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Sports Betting Gang Bang
by Bryan Leonard - 09/14/2012
In honor of our colleague Marc Lawrence who has a knack for blending music and sports betting, we titled our article based on the 70's song by The Alex Harvey Band. While Alex is long gone his words still ring true. And like the subject he was referring to, you simply don't want to be last in line. The first in line is where it's at and it's no different in sports betting.
Living in Las Vegas the last 15 years and being in the Sports Betting Industry for 30, you learn what to do right. You also learn from your faults. A mistake many sports bettors make is waiting to the last minute to place their wagers. I'm not referring to the guys who call up their local book ten minutes before the games go off. Those guys are playing into a single line at a finite time. I'm talking about the professional bettor who's bankroll lives and dies on correct decisions. Not only picking the right side of a game, but at what number to play it at, and when to place the wager. Is this the best line I will find? Will all the competing professionals be on the same side? In the case of the NFL, will the general public move this line? And if so, should I beat them to the number or wait for them to move it where I can pounce? These are all questions everyone I know who bets for a living asks themselves each day of the week.
I make my own power ratings and I adjust them every week of the football season. I want to know that I am getting the best of the number in every wager I place. After all, we all know the long term winners in sports betting beat the closing number on a consistent basis. It's not what you have done this week or month, the variance is too high for that to matter. What you want to know is am I getting the best of it? Comparing the wagers you make to the consensus closing line will answer that question much more accurately in the long run than a win/loss record.
I have my numbers ready well before the lines come out from either The Wynn in Las Vegas, or the Bookmaker group, 5 Dimes or other groups offshore. The early bird gets the worm and I'm not about to get left behind by the crowd. When you make your own numbers you can tell if you are good at it by following line moves. If your number is closer to the closing line than the opening numbers, you are doing a good job. If not you need to make some changes. I'm confident to bet my numbers early because I chart every week how my plays do against the closing number. Regardless if you win or lose in the short run, you know you are getting the best of the number if the opener moves towards your number more often than not. The higher percentage of time it does the more options you have later in the week. Do you keep your original wager, or do you try to middle? Has the information changed since you made your original play, if so should I look to get out of my position. These are all questions the Vegas Wise Guys ask themselves every week, and every day in basketball and baseball seasons.
So as our friend Alex Harvey stated back in the 70's, it's much better to be in the front of the line than catching sloppy seconds.