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Sports wagering - value of the Number and a Line

THE VALUE OF THE NUMBER AND A LINE
By Tony George

www.tonygeorgesports.com

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I do this article almost every year, especially during Hoops Season to remind people of 1 FACT you MUST understand when it comes to sports wagering. If you are serious about winning some money, you must get serious about what you are betting, and that fact is you are betting into numbers, not necessarily games. The value in any sports wager is the NUMBER you are getting.

RECENT SCENARIO - Just betting against the Saints this weekend in the NFC wildcard game simply because you hear on ESPN they cannot win on the road is NOT a good reason to bet against them. If you did you lost. I had the Saints plus points and they won outright. The VALUE was in the number, better team, better QB, better defense getting points! My power rating had them at -3, including a 2 point home field advantage for Philly figured in, they were getting 2.5 to 3 at one point. That is a 5.5 to 6 point overlay on my number versus the line. The VALUE is in the number, not what Chris Berman on ESPN says.

I handicap using a power rating system. My database at days end gives a number on a team. That number or power rating is based on a diverse set of values. I weigh the two teams playing together against my power ratings and the difference between those teams is MY SPREAD. I weigh that against the posted line, and when there is a 3-5 point difference (overlay against the line) between my line and the Vegas line, then I research research the game in depth. Situational analysis, injuries, stats, trends, home road records, ect.

When you find value in the line YOU MAKE A MOVE on that play at the line you capped, and you do it asap. Lines swing in basketball on the hour all day long. When a 3 point spread in the NBA goes to 5 and you are laying 3 and then wait to bet and then it goes to 5, YOU HAVE LOST LINE VALUE. I have seen totals in the NBA move 3 to 4 points in an 8 hour period. College Hoops, especially in March madness move like crazy with heavy public action. The lines move based on action wagered as books try to balance their action on any particular game, as their ultimate goal is to have 50% action evenly on both sides of a game, so they lose nothing and simply take the 10% rake for themselves.

NFL WILD CARD WEEKEND - PERFECT EXAMPLE
I put out Kansas City on Wednesday - stated everywhere I could that line value was crucial. I had them at +2.5. The line closed with them as a favorite on Sunday. They lost by 1. I won at the number I put the play out, but those who waited and waited to either get my play or bet on Sunday, IF they took KC , ended up losing. Same thing with San Fran. I had them as a little as -2. I had a big play and bet them at -2 at my outlet. They closed at -3.5 and won by 3 in a thriller. Those who who waited, lost or pushed depending on their line if they had San Fran.


MORALE OF THE STORY- Do not wait. Shop your lines at more than one outlet. Bet a selection once you arrive at a decision or purchase a play from a service like mine as soon as you can. In many cases I track lines, especially with underdogs, during the day. Many times in basketball if I have a borderline play at +3 on a college game for instance, but based on my 22 years experience, I feel the public will hammer the favorite, I will in fact wait it out and try and get 4 points or higher. Again I am looking at betting into a number and gaining as much value as I can get. If you do not think there is value in 1 or 2 points think again,. How many times have we all lost a play by a half point or 1 point, a missed free throw or last second meaningless 3 pointer chucked in from downtown at garbage time? Enough said.

Shopping lines at more than 1 outlet is crucial. Why lay 4 when you can lay 3 in a college hoops game? In baseball or hockey why lay -135 on the moneyline when you can lay -126 at another outlet? Shopping lines and betting early can gain you 8-12 units in a sports season. For a $200 player that is an additional $1600 minimum.

There is no easy path to sports betting. Many think a win percentage of 58% to 60% is not all that great, you would be wrong. You can win solid money at those rates and getting serious about giving yourself every advantage against the book is CRUCIAL to successful wagering. Class dismissed!


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