The world of sports betting is full of surprises; that much is no secret.. People are always looking for different strategies and ways to beat the bookmakers. Few succeed. But that success is out there, and we know it. We obviously can’t just tell you what’s going to work all the time; everybody knows it’s not that easy. However, we thought we could mention a couple concepts to possibly make people think outside the box, and use them as a springboard to develop their own strategies and tactics when engaging in the ancient and noble art of betting on sports.
Think about line movement
Bookmakers often act like priests. Everybody basically has the same data on hand these days, but they set lines based on proprietary knowledge and ways of interpreting that data. Naturally, the goal for every bookmaker is to set the line so that they attract 50/50 action on each side of it, or at least, very close to it. This is how they maximize their profits while attempting to get their risks to near zero, since the vig exists on both sides of that line. Also, naturally, bookmakers are constantly adjusting those lines in an attempt to further that goal.
Many times, moves are made for market reasons or simply out of some third-party influence as opposed to statistical ones. This means that these fluctuations in lines (and sometimes odds too) can be ridden in the savvy player’s favour, if one has nerves of steel and good enough perception. There are several factors in sports betting that go against common sense. Knowing when to go against this group instinct can reveal some very favourable scenarios for the smart better. Traditionally, “smart” people tend to bet early, but often bucking this trend can give you so much really great information.
Bookmakers are not gods
The key concept here is that bookmakers make errors all the time, and these errors are what the true “smart” money watches like a hawk. There are many elements which act on line movement. A typical sequence will be for a bookmaker to set an initial line. The first money comes in, and this creates speculation on the part of the bookmaker, which results in line movement. Then the media chimes in, and the bookmaker makes line and other adjustments once again. After that, another wave of betting comes in, and the cycle repeats itself until all bets are settled.
As a clear example of this concept, one knows intellectually that one should never trust the media, yet one often does. Many of us don’t think computationally enough and still have an embedded chip that lends an air of false credibility to outlets like the media, which are demonstrably not as trustworthy as the average sports bettor thinks them to be. The important concept here is that these biases directly affect line movement and even the actual odds in many circumstances. The truly advanced bettor, however, knows that life is computational and can cut through all the layers of misconception.
To sum up:
What this means in concrete terms is that one should always look for opportunities to bet against the crowd. This includes the crowds of pseudo-smart betters, biased bookmakers, the media, and any other entity you can see is lacking in the perception they supposedly have. In short, this strategy suggests that one bet late, as late as possible, and even then stay constantly on the lookout for opportunities to short the proverbial 100,000 Frenchmen whenever they appear. An old maxim says: “chance favors the prepared mind.” This could never be more absolutely true than it is as it applies to the world of sports betting.