Articles

MAC Conference East Division Football Preview for 2020

by Scott Rickenbach

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020

MAC Conference East Division Football Preview for 2020:Heading into the first week of November 2020 only two conferences have yet to get underway in this unusually scheduled 2020 football season that has been impacted by the pandemic. One of those two conferences is the MAC. Below I give a quick hitter report on each of the six teams in the Mid-American Conference East Division:East:Akron – Head coach Tom Arth came here with a 49-21 record. He went 0-12 with the Zips in his first season. This football program is still in rebuild mode and in for another long season.Bowling Green – Head coach Scot Loeffler was a good hire even though he and the Falcons struggled in his first year here. Respectable ground game last season and pass defense was respectable as well. Still issues though and lost about half their starters from last year.Buffalo – The Bulls look like the class of the MAC this season and return a lot experience from last year’s team. They were one of the best rushing teams in the nation last year. On the other side of the ball, a very strong defense returns a lot of talent. This team should prove to be tops in the MAC. Kent State – Head coach Sean Lewis now in his 3rd season with the program and the Golden Flashes are starting to turn things around. However, this team lacks depth. That could be particularly problematic in a season impacted by covid-19. So far this College Football season we have seen that be a factor in other conferences that have already begun play and injuries are an issue too for teams with less depth. They finish in the middle of the pack in the MAC East most likely. Miami (Ohio) – The Redhawks are the only team likely to challenge Buffalo in the East. They won the MAC Championship Game last season over Central Michigan. They return a ton of talent from last season’s team but are a little thin on defense and, keep in mind, their overall production on offense was not overly impressive last season. Also, special teams units took a major hit in terms of players lost from last season. Still a good team but I don’t think they’ll be able to top the Bulls this season.Ohio University – Another team whose special teams took a hit in the off-season. Also, though this teams returns a fair number of players from last season, they did lose a lot of top players including 7 all-conference selections. That kind of talent being gone is why I feel strongly that the Bobcats will be battling with the Golden Flashes in the “middle of the pack” in the MAC East this season. 

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NFL System of the Week - Monday Night Football

by Tom Stryker

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020

MONDAY NIGHT NFL ROAD WARRIORAnytime you see a Monday night home dog, the knee-jerk reaction is to jump all over it.  From 1980 to 2000, teams in this simple situation owned a profitable 66-39 ATS record for 62.8 percent.  In case you haven’t been paying attention, that “old school” situation has hit the skids.  Since 2001, NFL Monday night home pups are on a dismal 47-62 ATS run for 43.1 percent and it’s time for investors to think differently. When I approached the Team Stryker Database this week,  I decided I wanted to flip things around.  Instead of looking at these home dogs, I decided to analyze how effective road favorites were under the Monday night lights.  At first, there wasn’t much.  Then I stumbled across the following money-making situation.  Check out this beauty: Since 1980, PLAY ON any Monday night road favorite priced at -3 or more provided their opponent arrives off a straight up loss and owns a team won/loss percentage of .334 or less.40 Year ATS Record = 40-17-1 ATS for 70.1 percent This Week’s Play = TAMPA BAYThis is a basic set of parameters that really turned a nice profit.  It’s simply a good road team favored over a lesser opponent that takes the field without confidence off a straight up loss. There is one way to make this primetime system even better.  If our “play on” guest owns a pointspread won/loss percentage less than .630 – so they’re not a covering machine – this Monday Night NFL Road Warrior situation tightens up to a lucrative 30-7 ATS including a jaw-dropping 21-1 ATS if their opponent arrives off a competitive loss of 13 points or less.  The Buccaneers fit both of those money-making parameters. Forget about the Monday night home dog.  It’s not clicking any more.  Instead, lay the lumber with Tom Brady and the Bucs on Monday night and ride this new awesome system home.

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Ness Notes: Thursday, Oct 29

by Larry Ness

Thursday, Oct 29, 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." NFL Week 8: Arizona, Houston, Jacksonville and Washington are on their bye weeks. 5-2 Arizona is "right in" the postseason hunt in the NFC West, tied with the Rams as both teams are chasing 5-1 Seattle. Ironically, 2-5 Washington is also "right in" the postseason hunt because it plays in the sad-sack NFC East where 2-4-1 Philadelphia resides in first-place. As for Houston and Jacksonville (both 1-6), it's "wait until next year." The Thursday Night schedule in 2020 has been underwhelming, to say the least. Week 8's matchup features the 1-6 Falcons playing at the 3-4 Panthers. The Falcons came one play away from improving to 2-0 under interim coach Raheem Morris last Sunday, who said the team needs to recover emotionally from the latest result, a one-point loss to the Lions. Detroit drove 75 yards in 1:04 and scored the winning touchdown (and extra point) with no time remaining. Carolina's defense let the team down regularly last Sunday in a 27-24 loss at New Orleans, allowing the Saints to convert on 12 of 14 third-down situations. These teams met in Week 5 with the Panthers winning 23-16 in Atlanta. That outcome pushed the Falcons to an 0-5 record, prompting the firing of head coach Dan Quinn. Carolina's win over Atlanta was the team's THIRD straight but the Panthers have lost two straight, since. The Panthers were hoping All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey would be able to play in this one, after more than a month's absence caused by a high ankle sprain. McCaffrey hasn't played since the second week of the season but the Panthers announced Tuesday that McCaffrey has been designated to return from injured reserve. However, he was not activated from IR on Wednesday. The Panthers faced a 4 p.m. ET deadline Thursday to call him up in time to face the Falcons but just as I was ready to post this article, Carolina announced that McCaffrey will NOT play. Tonight's game kicks off a 8:15 ET (FOX/NFL Network) with Carolina favored by two points (over/under is 51 1/2).NCAAF: The new CFB week opens with a pair of games on Thursday night. South Alabama is at Georgia Southern in a SBC contest and will air on ESPN at 7:30 ET (Ga Southern is favored by four points). The MWC features Colorado St at Fresno St in the other matchup. There are three Friday games, highlighted by a Big Ten contest featuring Minnesota at Maryland on ESPN at 7:30 ET (Gophers are favored by 20 points). The other two are East Carolina at Tulsa and Hawaii at Wyoming. No. 19 Marshall was scheduled to play at FIU on Friday but the game was postponed due to COVID-19 issues. For FIU, the Panthers have had more games postponed (four) in 2020 than they have played (three, going 0-3). As for 5-0 Marshall, the Thundering Herd have now lost THREE games to postponements. Saturday's North Texas at UTEP game has also been postponed but the biggest virus-related news comes in the fact that No. 9 Wisconsin's game at Nebraska was canceled (NOT postponed) due to COVID-19 breakouts to Wisconsin players and coaches. The Big Ten just returned to play last weekend and Wisconsin led things off with a 45-7 romp over Illinois on Oct 23. However, as has been well reported, the Big Ten's late start date has allowed NO 'wiggle room' in its schedule of EIGHT games in eight weeks. The Wisconsin and Nebraska game can't be "made up" and it's likely that Wisconsin's Nov 7 home game with Purdue will also be canceled. It's a stark reminder that the college football season is hardly being played on 'firm ground.' Fingers crossed as we look forward. Saturday CFB: There is only ONE game this Saturday in which ranked teams square off and that's No. 3 Ohio State at No. 18 Penn St. The then-No. 5 Buckeyes made 'short work' of Nebraska last Saturday, rolling to a 52-17 win but then-No. 8 Penn St's 36-35 OT loss at Indiana was to say the least, a real shocker. It was Indiana's first win over a top-10 team since 1987! Ohio St is favored by 12 points in Happy Valley and I will note that in meetings between ranked teams this season, the higher ranked team has gone 14-1 SU and 13-2 ATS (the lone SU loser was then-No. 3 Florida losing on Oct 10 at then-No. 21 A&M). However, the dynamic of ranked teams against unranked opponents has seen markedly different results. Ranked teams did win 10 of 12 such matchups last weekend but were able to go just a modest 6-6 ATS, although that was a MAJOR improvement over the numbers Y-T-D. Entering Saturday, ranked teams are 54-18 (.750) SU when taking on an unranked opponent so far this season but remain a 'money-burning' 26-45-1 (.366) ATS. Will this trend continue throughout the 2020 season? I noted in last Thursday's Notes that following a theory called "regression to the mean," we are overdue to see the ATS record swing back in favor of the ranked teams. However, we are still waiting. Is this the week?Only FIVE ranked teams are NOT in action this weekend, including No. 9 Wisconsin and No. 19 Marshall (see above). No. 12 Miami-Fl is idle, while No. 14 Oregon and No. 21 USC are Pac 12 schools which have yet to begin their respective seasons. Both open their SIX-game schedules next Saturday with Oregon at home vs Stanford and USC at home vs Arizona St. No. 3 Ohio St is playing at No. 18 Penn St and No. 9 Wisconsin had its game at Nebraska canceled but the other remaining eight top-10 teams are in action, all playing unranked opponents. No. 1 Clemson can extend its regular-season winning streak to 39 games with a home win over Boston College (Tigers are favored by 31 points). No. 2 Alabama hosts Miss St, which has lost THREE in a row (averaging just 10.0 PPG), after upsetting defending champion LSU 44-34 in its season-opener. The Tide are also favored by 31 points. No. 4 Notre Dame owns the nation's longest-active winning streak (11) and will be at Ga Tech, where the Irish are favored by 20 points. No. 5 Georgia is coming off a bye week and has to be motivated to bounce back from its 41-24 loss at Alabama on Oct 17. The Bulldogs are favored by 15 1/2-points. No. 6 Oklahoma St is the lone unbeaten team in the Big 12 and will host Texas in Stillwater, where the Cowboys are favored by 3 1/2-points. No. 7 Cincinnati hosts Memphis and is looking for "double-revenge" from back-to-back losses at Memphis in 2019's regular season final and then the following week in the AAC championship game. The Bearcats are favored by 6 1/2-points. Texas A&M hosts Arkansas (Aggies are favored by 12 1/2-points) and No. 10 Florida hosts Missouri in its first game since losing 41-38 at Texas A&M back on Oct 10. The Gators are favored by  12 1/2-points.10 more ranked teams are in action on Saturday vs unranked opponents, including 6-0 and 11th-ranked BYU at home vs Western Kentucky, which is nation-worst 0-6 ATS. The Cougars are favored by 28 1/2-points. No. 20 Coastal Carolina continues it's 'magical' season, when it plays at Georgia St (Chanticleers are favored by three points).Good luck...Larry

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NFL Stock Rising and Falling: Week 8

by Sean Murphy

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020

We're seeing the NFL pretty well right now off a 4-1 Sunday and Monday card last week. As we approach the midway point of the season it's a great time to take stock of where a number of teams stand entering the first Sunday in November.Stock RisingBaltimore RavensThe Ravens find themselves in a huge statement spot this Sunday as they host the undefeated division-rival Steelers. Baltimore's bandwagon seemed to clear entirely following that ugly loss to the Chiefs on Monday Night Football last month. Since then, the Ravens have gone a perfect 3-0, but they've beaten the likes of Washington, Cincinnati and Philadelphia - not exactly a who's who of the league's best teams. I do think we see Baltimore's best this Sunday but will it be enough against the streaking Steelers?Los Angeles ChargersI'm of the mind that the Chargers are far better than their 2-4 record indicates. They followed up a season-opening victory with four straight losses, but three of those setbacks came against three of the league's best teams in Kansas City, Tampa Bay and New Orleans. Last week we saw the Bolts get back on track with a 39-29 win over the Jaguars. QB Justin Herbert appears to be getting more comfortable running the offense with each passing week and now he has a chance to really get the team rolling with the next four games coming against the Broncos, Raiders, Dolphins and Jets.New Orleans SaintsAll of the Drew Brees critics have gone silent in recent weeks as the veteran quarterback has guided the Saints to three straight victories, throwing for well over 800 yards and five touchdown passes in the process. New Orleans' schedule admittedly starts to toughen up in November as it travels to face Chicago and Tampa Bay in the next two games. With that being said, it does look like Sean Payton's squad has regained its identity and appears well-positioned to challenge atop the NFC South.Stock FallingChicago BearsWe cashed a ticket fading the Bears on Monday Night Football as they not surprisingly proved to be a fraudulent 5-1 team in an ugly loss to the Rams. Chicago's offense remains unimaginative and the question remains whether it's Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky that should be running it. A return home may not be enough to cure their woes, noting that the Bears have scored a grand total of just 48 points in three games at Soldier Field this season.Cleveland BrownsIt may seem odd to find the Browns in our 'stock falling' category this week. After all they're 5-2 on the season and coming off a thrilling win in Cincinnati last Sunday. There are plenty of concerns. First of all, Cleveland has been shredded for 62 points over its last two games. In fact, the Browns have allowed at least 30 points in five of seven contests this season. Now their offense is hamstrung as well with WR Odell Beckham Jr. done for the season and QB Baker Mayfield showing plenty of inconsistency. Look for them to go even more run-heavy than usual moving forward.New England PatriotsWe'll put the Patriots in this category again this week as they try to pick up the pieces following their worst performance of the season in a blowout home loss to the 49ers last week. I'm not sure any team misses having its fans in the stadium than the Pats. But that's obviously no excuse for the team's performance on the field over the last few games. Perhaps head coach Bill Bellichick has never faced a challenge like the one he is up against this year. We'll see how the Pats respond this Sunday in Buffalo. 

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NCAA Thursday Night Football: Georgia Southern/South Alabama Preview

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020

The Thursday night game on ESPN features another clash of Sun Belt Conference rivals this week.South Alabama has won two games in a row after their 38-14 win at home over UL-Monroe last Saturday as a 14-point favorite. The victory raised the Jaguars record to 3-2 with a 2-0 mark in conference play, which puts them alone in first place in the Sun Belt Conference West Division. This group is most likely the best team head coach Steve Campbell has had at South Alabama in his three years with the program. Fifteen starters returned from last year’s 2-10 team that endured a handful of frustrating losses. Campbell bolstered the depth of his roster with eight junior college transfers. The Jaguars have a win at Southern Miss in non-conference play, with their two losses being to Tulane and UAB.South Alabama averages 26.8 points per game along with 412.0 yards per game under quarterback Desmond Trotter. The sophomore is not 100%, with a shoulder injury that kept him out of one game. He is completing 66.7% of his passes for 744 yards with six touchdown passes and two interceptions. He is averaging 10.8 yards per attempt, which are fifth-best in the nation. Former junior college All-American Chance Loveritch has played in all five of the Jaguars games, where he has passed for 607 yards while completing 56.4% of his passes. Wide receiver Kawaan Baker has 27 receptions for 443 yards, which are fourth-most in the Sun Belt Conference. Jalen Tolbert has 26 catches for 486 yards, with his 18.7 yards per catch average ranking second in the conference. Running back Carlos Davis has added 443 rushing yards on 97 carries. Georgia Southern saw their record drop to a 3-2 mark after their 28-14 loss at Coastal Carolina last Saturday. The defeat dropped the Eagles to a 1-2 record in conference play, which ties them with Georgia State for the basement in the East Division. Both of Georgia Southern’s losses were against UL-Lafayette and the Chanticleers, who were nationally-ranked at the time of the game. The Eagles returned 14 starters from the team last year that was 7-6 after a 23-16 loss to Liberty in their bowl game. Quarterback Shai Werts is a four-year starting quarterback who has rushed has rushed for 333 yards with two touchdowns in leading the option rushing attack of Georgia Southern. The Eagles rank 13th in the nation by averaging 248.8 rushing yards per game with their 5.46 yards-per-carry average, also ranking 13th. J.D. King has 490 rushing yards on 87 carries, and Wesley Kennedy III has rushed the ball 31 times for 206 yards. Kennedy’s 6.7 yards-per-carry average is third-best in the conference. Warts has 3273 passing yards in his career, but he is completing only 52.6% of his passes this season. The Eagles are holding their opponents to 20.8 points per game along with 361.2 yards per game. Yet keep in mind that in Georgia Southern’s shutout victory over a UMass team that might be the worst in the FBS, they held the Mountaineers to just 191 total yards and only 3.6 yards per play. Georgia Southern is a 4-point favorite at BetAnySports with the total set at 51. The ESPN broadcast begins at 7:30 PM ET.

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NFL Thursday Night Football: Panthers/Falcons Preview

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020

The Thursday Night Football game on Fox is a battle of two NFC South teams moving in opposite directions. The Carolina Panthers have been one of the surprises in the NFL this season under rookie NFL head coach Matt Rhule. Despite not having the benefit of a regular offseason given COVID, the former Baylor head coach has made the transition to the NFL successfully as the Panthers have pulled off three upset victories already this season. All four of Carolina’s losses have been to teams who have winning records. The Panthers come into this game looking to rebound from a 27-24 loss at New Orleans as a touchdown underdog. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed 23 of 28 passes against his former team for 254 yards with touchdown passes. Bridgewater has been everything this franchise hoped for when he signed as a free agent in the offseason. He is completing 72.2% of his passes for 1930 yards while ranking 6th with an 8.2 yards per attempt average. Bridgewater is leading an offense that is 11th in the NFL by averaging 263.7 passing yards per game.Carolina has needed to lean on their passing attack, given the high ankle sprain injury to Christian McCaffrey. The star running back had generated 223 total yards from scrimmage in seven quarters before suffering that injury. Rhule has indicated that he is hopeful that perhaps McCaffrey can return to action this week. The Panthers have had to deal with their share of injuries. They have placed Pro Bowl co-captain defensive tackle Kawann Short along with rookie defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos and strong safety Juston Burris on Injured Reserve. In addition to the six players that have on IR, Carolina has three players out on the COVID list. The offensive line is also banged up, with Russell Okung and John Miller listed as questionable for this game, along with Michael Schofield III on the COVID list.Atlanta lost their third game this season where ESPN’s win probability crossed the 98% threshold on Sunday in their 23-22 upset loss to Detroit. The Falcons had the game seemingly locked-up when Todd Gurley rushed for a first down inside the Lions’ ten-yard line, but the running back could not stop his forward momentum as he landed on the ground inadvertently crossing the goal line. The blunder gave Matthew Stafford a final opportunity to lead his team back. He threw a touchdown pass to tight end T.J. Hockenson on the final play with no time left on the clock to win the game for Detroit. Atlanta also blew big fourth-quarter leads to Dallas and Chicago this season. The Falcons have suffered four upset losses. The Atlanta defense has let them down as they are allowing their opponents to score 29.6 points along with 425.9 yards per game. The Falcons are second-to-last in the league by allowing 333 passing yards per game. They are dead last by allowing their opponents to average 8.46 yards per play. Matt Ryan has been doing his part to win games for Atlanta. He leads the NFL with 2181 passing yards. The 35-year old veteran is completing 66.4% of his passes with 12 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. Wide receiver Julio Jones has missed some time with a hamstring injury, but he is not on the injury report this week. The Falcons have two players on the COVID list and one player on IR, which has depleted their depth on defense. This game is a rematch of the October 11th meeting between these two teams in Atlanta. The Panthers raced out to a 20-0 lead before hanging on to win by a 23-16 score. That result was the final straw for Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank who fired head coach Dan Quinn along with general manager Thomas Dimitroff soon afterward. Raheem Morris will be coaching his third game with the interim tag for Atlanta looking to avenge that loss.BookMaker lists Carolina as a 2.5 point favorite with the total set at 51.5. Kickoff is at 8:20 PM ET.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL and NCAA Football Preview

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020

The Thursday sports card features NFL Thursday Night Football along with two televised games in college football.The NFL Thursday Night Football game on Fox is a battle of two NFC South teams moving in opposite directions. The Carolina Panthers have been one of the surprises in the NFL this season under rookie NFL head coach Matt Rhule. Despite not having the benefit of a regular offseason given COVID, the former Baylor head coach has made the transition to the NFL successfully as the Panthers have pulled off three upset victories already this season. All four of Carolina’s losses have been to teams who have winning records. The Panthers come into this game looking to rebound from a 27-24 loss at New Orleans as a touchdown underdog.Atlanta lost their third game this season where ESPN’s win probability crossed the 98% threshold on Sunday in their 23-22 upset loss to Detroit. The Falcons had the game seemingly locked-up when Todd Gurley rushed for a first down inside the Lions’ ten-yard line, but the running back could not stop his forward momentum as he landed on the ground inadvertently crossing the goal line. The blunder gave Matthew Stafford a final opportunity to lead his team back. He threw a touchdown pass to tight end T.J. Hockenson on the final play with no time left on the clock to win the game for Detroit. Atlanta also blew big fourth-quarter leads to Dallas and Chicago this season. This game is a rematch of the October 11th meeting between these two teams in Atlanta. The Panthers raced out to a 20-0 lead before hanging on to win by a 23-16 score. That result was the final straw for Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank who fired head coach Dan Quinn along with general manager Thomas Dimitroff soon afterward. Raheem Morris will be coaching his third game with the interim tag for Atlanta looking to avenge that loss.BookMaker lists Carolina as a 2.5 point favorite with the total set at 51.5. Kickoff is at 8:20 PM ET. The Thursday night game on ESPN features another clash of Sun Belt Conference rivals this week.South Alabama has won two games in a row after their 38-14 win at home over UL-Monroe last Saturday as a 14-point favorite. The victory raised the Jaguars record to 3-2 with a 2-0 mark in conference play, which puts them alone in first place in the Sun Belt Conference West Division. Georgia Southern saw their record drop to a 3-2 mark after their 28-14 loss at Coastal Carolina last Saturday. The defeat dropped the Eagles to a 1-2 record in conference play, which ties them with Georgia State for the basement in the East Division. Both of Georgia Southern’s losses were against UL-Lafayette and the Chanticleers, who were nationally-ranked at the time of the game.  Georgia Southern is a 4-point favorite with the total set at 51. The ESPN broadcast begins at 7:30 PM ET.Fresno State hosts Colorado State in a battle on Mountain West Conference rivals to close out the football card at 10 PM ET.The Bulldogs kicked off their season last week by suffering a 34-19 upset loss at home to Hawai’i as a 2.5-point favorite. Fresno State returned eight starters from the team last year that was 4-8. After the unexpected retirement of head coach Jeff Tedford, the program recruited former offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer to be their head coach after he ran the offense for Indiana last year.Colorado State makes their season debut in this game under their new head coach Steve Addazio. The former Boston College head coach had a 44-44 record with the Eagles. He inherits 15 starters from the team that finished with a 4-8 record last year. BetAnySports lists the Rams as a 2.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 59.

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What does Dime Mean in Sports Betting?

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020

What does dime mean in sports betting? You can downplay its importance, but money is what makes the world go around.  It's not only an indispensable part of the way our economy works, but it also can determine how one views other people, and even one’s self.  Many people will respect anyone who successfully managed to work his way up to earn a lot of money.  Of course, it's a struggle to work your way up, but once you're there, it can be even harder to remain in that place.Although people will say money can’t bring you happiness, or buy you love, it surely does bring freedom to those who have it.  And it also allows you to take on more risk than you would be able to if you were without.  In the sports betting world, the ability to take more risk often translates to betting more money on a game.  Where some gamblers would be hesitant to bet more than $100 on a game, others are high rollers, and will bet $1,000 (or more) on a game.  Interestingly, the lingo associated with various betting amounts is not literal.  Indeed, when a gambler wants $100 on a game, he’ll say ‘Give me a dollar on the Celtics.”  And if he wants $500, then he’ll say, ‘Give me a nickel on the Cowboys.”  But if he’s really going to open up his wallet, he’ll bet $1,000 on a game, and that’s called ‘a dime.’  Some sportsbooks have even incorporated this gambling term into their name.  For example, our #1-rated sportsbook is BetAnySports, whose sister sportsbook is called 5Dimes.  So, its name literally means $5,000 in the sports gambling world.  It's an exclusive group of bettors that can set a dime as their betting unit since most bettors wager much smaller amounts of money.  It's a pain to lose such an amount, of course, but the upside is very high.  In this betting guide, we'll dive into the world of dime bettors and a good strategy which is sustainable compared to other sports betting strategies.  Then, we'll delve into several other sports betting terms and provide you with some tips on how to attain success. Is dime betting a good sports betting strategy? When we get to the actual betting part, it's hard for many to grasp that bettors will wager $1,000 every single bet.  Nonetheless, it's a rarefied group of people who have the privilege of having a big enough bankroll to allow these dime bets.  The key, of course, is understanding what your bankroll size is, and not overextending yourself on a single wager.  In general, professionals will wager between 1% and 3% of their bankroll on a game.  Thus, the proper management of your bankroll is one of the essential elements of dime betting.We only recommend betting a dime (or more) on a game if it fits within your bankroll, and you’ve done proper research on the particular sports even which is the subject of your bet.  Even if you’re wealthy, a dime is a lot of money when you're uncertain about the outcome of a game, or if you haven’t done the right amount of research.  The best strategy is to analyze the games carefully and, when you genuinely find value, step out with a major wager.  So, it's an excellent choice to make a dime bet when your research has shown that the Bill Belichick-coached Patriots are excellent off a loss, and they were blown out the previous week.  But to bet a dime on a game, willy-nilly, without a well-founded reason, is simply out of bounds and reckless.  In those instances, it's better to stay on the sidelines, and protect your bankroll. What's the difference between a dime bet and a dime line?There's another sports betting term that you might confuse with a dime bet, and that’s the ‘dime line.’   Sportsbooks generally will have either a dime line or a twenty-cent line, and the terms refer to the amount of spread between the numbers (which determines a sportsbook’s profit).  A dime line will refer to moneyline odds with a 10-cent straddle, while a twenty-cent line will refer to moneyline odds with a 20-cent straddle.  Let’s illustrate these two options with examples.  In Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, the Washington Nationals played the Houston Astros.  The pitching match-up was Max Scherzer vs. Zack Greinke.  And the Astros’ odds were -133 at BetAnySports, while the Nationals’ odds were +123.  There was a 10-cent difference between the two numbers, so BetAnySports dealt a dime line on the game.  Now, let’s compare this to the odds for that Game 7 at the Mirage Casino in Las Vegas.  The Mirage made the Astros a -155 favorite, while its odds on the Nationals were +135.  There was a 20-cent difference between the numbers, so that casino had a 20-cent line.  Obviously, a 10-cent line is much more favorable to bettors than a 20-cent line, because there’s less profit for a sportsbook.  In football and basketball, it’s standard for sportsbooks to make each team’s odds -110.  Such odds are an example of a twenty-cent line, as -10 x 2 equals -20.  But some sportsbooks, like BetAnySports, offer reduced juice on football and basketball games, and make each team -105.  Those odds would be a dime line, as -5 x 2 equals -10.  One of the reasons why BetAnySports is our #1-rated sportsbook is that it offers a dime line (i.e., -105 odds) on football and basketball games, unlike most other sportsbooks which make each team -110.So keep in mind that a dime line refers to odds, while a dime wager refers to the bet size.  It doesn't matter whether you're betting the moneyline, over/under, parlays, teasers, prop bets, or point spread, as long as your bet is $1,000, you're betting a dime.<h3>What other bet sizes are there?</h3>Of course, the dime bet is not the only sports betting lingo employed to refer to wagering amounts.  There are many other terms bettors use.  We'll give you a little overview here with the most common terms: Buck or Dollar:  ​​​​Refers to a $100 wager in the United States.  It's a very common wagering amount, in part because moneyline odds are based on the assumption the bettor wagers $100. Limit:  When you ‘bet the limit,’ you’re wagering the maximum bet size a sportsbook allows.  Not every sportsbook has the same betting maximums.  Some only allow $500, while others, like BookMaker, will take $50,000 on an NFL side (BookMaker is the sportsbook of choice for real high rollers). Nickel:  Lingo for a $500 bet. How to find the right sportsbooks for dime bettingThe sports betting industry is very competitive.  There are many online betting sites worldwide.  As a bettor, you have choices, so it’s wise to review the pros and cons of each sportsbook.  And whether you’re betting dollars, nickels, or dimes, the most important factor is a sportsbook’s odds.  One of the reasons BetAnySports is atop our Top 10 Sportsbook rankings is that it offers reduced juice -- that is, -105 odds on football and basketball games, rather than -110 odds.  Reduced juice translates to less profit for the sportsbook, and greater profit for the bettor.  And if you are betting nickels and dimes, that extra profit adds up fast.Besides the vigorish, there are other factors to take into consideration when you choose your sportsbooks.  And, take note, we used the plural of sportsbook since all sports bettors should play with at least three sportsbooks in order to shop the lines to get the best number.  One crucial criterion when looking at sportsbooks is its maximum bet size.  Many smaller bookies don't allow any bets above $1,000, while other books -- like BookMaker -- have much larger betting limits.  So always check a sportsbook’s limits.  Another important consideration is a sportsbook’s sign-up and reload bonus because, after all, who wants to turn down free money.  In our review of sportsbooks, BetNow has the best sign-up and reload bonuses, and currently ranks as our #2-rated sportsbook, overall.  Finally, an important concern for many is that the sportsbook has a very modern user interface to make the placement of bets fast and easy.  If that’s important to you, then Bovada and MyBookie are the top two choices. What other sports betting terms should you know? The sports betting world is filled with colorful characters, of course, and also interesting lingo.  Bettors are people who like to live fast and talk fast, so they’ll often use abbreviations or gambling slang that only other gamblers will understand.  Here, we created a list with some of the betting terms that you should know when you want to take a deep dive into the industry. ATS - against the spread:  A term used in point spread betting.  If a team successfully covers the spread, they're 1-0 ATS.  You will often see this statistic in a display of a team’s season ATS record-to-date. ​SU - straight-up:  A moneyline wager where you pick the team which will win the game.  The team which wins is said to win the game, straight-up. ​Cover:  In point spread wagering, when a team wins after the point spread is applied, then it covers the spread. Edge:  Having an edge is having an 'advantage.’  You can have an edge over a sportsbook or another player.  An example would be if you bet at the opening number of +6, and the closing line was +3. Half-point:  In setting point spreads, oddsmakers utilize both whole numbers (like 6) and half-numbers (like 6.5).  Half-points refer to such half-numbers, and when adjusting the odds on a game, the numbers often move up or down in half-point increments. Run-line:  In baseball, because there are runs (and not points) scored, the spread wager is referred to as a run-line wager (rather than a point spread bet).  Unlike football and basketball point spreads, which will move a lot, the run-line is baseball is typically fixed at +/- 1.5 runs.  When oddsmakers need to adjust the odds, rather than changing the run-line, they’ll change the associated moneyline odds instead. Puck-line:  This is the term for a spread wager in hockey, and operates similar to a run line in baseball. Handicapper:  In sports betting we refer to handicapping as the method to calculate a team’s scoring advantage (or disadvantage).  Handicappers do so in order to project by how much a team might win (or lose).  Professional handicappers, in addition to betting on their games, often publish their research for sale. Layoff:  If a bookmaker has an imbalance on a game -- say $110,000 on one side, but just $33,000 on the other -- it might choose to reduce its risk by laying off an amount with other sportsbooks.  Of course, we, as bettors, aren’t privy to when this happens, but it occurs more than you might imagine. Push:  Your point spread bet pushes when it results in a tie, after the point spread is applied.  You can also push an over/under wager which lands on the number. Value:  Value, of course, is often in the eyes of the beholder.  But one objective way to create value is to have favorable odds on a bet.  For example, you might have a futures bet on the Washington Nationals to win the World Series at 18-1 odds, and their odds might be +190 after winning the National League Championship Series. Whether you're just getting your feet wet as a bettor, or you're already in the exclusive group of dime bettors, don’t be reckless.  It's essential to manage your bankroll correctly.  You're in this for the long run, not just for a one-time bet to cash in and walk away from the sports betting industry.  We're here to help you attain a sustainable sports betting career that can support your life for the long run.  So, stay disciplined, join the sportsbooks that best suit your needs, and don't forget to have fun.  We always advise not to wager more than you're able to lose -- but with dime betting, it’s even more important

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Ness Notes: Wednesday, October 28

by Larry Ness

Wednesday, Oct 28, 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." World Series recap and closing thoughts: The LA Dodgers won their EIGHTH consecutive NL West title in 2020, finishing the pandemic-shortened season with a MLB-best record of 43-17 (LA's .717 winning percentage would have translated to 116-win season over 162 games). The Dodgers were clearly MLB's best team in the regular season, noting the team's run differential of plus-136 was 52 runs higher than their closet competitor (SD Padres) and a whopping 76 runs higher than their World Series opponent, the Tampa Bay Rays (Rays owned the best record in the AL at 40-20, second to only LA in all of MLB). However, the Dodgers found themselves down 3-1 to the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, before rallying to sweep the final three games of the series. That allowed LA to reach the World Series for the FOURTH time in the last four seasons. It marked the 63rd instance in major league history that a team had reached three World Series in a four-year span and only TWO teams among the group did not win a World Series. The Dodgers, who lost to the Astros in 2017 and to the Red Sox in 2018, sure didn't want to join the 1907-09 Detroit Tigers and the 1911-13 NY Giants in that 'club.' As already noted, the Rays had the AL's best regular season record. However, they were extended to the limit in both their ALDS with the Yankees (won Game 5, 2-1) and in the ALCS by Houston (took a 3-0 series lead only to be pushed to a Game 7 that they won 4-2). Tampa Bay reached the World Series for just the second time in franchise history, having lost the 2008 World Series to the Phillies, 4-1. Of note was that a Dodgers/Rays matchup was only the FOURTH time in the wild-card era (since 1995) that the teams with the best record in each league would meet in the World Series.Game 6: Tampa Bay rookie Randy Arozarena gave the Rays a 1-0 lead with a first-inning HR against Gonsolin. He became the second rookie ever to hit three HRs in a single World Series, joining Charlie Keller of the 1939 New York Yankees, while extending his all-time record for a single postseason to 10 HRs (his 29 hits also set an all-time record for a single postseason). He also became the first rookie to collect an RBI in four consecutive World Series games. However, the Rays never scored again after Arozarena's HR, Roberts pulled Gonsolin after 1.2 innings and SIX relievers (NONE named Jansen), gave him 7.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, while striking out 12 Rays. Tampa Bay finished with just FIVE hits and 16 Ks. As for the Dodgers, they looked helpless against Snell, who struck out NINE batters while giving up two hits, including one to Austin Barnes in the sixth with one out. It was then that Tampa Bay manager took Snell out of the game, much to Snell's dismay and as it turned out, all ALL Tampa Bay fans and bettors. Cash decided to bring righty Nick Anderson into the game to face Mookie Betts, despite the fact that Betts was hitting just .218 against left-handers this season and had struck out in his first two at-bats of this game against Snell. Sure enough, Betts doubled to put runners on second and third with just one out. A wild pitch scored the tying run and then Corey Seager's run-scoring groundout gave LA a 2-1 lead. With Tampa Bay helpless against A's bullpen, Mookie Betts solo HR in the eighth, sealed the 3-1 victory.SS Seager batted .400 with two HRs, five RBI and six walks against the Rays, including last night's sixth-inning grounder that allowed Betts to race home from third base with the go-ahead run. He was named World Series MVP after winning MVP in the NLCS against Atlanta. He hit .310 with five HRs and 11 RBI in the NLCS, including three HRs as the Dodgers fought off elimination in Games 5, 6 and 7. He drove in runs in FIVE consecutive plate appearances, starting with his final two at-bats in Game 2, to match a feat that had been accomplished only by the Houston Astros' Carlos Beltran in 2004. Only EIGHT players have won MVPs in a LCS and WS in the same season (all National Leaguers), with the most recent being San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner in 2014. However, it seems only fitting that Seager would pull off this rare 'double-double,' just like Orel Hershiser did in 1988, the last time the Dodgers won the World Series.It was a 'redemption' World Series for Clayton Kershaw, who entered the 2020 World Series having struggled badly in his first two two World Series appearances (2017 and 2018). He had gone 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in five appearances (four starts) in those two series. The Dodgers were 1-3 in those four starts, as Kershaw had allowed 21 hits and 16 ERs over 22.2 innings for a 6.35 ERA. However, he went 2-0 vs the Rays, posting a 2.31 ERA with a 14-3 KW ratio over 11.2 innings. He became only the third starting pitcher to earn two wins and strike out at least one-third of the batters he faced in a single World Series, joining Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax. Long-suffering Kershaw fans will lament that he is the first pitcher to do so on a winning team and NOT win World Series MVP.My closing thought is on Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash. Let me say going in, I 'hate' him for introducing the practice of using "an opener," as it has wreaked havoc on handicappers and bettors. Way too many times we have all waited for teams to announce a starting pitcher, as linemakers are forced to wait on establishing a line. What has been worse, is a starting pitcher named in the morning, only to find out shortly before the first pitch that "an opener" will get the nod, thereby canceling one's play or bet. I'll add that I'm also no big fan of "analytics" but that said, I don't despise them as so many my age do.My most vivid childhood memories are of Sandy Koufax dominating the Yankees (1963) and the Twins (1965), while Bob Gibson did the same against the Yankees (1964), the Red Sox (1967) and the Tigers (1968). In that vein, I can't imagine taking Snell out of the game last night after giving up a one-out single. As noted, Betts had struggled against lefties all season (see above) and had already struck out twice against Snell in his first two at-bats. Who knows what would have happened if Snell was left in? However, we do KNOW what happened when he was taken out. One wonders if either Snell or Cash will ever get another chance in a World Series? A return is NOT guaranteed.That said, let me say this for Cash. He was hired by the Tampa Bay Rays as their manager back on December 5, 2014, succeeding Joe Maddon, while becoming the youngest manager in the MLB. He took over a team playing in an awful stadium with some of the worst fan-support in MLB, as well as working with one of MLB's lowest payrolls. The Rays did little his first three seasons but then won 90 games in 2018, although they didn't qualify for the playoffs. However, 2019 was a breakout season, as they won 96 games, then beat the Oakland A's in the wild card game, before pushing the Astros to a full five games in an ALDS. I noted above what Tampa Bay accomplished here in 2020 and will note that the Rays did it all with a $29 million payroll, which ranked 28th out of the 30 major league teams.I KNOW Rays fans are devastated but would they really want to bring back Joe Maddon, who guided the LA Angels, with Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, to a 26-34 record in 2020, FOURTEEN games worse than Tampa Bay's? Cash has been making the same type of decisions (like he did with Snell last night), since arriving in Tampa. It should be noted that last night's contest was Snell's 17th start of 2020 and he had NEVER completed six innings in ANY of his previous 16. One's memory doesn't have to be stretched too far to remember Snell's start in Game 2 of the Series. He didn't allow a hit through four innings, while striking out two Dodgers in each of the first four innings. However, his dreams of a no-hitter ended in the 5th. He walked Kiké Hernandez with two out and served up a two-run HR to Chris Taylor. A walk to Mookie Betts and a single by Corey Seager ended Snell's night. Coulda, shoulda, woulda!Good luck...Larry

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NFL Sunday Night Football: Eagles/Cowboys Preview

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

First place in the NFC East will be at stake in the Sunday Night Football game on NBC despite it being a battle of two teams with losing records and a long list of injuries.Dallas has lost two straight games as well as four of their last five games after they got beat at Washington on Sunday by a 25-3 score. The Cowboys’ offense managed only 142 yards against the Football Team’s defense. Since the season-ending ankle injury to quarterback Dak Prescott, Dallas has scored only 19 points in their 24 offensive drives. Andy Dalton has been declared out for this game after he was on the receiving end of a brutal hit from Washington’s Jon Bostic that knocked him out of the game. The Cowboys signed Garrett Gilbert as an emergency backup along with Cooper Rush later in the week, but it will be rookie Ben Dinucci who will be their starting quarterback. Dinucci was a 7th round pick from James Madison, who led the Dukes to the FCS Championship Game against North Dakota State last year. He completed over 70% of his passes in his senior season for 3441 yards with 29 touchdown passes. He also rushed the ball 122 times for 569 yards last year with seven touchdowns, so offensive coordinator Kellen Moore might be able to draw up some plays to take advantage of those skills. Owner Jerry Jones is answering questions regarding the job security of head coach Mike McCarthy. Yet the injury situation that McCarthy has had to manage in his first year has been overwhelming. The offensive line has lost four of their original starters with Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, Joe Looney, and Brandon Knight either on Injured Reserve or already declared out the season. Guard Zach Martin upgraded to probable late in the week after suffering a concussion. Dallas has placed eight players on IR, which does not include starting tight end Blake Jarwin, who is also out the season with a knee injury. The Cowboys’ defense may even be in worse shape under embattled defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Dallas is last in the NFL by allowing 34.7 points per game. The Cowboys have only forced three turnovers all season. Their inability to generate takeaways is why they are last with a net turnover margin of -13. Cornerback Chide Awuzie and linebacker Sean Lee are both on IR. Dallas depleted their depth earlier this week by trading away defensive lineman Everson Griffen.The Cowboys are the first team to start the season by not covering the point spread in seven straight games since 2006. The last NFL team to pull off that feat was the Nick Saban-coached Miami Dolphins.Philadelphia snapped a two-game losing streak on Thursday Night Football last week with their 22-21 victory at home against the New York Giants. That win put the Eagles into first place in the division with a 2-4-1 mark. Injuries continue to mar Philadelphia’s season. They have placed ten players on Injured Reserve and began the week with another six players listed as questionable for this game. The Eagles’ offensive line is without three original starters with Brandon Brooks out the season, Andre Dillard out indefinitely, and Isaac Seumalo on IR. The team resigned Jason Peters after Brooks suffered his Achilles injury in August, but he is now on IR with a toe injury. Starting left tackle Lane Johnson has been upgraded to probable with a knee injury after taking part in practice this week. Yet rookie guard Jack Driscoll was downgraded to out for this game with his ankle issue. Philly added DeSean Jackson to their Injured Reserve after he injured his ankle in the Giants game. The Eagles are also without their tight end Zach Ertz for another few weeks. Tight end Dallas Goedert was removed from IR and is listed as questionable with his ankle. Running back Miles Sanders and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery have been downgraded to out with their injuries. Rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor has been upgraded to probable with the thumb injury that has kept him out this season.To the victor of this game will go at least a share of first place with three victories on the season. BetOnline has Philadelphia as an 11-point favorite with the total set at 42.5. The game time is 8:20 PM ET.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: UEFA Champions League Preview

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

With the Los Angeles Dodgers winning the World Series on Tuesday, the Wednesday sports card is limited. However, bettors do have eight matches in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage in the afternoon to consider.Two matches start at 1:55 PM ET. Chelsea travels to Krasnodar following their 0-0 draw with Sevilla in their opening Champions League match last Tuesday. Krasnodar, representing the Russian Premier League, earned a 1-1 draw with Rennes last week. Chelsea is a -1.25 goal line favorite with the total set at 2.75 (all odds from BetOnline).The second match at 1:55 PM ET has Paris Saint-Germain on the road at Istanbul Basaksehir. PSG looks to rebound from a 2-1 loss at home last week to Manchester United. Istanbul Baseksehir out of the Turkish Super Lig comes off a 2-1 loss at RB Leipzig in their opening Champions League match last week. PSG is a -2 goal line favorite with an over/under of 3.25. Six more matches start at 4 PM ET. Rennes builds off their 1-1 draw at home to Krasnodar last week by traveling to Sevilla, who settled for a 0-0 draw at Chelsea last week. Sevilla is a -1 goal line favorite against their La Ligue French opponent with a total of 2.25.Borussia Dortmund hosts Zenit Petersburg as they look to rebound from a 3-1 loss at Lazio. The Russian Premier League side comes off a 2-1 loss to Club Brugge. Borussia Dortmund is a -1.5 goal line favorite with a total of 3.25.Lazio travels to Club Brugge after that 3-1 win at home over Borussia Dortmund last week. Club Brugge representing Belgium comes off that 2-1 win for Zenit and is a 0.5 goal line favorite in this match with the over/under set at 2.75.Barcelona looks to bounce back from their 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the latest incarnation of El Clasico by continuing their good start in the Champions League after their 5-1 victory at home against Ferencvaros. They travel to Juventus, who comes off a 1-1 draw at Dynamo Kiev. This match is a pick ‘em with the total at 2.75.Dynamo Kiev looks to rebound from their loss to the Serie A powerhouse by traveling to Ferencvaros where they are a 0.25 goal line favorite with a total of 2.25.RB Leipzig looks to build off their 2-1 win over Istanbul Basaksehir last week by traveling to Old Trafford to play Manchester United. The Red Devils come off that 2-1 win over PSG. Man United is a 0.25 goal line favorite with the over/under set at 2.75. All eight games are available on the CBS Sports All-Access package. Alternatively, the CBS Sports Network broadcasts a whip-around show during the six 4 PM ET games.

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What does Cover Mean in Sports Betting?

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

What does cover mean in sports betting? One of the most popular bet types in sports betting is the point spread.  The point spread refers to the number of points (plus or minus) applied to the respective final scores of the two teams in order to determine the outcome of a bet.  One of the teams is designated the underdog, while the other one is the favorite.  With a moneyline wager, the odds on the favorite are often prohibitive, and you may have to lay $500, $700, or even $2,000 dollars to win $100.  However, with a point spread, the playing field is leveled, which makes both sides of the bet equally as attractive since the odds are generally close to -110 for both teams.With each matchup, the oddsmakers need to determine the appropriate point spread.  Typically, the point spread will reflect the difference in talent between the two teams, and will be adjusted by various intangible factors, such as schedule, motivation, home field advantage, and the like.  After the game goes final, the bookmaker will add the point spread (if an underdog) or subtract the point spread (if a favorite) to determine the winner of the bet.  When a team won the bet, it is said that the team covered the spread.Thus, cover in betting refers to 'cover the spread' -- when a team wins for its bettors after the application of the point spred. To further illustrate how point spread betting works, we'll dive in to show you all there is to know to get you started straightaway! How does point spread betting work? Alright, so you're into wagering, and you're already familiar with moneyline betting.  Now, it’s time to dive into some other options.  Sports bettors in the United States prefer to wager on the point spread.  But how does it work?  Let's start with a simple definition of the point spread.  The spread is a median number, calculated by the bookmaker, which has as its objective the equal division of money wagered on both the underdog and the favorite.Point spread betting is most popular in football and basketball since there are lots of points scored in those games.  It's also possible to make spread wagers in hockey and baseball, as well, but in a different form (we'll dive into that later).  For now, we'll zoom into the way the number works -- how to read the point spread betting lines.How to read the point spread numbersTo display how the point spread works, we'll use an NFL match between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles.  The betting lines for this NFL game might look like this: Dallas Cowboys -3.5 Philadelphia Eagles +3.5 As you can, two teams are competing against each other here.  One carries a plus sign, while the other a minus sign alongside the spread number.  The favored team is the Dallas Cowboys, and the Philadelphia Eagles are the underdog.  The number represents the amount of points to be applied to the final score to determine the point spread winner.  For the Cowboys, they need to win by more than 3.5 points to cover the spread.  The Eagles, on the other hand, need to either win the game outright, or lose by less than 3.5 points, to cover the spread.As you can see, it’s quite possible that a team could win the game, straight-up, but not cover the spread.  Here, the Cowboys could earn a narrow win by just two points, and fail to cover the 3.5-point spread.Understanding the payout in spread bettingYou're in this to make money, so we'll show you just how to calculate the amount of money you can win.  You must understand that the betting odds for point spreads are generally close to -110.  Now, let's take the previous example and add the betting odds: Dallas Cowboys -3.5 (-108) Philadelphia Eagles +3.5 (-112) In this example, you'll see two different odds for each team.  The odds are designed to provide the sportsbook with a means to earn its “vigorish,” or profit.  When you see -108, that means you need to bet $108 to win $100, and with -112, you would need to wager $112 to win $100.  Thus, the lower your odds, the less risk you have to take with your bet to secure a nice payout.  Most sportsbooks will set the betting odds for a point spread wager around -110, but they have the latitude to adjust the odds, as needed, to balance the betting action.  It goes without saying that some sportsbooks have better odds for their players than others.  BetAnySports, for example, is our #1-rated sportsbook, primarily because it has reduced juice.  Unlike most other sportsbooks that have standard -110 odds, BetAnySports offers its players -105 juice on football and basketball games, which is a major benefit.  Half-point spreads​In the NFL example that we used earlier, you'll have no doubt noticed that the point spread was a half-number, and not a whole number.  Point spreads incorporate a half-point system.  This has a dual function.  Most importantly, it allows a bookmaker to more easily balance its books on a particular game.  And a secondary function is that it eliminates any chance of the game resulting in a tie, and thus the bet 'pushing.'  When a bet pushes, there’s no winner, so a sportsbook returns the stakes to the bettors, and doesn’t earn any vigorish.Point spreads in other sports than the NFL and NBAThere are sports all over the world.  And even though football and basketball are prevalent in the States, it's not that way throughout the world.  Indeed, there are millions of fanatic soccer fans who eagerly watch the English Premier League.  And sports like hockey and baseball are also very popular.  With these sports, bookmakers also offer spread betting, but it works in a slightly different way than with football and basketball.  The reason for this is the fact that there is a lot less scoring in soccer, hockey and baseball than in a regular football or basketball game.  So, the spread tends to be fixed -- usually at 1.5 goals (soccer, hockey) or runs (baseball).  And if the action on the game is unbalanced, the oddsmaker will adjust the associated moneyline odds, rather than the spread.  That’s a departure from how spread betting works in football and basketball, where the oddsmaker will move the point spread to try to balance out the betting action.Also, bookies use different terms in soccer, hockey and baseball.  In those sports, the spread is referred to as a goal-line, puck-line or run-line, rather than point spread.  But they work in the same way, with spreads generally fixed at 1.5 goals or runs (but sometimes it will be +/- 2 or +/- 2.5, etc.). How to win at spread betting The sports betting industry is no different than other industries.  There’s stiff competition among the books to earn the business of sports gamblers.  When trying to determine which sportsbooks to join, we want to share some tips:Pick the right sportsbookIn spread betting, there's a lot of movement in the betting lines.  You have the opening numbers when a game is first listed for wagering.  And the closing numbers at game time.  But in the hours or days in between, there can be major line movement, especially in games with injuries.  As a bettor, you can take advantage of this by keeping a sharp eye on the odds and place your bet at the right moment.  Nevertheless, you always need a proper sportsbook.  You might wonder, how do I find the right sportsbook?  Well, allow us to share a few tips: Explore your options:  There are hundreds of sportsbooks. Before the internet, you only had the brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in Las Vegas, or illegal bookmakers on the street corner.  Now, there are online sportsbooks that can be accessed by a few clicks of a mouse.  Start by doing a quick search on the most prominent and trusted sportsbooks out there (we also have a Top 10 Sportsbook section at our site, along with extensive reviews). Determine what’s important:  To make a proper decision, you need to understand your needs.  You can do this by listing the most important criteria that you want in your sportsbook.  Think about odds/reduced juice, sign-up and reload bonuses, parlay/teaser odds, prop bets, betting limits, modern website, banking methods, etc. Gain some experience:  When you're new to sports betting, you might feel overwhelmed by the options.  The one misconception that people might have is that they need to pick one sportsbook for the rest of their life.  You can (and should) have accounts at multiple sportsbooks, since this will enable you to shop the lines to get the best number.  Indeed, sports gamblers should have a minimum of three sportsbooks.  So don't be afraid to try out a couple of betting sites that match your criteria!  Although our sportsbook reviews will go into this with more depth, here are some sportsbooks to join if you’re specifically looking for certain things.  If you want the best odds, join BetAnySports (which is our #1-rated sportsbook).  If you’re a big bettor, and want to wager $50,000 on an NFL side, then BookMaker should be your choice.  If you want the best website, Bovada is tops.  And if you’re looking for unique odds so you can shop the lines, then BetNow and BetOnline are perfect for that.  Finally, if you like betting parlays and teasers, BetAnySports has the best odds for those bet types.Don't be afraid to ask for helpSports betting can be difficult, especially with adrenaline flowing through your veins because your money is on the line.  You want to make the right call all the time, but sometimes your vision might be dazed, and you feel lost.  In these moments, you shouldn't be afraid to ask for help.You could call, e-mail, or simply purchase the picks of a professional handicapper with just a couple of clicks.  All you need to do is ask for help, and you might just put yourself on a winning streak.  Some professionals have a track record that dates back decades, so they are sure to bring you profits over the long run! Point spread sports betting terms To sum up this article, we want to share a couple of common terms in spread betting.  You don't need to know every single one before you start wagering, but you'll come across these when doing your research, so it doesn't hurt to bring yourself up to speed beforehand. ATS - against the spread:  The ATS term represents the point spread track record for a team.  In the statistics for a team, you might see 6-1 ATS.  That means the team covered the spread six times and failed to cover the spread once. Chalk:  Chalk is the favored team. Cover:  When a team wins with the bet after the application of the point spread, the team covers the spread. PK - Pk'em:  In some matchups, the two teams are rated equal by the oddsmakers, and there’s no points in the point spread -- the game is a Pk’em.  Thus, the team which wins straight-up will bet the winner of the point spread bet.   Push:  When the scores of the two teams, after the application of the point spread, are equal, the game results in a push (or tie), and no team covers the spread.  All bettors receive a refund of their initial stake.

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