Monday, July 9, 2012

Another vital aspect of managing your money and picks is finding VALUE!  Determining the right bet size is one thing, but the prices we pay for is another side of the coin.

There are 3 key areas that are important to finding value and once you see the numbers you’ll wonder why you ever did anything different. 

Bet at the best Sportsbooks

The first step is having at least one account at a top sportsbook like Pinnacle Sports or 5Dimes.  This is necessary for two reasons.

Reduced Juice

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Instead of laying -110 (1.91) like you do at most books or your local bookie, you can get lines at -104 (1.96).  Instead of having to achieve a 52.4% win rate to break even, you would only need to hit 51%!!  This is a monumental advantage in sports betting.

Saving a few cents juice per play doesn’t sound like "big savings", but in the long run you can see how much it means to your bottom line.

Early Betting Lines

A second great advantage of a top sportsbook is access to early betting lines.  When you bet on the opening numbers you are picking against the oddsmakers. When you bet against a closing line you are betting against the market. The latter is a much sharper line and a lot tougher road to make consistent profit.

If you are prepared ahead of time, you can pounce on these early numbers. Getting the best numbers is incredibly important to your bottom line profits.  There is mind-blowing value to be had here.

If you are beating the closing line the majority of the time then you are already way ahead of the game.

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Let’s look at my four seasons of picks on this blog. Combined, roughly 85% of my picks either tied or beat the closing number.

When you add it all up, it averages out to about a half point per pick.

Add up all the value and we are talking about serious savings.  Extra wins/pushes earned from that half point advantage is critical to success.

As long as you are getting the best of the number, more times than not you are on the right track.

The other added benefit of betting early lines is having the option of an exit strategy.  Perhaps you really like a play on Sunday night/Monday morning, but you change your mind on Friday.  Maybe there is significant injury news that comes out on Wednesday or a dramatic line move that crosses a key number.

You have the option to buy back half, all, or more on the other side without losing much value…and if you can consistently beat the closing line a fair number of “middle” opportunities will present themselves as well.

Line Shopping

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I can’t stress enough how important it is to have multiple sportsbooks.  Split your overall bankroll and diversify it at multiple books to give yourself the best chance to get the best numbers.

Most recreational bettors spend 90% of their time handicapping games and about 10% line shopping, monitoring odds, and getting the early numbers.

Sharp bettors balance that time out. This is an extra time-commitment, but this is where a “live-odds” betting tool comes into play. I’ve attached a link to SportsInsights live-odds menu where you can not only see what the lines are for the top books, but also what percentage of bets are on each particular team.

Having great picks is one thing, but improving your betting skills is a huge part of the process as well.

Next Up: Managing your Psychology