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What your bookie won't tell you, part 1
04-21-2009, 06:50 AM (This post was last modified: 04-22-2009 10:35 AM by KillJoy.)
Post: #1
What your bookie won't tell you, part 1
Comming soon--book review of "Confessions of an Ivy League Bookie."

But in the meantime, if you think you know everything about how a wire room works, think again! Today's subject: balancing the action.

If you have looked at betting sports more than five minutes, you have seen "the line." Say you hear, "Steelers favored by 7 over Cleveland." So you think, "WOW, they should win by a touchdown since Vegas thinks they are that much better!"

WRONG!

The point of the spread is to "even the action" on both sides. You bet $110 to win $100. The $10 is "juice" so if a bookie balances perfectly on $10,000 in action he just counts his $1,000 in profit.

Now, a spread will resemble reality as pros who handicap would eat the bookie alive if it didn't. Home field advantage is 3 points of the line as an unwritten rule. But a line could have more to it than that. Lets look at the last Superbowl.

Now, even if you are not a Steelers Fan you have to admit there are more Steeler Fans than Cardinal Fans out there. Even with Vegas relatively close to Phoenix (I've driven it three times!) there will still be more Steeler bets as many people will bet "their team." So in addition to the "handicaping" spread you could expect the books to add a point or two for the Cardinals just to entice a little action.

As a sidenote here, the Cardinals WERE getting action at the points they were offering. So much that one online book made you bet $130 to win $100 but only $90 to win $100 for the Steelers! This was a smart move as the Steelers didn't cover and they made 20 points of juice assuming perfect balance!

BUT, they won't always "balance" and here is why!

Ever been in an office football pool? Even without point spreads, it is tough! Virtually no one goes .600 or better for the season. But no one goes .400 either. Assume it stays that way for point spread games.

So the book has 16 games on a full NFL weekend. 6 are "balanced" but 10 are out of balance. There is a 50/50 chance the bookie will be out of balance in his favor! More if you consider how often the public is wrong!

So, instead of paying juice to a layoff bookie, he will take a risk. To be wrong on even 6 of 10 is unlikely. Save that 10% the layoff guy will take. Save even the 5% "professional" discount he may let you have! Any decent bookie will have enough cash to cover a few bad weeks. Or be able to float a loan from somewhere on the street. (OK, from a line of credit if your bookie is Caesars Palace!)

If a line is not moving on a busy week, this could be why!

Not betting advice and I'm not encouraging you to start a wire room. But fun info at least I think.

What your bookie won't tell you, Part 2
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04-21-2009, 10:39 AM
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RE: What your bookie won't tell you, part 1
Nicely explained, thanks!

"Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't work for the rabbit." - R. E. Shay
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