If you’ve ever been tempted by a flutter, you’ll know how bookmakers and casinos stack the odds against you. The clearest example is roulette, where there are 36 red and black numbers plus the green numbers 0 and (in the U.S.) 00. So that’s 38 possibilities in total. When betting on red or black, the odds of choosing correctly are 18/38, and a fair payout for a $1 stake is $2.111. However, the house pays only $2 and keeps the difference. In that way, it guarantees itself a profit.
Imagine a football match between Team A and Team B. A sports betting agency offers the odds 1.8 for the victory of the home team (A). If we suppose a 10% margin of the betting agency then (according to its bookmaker) it represents 50% (or 0.5) winning chance of the Team A. How do we arrive at this value? The procedure to determine the odds and winning chances is described at the page Sportsbook odds calculation (clear examples are included). It will be partly obvious from the further text too.
It's unlikely/impossible that you can simplify things down to "bet any favorite in this situation" or "bet any total of
When it comes to sports betting in the U.S., there’s a lot happening from mid-January through to May. Although many sports bettors feel that after the college football championship game and Super Bowl are over, that they’re simply waiting for NFL and NCAA football to start once again. But the fact is there’s more sports betting opportunities from January through to August than any other time and this is primetime for real cash sports betting.
Levante are the feel good story in Europe, and there’s no good reason to stop believing at this point. AccuScore calculates value on both the draw and a Levante win, so a split pick is the correct play on this one. Regardless of whether Levante win or draw, the pick would be profitable. The trends aren’t with this pick, but Levante has surprised us all this season. If Levante lose, however, Barcelona and Real Madrid will likely return to the top and Levante will be the forgotten story of the season.

Sports bettors place their wagers either legally, through a bookmaker/sportsbook, or illegally through privately run enterprises. The term "book" is a reference to the books used by wagebrokers to track wagers, payouts, and debts. Many legal sportsbooks are found online, operated over the Internet from jurisdictions separate from the clients they serve, usually to get around various gambling laws (such as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 in the United States) in select markets, such as Las Vegas, Nevada, or on gambling cruises through self-serve kiosks. They take bets "up-front", meaning the bettor must pay the sportsbook before placing the bet. Illegal bookies, due to the nature of their business, can operate anywhere but only require money from losing bettors and don't require the wagered money up front, creating the possibility of debt to the bookie from the bettor. This creates a number of other criminal elements, thus furthering their illegality.


You are much better off from a bookmaker's business point of view just hiring a load of mathematically competent and cheap worker drones to copy Betfair/Pinnacle/Wider industry prices, build a few algorithms for in play betting and very closely manage the liabilities as the bets come in. Then just restrict all winners/arbers as quickly as you can and you have a profitable business with virtually no grasp of what a sport price even is.
So a look at the second important sports betting rule. Preparation! This includes studying your sport, its teams, players, coaching staffs, schedules, past trends, past results on the field and against the spread betting results, season predictions, matchups, possibilities and various other parts and pieces that really dictate who has the best chance to win a matchup. I mean do I really get in-depth with an Alabama vs the Citadel matchup? No. (I don’t bet Bama anyway as they are my team and can’t have my heart dictating money placement) But if I did, this would only dictate a look into the Citadel offense, injuries and possible matchups because I would just be trying to determine if the Citadel could cover the spread. Trying to predict how much a big team will beat a small school by is a very difficult task due to the amount of variables such as motivation of the big team and its players, who sits out due to a nagging injury due to a certainty of winning, will the big school try different things to see what may work, will they just run and eat up clock (ball control offense) after getting a decent lead, does a coach want to score a lot to have an impressive win margin for playoff consideration or the opposite and have no concern just a win is okay,and when will backups come in. These are very difficult to predict so there is no amount of certainty to what will happen which is a no-go for a seasoned bettor. But you can determine the smaller list above and get some idea of how much the smaller school could score and compare this against an average of scores the big school has put up against average competition over the last 3, 5 or how many ever years you see as an equal to the team this year. If I come up with a good estimation that the Citadel can score 13 on Bama, and Bama has scored an average of 42 points on lower level opponents over Saban’s tenure minus year 1, I can see a spread of 29 points would be my prediction (42–13). The sports books have this game with Bama as a favorite to win but by 21 points (-21 which means Citadel would be +21 point underdogs meaning you win your bet on them if the do anything except lose by more than 21 points, at 21 is a push and will pay back your wager). Should you bet this? No. Because you a prediction that they can or should lose by 29 points. So if the spread was +42 for the Citadel, you should feel safe about taking this spread. This would be the base view of a bet. A big part of preparation and study is to have a predictive index and way to rate teams and matchup types which should not only help to see what teams are best to bet on when comparing your weekly predictions but also which matchups are instant throw aways. The predictive formulas are highly important and vary bettor to bettor based on what each sees as important and what factors they believe contribute most to team wins and their chance to win a bet. I spend some 30–50 hours of data compilation (most intensive and time consuming), advanced statistics and analytics analysis (different from standard data from my perspective), data entry, analyzing the compiled data calculated from my predictive indexes, and finally matchups, lines and spreads from the sports books (near the end right before placing wagers). This is compared against any predictions from odds sites or from message boards on betting sites. That is just a test of how my ideas align with other bettors, and basically another little tiny bit of help. But I would have the teams I see as the best to bet against certain level of opponent in my predictive calcs (so maybe I see Bama, Ohio state and Clemson as tier 1; LSU, Michigan, and USC as tier 2; Kansas State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech as tier 3; down to the final tier of Charolette, Kansas and Rice) the teams all get a +/- score against each tier. This allows me to combine the scores of the two teams in a matchup and see over all the possible matchups at a sports book which are the highest on your index meaning the best chance of winning for a team or their chances against the spread. This will usually show me maybe 20 up to 30 matchups which make sense based on my set +/- combined matchup score. From these matchups, I can usually cut down to 12 or less matchups due to the given spreads and odds and seeing the ones that don’t make sense for me or just simply aren’t matchups I have enough knowledge of or belief in. The final matchups are then fully analyzed with a few pages of notes on the matchup. I will pull any and every bit of data I can gather. I have subscriptions to every sports site that offers paid content or any magazines in the area also. It does get expensive but remember it’s a job and you should put all work and money on necessary or your business will fail. These sheets will end in my full matchup analysis based on positional groups, coaching staffs, s&p rankings, and overall player comparison. You can see who will have advantages in specific areas and which of these will be most important to the outcome. If WVU was seen to be better than Tennessee based on their run blocking against Tennessee’s interior defensive line unit, what does that mean to me? Honestly, not much. At best a higher chance of converting on 3rd and short runs to extend drives and time of possession. I know based on my analysis (and just from watching Dana Holgorsen and his offensive philipsophy developed as offensive coordinator at Texas Tech, they will pass early and often) that WVU will live and die by the passing game. So which matchups do I want to focus on? WVU receivers against Tennessee defensive backfield, WVU offensive tackles (and whole line) vs Tennessee pass rush, Tennessee mid-level defense (5–15 yards past line of scrimmage or dependent on linebacker and possibly up safety depth) against underneath passing game of WVU, WVU 3rd down passing offense (1–3 yds, 4–7 yds and 8+ yds) against Tennessee 3rd down defensive unit. I will want to see WVU have a huge advantage in each of these matchups. From my work this year, WVU has a gigantic advantage in WR unit vs the Tennessee backfield, a large advantage against the Tennessee pass rush on the outside and a small advantage against interior pressure, WVU should see success in the underneath passing game and the 3rd down passing offense should see average to slightly below average conversion percentage. I see the biggest advantage and most glaring in this contest to be the WVU receivers against Tennessee backfield (and Will Grier will be a huge catalyst and positive against Tennessee) which is a troubling fact for Tennessee as WVU throws at an above average amount every game. They have a deep-threat and seemingly uncoverable WR from inside to slightly outside the red zone in David Sills V, a sure-handed Gary Jennings who excels at the short to mid-level range, Reggie Roberson who will possibly take the 3rd WR slot and get some underneath work with deep-play speed and finally TJ Simmons (who transfered from Alabama last year and can finally play this season) who has exceptional top-line speed and good strength and power for a WR. This will be one of if not the top WR unit in the country. It will be up against a make-shift Tennessee defensive backfield that lost a few players and are trying out freshman and returning players with little experience for positions. They will use a new defensive scheme under new coach Jeremy Pruitt who lives by the 3–4 base defense. But he will also put a 4th down lineman at times if the rush is constantly succeeding. Tennessee has been running a 4–3 base defense so they will be learning an entirely new defensive concept which requires forgetting prior assignments to learn new ones which will most likely show especially early in the season when guys forget or blow assignments or simply don’t have field awareness yet. This will be helped with another guy in pass-protection (may be just an extra pass-rusher also) with the 3–4, but this will be a player who is covering an area that he has never been tasked with. Even the best cornerback on the team (CB1 who usually covers the other teams best WR so WR1) may not be very good at covering WR3 or the slot receiver bacause you must have quick lateral movement, instincts of when jump routes, quick decision-making and sure tackling abilities to play CB3 (could be designated a DB or other various term such as star). Those traits are not as important or needed on the outside. So back to the matchup, WVU could eat up the short to mid yardage passes which will pull the defense up and then strike with a deep shot. They could eat up Tennessee with deep passes calling for a need to drop another defender into coverage allowing WVU to establish the run or eat up yardage underneath the coverage. Basically, they can do what they want and Tennessee will have problems. Tennessee has a barren pass rush after losing their leading pass-rushers who combined for 8.5 sacks last year as return 4 sacks from last years line. So with little change and an experienced WVU offensive line with solid returning numbers, the outlook is an issue getting pressure and low concern about allowing sacks. Will Grier does most work from the pocket and gets a bit shaky on mechanics outside of the pocket or on the run (but still better than most) so this hurts to not be able to take advantage of this. So with this and the fact that the Tenn offense will struggle due to lack of talent, middling qb play, suspect run game and no established offensive philosophy (they will try a lot in this game and keep at what works maybe even move players around); I have come to a prediction that WVU should win. And with a margin that I feel has the highest chance of falling in the 9–14 point range. This could very well be a 14–24 point win though. I was able to get this bet placed taking WVU with a spread of -6 at -110 odds. With my heavy belief in this outcome and from my analysis saying it makes sense, I bet $5000 on this matchup. This would produce a $9,545.45 payout ($4,545.45 profit) and my belief is that I am getting more than 3:1 on my money (75% chance of winning) so everything makes sense and this bet is the kind I want to find. Note: -6 isn’t a spread offered anymore, I got this quite a while back. It’s now at -9 to 10.5.
That 60% betting record (with the odds of -110 that is traditional for against the spread bets in football) will leave you with a profit of $160. Think about it—your $600 profit from your 6 winning bets minus the $440 you lost on losing bets leaves $160. It took you $1,100 to win $160, meaning you have to bet $6.87 to win $1 on average. So you see the small differences between a 52.4% winning rate and a 60% winning rate—inside those 7.3 percentage points lies hundreds of dollars in profit.
Value betting is a pretty simple concept. You use sharp bookmakers (those that don’t limit winning players) as an indicator for value. What I mean by this is that if the bookmaker Pinnacle is offering Man Utd at 2.0 to beat West Ham. Whilst Stan James has Man Utd priced 2.15 for the same game. We can estimate that Stan James are offering us a value bet.

In order to beat the juice and win in sports betting, a bettor must employ a disciplined approach in their analysis of each game using methods that have proven to be successful in the long run. I discuss my math models and analytical metrics in my Handicapping Methods essay, but you must realize that only the best and most knowledgeable handicappers can win more than 52.4% of their games. In their 2007 two page article about my handicapping success, the Wall Street Journal wrote, “…fewer than 100 people can sustain (win rates of 55%) over time. Most of them belong to professional betting syndicates that hire teams of statisticians, wager millions every week and keep their operations secret.”
Believe it or not, some people really do bet on sports for a living. Maybe they work part time at a sportsbook or in some other marginal job in the casino industry, but there is a group of gamblers who bet on sports for their life’s work. With all the math swirling around in our heads after the last bit of the article, it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to do this for a living.
This is just some broad advice, and you don’t need to follow it to the letter. Remember, we can’t actually tell you explicitly what to do here. There’s no right or wrong decision, as you’ve just got to consider what’s best for you. The information and advice we’ve offered will hopefully help. If you’re still not sure what to do, then just take some time to experiment with the different approaches. Eventually, you’ll find one that works for you.
His team is the biggest favorite of the week, playing at home against AEK Athens. That wasn't quite enough to persuade me to pick Robert Lewandowski over Dzeko as my Tier 2 forward, but I think both James and Arjen Robben are good choices here. They've both scored three goals in eight Bundesliga appearances this season. I give the edge to James, who -- like Silva -- will probably have more passes completed and more chances created.
Where you see “Total O/U” (sometimes called totals betting), this is the amount won on OVER or UNDER picks. For Lega Serie A, the OVER/UNDER is anything that will affect the outcome of the match like injuries (real injuries that occur prior to a game), weather conditions (heat and wind will play major factors in the game’s outcome), and how good or bad each club is offensively and defensively. 
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