Sports betting is quite appealing to the smart, or sharp, bettor since sports betting does not consist of the house having a fixed edge, unlike casino games such as blackjack or roulette. In fact, sports betting is much more similar to poker in that it requires much more skill than luck. While it’s impossible to win on every single bet, the skilled handicapper can definitely profit over the long-term. In this article, we’ll take a look at why sports betting can be profitable.
How Sportsbooks Work
Sportsbooks make money by collecting commissions, which are referred to as the juice or vig, on losing bets. The most common odds offered by sportsbooks are -110 or 1.91. This implies that you’re required to wager $110 in order to win $100 – risking a bit more to win a bit less. Ideally, sportsbooks would like to have the same amount of money wagered on both teams in a matchup. In this ideal world, sportsbooks will earn a profit on -110 odds regardless of the outcome. In order to accomplish this, sportsbooks will try to assign a line or spread that they believe will make both sides equally as attractive to wager on.
The Point Spread
Many novice bettors have the false idea of what a point spread is – they believe that the point spread represents the predicted margin of victory that one team will win the other team by. However, this is incorrect. The point spread represents the handicapper’s prediction of the line that will result in an even split on wagers for both teams. As a result, opening lines often change from when it’s released up until game time. Since the goal of sportsbooks is to attract even money on both sides of a bet, if the general public is swayed to bet on a certain team, the lines must be adjusted in order to attract action on the other side of the bet. If this doesn’t work out, the money wagered will be heavily lopsided on one side of the bet.
In order to achieve success in sports betting, the sound handicapper must be able to formulate his own opinions about games through research and analysis while blocking out noise from public sentiment. The successful handicapper will take information and statistics from numerous sources and assign weights and values to this information. The handicapper may also assess qualitative information in order to avoid solely looking at numbers and statistics. With this information and coupled with their own models, they’ll compute a point spread based on their beliefs and compare their own point spread with the point spread that sportsbooks are offering. If the handicapper’s point spread is significantly different than the point spread offered by sportsbooks, this presents a unique opportunity for the handicapper to take advantage of this perceived misalignment and bet on the game. Essentially, there’s value in this bet.
Why Don’t More People Succeed At Sports Betting?
In order to succeed at anything in life, one must possess passion while instilling a sense of hard work and dedication. Some people simply aren’t willing to put in the time and effort in order to perfect this craft. Sports betting is an extremely precise undertaking, where half-a-point can mean the difference between winning and losing and where anything can happen. In order to increase your own advantage, you must be willing to accept the grind that comes along with this field of work.