they are setting lines to get 50/50 betting.
Soooo, is the money wagered close to 50/50?

Obviously Vegas protects that information. There are plenty of anecdotes of action-biased games but it's hard to study.

But look at it this way. Let's assume the general public has a tendency to over-bet or under-bet some team or situation; that if the line were set perfectly based on the game parameters, betting would be consistently biased to one side. For example, maybe the general public always over-bets the Packers, or Cowboys or whoever. I don't have proof of that but it seems more likely that the public is biased than that they bet efficiently.

If the public is biased, and Vegas is setting the lines to get 50/50 action, you'd see the bias in the game result data. If the public always over-bets Alabama, and Vegas sets the lines to get 50/50 action, Alabama will consistently fail to cover the spread. We don't see that in the game result data. Instead we see Vegas apparently setting the lines pretty efficiently with respect to the game results.
 
As someone up thread posted earlier, it's not a 10% rake on sides and totals, it's much closer to 5% as there is no vig on the bets that win, only the ones that lose.

I also agree that they shade the lines to the favorite and the over as Joe Public typically takes favorites and overs, fans like scoring.

There are also "Public" teams that will garner more action, The Cowboys, The Yankees, The Warriors (The Jordan Bulls teams back in the day) etc. Alabama, Georgia etc. in college football. Typically you are getting a -ev number when betting on these teams, not to mention the built in juice.
 
As far as in game wagering goes, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER bet if the game is not at a commercial break, timeout etc. The books have live feeds, what we are seeing on TV or streaming is delayed and usually a play or two behind real time. Imagine you are watching on TV and the broadcast is coming back from a commercial break after an extra point. In real time the kickoff already happened and it was returned for a TD. You haven't seen that yet and live bet the team kicking off, you just got a line that's off by 7 points.
 
As far as in game wagering goes, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER bet if the game is not at a commercial break, timeout etc. The books have live feeds, what we are seeing on TV or streaming is delayed and usually a play or two behind real time. Imagine you are watching on TV and the broadcast is coming back from a commercial break after an extra point. In real time the kickoff already happened and it was returned for a TD. You haven't seen that yet and live bet the team kicking off, you just got a line that's off by 7 points.
I realize that I kind of contradicted myself with the commercial break points. To clarify, always assume you are 30 seconds behind even if the reality is that it's less than that. Don't live bet when TV is coming out of a commercial break as the game has already restarted.
 
As a few have posted earlier, you're not going to win betting the NFL long term unless you're Rainman. There's only a max of 16 lines a week and that's without byes. The numbers are so solid, all information is known by the powers at be. They are initially released at around 5-6pm eastern the previous Sunday to a select few Sharps that the books have a relationship with and allow them to bet those "early" lines and make adjustments to them before going live to the public. This is a mutually beneficial relationship between the books and the selective "Sharps."

There are sports that if you are very savy and selective that you can profit on long term. NCAA college basketball has 365 division one teams that all play an average of 3 games a week. That's 500 lines that have to be posted weekly, no way can all 500 of those be sharp. No matter how smart the linesmaker, he has no way of knowing everything that's going on with Bellermine, Stephan F. Austin, Toledo etc. than he knows about the Packers.
 
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The biggest downfall, and what the books rely on is bankroll management. 99.9% of betters wager way more per selection than they should. Pro's will tell you that a max bet is 2% of their bankroll at most. Most stay within the 1% rule and some only 0.5% per bet. I am of the mindset that no bet is better than any other, so they should all be the same. If you are betting 1% of your bankroll per play, a $100 better needs to have $10k in his bank roll. I'd guess that's less than one out of ten thousand betters.
 
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If you truly want to try and make some money then you need "outs", the more the better. Different shops have different lines and you always want to get the best of it. Then again, that requires you to have the funds at each book to be able to stay within that 1% of your bankroll per bet. So if you're a $100 better and have 7 shops, ideally you'd need to fund 70k to maintain that. Of course if you are winning that can be adjusted as you go along.

You have to be able to weather a terrible losing streak. It will happen to the best of the best and it WILL happen to you, no matter how SHARP you are. Look at the best poker players like Phil Ivey, he's gone on 6-9 month losing streaks where he's lost greater than 10 million, but he has the bankroll and bankroll management to be able to weather that storm, if you go bust it's over Johnny.
 
Being a professional sports better is not glamorous, it's a grind and if you are in the lucky 1/10th of 1 percent you might eek out 100k a year spending 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you're lucky. There's only one Billy Walters, he's the Moby **** of sports betters.
 
Another reason to have multiple outs is that if you are a winning player, you will either get limited or banned at some point at most places, not all, there are a few legit books that are not afraid of sharp money but the majority will either ban you or lower your limit enough to cripple you.
 
One point that I've seen posted over and over again is the books want 50/50 money on each game. This is not true in my experience. I've seen big games that were as lopsided as 85/15 and no money was laid off. In each case where the money was so lopsided the book won, not 100% but close to it. I have no explanation as to why but it was uncanny. I remember an NFL game prior to the Schefter/Mortinson/Internet era where Barry Sanders was a last minute scratch at like 12:55 eastern, line moved from Detroit -3 to Detroit +4 (or something like that) Lions ended up winning the game easily. We probably had 90% of the money on the other team, might have been the Packers.
 
Another issue is the rake/vig that the book is taking depending on the bet type.

Sides/Totals are typically priced at -110 so the house make 5% on average

Teasers/parlays the house is taking a greater percentage, closer to 10%

Futures, the house has between a 30%-50% take. So if Mahomes is +300 to win the NFL MVP his "true" odds are around +$450
 
Another issue is the rake/vig that the book is taking depending on the bet type.

Sides/Totals are typically priced at -110 so the house make 5% on average

Teasers/parlays the house is taking a greater percentage, closer to 10%

Futures, the house has between a 30%-50% take. So if Mahomes is +300 to win the NFL MVP his "true" odds are around +$450
This is similar to race tracks.

Win/Place/Show pools lose 17% to the track off the top, some shady tracks take as much as 20% from these pools.

The Exotics like Daily double, exacta, trifectta etc. hold as much as between 25% to 30%
 
Rule of thumb is to always bake in 50% on futures. If you want to take X at +1000 (10/1) then the true odds of X cashing is closer to 15/1
 
There is one exception where we lost gigantic to the public (New York City) was in the spring of 1999 where the NY Knicks, an 8 seed went to the NBA Finals. One guy crushed us via ML bets on all three series and ML and spread bets on every game. Bottom line, 4 months later he gave it all back
 

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