Sports betting is nothing new. It’s been around since, well … sports. The only thing new about it is the fact that the United States' government is finally not being a bunch of party pooper, spoilsports who arbitrarily decide that we, the public, can’t do something simple like bet on a game … but can in a monopolized environment like Vegas or Atlantic City.
So, my first thought when approaching this article was market saturation. Can you still make money now that the ‘craze’ is in full swing? The answer is yes. It’s not like getting in late during the dot com boom. In fact, nothing has fundamentally changed. So, winning is no different now than it was some years ago … except perhaps the lines have gotten a bit tighter due to advanced algorithmic data.
If Everyone is Betting Now, How is it Not Saturated?
I just mentioned that not much has changed fundamentally. One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to sports betting is that you are not betting against the other team —unless you’re money line betting, which usually there is not much value. Furthermore, you are not betting against other bettors. You are only betting against the betting line that you bought in on at the sportsbook.
Because of this, it doesn’t matter how many people bet … and in fact, in many cases, the more, the better.
Because most people bet on the favourite and the over, it’s a psychological thing. The public rides ‘winning’ teams to cover point spreads and totals. So, when you have tons of public action pushing on one side, the bookmakers have to adjust the lines to attract action to the other side, so that the losers pay the winners, not the bookie themselves. What happens is the line artificially moves off the original opening line that was correctly set —usually.
This is why most gamblers consider it a win—even when they lose— if they beat the closing line. Let’s use Week 5’s Thursday Night Matchup Between the Bucs and the Bears in Chicago as a hypothetical example. When you check the updated football power-rating index, the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers should beat the Bears by 6.7 points on a neutral field. In pro football, you typically award a field goal on the point spread to the home team. So, if we round to the nearest whole number, the Buccaneers should be -3.5 or a three-and-a-half-point favourites. Now, if the point spread is off that number, we should investigate the why. Are any key players out? Did something happen? Or was the opening line on point, then it was artificially moved by sharp money or significant public action pushing it to -4.5? Suddenly, you might be able to make a case for the Bears at home. When you see a single book with this kind of discrepancy, then it’s definitely worth investigating.
This is why you should have multiple accounts funded at top-rated sportsbooks. Because one might receive more action on a given side than the others, therefore have a line that favours your pick. Plus, you get to take advantage of using multiple sportsbooks bonuses.
If you have multiple outlets to choose from you have a better chance of finding a betting line advantageous to your play. The bottom line is if you want to profit from the betting craze, don’t bet willy nilly. Only bet against lines that you feel there is a clear and defined reason to bet against it. In other words, only bet where you can make a case that you have an advantage over the line. Often this comes with line movement. So it’s all about the timing. Sometimes you may feel like the opening line is soft, and that’s when you have the advantage, so you have to jump on it and buy-in quickly before sharps pound the number and move the line out of your favour. Other times it might be a waiting game, sitting on a line with the expectation that the public will move it to where you want it.
In a nutshell, that’s how you profit off the latest sports betting craze.