Sports Betting Advice – Just Because It’s The Biggest Game Doesn’t Mean It’s Your Biggest Play
With the Super Bowl having recently been played and the March Madness and NBA Playoffs coming after that, this is as good a time as any to talk to you about a subtle handicapping principle that maybe you can use as a Vietbet customer.
I say this because I know you’ve gotten into the habit of hearing about the BIG matchups on television, where ESPN gears itself up to do all of them to death. You’re reading about it in USA Today, and over the internet. If you are a fan with anything more than a passing interest, you are inundated with information on “big games,” and you are so sure you know everything there is to know that you are going to take the big plunge on it like it’s the only thing happening in the universe.
I’m here to tell you not to get too crazy.
There is a tremendous tendency on the part of casual sports bettors to over-emphasize the games that are on television, and those having national championship implications (or in the case of the NFL or NBA, playoff implications or “superstars” facing off against each other). There are various reasons for this, principally because those are the games you are going to be watching, and you want a “rooting interest” in them, and also because they are the games you hear the most information about in the mainstream media.
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Of course, this is one of the reasons sportsbooks are able to stay in business.
Remember, the oddsmaker has just as much information as you have at his disposal, and then some. These are sharp people, who are always going to put up a “tight” number on a game they know a lot of people are going to betting on.
This is not to say the numbers on the other games on the board are not sharp. But it’s just natural that they are going to spend more time on the annual Ohio State-Michigan football game or a Duke-North Carolina basketball matchup than, let’s say, the Florida Atlantic-North Texas game (in either sport), because not as many people will be playing it and therefore it’s not likely to have as much impact on the bottom line. You’ll have more of a chance to gain an edge with games like that. Actually, a full college basketball schedule on a Saturday is a golden opportunity, because there as so many games, from so many of the smaller conferences, that it’s unlikely the oddsmaker could possibly have a really outstanding number on all of them.
On a game like Ohio State-Michigan, Duke-North Carolina, or other “big games” that represent traditional rivalries, you may want to take a look at which way the line is moving. Because of the expected volume of activity, and the fact that lines are designed with the idea of promoting even action on both sides, you will know that if a line has moved in either direction, it’s moving in the direction the public is betting. It is generally not a “wise guy” move, where the sharper players have put quite a bit of extra money down on one side. There’s not enough money to shift that in and of itself.
So if you’re one of those people whose policy is to always go in the opposite direction of the public, since the public is usually wrong, that may be one of the things that governs your decision. Of course, the public doesn’t have to be wrong most of the time to lose; they just get swallowed up by the 11-to-10 (the vigorish). As you may know already (and if you don’t, we’ll have a class on that soon enough), you can choose more than 50% winners and still be a long-term loser.
Just because it’s the biggest game, that doesn’t mean it’s your biggest PLAY of the season.
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By Charles Jay
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