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Old 04-29-2017, 03:22 PM   #256
HalvOnHorseracing
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I think the reasons are clear why lines move. Bookies and sports books aren't in the business of gambling. So when one side gets over played they adjust and try to balance out the action. You might find a local bookie who takes a stand thinking a certain team is a winner but I don't think you will find any of that in Las Vegas. I do know that sharp players in Las Vegas will influence the linemaker. If 70% of the action is on one team all bet by squares and the 30% bet on the other side is done by the sharp players, the linemakers will be less likely to move a line.
You will find that occasionally in Vegas, at least according to some of the people I know that are big money sports bettors. There have been recent instances in the Super Bowl where Vegas has won or lost big, and I doubt they didn't know the line was going to push the action to one side or another. There are also times when the books - and don't kid yourself, they all know exactly what each other are doing - will set what is called a "trap line." That is a line that looks like it clearly favors one team when the sharpies actually favor the other team.

There is one company that sets the lines for 90% of the casinos. Then, there are a few big players are actually allowed to place their bets before the line is released to the general public, and the books use those players to adjust the line for release to the public.

Many people don't know that the line is only a determinant in the outcome of a NFL game about 17% of the time. About 50% of the time, the favorite wins and covers the line. About 33% of the time the underdog will win outright. And about 17% of the time the favorite wins but does not cover. That's how you get to 50-50 with the line.
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Old 04-29-2017, 03:38 PM   #257
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I usually don't have to say this, because most "professional" gamblers meet their doom on the discipline question, not strategy, but strategy is important. Sports betting pools are dominated by extremely sophisticated bettors who have extremely sophisticated models and encyclopedic knowledge- it is highly suspect that anyone would be able to profit in that sort of market over a statistically significant number of wagers doing anything less than full time, extremely intensive study of the subject matter.
I remember reading Bill Walters admitted he couldn't get his prices so, he helped make it with different maneuvers which I guess were technically legal. Ethical?? .... I'm not so certain.
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Old 04-29-2017, 03:54 PM   #258
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I remember reading Bill Walters admitted he couldn't get his prices so, he helped make it with different maneuvers which I guess were technically legal. Ethical?? .... I'm not so certain.
The "ethical" line gets blurred when serious money is involved. The most you can do is stay within the bounds of the law. It isn't "ethical" for the casinos to encourage their patrons to drink while gambling, nor "should" the bookmaker offer large credit lines to irresponsible bettors...thus lending them "enough rope to hang themselves". In gambling...the "unethical" behavior swings both ways.
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Old 04-29-2017, 04:01 PM   #259
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You will find that occasionally in Vegas, at least according to some of the people I know that are big money sports bettors. There have been recent instances in the Super Bowl where Vegas has won or lost big, and I doubt they didn't know the line was going to push the action to one side or another. There are also times when the books - and don't kid yourself, they all know exactly what each other are doing - will set what is called a "trap line." That is a line that looks like it clearly favors one team when the sharpies actually favor the other team.

There is one company that sets the lines for 90% of the casinos. Then, there are a few big players are actually allowed to place their bets before the line is released to the general public, and the books use those players to adjust the line for release to the public.

Many people don't know that the line is only a determinant in the outcome of a NFL game about 17% of the time. About 50% of the time, the favorite wins and covers the line. About 33% of the time the underdog will win outright. And about 17% of the time the favorite wins but does not cover. That's how you get to 50-50 with the line.
When you accept bets right up to the start of the game...you never get a 50-50 split on the betting action of these games. Plus...the bookmakers are hesitant to move the line in a sizable way when the wagered money is one-sided...because they then run the risk of getting "middled" by the bettors who first wagered on the "advantageous line". It isn't risk-free to be a bookmaker...regardless of what the popular notion seems to be.
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:24 PM   #260
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Yes...this practice is called "taking a position against the line"...and this is done mostly by the smaller "street bookies", who are not satisfied with the revenue that the vig provides them with. But, by adopting such a practice...the bookmaker gets exposed to "exploitation" HIMSELF.
This reminds me of some early experience with sports betting. In the early 70's (I was a teenager) I found the cigar store where the parlay cards came from. I thought those guys were cool. They sold me cigars and rolling papers and let me thumb the porn sometimes. I decided to ask them if I could get a couple of the 'pink slip' cards like my dad gets. They were more than happy to help me out because they gave me a stack of cards and said hand these out to your friends and bring us their bets. We've got you covered for their vig.

WOW... vig (wth is that?) I did this for a few years and I liked to key Da Bears to a 3 or 4 gamer on a few cards. I rarely won a 4 pop and never a 5. 3's didn't pay right. I notice one day from the Tribune that the card line is out of whack with vegas and I ask the guys about it. Tell them this is why I don't EVER hit a 5 banger. The boss laughed and and the guys all laughed and boss said 'you don't think I'm the gambler, do ya son?'

Ah, good times.
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:42 PM   #261
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A couple of things to remember:

1. Just because line fluctuations are theoretically exploitable doesn't mean you can successfully exploit it. You need to know the close to exact probabilities that the Saints win by 6 instead of 7. Without that, you are unlikely to accurately exploit. Who has that? Linemakers and some extremely serious sports betting operations. Not likely anyone on this board.

2. Most line fluctuations are within the 2 1/2 percent takeout that is the vigorish. In other words, if the Saints are 48.7 percent likely to win by 7 and 50.8 percent likely to win by 6, you have no edge on either line.

3. To exploit this, you need to therefore pick your spots extremely carefully. Anyone who is betting 10 games a week on this theory is going to be a long term loser.

Last edited by dilanesp; 04-29-2017 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:12 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
A couple of things to remember:

1. Just because line fluctuations are theoretically exploitable doesn't mean you can successfully exploit it. You need to know the close to exact probabilities that the Saints win by 6 instead of 7. Without that, you are unlikely to accurately exploit. Who has that? Linemakers and some extremely serious sports betting operations. Not likely anyone on this board.

2. Most line fluctuations are within the 2 1/2 percent takeout that is the vigorish. In other words, if the Saints are 48.7 percent likely to win by 7 and 50.8 percent likely to win by 6, you have no edge on either line.

3. To exploit this, you need to therefore pick your spots extremely carefully. Anyone who is betting 10 games a week on this theory is going to be a long term loser.
Bottom-line, you only bet the money-line in all major sports.....The spread has always been and will always be for suckers, and to the house' advantage. BTW, you have no clue as to whom is on this board, thus it's obvious that this is not your field of expertise, among other things you've spoken of in the past outside of poker.....
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:15 AM   #263
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You will find that occasionally in Vegas, at least according to some of the people I know that are big money sports bettors. There have been recent instances in the Super Bowl where Vegas has won or lost big, and I doubt they didn't know the line was going to push the action to one side or another. There are also times when the books - and don't kid yourself, they all know exactly what each other are doing - will set what is called a "trap line." That is a line that looks like it clearly favors one team when the sharpies actually favor the other team.

There is one company that sets the lines for 90% of the casinos. Then, there are a few big players are actually allowed to place their bets before the line is released to the general public, and the books use those players to adjust the line for release to the public.

Many people don't know that the line is only a determinant in the outcome of a NFL game about 17% of the time. About 50% of the time, the favorite wins and covers the line. About 33% of the time the underdog will win outright. And about 17% of the time the favorite wins but does not cover. That's how you get to 50-50 with the line.
The company you mentioned is Las Vegas Sports Consultants started by Michael "Roxie' Roxborough in 1982 and subsequently sold to a group headed by Kenny White in 2003. Roxie and I were betting partners for several years and I got to learn many things about the inner workings of linemaking.

For sure it is not an exact science and sharp players can certainly be rewarded.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:02 AM   #264
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When you accept bets right up to the start of the game...you never get a 50-50 split on the betting action of these games. Plus...the bookmakers are hesitant to move the line in a sizable way when the wagered money is one-sided...because they then run the risk of getting "middled" by the bettors who first wagered on the "advantageous line". It isn't risk-free to be a bookmaker...regardless of what the popular notion seems to be.
I rarely bet sports. Maybe five football games a year. The biggest sports bet I ever made was on the Giants-Broncos Super Bowl. The Giants were -10 in NY and -8 in Denver, so I middled the game with one bet and bet the Giants straight with another. I got a thrill when the score was 19-10 at one point.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:45 AM   #265
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interesting topic here. my only time that i was ever able to beat sports gambling was in the early 1970's. i was getting the hockey lineups before they came on the wires @ 7:00 eastern time. there were goaltender's that you could call A-players and then there were B-players. so i was betting based on who the goaltender was. i was betting split line hockey which meant if you take the underdog you got 1 1/2 goals, if you took the favorite it meant you gave 2 goals. if the game fell 2, the favorite players pushed and had no action, the underdog players just lost their money. that type of a line had about a 40% vig built into it. but a line with the wrong goaltender might have converted over to a lay 1 1/2 goals for the favorite or take 1 goal with the underdog.

so off to vegas i went, and i went right to this sports book called Little Caesar's. the owner of the place was a guy by the name of EUGENE MAYDAY.---------- he sat in the sports book all day booking the highest limits in the desert. he also happened to own over 2000 taxi cabs that ran around Los Angeles all day.

so i started betting the man the hockey games. for about 2 weeks i was betting his limit on the games $5,000. i thought to myself it wouldn't be to long before i went into the taxi business in Los Angeles. then the guy cut me back in half which was still bigger than anywhere else in town. by that time everyone all over Vegas was betting the hockey games that i had played at Little Caesar's. in 3 days $2500 a game became $200 and i had to quit betting at Little Caesars and moved over to the Churchill Downs where they took $1000 from me. after a week they stopped taking hockey all over Nevada for the year. i took up some baseball doing the same thing with 2nd basemen, shortstops, centerfielder's and catchers. i won but it was a big grind. by the end of the summer they figured out how i came up with the games and the guy i was doing business with at Western Union lost his job and i was out of business completely.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:58 AM   #266
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Bottom-line, you only bet the money-line in all major sports.....The spread has always been and will always be for suckers, and to the house' advantage. BTW, you have no clue as to whom is on this board, thus it's obvious that this is not your field of expertise, among other things you've spoken of in the past outside of poker.....
The spread is easier to use as an example. But mathematically, the money line works exactly the same. Small movements in the money line do not create a large enough edge, and due to massive variance you are going to need a very large sample of large line shifts before you can say for sure you are beating the game.

Randall, I understand math better than you do, and the psychology of and common fallacies of gambling. I can recognize rationalization and small sample sizes Those are really the only tools necessary to see that you are totally wrong about this. (Also, I highly doubt that many football or basketball bettors refuse in principle to bet point spreads. People are too degen in real life.)

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Old 04-30-2017, 12:18 PM   #267
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The spread is easier to use as an example. But mathematically, the money line works exactly the same. Small movements in the money line do not create a large enough edge, and due to massive variance you are going to need a very large sample of large line shifts before you can say for sure you are beating the game.

Randall, I understand math better than you do, and the psychology of and common fallacies of gambling. I can recognize rationalization and small sample sizes Those are really the only tools necessary to see that you are totally wrong about this. (Also, I highly doubt that many football or basketball bettors refuse in principle to bet point spreads. People are too degen in real life.)
I am confused. Are you saying there are no successful sports bettors? Isn't betting lines for sporting events similar to horse racing? The linesmaker sets a line and the action will dictate movements. In racing you bet on horses where the odds differ from your opinion. In sports betting the same is true. A skilled sports bettor can certainly find an edge.

Your posts indicate that you are well versed in the mathematics of gambling. What they don't indicate is an ability to determine the skill sets of other posters.
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Old 04-30-2017, 01:00 PM   #268
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I am confused. Are you saying there are no successful sports bettors? Isn't betting lines for sporting events similar to horse racing? The linesmaker sets a line and the action will dictate movements. In racing you bet on horses where the odds differ from your opinion. In sports betting the same is true. A skilled sports bettor can certainly find an edge.

Your posts indicate that you are well versed in the mathematics of gambling. What they don't indicate is an ability to determine the skill sets of other posters.
I am saying the following :

1. There may be successful sports bettors among the small group of people who have incredibly sophisticated amounts of information about a sport. Comparable to the huge computer driven horse racing betting outfits.

Also comparable to who wins playing daily fantasy sports online, which has been widely documented. Picking players shouldn't work any different than picking teams, and yet only the big data operations consistently win. That pretty much shows the reality of sports betting.

2. Variance is incredibly large and it is basically impossible for any modest sports bettor to establish a statistically significant winrate.

3. Sports betting markets are highly efficient, like financial markets, and therefore you are going to generally need inside information or some sort of arbitrage to win as an average player.

4. Most of the claims in this thread about angles (although not your claims!) really don't work mathematically or don't work often enough to get you a decent sample size.
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Old 04-30-2017, 01:15 PM   #269
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One other thing. Lambo's story is great, because it illustrates a couple of things:

1. Limits. Even where there is a theoretical opportunity for arbitrage, you can't bet a lot. And that's a huge problem because you need to turn over a lot of action to win a decent winrate. Books may take a ton of action from their best customers, but if you are trying to exploit them, they are likely to significantly limit your action. If they don't limit your action, you should consider that maybe they understand the situation better than you do.

2. Holes close up. Books who routinely allow themselves to be exploited will go bust. Books that figure out what is happening will close the holes. Over time, successful systems will be detected by others as well, which will speed up the closing of the hole.
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Old 04-30-2017, 01:31 PM   #270
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The spread is easier to use as an example. But mathematically, the money line works exactly the same. Small movements in the money line do not create a large enough edge, and due to massive variance you are going to need a very large sample of large line shifts before you can say for sure you are beating the game.

Randall, I understand math better than you do, and the psychology of and common fallacies of gambling.
I can recognize rationalization and small sample sizes Those are really the only tools necessary to see that you are totally wrong about this. (Also, I highly doubt that many football or basketball bettors refuse in principle to bet point spreads. People are too degen in real life.)
I won't address the rest of your post, (which I also disagree with)...but I'll say something about the comment of yours that I've isolated here:

None of us know each other here...nor do we know what each-other "knows". To state categorically that you supposedly "know" something BETTER than the next person does, does nothing to advance the conversation...and all it does is create hard feelings, and similar replies. All of us have our "knowledge-limits"...and I trust that you'll eventually discover yours.
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