Articles

Thursday NCAA Football: Houston/Tulane Preview

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Oct 08, 2020

After experiencing five opening-game cancellations already this season, the Houston Cougars hope to kick off their season on Thursday night. Houston had their second game of the season at Washington State canceled in July when Pac-12 postponed their season. Their opener against Rice was canceled in August. COVID issues led to their games with Baylor and Rice postponed with the fifth game against Memphis rescheduled for December 5th. The Cougars will be anxious to get on the field again after experiencing their worst season in 15 years with their 4-8 campaign last year. Dana Holgorsen became perhaps the first college football program to embrace a soft tanking job with a handful of his players' redshirting. Holgorsen claimed his scout team on defense was the “greatest” in college football history by the end of the season, given its collection of redshirt and transfer talent awaiting eligibility. This Cougars team returns 19 starters from last year, along with another 33 new transfers from junior college, FCS, and FBS programs. One of the players who redshirted last season was senior quarterback D’Eriq King who later decided to transfer programs. King finds himself now playing in a Saturday night prime-time showdown on national television with his Miami Hurricanes playing the Clemson Tigers. Houston moved on at quarterback with sophomore Clayton Tune who passed for 1533 yards while completing 59% of his passes in his seven starts. Tune begins his junior as the leader of Holgorsen’s Air Raid offense this season. Bettors will need to consider how much of an advantage Tulane has with having three games already under their belts. The Green Wave have two wins on the road already at South Alabama and Southern Mississippi ,with their lone loss at home to Navy by a 27-24 score in the middle of those two games. Head coach Willie Fritz has a balanced team in his fifth year with the program. Their 441.0 yards-per-game average on offense is the fourth-best mark of American Athletic Conference teams while their 368.3 YPG total defense mark is third-best in the AAC. They have had a week off after defeating Southern Miss on the road by a 66-24 score in a game that was a transitional point in their season. Fritz benched senior quarterback Keon Howard in the first quarter after falling behind by a 14-0 score. True freshman Michael Pratt came on in relief to spark the team to outscore the Golden Eagles by a 66-10 margin the rest way of the way. Pratt completed only 8 of 18 passes, but those completions went for 142 yards with two touchdowns. He added another 40 yards with his legs. Tulane rushed for 472 yards in that game and averaged 7.9 yards-per-carry with seven of their runs reaching the end zone for a touchdown. The Green Wave lost their leading rusher, Tyjae Springs, in that game in a season-ending ACL injury, but Fritz has assembled a deep roster of capable rushers for his run-first spread offensive attack with the program. Cameron Carroll and Stephon Huderson combined to rush for 283 yards on 26 carries with four of those seven rushing touchdowns in that game with each topping the 100 rushing yard marker. Tulane won the meeting last year between these two teams by at home in New Orleans by 38-31 score. That game was the last time that King played for the Cougars as their quarterback, with Houston dropping to 1-3 with the loss. BetOnline has the Cougars as a -6.5-point favorite for the rematch on Thursday night with the total set at 59.5. ESPN has the broadcast. 

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NFL Thursday Night Football: Buccaneers/Bears Preview

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Oct 08, 2020

A battle of 3-1 football teams kicks off the fifth week of the NFL season for Thursday Night Football.Tampa Bay has responded to their 34-23 loss at New Orleans in the opening week of the season with three straight victories after their 38-31 win at home over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Buccaneers’ head coach Bruce Arians commented after the game that his team would have probably lost that contest last season. They fell behind by a 24-7 score in the second quarter before going into the locker rooms at halftime trailing by a 24-14 score. Tom Brady is the difference for this team this year. He played his best game in a Buccaneers uniform by completing 30 of 46 passes for 369 yards with five touchdown passes to lead his new team to the comeback victory. Brady has thrown 11 touchdown throws this season, tied for the 4th most in the NFL. Tampa Bay has increased the total yardage each week, with Brady also improving his passer rating in each game as he becomes more comfortable operating in Arians’ offense. He has also already thrown four interceptions this year to continue the nagging problem of turnovers that plagued this team last year with Jameis Winston under center. The Buccaneers have outscored their last three opponents by a 97 to 58 margin after that initial loss to the Saints. While the Brady addition to the franchise gets most of the attention, this has become an outstanding defense under the leadership of coordinator Todd Bowles. Tampa Bay’s defense is second in the NFL by holding their opponents to just 64.3 rushing yards per game. The Bucs’ are also third with 14 sacks while ranking second with their eight takeaways. The injury bug has hit this team. Tampa Bay lost tight end O.J. Howard for the season to his Achilles injury on Sunday. The Buccaneers’ top four wide receivers did not take part in Tuesday’s practice to prepare for this game on a short week. Chris Godwin and Justin Watson are out for this game with Mike Evans and Scottie Miller remaining questionable. Running back LeSean McCoy is also out for tonight with his stablemate in the backfield, Leonard Fournette, downgraded to doubtful and a game-time decision with his ankle injury. Ronald Jones III should get the majority of carries for Tampa Bay in this game. Chicago’s injury concerns are not as lengthy. The Bears’ depth in their secondary has taken a hit with defensive backs Deon Bush and Sherrick McManis with doubtful with injuries. Chicago is without running back Tarik Cohen, who is out the season with an ACL injury leaving the backfield duties primarily to David Montgomery. But linebacker Khalil Mack is off the injury report this week after being listed as questionable for each of the first four weeks of the season with his knee issues. Chicago saw their three-game winning streak snapped last week in a 19-11 loss at home to Indianapolis as a 3.5-point underdog. New starting quarterback Nick Foles struggled in a performance that begs the question as to whether or not Mitchell Trubisky would have benched if he had put up similar numbers. Foles completed 26 of 42 passes for 249 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception. The Bears rushed the ball only 16 times for 28 yards for a 1.8 yards-per-carry average. This game will be the first time that Brady will face off against Foles in a battle of starting quarterbacks since Super Bowl LII when the Eagles defeated the Patriots by a 41-33 score. With both players playing for different teams, BetAnySports has Tampa Bay as a 3.5-point favorite with the total set at 44.5. Fox, the NFL Network, and Amazon will all have the broadcast with the kickoff set shortly after 8:20 PM ET.

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How to Read Football Odds

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Oct 08, 2020

How to read football oddsIt's a cozy Sunday afternoon.  You and the boys want to get together for a classic game of NFL action.  On some game days, you would go to the stadium, and spend lots of dollars on tickets.  But more often than not, you would choose to be in the comfort of your house, and tune in through the television.  Of course, any money saved from not having to purchase a game ticket, can be used as your betting money.  And with the advent of online sportsbooks, getting down on a football game couldn’t be easier.A few minutes before kick-off, you hop online to visit one of the popular online sportsbooks to explore the possibilities.  You immediately notice that you can bet not only on your hometown team, but also on all the other NFL games, as well as college football, baseball, and even soccer games across the pond.  You just found an entirely new world that's welcoming you with open arms.The first thing to understand when you place your bets are the betting odds.  And because there’s not a ticket writer who could educate you on the odds (like you might find in Las Vegas at the Wynn sportsbook), you need to understand the numbers yourself.  In this guide, we'll take you through the betting odds and show you how to get started betting on football straightaway! What are the different types of betting odds? Sports betting is a global industry.  It started centuries ago with sports like horse racing and gladiator fights, and now extends to all sports played, world-wide.  As there are many cultural differences, there are also differences in the way people approach sports betting in different countries and regions.  We'll take you through some of the most popular forms of betting odds, including those used in the United States.Fractional oddsIn the United Kingdom, fractional odds are the most common odds used in sports betting.  Bookies in the U.K. display their sports odds in the form of a fraction.  This shows your potential winnings as a proportion of your stake, indicated by a slash (/).   Let's say the Kansas City Chiefs play against the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.  Each team would get certain odds, so your betting lines might look like this: Kansas City Chiefs 4/5 San Francisco 49ers 11/10 This means, for every five dollars you wager on the Chiefs, you would receive four dollars profit.  When you're wagering $100 on the Chiefs, to learn your potential profit, you would use the following formula:  (Stake / Denominator ) x Numerator = Profit ($100 / 5) x 4 = $80 The fractional odds can be quite difficult if you're not used to them, or are poor at math.  Luckily, most bookmakers and oddsmakers in the United States do not use fractional odds.Decimal oddsAnother major part of sports bettors in the world use decimal odds.  It's another way to display the odds of an individual matchup between two teams.  The decimal odds are the most simple form of betting odds, as they take into consideration a 1 dollar bet instead of otherwise.  Let's say you have a match between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots.  You like the underdog Jets to pull the upset and win.  Thus, your betting slip might look like this as an example:New York Jets 2.65This means that for every dollar you are wagering on this bet, you would get $2.65 in return.  Thus, a $100 bet would bring in $265 as a total payout, so your net profit would be $165 after you subtracted your $100 stake.American oddsIf you've ever been to a Las Vegas sportsbook, you have probably seen the American-style odds.  These are also called the moneyline odds.  In the moneyline odds, the bookmakers clearly show which team is the underdog and which team is the favorite.  The underdog carries the plus sign, while the favorite is associated with the minus sign.  The betting lines might look like this: Minnesota Vikings -175 Chicago Bears +155 The American odds are based on a wagering amount of $100.  To calculate the probability of winning a game for both teams, you get two formulas: Chance of the underdog winning = 100/(positive odds +100) = implied probability Chance of the favorite winning = Negative odds/(negative odds - 100) When we fill these formulas in with the example above we get the following chances of winning: 100/(155 + 100) = 39.21% chance of winning -175/(-175 - 100) = 63.63% chance of winning Now, the very first thing which you will notice in our example above is that the two percentages, when added together, exceed 100%, as they’re 102.84%.  On the surface, that makes no sense.  But the reason for this is that any sportsbook needs to make a profit, so the amount above 100% is its vigorish, or juice.  Here’s a different way to think about it:  the oddsmakers will overvalue the chance that a team has to win, and then they pay out slightly less than the “true odds.”  So, to calculate the true odds, just divide each implied probability by the total of all probabilities added together, or 102.84%.  Thus, the Vikings’ true odds would be 63.63/102.84, or 61.87%, while the Bears’ true odds would be 39.21/102.84, or 38.13%.  And whether you’re playing at an online sportsbook or at a brick-and-mortar one, the odds take into account the amount needed by the house to cover its operating costs per bet.How to calculate your payout with moneyline oddsWith sports betting, it all comes down to the dollar signs, doesn't it?  Let’s say you make 10 NFL bets, and want to know how the final scores will impact your bank account.  Some games might win, while others might lose.  To give you a handle on the potential payout when using the moneyline odds, let's take the following example: Jacksonville Jaguars -160 Cincinnati Bengals +140 As we illustrated above, the Bengals, at +140, are the underdog, while the Jaguars, at -160, are the favorite.  With moneyline odds, we assume each bettor wants to win (or lose) $100.  Thus, you have two possible scenarios for a winning bet: You bet $160 on the favorite, and they win.  Your total payout is $260, which means your profit is $100, over and above your initial stake of $160. You want to risk $100 on the underdog.  Thus, if you wager $100 at +140 odds, you would win $140 on top of your initial stake.  Your total payout would be $240. Betting odds calculatorTo give you a helping hand, many betting sites have a betting odds calculator to calculate the possible amount of money you can win.  You simply fill in the amount you want to wager and the odds provided by the oddsmakers.  Within seconds, you know the exact profits that your bet would deliver.  It's an easy way to check where you're at and whether a bet is worth a wager. What are the most common NFL bets? Understanding the odds is one thing, but making sure you understand football betting entirely is another.  You can understand the odds, but when you don't fully understand the different types of bets in football betting, there's less of a chance you'll end up with profits.  First, we'll show you the basic bets that most NFL bettors use; the more advanced bets will come afterward.MoneylineThe moneyline bet is for gamblers who simply want to predict which team ends up with the higher score -- which team wins.  It's probably the easiest bet to understand.  The moneyline odds show you which team is favored and which team is the underdog, as assigned by the bookies.  Of course, just because a team is favored to win does not mean it will.  When choosing a winner, make sure you do thorough research before placing your bet.Over/underThe over/under is also known as a totals bet.  With this wager, you don't pick a winning team, but instead predict whether the game will be relatively higher or lower-scoring.  In other words, you pick whether the match's overall score will be over or under the number of points given by the oddsmakers.  As an example, let's take a matchup between the Washington Redskins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The over/under could look like this: Over 49 Under 49 You have to predict whether both teams would combine to score more points than 49 or less than 49.  It's as simple as that.  The odds for the over/under bet are usually -110, but that depends on the sportsbook at which you place your bet.Point spreadThe point spread bet is the most popular NFL wager with bettors all across the States.  People simply love betting the spread, and it's for a simple reason.  Unlike moneyline wagers, both NFL sides have a (roughly) 50% chance to cover the spread.  And when you're good at betting the spread, you could be in for a consistent cash-flow which turns your betting hobby into a full-time profession.  But, it does require some skills to get to this stage.With a point spread, you're betting on the margin of victory for each team in any given matchup. The betting lines could look like this, as an example: Cleveland Browns -5.5 (+110) Baltimore Ravens +5.5 (-110) Like a moneyline bet, the point spread has a favorite and an underdog, indicated by the positive or negative numbers.  The Browns are the point spread favorite, and need to win by six or more points to bring you a winning ticket.  On the other hand, the Ravens need to either win the game, straight-up, or lose by less than 5.5 points.  And one of the more exciting things about point spread wagering is that the result of the bet often isn’t decided until a game’s final moments, even if it was known much earlier which team was going to be victorious.Half-pointWith point spreads, the spread number is either a whole number or a half-point number.  When using half-points, an oddsmaker can more easily balance the betting action.  Additionally, a half-point number removes any chance of a game resulting in a push (tie), which is a result not favored by the bookmaker.  Remember, bookmakers are in business to earn a profit, and they cannot earn their vigorish (profit) when they have to refund the bettors’ stakes. How to find the best football odds When you're finding a way to develop your winning sports betting strategy, it's essential to pay attention to the odds.  No matter what kind of bet you make -- whether it's a parlay bet or a moneyline bet -- you need the best numbers and the best odds.  It might not matter too much for one bet, but if you're in this long term, it's essential to find the best odds.  The first thing to understand is that sports betting is a marketplace.  There are hundreds of sportsbooks, and each offers slightly different point spreads and slightly different odds, depending on where its oddsmaker establishes the numbers, and how much vigorish it wants.  The vig, also known as the juice, is the profit a bookmaker needs to operate.  And some sportsbooks offer “reduced juice,” which is a huge benefit for the sports bettor.  For example, our #1-rated sportsbook is BetAnySports, primarily because it offers reduced juice on football and basketball games.  Thus, when you play at BetAnySports, you can lay -105 odds on football and basketball games, rather than -110 odds.The best way to approach finding the best football odds is to shop around.  All sharp gamblers have accounts at multiple sportsbooks and keep a watchful eye on the lines.  The numbers constantly change, and the professionals will always be on the lookout for an extra half-point.  When you choose your sportsbooks, it’s critical to have accounts at those books that have unique odds -- that is, they post their own numbers, and don’t copy the odds of other sportsbooks.  That way, you give yourself the best opportunity to snag that extra half-point.  The best sportsbooks in this regard include BetAnySports, BetOnline, BetNow and Bovada. Whatever you do, enjoy betting.  It can be emotional at times, but always remember to have fun.  Never wager more than you're able to lose -- both emotionally and financially -- and always keep your eyes on your bankroll.  We're here to give you the best advice with our betting guides, anything else to make you a winning sports bettor

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2020 NCAA Football: Fast-developing Trends in the Covid-era

by Tom Stryker

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2020

As a college football nation, we are obviously fighting through a very difficult time.  There are limited (or no) fans in the stands, an abundance of testing and several concerns floating around every college team on a weekly basis.  Until the man upstairs decides to bless us with a vaccine or a weakening of this ugly virus, we’ll be forced to adapt our handicapping styles and conform to what may, or may not, be working at the time.The Team Stryker Database has been a lifesaver this football season.  What would normally take hours to research, is available at the click of a button in a matter of seconds.  Earlier this week, I created a COVID-19 set of games and tried to find money-making opportunities within them.  All results listed are from kickoff of the 2020 season through Wednesday, October 7th. PLAY AGAINST any 2020 college favorite priced at -4 or more if they are playing a conference opponent.2020 Record = 33-13-1 ATS for 71.7 percent PLAY AGAINST any 2020 college team if they take the field off a SU and ATS win.2020 Record = 20-10 ATS for 66.7 percent PLAY AGAINST any 2020 college favorite priced at -11 or more.2020 Record = 34-16 ATS for 68.0 percent PLAY AGAINST any 2020 college guest provided they arrive with momentum off a straight up win.2020 Record = 20-8 ATS for 71.4 percent PLAY ON any 2020 college football home dog if they are battling a conference foe.2020 Record = 17-5-1 ATS for 77.2 percent As you can see from the results listed above, the dogs are barking this football season.  Of course, it’s early.  These are simply trends that have developed out of the gate.  As teams progress through the year and offenses and defenses mature, these technical situations will likely change.  The results are certainly interesting and definitely worth noting at least for now. Next week, I’ll be back with a look at what’s working during these COVID-19 times in the NFL.  Best of luck as always men!

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Ness Notes: Wednesday, Oct 7

by Larry Ness

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2020

This column will be available Monday through Friday (posted no later than 1:00 ET), EXCLUSIVELY at BigAl.com. I like to call it my daily 'random thoughts' on the sports betting world, although I'll pass along that my therapist refers to it as "thoughtful commentary."NBA Finals: The Miami Heat reached this year's NBA Finals as the East's No. 5 to face the LA Lakers, the West's No. 1 seed. Miami is the first team seeded fifth or lower to reach the NBA Finals since the eighth-seeded New York Knicks lost to San Antonio in 1999. The last team seeded fifth or lower to win an NBA title was Houston in 1995, when it beat Orlando as the West's No. 6 seed. The Lakers rolled in Game 1 by the score of 116-98 and took Game 2 by 10 points (124-114), as Miami was with Dragic and Adebayo. Despite playing without those two starters in Game 3, Miami's starters outscored the Lakers' starting five 89-51 and Jimmy Butler played "the game of his life," with 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists. Butler became the 21st player to have a triple-double in the NBA Finals but it was just the third 40-point triple-double in Finals history. Game 4 was last night and Adebayo returned for Miami. He scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 33 minutes but Butler was able to score just 25 points (down from 40). The Heat used just three players off the bench and that trio combined for 13 points while shooting an abysmal 4 of 18 (22.2%). LBJ was his usual self (28-12-8) and A.D. bounced from a poor game (15 points) with 22 points and nine rebounds, while starting LA guards Caldwell-Pope and Green combined to score 25 points. LA's bench outscored Miami's 27-13. The Heat stayed with the Lakers all game but LA bettors (INCLUDING ME) lost when Miami rookie Tyler Herro nailed a three-pointer with 1.1 seconds to go. The 102-96 final gave Miami the ATS win. And so it goes in the sports betting world. The Heat fell to 13-6 SU this postseason but are 15-4 ATS, while the Lakers are 15-4 SU but just 10-8-1 ATS. Playoff numbers to-date: Favorites are just 40-39-2 ATS, while the under has cashed in 47 of the 81 games (58.0 percent). For those following the "Zig-Zag" Theory (that means playing "on" the SU loser of the previous game), they've gone 30-33-2 ATS (47.6%) or minus-6.3 net units. Game 5 is Thursday and the early line has the Lakers favored by the same 7 1/2-points they were in Game 4.MLB Playoffs: The NL 'joined the party' on Tuesday with Miami vs Atlanta from Houston. and the Padres vs the Dodgers from Arlington. I noted in Tuesday's notes that Atlanta's Max Fried had made 12 starts in 2020 (including Game 1 of the wild card series) and the Braves have gone 11-1. However, he allowed four ERs on six hits in just four innings. The Braves trailed 4-3 entering the bottom of the 7th but 'exploded' for SIX runs, highlighted by Travis d'Arnaud's three-run HR and two-run shot by Dansby Swanson. The final was 9-5 Atlanta, as five relievers held Miami to just two hits and one run over five innings with seven Ks Atlanta is now 12-1 in Fried's 2020 starts (never in doubt).The Dodgers beat the Padres 5-1 in that series Game 1, which was somewhat strange. Mike Clevinger made it only two pitches into the second inning of his postseason debut for the Padres before leaving with the same elbow injury that sidelined him during the first round. San Diego's heavily worked bullpen couldn't keep putting up zeros, or keeping runners off base, even though the Padres gave up only four hits. Clevinger walked three batters in his one-plus inning of work and then NINE San Diego relievers allowed SEVEN more. The Dodgers had already drawn nine walks before Mookie Betts got their first hit in the sixth inning, when LA boke open a 12- game with FOUR runs. Buehler lasted just four innings, allowing two hits and one ER with eight Ks. Four relievers worked five scoreless innings and the LA staff struck out 14 Padres!Back in the AL, the Astros took a 2-0 lead over the A's with a 5-2 win and the Rays evened their series with the Yankees with a 7-5 win. George Springer hit two HRs and Martin Maldonado also went deep for Houston, as the Astros (just 29-31 in the regular season) moved to 4-0 in the postseason and are now just ONE win away from reaching their FOURTH straight ALCS. Oakland didn't have an at-bat with a runner in scoring position, as the A's are batting only .226 for the series (14 for 62). The NY Yankees became the first team in American League history to hit a grand slam in back-to-back playoff games in Game 1, while setting a franchise record by hitting at least three HRs in three consecutive postseason games. Giancarlo Stanton hit two HRs in Game 2 and has now hit five HRs this postseason, tying an MLB record held by Juan Gonzalez (Rangers, 1996) for HRs by a player in his team's first four playoff games. However, the Rays hit four HRs in Game 2 and more importantly, four Rays pitchers struck out 18 Yankees, an MLB postseason record for a nine-inning game and a postseason record for Yankees batters. Starter Tyler Glasnow allowed three hits and four runs in five-plus innings, while walking three. His 10 strikeouts surpass the previous Rays postseason record of nine done three times. It was the Rays' 10th straight win when Glasnow started. He won his FIFTH straight start and SEVENTH consecutive decision.Wednesday's MLB (in order of starting times). Miami (Lopez) vs Atlanta (Anderson) at 2:08 ET (Braves -210 / 8 .5), Oakland (Luzardo) vs Houston (Urquidy) at 3:35 ET (Astros -110 / 9), Tampa Bay (Morton) vs NY Yankees (Tanaka) at 7:10 ET (NYY -125 / 9) and San Diego (undecided) vs Los Angeles (Kershaw) at 9:08 ET (no line). Thursday's notes zeroes in on CFB Last week's highlights, current AP poll and a look ahead to the weekend.Good luck...Larry

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB Preview

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2020

The four games in the MLB Divisional Series dominate the Wednesday sports card.The card begins at 2:08 PM ET with the Miami/Atlanta NLDS. The Braves won the opening game of this series between NL East rivals on Tuesday with their 9-5 victory in this best-of-five series. Atlanta will send out Ian Anderson to the mound, who was 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in six regular-season starts. The Marlins counter with Pablo Lopez, who was 6-4 in the regular season with a 3.61 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in eleven starts. Atlanta is -198 moneyline favorites with the total set at 9 (all odds from BetOnline). This game is being played at Minute Maid Park in Houston with the Braves the technical home team batting last. The MLB Network has the broadcast. Houston looks to complete a three-game sweep of Oakland at 3:35 PM ET. The Astros took a 2-0 lead in this series on Tuesday with their 5-2 victory over the A’s. Jose Urquidy takes the hill on Wednesday with his 1-1 record along with a 2.73 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in five regular-season starts. Oakland hopes to avoid elimination from the playoffs with Jesus Luzardo their starting pitcher. The rookie is 3-2 with a 4.12 ERA and a  1.27 WHIP in twelve games in the regular season that includes nine starts. Houston is a -116 moneyline favorite with the over/under at 9. The Astros are the technical home team with this game played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. TBS has the game.Tampa Bay evened their series with the Yankees on Tuesday with their 7-5 victory. Game 3 of this series on Wednesday with New York now the technical home team at Petco Park in San Diego. The Yankees send out Masahiro Tanaka, who is 3-3 with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in ten regular-season starts. Charlie Morton counters for the Rays who was 2-2 with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in nine regular-season starts. New York is a -122 moneyline favorite with the total set at 9. TBS has this broadcast at 7:10 PM ET.The final game on the MLB card is Game 2 of the San Diego/Los Angeles series. The Dodgers won Game 1 on Tuesday with their 5-1 victory. The Dodgers turn to Clayton Kershaw as their starting pitcher, who was 6-2 with a 2.16 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP in 10 starts. Padres manager Jayce Tingler has settled on Zach Davies as the starter.  The Dodgers are a -225 favorite, with the total set at 8.5 runs.  The Dodgers will bat last as the technical home team with this game played at Global Life Field in Arlington, Texas. This game will be on FS1 with the first pitch scheduled for 9:08 PM ET.

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What is the Hook in Sports Betting?

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2020

What is the hook in sports betting? Over the years, the sports betting industry has developed into a league of its own.  It now generates billions in revenue every single year, and stretches further than just sports, as you can even make prop bets on who will be elected President of the United States, and so forth.  But the true essence remains in leagues like the NBA, NFL, MLB, and the NHL.  Collectively, the four major sports in the United States sell hundreds of millions of tickets annually to their games, and even more follow along at home, via the internet, television or radio.  It’s true that a majority of sports fans are not gamblers.  But many are, and they dedicate a large portion of their time to predicting a sporting event's outcome.  This group of betting sports fans is also rapidly growing, as gambling -- now legal -- becomes more accepted in society.One thing that newcomers to the gambling world might find is that sports bettors have their own lingo, as certain sports betting terms and abbreviations are used to refer to various actions, situations, or statistics.  Some of the more familiar terms include ‘laying the points,’ ‘key numbers,’ ‘vigorish,’ and ‘longshot’ -- all sorts of terms that are part of the average bettor’s glossary.  The more of these terms you become familiar with, the easier your betting process will be, and the faster you can act upon new information.In this betting guide, we'll dive into the term 'hook,' a term often used in such phrases as: ‘won by a hook,’ ‘favored by 3 and a hook,’ and 'buy the hook.'  By these examples, you can probably figure out that ‘hook’ refers to a half-point on a point spread.  In this article, we'll show you the exact details on how to handle half-points in point spreads. Introduction to point spread betting First, we have to make clear how the point spread bet correctly works.  It's a construction which relates to a competition between two teams in a sporting event with incremental scoring.  Unlike a moneyline wager, which is only concerned with which team actually wins the game, straight-up, a point-spread (or run-line, goal-line, or puck-line) wager is only concerned with the margin of victory.  As with a moneyline wager, there's a favored team and an underdog.  But with a point spread wager, a game’s final score is just the starting point.  To determine a point spread bet’s winner, you have to add (or subtract) the point spread to the final score.  That might not be easy, at first, to grasp, so allow us to illustrate with an example.  Say, the betting line for an NBA game is: ​Milwaukee Bucks -5 Chicago Bulls +5 In this example, you have the Milwaukee Bucks competing against the Chicago Bulls.  Of course, both teams will strive to win the game.  But regardless of which team wins, we’ll need to apply the betting line after the game goes final.  The Bucks are a 5-point favorite, while the Bulls are a 5-point underdog.  The Bucks will cover the spread only if they manage to win the game by more than 5 points.  On the other hand, the Bulls need to either win straight-up, or lose by four points or less, to cover the spread.  If MIlwaukee would win by exactly five points, then the point spread bet would result in a tie, and all monies would be refunded to the bettors.  Now, in the example above, the point spread is a whole number.  However, in many cases, a game’s point spread ends in a half-point.  That's where betting the hook comes into play.  Your betting line could look like this: New Jersey Nets -2.5 Memphis Grizzlies +2.5 The existence of the half-point in this example removes the bet's potential to result in a tie.  When a point spread ties, the bet pushes, and all bettors receive a refund.  Bookmakers -- if their action is balanced on a particular game -- would actually be hurt by a push, as they would not be able to earn their vigorish (or profit). Difference between point spreads with or without a hook So, point spreads with hooks are a way to ensure the bet doesn't result in a push, which may be in a bookmaker’s interest.  But, from a bettor’s standpoint, there are betting strategies -- especially in football, due to key numbers -- that come into play when a game is situated on a half-point.  Let’s explain.  Say, the Minnesota Vikings are playing the Denver Broncos, and the Vikings are favored by 9.5 points, across the board, at every sportsbook.  You really love the Broncos as a big underdog, but are faced with a choice.  Do you bet on the Broncos now, at +9.5 points?  Or do you wait?  The smart answer to this question relates to the betting odds.  Most sportsbooks, as you know, have standard -110 odds in football (though some, like BetAnySports have reduced juice at -105 odds).  So, at -110 odds, if you lose your bet, you lose 10% more than if you would win your bet.  Therefore, the best strategy is to wait to see if you can get +10 points, with the idea that, should the line drop to +9, you would immediately bet on the Broncos at +9.  Some may ask the question, ‘why not just take the +9.5 points?’  The reason is that you are helped more by gaining a half-point, and avoiding a loss, should Denver lose by exactly 10 points, than by losing a half-point, and missing out on a win, should Denver lose by exactly nine points.  Now, why is avoiding a loss more valuable to the bettor than missing out on a win?  It’s because of the -110 odds.  That is, losing is 10% worse to a bettor than winning is good.  Please note that if the point spread is on a whole number (at every sportsbook, across the board) rather than a half-point number, then the smart decision (assuming you couldn’t divine which way the market was going to move) would be to immediately place your bet at that whole number.  And that’s because, due to the -110 odds, you would lose more if you lost a half-point than you would gain by getting an extra half-point. Should Sports Bettors buy the hook? Many gamblers are fans of the strategy of buying half-points.  Typically, sportsbooks will charge an extra 10 cents of juice for the privilege (though the juice will be more expensive in football if you are buying on or off the number 3).  Generally speaking, buying half-points is a strategy we do not endorse.  Instead, it’s a much better strategy to have accounts at, say, three to five sportsbooks to shop for the best numbers.  In any event, let’s illustrate a real-world result of ‘buying the hook.’  Let’s take an NFL example and look at the January 12, 2020 playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.  At BetOnline Sportsbook, the line on the game was Green Bay -4.5 points.  Now, let’s say you wanted to wager on Seattle.  You could take the Seahawks +4.5 points at -110 odds.  Or, you could buy a half-point, and get the Seahawks at +5, at -120 odds.  In this game, the Packers won by exactly five points, 28-23.  So, bettors who bought the half-point, and took the Seahawks at +5 were able to push, and avoid a loss.  But, was that the best move, based on the historical data?  Since 1980, there were 333 games with a line of -4.5 points.  The underdog covered 167, and failed to cover 166.  If you bet on every underdog at +4.5, you would be down 15.6 net games, after the juice.  However, if you bought a half-point on each of those 333 games, your record would instead be 167-158-8.  Yes, you avoided losses on eight of the 166 games.  Unfortunately, because you laid -120 odds rather than -110 odds on the remaining 158 losses, your net loss worsened to minus 22.6 net games.As you can see in this example, buying the hook is a poor decision in the long run.  However, in reality, nobody would be betting every single 4.5-point underdog.  It’s possible that, given a bettor’s particular circumstances, buying a half-point makes sense (perhaps, for example, as part of a hedging strategy).  But, in general, stay away from buying the hook. The importance of a good sportsbook ​Since we covered spread betting, you know how important finding the right betting lines are.  Often, winning or losing comes down to a half-point.  And, if you can get an extra half-point on your bets, then you will increase your win percentage by roughly 2%.  That’s why having multiple sportsbooks is critical for sports gamblers.  But just as important is the decision at which sportsbooks to open accounts.  You can’t be too casual when making sports wagers; you always need to follow the market, and shop for the best numbers.  The biggest mistake that rookie bettors make is that they only bet with one sportsbook, and are held hostage to that sportsbook’s numbers.  We'll show you a little more on the topic of how sportsbooks operate, and give you some additional information to make a smart decision when choosing your sportsbooks. Why do most bettors lose? Sportsbooks make more money each year than the movie and music industry combined!  The overwhelming majority of sports bettors lose against the bookmakers.  Why is that?  In most cases, bookmakers win against sports bettors for two reasons.  First and foremost, bookmakers have access to a lot of data, and are able to set good odds.  With an 11-to-10 advantage, the bookmakers’ edge is difficult to overcome.  And second, most bettors make really poor decisions that exacerbate the built-in disadvantage they already have.  For example, bettors will frequently bet on parlays that have a much-worse ROI than straight bets.  Or they’ll buy the hook on a football game, and lay -120 odds rather than -110 odds.  But the single-most foolish decision which gamblers make is that they don’t have accounts at multiple sportsbooks. Pick your sportsbook wisely We can't stress enough how important it is to play with the right sportsbooks.  With hundreds of online betting sites, it's easy to settle for the first bookie you come across when surfing around the internet, but it's not the best idea.  You now know how important it is to shop for the best betting lines.  But it’s not just enough to open up three to five accounts.  You also have to choose the right three to five sportsbooks!  Let’s explain.  First, even though most sportsbooks offer standard -110 odds for football and basketball games, some -- like our #1-rated sportsbook, BetAnySports -- offer reduced juice at -105 odds.  If you bet on sports, and you bet just a nickel a game, the average bettor will save over $4,000 in juice over just one NFL season by laying -105 rather than -110.  And we’re not even talking about how much you would save on NBA, NCAA Basketball or NCAA Football bets.  That’s why BetAnySports is a “must-join” sportsbook for any bettor.  Now, that’s one factor in choosing the best sportsbooks.  But another critical factor is that the sportsbook have unique lines.  That is, does the sportsbook publish its own numbers, or does it merely copy the numbers of other major sportsbooks?  If you have an account at, say, BookMaker, it won’t do you any good if your other sportsbooks just copy BookMaker’s numbers because, in that instance, when you shop for numbers, you’ll find all your numbers are the same!  So, you need sportsbooks that have unique lines.  And most of the sportsbooks that rank among our Top 10 do have unique lines, including BetAnySports (#1), BetNow (#2), Bovada (#3), BetOnline (#4), BookMaker (#5) and BetUS (#10).Of course, there are also other factors at play when you choose a sportsbook.  Perhaps you want to wager $50,000 on an NFL side?  If that’s the case, then you would join BookMaker, as it has the largest betting limits.  Or, maybe you want free money?  If so, then you would want to join BetNow, because it has the biggest sign-up bonus.  Or maybe you like to play parlays?  If so, then you would join BetAnySports for its industry-leading parlay and teaser odds.  We’ve researched all the leading sportsbooks, so be sure to read all of our reviews to determine which books are best for you.The sports betting industry is certainly a lot of fun, and can also be vastly rewarding.  We're here to educate you on every aspect of the sports betting realm to ensure you make the right decisions.  We can't guarantee any profits, of course, but we will put you in the best position to win.  Along the way, we will provide you all the information, tips, and strategies you need to bring you the requisite confidence and knowledge to place a winning bet.  Enjoy the ride, and we'll see you around!

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NBA Finals Game 4: Lakers/Heat Preview

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2020

The Miami Heat made the NBA Finals a competitive series on Sunday with their 115-104 upset victory the Lakers as a 9-point underdog. They have the opportunity to even this series at two games apiece tonight at 9 PM ET.Jimmy Butler put his team on his shoulders by scoring 40 points while adding 13 assists and 11 rebounds for his first triple-double in the playoffs in his career. That was a throwback performance for Butler when considering that none of his points came from a made 3-pointer. This effort was rated by Basketball-Reference with their second-best Grade Score mark in the NBA playoff history going back to 1984 when they start making those measurements. It was the ninth time that Butler scored at least 30 points in a playoff game in his 44 postseason contests since 2015 when he first made the All-Star team. The Heat won that game despite not having the services of Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo. Dragic remains doubtful for tonight with his foot injury, but Adebayo has been upgraded to questionable. Adebayo was claiming that he wanted to play on Sunday despite his neck injury, but the Miami staff decided against it. With another two days of rest and healing, Adebayo may return to the court tonight. It remains uncertain for how long he will play along to what level of effectiveness he can perform. Miami won all four quarters of Game 3 even without the services of Adebayo and Dragic. The Heat also won the final two-quarters of Game 2 in their 124-114 loss to the Lakers, so they will begin the 1st quarter tonight having won six straight quarters in this series despite the injuries to two of their top three scorers. The Heat won Game 3 despite Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson missing 12 of their 17 shots from 3-point land. That 29.4% shooting clip from downtown was far below the 38.9% shooting percentage they combined to produce during the regular season.The Lakers stumbled out of the gates on Sunday by committing ten turnovers in the 1st quarter after turning the ball over just 11 times on Friday in Game 2. Los Angeles ended the game with 20 turnovers. Kentavious Caldwell Pope and Danny Green missed 10 of their 11 shots from 3-point land in Game 3. Anthony Davis scored only 15 points as well after only playing 33 minutes after getting whistled for three personal fouls in the first half. Davis only had nine shots from the field after scoring at least 32 points in the first two games of this series. Sunday’s game was just the 16th time all season that Davis did not score at least 20 points this season. LeBron James scored 25 points while adding ten rebounds and eight assists in Game 3. However, his eight turnovers were out of character. It is a rare occurrence when James is not the best player on the court, but that was the case on Sunday with Jimmy Butler owning the spotlight.ABC has the broadcast. The Lakers are 7-point favorites at BetAnySports with the total set at 219.

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Ness Notes: Tuesday, Oct 6

by Larry Ness

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2020

This column will be available Monday through Friday (posted no later than 1:00 ET), EXCLUSIVELY at BigAl.com. I like to call it my daily 'random thoughts' on the sports betting world, although I'll pass along that my therapist refers to it as "thoughtful commentary."The NFL concluded its Week 4 with a MNF doubleheader as the Pats/Chiefs game, postponed from Sunday to to COVID-19 issues, joined the regularly scheduled MNF game between the Falcons and Packers. New England played without Cam Newton but gave KC fits most of the way (trailed just 13-10 in the 4th quarter), before Mahomes' second TD pass and a "pick-six" by Tyrann Mathieu (just NINE seconds apart), led KC to a 26-10.Green Bay beat Atlanta 30-16, as Aaron Rodgers threw for 327 yards with four TDs. The Chiefs and Packers are both 4-0, joining the Bills and Seahawks as the NFL's lone 4-0 teams. The Steelers and Titans are each 3-0 but had their game postponed Sunday. The Falcons' MNF loss dropped them to 0-4, joining the Giants, Jets and Texans. The Jets and Titans are also both 0-4 ATS, while the Falcons are 1-3 and the Giants a 'giddy' 2-2! Houston, which won the AFC South last season for the FOURTH time in the last five seasons, have seen enough of Bill O'Brien. He was not only head coach but was also the team's GM. He was fired Monday afternoon with associate head coach Romeo Crennel named as the team's interim head coach. Now that's the 'ticket!' Crennel's record as an NFL head coach is 28-55 (.337) in five-plus seasons with the Browns and Chiefs!Home teams went 2-0 SU and ATS on Monday night, after opening the week going 4-9 SU and 2-10-1 ATS. Week 4's first 13 games averaged 54.2 PPG but with totals being adjusted higher, saw six games go over, five go under and two fall "on the closing number." Both Monday games went under. Home teams are barely over .500 SU on the season at 25-22, while going just 20-25-2 ATS (Home dogs are 4-13 SU and 7-8-2 ATS). Overs still lead unders at 26-19-2 (57.8%). NFL Week 5 kicks off Thursday night when the 3-1 Bucs (what a comeback by Brady on Sunday when he threw five TD passes!) visit the 3-1 Bears, whose options at QB are either Foles or Trubisky.NBA Finals: The Miami Heat reached this year's NBA Finals as the East's No. 5 to face the LA Lakers, the West's No. 1 seed. Miami is the first team seeded fifth or lower to reach the NBA Finals since the eighth-seeded New York Knicks lost to San Antonio in 1999. The last team seeded fifth or lower to win an NBA title was Houston in 1995, when it beat Orlando as the West's No. 6 seed. The Lakers rolled in Game 1 by the score of 116-98 and took Game 2 by 10 points (124-114), as Miami was with Dragic and Adebayo. Despite playing without those two starters in Game 3, Miami's starters outscored the Lakers' starting five 89-51 and Jimmy Butler played "the game of his life," with 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists. Butler became the 21st player to have a triple-double in the NBA Finals but it was just the third 40-point triple-double in Finals history. LBJ played a typical game in Sunday's loss (25-10-8), as he's averaging 27.7-10.7-9.0 through three games. However, the Lakers committed 10 turnovers in the first quarter alone in Game 3, one more than they had total in Game 2. They finished the contest with 20, James being responsible for eight and Anthony Davis five. Davis, after scoring 34 and 32 points in the first two games, took just NINE shots and finished with only 15 points. LA's other three starters (Howard, Green and Caldwell-Pope), combined for a pathetic11 points on 3-0f-13 shooting (23.1%).Do we have a series now? We'll find out in tonight's Game 4, where the Lakers are 7 1/2-point favorites. The Heats are 13-5 SU this postseason (14-4 ATS), while the Lakers are 14-4 SU but 10-7-1 ATS. Playoff numbers to-date: Favorites are just 40-38-2 ATS , while the under has cashed in 46 of the 80 games (57.5 percent). For those following the "Zig-Zag" Theory (that means playing "on" the SU loser of the previous game), they've gone 30-32-2 ATS (45.6%) or minus-5.1 net units.MLB Playoffs: The AL gets things going on Monday. The A's got the better of the Astros 7-3 in the season series but fell in Game 1 of the ALDS, 10-5. The teams combined for six HRs (three each) but the Astros out-hit the A's 16-8, overcoming a 5-3 deficit to score the game's final SEVEN runs from the 6th-inning on. Game 1 between the Yankees and Rays was expected to be a pitchers duel between Cole and Snell. That wasn't the case. Cole was solid but hardly spectacular (6 IP/ 3 ERs / 8 Ks) and Snell had a less-than-impressive outing ( 5 IP / six hits, including 3 HRs / 4 ERs). It was 4-3 Yanks into the 9th when New York broke the game open on the strength of Stanton's grand slam. The Yanks would score FIVE runs in the top of the 9th for a 9-3 win and a 1-0 series lead. The Bronx Bombers became the first team in American League history to hit a grand slam in back-to-back playoff games, while setting a franchise record by hitting at least three HRs in three consecutive postseason games. New York's goal in Game 2, after recording 31 runs and a major league-record 11 HRs in their first three postseason contests. It's Valdez (Hou) vs Manaea (Oak) in Game 2 and the game is a pick-em and the total is 9. The Yankees send rookie Garcia up against the Rays Glasnow, with the Rays favored (-125) and the total set at 8.The NL 'joins the party' on Tuesday with Miami vs Atlanta at 2:08 ET from Houston. The second-seeded Braves did not surrender a run in their two-game sweep of Cincinnati over 22 innings, while the sixth-seeded Marlins allowed just ONE while sweeping the Chicago Cubs *Chicago batted .145 in the two games). Miami lost 105 games in 2019 and became the first team to reach the playoffs after a 100-loss season. The Marlins finished second in the NL East at 31-29 being beset by a virus outbreak early this season that forced 18 players from the field following the opening series and prevented them from playing for more than a week. Remember, the only other times the Marlins have reached the  postseason in their history, they won the World Series (in 1997 and 2003). It's Alcantara for Miami and Max Fried for Atlanta. Fried has made 12 starts in 2020 (including Game 1 of the wild card series) and the Braves have gone 11-1. It's no surprise that Atlanta is favored (-1950 in Game 1, with a total of 8.The teams with the two best records in the National League open tonight in Arlington at 9:38 ET, as the Dodgers, owners of MLB's best record (43-17) face the Padres, whose 37-23 record was second-best in the NL. The Dodgers won six of the 10 regular season matchups and will turn to Walker Buehler in Game 1, while the Padres have yet to announce a starter for Game 1. Top San Diego starters Mike Clevinger (elbow) and Dinelson Lamet (biceps/elbow) are still being considered for the NLDS roster after not participating in the wild-card round. The Padres pitched Chris Paddack and Zach Davies in the first two games of their series with the Cards but both 'flopped." The Padres then used NINE pitchers to craft a shutout in a deciding Game 3. The current odds have LA favored (-170) and the over/under at 8. BetAnySports has the Dodgers (-120) as significant favorites to win the NL pennant, followed by the Braves (+355), the Padres (+370) and the long-shot Marlins (+876).Good luck...Larry

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA and MLB Preview

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2020

The NBA Finals and the MLB Divisional playoffs feature on the Tuesday card.Game 4 of the NBA Finals take place at 9 PM ET after Miami won their first game in this series on Sunday with their 115-104 upset victory the Lakers as a 9-point underdog. Jimmy Butler put his team on his shoulders by scoring 40 points while adding 13 assists and 11 rebounds for his first triple-double in the playoffs in his career. That was a throwback performance for Butler when considering that none of his points came from a made 3-pointer. The Heat won that game despite not having the services of Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo. Dragic remains doubtful for tonight with his foot injury, but Adebayo has been upgraded to questionable. Adebayo was claiming that he wanted to play on Sunday despite his neck injury, but the Miami staff decided against it. With another two days of rest and healing, Adebayo may return to the court tonight. It remains uncertain for how long he will play along to what level of effectiveness he can perform. ABC has the broadcast. The Lakers are 7.5-point favorites with the total set at 218.5 (all lines from BetAnySports).The first of four MLB playoff games start at 2:08 PM ET with the Miami Marlins playing the Atlanta Braves in the opening game of their best-of-five series. The Marlins send out Sandy Alcantara as their starting pitcher with the Braves countering with Max Fried. This series takes place in the National League bubble at Minute Maid Park in Houston, with Atlanta designated the technical home team who will bat last. The Braves are -192 money-line favorites with the total set at 8. FS1 has the broadcast.The Houston Astros look to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five series at 4:37 PM ET against the Oakland A’s. The Astros won the Game 1 of this series yesterday with their 10-5 victory. Houston will use Framber Valdez as their starting pitcher with the A’s countering with Sean Manaea. This series will be played in the Los Angeles bubble at Dodgers Stadium, with Oakland batting last as the home team. The A’s are -107 money-line favorites with the over/under at 8. TBS has the broadcast. The second game of the New York Yankees/Tampa Bay Rays series tales place at 8:10 PM ET. The Yankees won Game 1 last night with their 9-3 victory. They will use Deivi Garcia as their starting pitche, with the Rays giving the ball to Tyler Glasnow. Tampa Bay is a -124 money-line favorite with the total set at 8. The Rays are the home team tonight playing in the San Diego bubble. TBS has the broadcast.The final MLB game tonight takes place at 9:38 PM ET in the opening contest of the San Diego Padres/Los Angeles Dodgers series. The Dodgers send out Walker Buehler with Padres’ manager Jayce Tingler finally settling on Mike Clevinger as his starting pitcher for this game. Los Angeles is the technical home team, with this game being played in the Arlington, Texas bubble.  The Dodgers are a -151 money-line favorite with the total set at 8 runs. FS1 will televise the game. 

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Bad Beats and Good Wins

by Wayne Root

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2020

At The Sportsbooks My good friend of over 30 years and I had a meeting Sunday morning as he is one of the greatest at betting big NFL (only) 6-point teasers. I personally don’t bet them but I get a kick out of him doing so. Plus his entire life is built around him being extremely lucky. It’s great entertainment just to sweat his teaser bets occasionally. There are certain things that are a must “rules” to bet these games properly. My rule is to rarely bet them.   I’m teasing you now about this teaser  Where can you ever have five of your teams score 123 total points, getting a total of 30 more teaser points and your very last game comes down to a two-point conversion on the last play of the game...to win by a half a point?    The Payout The payoff on this bet was +600. My friend bet a dime on this wager looking for a steal (as he calls it) of $6000. I reluctantly tossed in $200 just to be part of this action. I assure you, anything involving six teams over six hours is definitely action. It’s certainly not for most professional gamblers. But fun is fun and action is fun. His Selections  He picked the following teams: Miami +12.5Washington FB Team +19LV Raiders + 9Carolina + 9.5Lions + 10Bears + 8.5 4-0 to begin; two left for $7200 We had won the four early games and were sweating the fourth quarter of the Bills vs Raiders game along with the Colts vs Bears game. With the Raiders trailing 30-16 with less than two minutes left, Carr threw a pass for a touchdown to close the score to 30-23. With our + 9 points, we were finally 5-0 with one game to finish. And $7200.   Bears Make You Sweat Bullets  The Bears game seemed to never get untracked for over three quarters and half of the fourth. We needed a turnover. We had to get the ball back. But damn!!  With 3:47 left in the game, the Colts extended their lead with a successful field goal to make it 19-3. Now we had the ball and needed a miracle. The Bears got the ball back and moved it decently down the field but with under two minutes to go and on the Colts 30; it was nerve wracking for my buddy and had me on the edge of my seat pulling for him. Then one play here, a completion there and a run later, Nick Foles hit Allen Robinson for a 16 yard touchdown at the 1:47 mark making the score 19-9. Getting +8.5 points meant one thing. Knowing they needed a two point conversion to make the following onside kick meaningful, they had to attempt a two-point play and be successful. They handed the ball of the David Montgomery and he ran it in from the left side. The score was 19-11. Damn he is Lucky! There were a total of 123 points, 6.5 hours of TV viewing time, $7200 to collect in bets and it came down to one two-point play to win a six game teaser bet by a half point. As stated above, my friend is one of the luckiest gamblers I know. Next week, I hope he has another one to bet and watch. 

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What is a Prop Bet?

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2020

What is a prop bet? Sports betting is a fun activity for many, as it should be.  Some go too far and take unnecessary risks, yet most bettors know their limits and know how to enjoy themselves.  Whether you're placing a moneyline bet on the Patriots, a point spread bet on the Golden State Warriors, or whatever your bet might be, the essential factor is whether you enjoy yourself.  Enjoyment, after all, is what started sports betting in the first place.One of the most entertaining forms of wagering is utilizing prop betting, short for proposition betting.  A prop bet is a wager based on occurrences and non-occurrences during a sporting event.  That ranges from wagers on individual players, referees, team milestones, or completely irrelevant events.  Anything that you could think of in a sporting event can be wagered on.  We'll dive into some examples of very exotic, and seemingly absurd bets, on which thousands of bettors will lay money.Prop betting is especially for those who do not take sports betting too seriously but are willing to take a risk now and then.  Nevertheless, some severe sports bettors see prop bets as a form of serious handicapping which could lead to a nice payout.  In this betting guide, we'll show you the ins-and-outs of prop betting! What kind of proposition bets are there? Short answer:  a lot of them!  When the Super Bowl became more popular over the years, prop bets gained traction simultaneously.  The first major explosion in popularity of proposition bets happened in Las Vegas -- the Westgate Superbook to be precise.  The Westgate was the first sportsbook to offer a large number of prop bets for the Super Bowl.  Soon thereafter, all Las Vegas sportsbooks offered hundreds of prop bets.  Now, prop bets are so popular that they’re offered on all the other major leagues like the NHL, NBA, MLB; and in the regular season, too.Prop bets can be created for any non-game related event in a sporting event.  That means things apart from which team wins an individual game, such as: Will the Los Angeles Lakers make the playoffs? Will Mike Trout be voted as the MVP this year? Will Alabama have more than five players selected in the 1st round of the NFL draft? Besides that, there are more serious bets like the number of rushing yards, passing yards, touchdowns or field goals scored by an individual player; which team scores first; or whether there will be a score in the final two minutes.  There are many bets you can make, and bookmakers know this and will attempt to offer as many bets as possible.  Some bookmakers, like MyBookie and Xbet, even allow their bettors to create and customize their own prop bets on a player’s performance!  All you need to do is choose your bet type, player, and statistic, and the odds for your bet are calculated.Exotic prop betsWhen we take it up a notch, we arrive at the exotic prop bets.  These are the bet types that sometimes do not even have anything to do with the actual sporting event, but they are enjoyable to wager on anyways.  Some examples could be: The length of the national anthem during the Super Bowl The result of a coin toss What color of Gatorade will be poured on the winning team’s coach? Who will be the first MLB coach fired during the season? But these are all still sports-related.  Exotic prop betting goes further than sports.  What about betting on who will be the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee in 2020 (I bet on Kamala Harris at +150 at Bovada), or which color dress a person wears during a Royal Wedding, or which actor will play the next James Bond.  You name it, and people will be wagering. ​How to get started with prop betting With all of the different bet types, it might feel a little overwhelming.  There are so many opportunities, and online sportsbooks add new prop bets daily.  So where do you start, how do you get good at prop betting, and should you implement prop betting in your sports betting strategy?  That's totally up to you as it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  But if it is, we'll show you how to find the best prop bets, and make the most money.When you are orienting yourself about the possibilities of prop betting, you should keep in mind that prop betting offers another avenue when you're unsure about the final outcome of a matchup.  Imagine a thrilling matchup between the Rockets and the Knicks.  You're uncertain what the final outcome will be, and you don't dare to bet the point total, but you're convinced about one thing:  James Harden will torch the defensively-challenged Knicks.  That means you could wager on Harden being the top scorer in the match.Individual player props are bets that might seem easy to wager, but they're difficult to predict.  Some prop bets require substantial knowledge of the matchup, while others have a pure 50/50 chance of success.  With any prop bet, look at your chances to see if the odds are worth it.  Then, you'll notice that a prop bet is made in the same way as any other bet.  Here’s an example of an NFL Super Bowl 54 prop bet at BookMaker:Tyreek Hill total passing yards in Super Bowl 54 Over 75.5 Yards -110 Under 75.5 Yards -110 How to read proposition bet oddsTo display the way proposition bet odds work, we'll show you another example of a traditional prop bet in the NFL.  Let's say your bet shop offers the following betting lines:First touchdown scorer in the Packers/Eagles matchup: Davante Adams +350 Aaron Jones +400 Zach Ertz +650 Miles Sanders +1100 As you can see here, the odds for this type of prop bet can be rather long.  That's because the chance to make the correct prediction is far less.  To illustrate how big your payout might be, we'll use two examples from this prop bet: When you wager $100 on Davante Adams, and he scores the first touchdown, you earn $350 on top of your initial stake of $100, for a total payout of $450. When you wager $100 on Miles Sanders, and he scores the first touchdown, you earn $1,100 on top of your initial stake of $100, for a total payout of $1,200. The odds are not that different from any other bet apart from the fact that they are bigger and more substantial than a regular moneyline wager.  However, they also work with the American odds, similar to any other wager type you might already know. Proposition bets vs. futures bets Often proposition bets are confused with futures bets, as they are very similar.  However, a futures bet is a bet on an event which will occur later in time, with intervening events scheduled between the present time, and the date of that future event.  So, other competitions yet to be played could impact a futures bet.  A classic example would be to pick the winner of the Super Bowl or World Series prior to the start of the regular season.A proposition bet, in contrast, is not impacted by another competition.  It’s on an event which is already scheduled, with no other game for its participants between the time of the bet and the event date.  Because futures bets can be greatly impacted by other events that have yet to take place, they will have relatively longer odds, since the chance of success is typically smaller than with a prop bet. What is the best sportsbook for prop bets? You might be convinced when you place your prop bet that you cannot lose.  And that’s part of the fun.  We know it from our own experience.  Sometimes, however, you might be sure that something was going to happen, but you didn’t know where you could bet on it.  If that’s ever been your situation, we’re here to help.  The competition in the sports betting industry is no doubt intense.  There are hundreds of sportsbooks, so it might be challenging to find the right place to wager.  You don't want to settle for the first sportsbook that you see when searching your way around the web -- that's not smart.  We want to help you find the right sportsbook with the following steps: Search for the available sportsbooks.  There are lots of them, so don't settle for the first one you see.  We have a ton of reviews on reliable and trustworthy sportsbooks that will lead you in the right direction.  However, it doesn't mean these sportsbooks are the right fit for you, so continue with the following step. When you arrive at an online sportsbook, do a quick check of its user interface to see how you feel.  Is it well-designed, modern and intuitive?  (Bovada and MyBookie are quite good in this regard.) After you’re comfortable with a sportsbook’s website, check to see if it has a generous welcome bonus, and other good customer rewards like reload bonuses.  We particularly like BetNow’s sign-up and reload bonuses, as they’re the best in the industry. If you’re particularly interested in prop bets, then head over to the section where the prop bets are to see what’s on offer.  Are there enough options for your needs?  Can you find the matchups that you're interested in?  And, maybe most important of all, how are the odds?  Without a doubt, the best sportsbook for prop bets is BetAnySports (which also is our current #1-rated sportsbook), as its menu is the most extensive, and its odds are the very best, as well.   Rounding out the Top 3 sportsbooks for prop bets would be Bovada and MyBookie. Once you’ve picked your sportsbook, then head over to its deposit section to search for your preferred banking methods.  Then nothing is stopping you from placing that first wager! There's always more to look at when analyzing sportsbooks, but our most significant advice is simply to try your options.  Additionally, it doesn't hurt to have multiple accounts.  Having multiple accounts will allow you to shop around for the best odds, which is always smart!  Even though the odds on prop bets are usually very welcoming, shopping for the best ones will increase your profit!We've shown you all it takes to start pursuing your career as a prop bettor. It's fun, so go ahead and place your first prop bet.  Who knows -- you might turn out to be an oracle who predicts the next President, which celebrity will kick the bucket next, or which team will win next year’s Super Bowl!

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