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How the Sports Betting Line is Made by RJ Bell

By necessity their approach is very research-oriented and concise, since with millions of dollars at risk there is little margin for error.

The opening line is the first line created by the oddsmakers, which is then sent out to sportsbooks. If we’ve done that, we’ve done our job.”

Divided action means the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit on the game because of the fee charged to the bettor (called juice or vig – typically $11 bet to win $10).

“You either have a passion for it or you don’t,” Seba said.

A round-table discussion among the 4-5 oddsmakers involved in making the line for each sport is then conducted and a consensus line is decided upon by the Odds Director before it is released to the sportsbooks.

RJ Bell

©Pregame.com 2006

Website: http://www.Pregame.com

Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC) is the world’s premier oddsmaking company and the most respected authority on making the lines. Oddsmakers have to determine if any changes are necessary and send out an “adjusted line.”

Once a game’s power rating based pointspread is determined, the oddsmaker will make adjustments to that line after considering each team’s most recent games played and previous games played against that opponent. The power ratings are adjusted after each game a team plays.

Individual books having players who consistently bet with certain tendencies (such as an extreme bias toward favorites or toward a certain popular team like USC) . Of the 4-5 oddsmakers, generally the 2 most respected opinions are weighed more heavily by the Odds Director before he decides on the final line. Also, adjustments are made after reading each team’s local newspapers to get a sense of what the coaches & players are thinking going into the game. Obviously, if the line comes out a week ahead of the event (which is the case in football), there is much that could happen during the week leading up to the event that could affect the line. This usually includes having up-to-date power ratings on each team.

Moving the line is the oddsmaker’s effort to balance betting action, and often times such moves can have a major impact on a bettor’s decision. Of course there is an entire method to the madness on how the opening line is created.

Oddsmakers can also change the line depending on various event-related factors such as player injuries or weather. For example, the public might have heavy betting interest week after week on a popular college football team such as USC. By moving the line, sportsbooks can influence how the public bets on a particular game.

Once betting begins, sportsbooks can adjust the line at any time. Examples of non-game factors that would require an adjustment to a team’s power rating are key player injuries and player trades.

Power ratings are the oddsmaker’s value of each team and are used as a guide to calculate a “preliminary” pointspread on an upcoming game.

“The main objective is that our clients get equal action on both sides,” Seba said. Each of these oddsmakers bring unique opinions, strengths and weaknesses to the process. Seba explained that it all starts with each oddsmaker creating a line on each game based upon their own personal approach.

For example, if the pointspread on a game is 7 and most of the money is coming in on the underdog (taking the +7), sportsbooks will then move the number down to 6 ½ to try and attract money on the favorite.

Why the Line Changes

The last step in the line-making process for each oddsmaker is taking one final look to determine whether or not the line “feels right.” This is where common sense and past experience with how games are bet enters into the picture. Stated another way, they want to create a line that half the people find appealing to bet one way while the other half find it appealing to bet the other way (known as ‘dividing the action’). There is a common misconception that point spreads represent the oddsmakers’ prediction of how many points the favorite will win by. “We’re not trying to pick the team that covers the spread, we’re trying to make it a coin flip, a tough decision (for the bettor).

The purpose of these adjustments, like all line adjustments, is to more equally divide the betting action. In our extended interview, Seba explained that there are 4-5 oddsmakers assigned to make lines for each of the major sports (pro & college football and basketball; MLB, NHL, boxing, golf). Reasons for such adjustments include:

“The #1 thing for us is to make a line for each game that creates good two-way action. Mike Seba is a Senior Oddsmaker at LVSC and has been making lines for the last six years.

Experts working for the individual books having a strong opinion on the game

What Is the Line Trying to Accomplish?

Once the opening line is released by LVSC, the individual sportsbooks decide if they want to make any adjustments before offering it to the public.

Contributed by:

Oddsmakers at LVSC are professional sports junkies who love what they do and would probably do it for nothing if you asked them, but they do get paid for it. We do this by drawing from past experiences and applying them to current situations. In doing so they attempt to make more attractive the team that is getting less action. That is not the case at all – their intent is NOT to evenly split the ATS result between the teams; rather, their goal is to attract equal betting action on both sides. People think it’s much more complicated, but it’s not.”

How the Opening Line Is Made

Since the oddsmaker’s ultimate goal is equally dividing the betting action, public perception and betting patterns must be taken into account. If an oddsmaker comes up with a preliminary line of USC -7, then an adjustment up to -7.5 or -8 would be made in response to the public’s expected USC bias

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Don’t Be a Square: 10 Tips for Betting on Football

“Squares usually bet later in the week and they tend to pick the favorites. “If you become an expert on a smaller conference like the WAC, you have a good chance to beat the house because sports book operators do not have the time or resources to follow this conference the way you can. If North Texas is his best bet on a Saturday then that is his bet. Avoid Exotic Bets – “For very skilled handicappers, with a proven track record, there can, at least in theory, be value in betting parlays,” says Gordon on the type of bet that combines two or more individual wagers. If you like an underdog, it is best to get your bet in as late as possible, where there is heavy action from squares on favorites. There are almost an infinite number of scenarios that can happen in a single football game. Otherwise, you’re better off doing your own research.”

“There is probably no better bet in sports than playing an underdog at home,” Moseman says. There is a wealth of information on the Internet; it is just up to you to find it and research it daily.”

“A square is the average, unsophisticated gambler whose decision making is based on hunches, media manipulation, or spurious systems that cannot overcome the bookmaker’s inherent mathematical advantage,” Konik explains.

“The bookies fear and despise a tiny coterie of professional bettors known as ‘the sharps,'” Konik says. Avoid Chasing Bets – “Don’t do it! There is no worse way to mismanage your bankroll than to chase your bets after a losing day,” cautions Moseman on the dangerous practice of trying to immediately win back your losses.

Ted Sevransky, a well-known Las Vegas gambler and sports consultant with Sportsmemo.com, agrees.

But even though the math says it’s virtually impossible to win on a consistent basis, Americans continue to bet on football. “For example, if you have a $1,000 bankroll for the season, you should generally bet no more than $50 a game.”

Another difference between squares and sharps is how they approach betting on game day.

5. Money Management – “This is without a doubt the most important aspect of betting on sports and possibly the most neglected,” says Morey “Doc” Moseman, a professional gambler and sports consultant with DocSports.com for nearly 40 years. He loses year after year, according to Dan Gordon, a top football handicapper and author of How to Beat the Sports Books (Cardoza Publishing 2005).

“The biggest mistake that amateur bettors make is they increase their bets when they are losing,” Sevransky says. “As for me, the best bet in football is betting the point spread or over/under totals on individual games. “The key to proper money management is to be sure not to bet more than you can afford to lose.”

Also, it’s probably a good idea to disregard advice from the myriad of ex-players and football experts you see on television each week. Chasing losses is the fastest way to the poor house.”

8. If you are going to go with a favorite, it is best to place your bet early in the week when the sharps are laying heavy money on the points.

“A sharp or smart has a plan of what he wants to do,” says Vaccaro, the director of sports operations and public relations at Lucky’s Race and Sports Book in Las Vegas. “Most people prefer to bet on the ‘better’ team, the one that will probably win the game. “Common wisdom says that over the course of a long football season the average man or woman will pick approximately 50 percent winners. “In the NFL, a game will often be totally turned around by one or two plays, or even a single penalty.

So, how much should you bet a game?

4. The NFL, for example, will have very similar numbers at most of the betting shops you visit. Bet at the Right Time – “The sharp bettors tend to bet underdogs, and they tend to bet them early,” Moseman says. Also, being “in action” can make a dull late-afternoon game (Buffalo vs.

Even Hollywood is not immune – think Two for the Money with Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey.

And where does all that money go?

“The talking heads on TV know nothing about sports betting,” says Sevransky. On college you will be able to find different lines at different sports books. Big underdogs often find ways to cover the spread and they rarely give up toward the end of a game in front of the home crowd.”

1. Consider Underdogs – “In the long-run, it’s easier to win betting on the underdog,” Konik says. “Over the course of several seasons, the percentage of bettors who turn a profit is minuscule.”

2. “He is not jaded by teams and does not bet with his heart.

3. “Because alcohol clouds your judgment and usually helps you to make rash decisions you usually wouldn’t otherwise make. If you want advice about sports betting, find someone who has a successful track record. So underdogs tend to be slightly undervalued – except by the sharps.”

7.

However, Konik adds that there are some bettors who actually know how to beat the bookies. But, when you’re struggling, that’s when you want to reduce your bet size until you get out of your slump. Giving 11 to 10 odds is almost always the cheapest price you can give.”

And remember, in the immortal words of “Fast” Eddie Felson, “Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”

“A square or recreational player might have a vague plan, but after two Corona’s he will definitely run to the window and make a hasty decision on the USC-Notre Dame game because he wants to be involved in the party atmosphere,” Vaccaro says. To be a successful sports bettor you need to operate with a clear mind.”

Betting on football games; whether it’s through a local bookie, an offshore Internet site or a Nevada casino (still the only legal place in America to make football bets), most of us have done it or know of someone who has. “There will be more discrepancy in the numbers at different sports books. Slim underdogs regularly win outright. The only touts bettors should consider are the ones who talk about the long haul and realistic winning percentages, which are in the upper 50 percent to lower 60 percent range.”

Moseman agrees and especially likes home underdogs. The payout is just the same as far as he is concerned. Research Football Services – “Most sports services realize that most people who sign up with them are insecure,” Gordon warns. Focus on Conferences – “The best way to win money betting football is to develop a niche and follow it closely,” Moseman advises. Locks Don’t Exist – “Anyone who has watched sports for about a month realizes that the difference between winning and losing, especially against the spread, can be infinitesimally small,” Gordon says.

“Most people with an understanding of football gambling bet between 3 percent and 5 percent of their bankroll, increasing when they win and reducing when they lose,” Vaccaro says.

Certainly not back into the pockets of the average bettor. “When you’re in a good rhythm and winning, you want to increase your bets.

“In an average season, fewer than one bettor in twelve turns a profit,” Gordon says. “In trying to bamboozle potential customers, many services make claims about having scouts all over the country that give them inside information and promise 70 or even 80 percent winners, as if the bookmakers were the biggest suckers in the world.

But that doesn’t mean you have to bet like a “square” and throw away your hard-earned money.

So, how much are we gambling each football season?

6. Thanks to the juice, the only one who profits in this scenario is the bookmaker. And why not? We have unconditional love for the sport and betting $50 or $100 on a game adds an extra rush of adrenaline. “If you listen to their advice, you are sure to lose.

10. Shop For Numbers – “Another important aspect of betting on football is shopping for the best number,” Moseman explains. Not all games work according to this formula, but it is usually a good rule of thumb.”

9. He is not taken in by being involved in USC-Notre Dame just because it is the biggest watched game of the day. “The sharps are usually members of a betting syndicate privy to the most up-to-date information on injuries, weather, game plans, and, most important, the real power of the teams involved. Oakland comes to mind) seem like the Super Bowl. In fact, sports bettors must pick 52.4 percent winners just to break even.”

While these tips don’t guarantee you’re going to win, hopefully they can make you a little less square and a little more sharp in your picks this season. They use powerful computers that can process millions of bits of data and produce a more accurate point-spread line than the bookmakers.” . “Thus, the bookies love and cherish the squares.”

“The standard bet requires gamblers to lay $11 for every $10 they want to win with the extra $1 or 10 percent known as the juice,” Konik says. The only locks that exist are those that need keys to open them.”

So, is it possible for the average square to become a little sharper in making football bets this season? According to professionals like Vacarro, Konik and Gordon, amateur bettors have the best chance to win if they demonstrate a little patience and follow the 10 basic tips below. These books change their numbers according to the betting patterns of their customers, so it is not entirely uncommon to find two or three point differences in the lines.”

Michael Konik, a sports writer and best-selling author of The Smart Money (Simon & Schuster 2006), explains why it is so hard for the recreational gambler to win at betting on football.

Newspapers and popular sports sites routinely publish the lines or point spreads for games, and football insiders offer their picks to viewers each week on ESPN and other cable networks.

Although exact figures are impossible to calculate, according to Jimmy Vaccaro, widely considered to be Las Vegas’ most influential bookmaker, Americans probably wager more than $50 billion a year on NFL and college football combined. “Teams play inspired ball at home. Drinking and Gambling Don’t Mix – “There is a reason the casinos in Las Vegas supply you with free drinks while you are gambling,” Moseman says

Cantor Gaming Announces In-Running Wagering for The NFL Season

Cantor is

the first company licensed as a manufacturer, distributor, and operator

of a mobile gaming system by the state of Nevada and remains the world

leader. Cantor was also the first company to introduce in-running

wagering in Las Vegas, at the M Resort Spa & Casino’s Race and Sports

Book. Amaitis added, “In-Running is hugely successful at the M’s Race &

Sports Book. In-Running betting allows

wagering on live sporting events throughout the event. “We are constantly looking for

opportunities to add new and exciting amenities to our overall guest

experience and this is the type of “only in Las Vegas” concept that

helps differentiate The Venetian and Palazzo from other properties on

the Strip, and also demonstrates the true uniqueness of Las Vegas and

why there is no city in America quite like it.”

Cantor Gaming is an affiliate of global financial services provider

Cantor Fitzgerald, which has over 60 years of experience and

unparalleled expertise of highly secure real-time financial transaction

processing, management, and execution. With In-Running, customers can place bets during the

game, so fans can have a stake in the action all the way through the

event,” said Lee Amaitis, President and CEO of Cantor Gaming.

About Cantor Gaming

“The addition of “In-Running” is certainly going to enhance our sports

book offering and be a huge hit with the many sports aficionados who

spend time at our properties,” said Robert Goldstein, president of both

The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas. Cantor Gaming offers mobile

solutions to the gaming industry as well as developers of proprietary

casino games including XtraOdds Baccarat(TM) and Bonus Roulette(TM). In

addition to NFL games, In-Running will be available for select NCAA

football games this season.

Mr. Amaitis said the bets that will be offered through In-Running are:

Mr. We opened the action with the NCAA March Madness Basketball

Tournament, continued throughout the NBA Playoffs, horse racing’s Triple

Crown, and currently offer selected Major League Baseball games.

Full Game Money Line

Full Game Point Line

Full Game Total, Over/Under

First Half Money Line

First Half Point Line

First Half Total Over/Under

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cantor Gaming, an affiliate of the global financial services firm Cantor

Fitzgerald, today announced that its extremely popular “In-Running”

sports betting product will be available at The Venetian, Palazzo and

the M Resort Spa Casino in Las Vegas for the 2009 NFL season, beginning

with Tennessee at Pittsburgh on September 10. The NFL

season is immensely popular with sports betters and we’re excited to

extend our product offerings to The Venetian and Palazzo.”

“In-Running is particularly well suited for football because of the

popularity of the game and the huge number of football fans interested

in sports betting. In-Running betting allows wagering on live sporting events throughout

the event.

Through Cantor Gaming’s In-Running, wagers also will be accepted on

whether:

For more information, visit www.cantorgaming.com

The current drive will yield a first down.

The current drive will result in a punt, field goal, touchdown, or an

interception/fumble.

Twenty or more yards will be gained on the next play.

Any field goal attempt will be made or missed.