Sports Betting – In addition to organized sports betting, both legal and illegal, there are many side-betting games played by casual groups of spectators, such as NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket Pools, Super Bowl Squares, Fantasy Sports Leagues with monetary entry fees and winnings, and in-person spectator games like Moundball.
Sports Betting – To find anomalies you need to cautiously review players and team statistics.
The money line is A most intriguing payout in NFL sports betting.
The saying that “any team can win on a given Sunday” certainly holds true in the NFL, where parity reigns supreme and watered down talent make it hard for most teams to field a competitive lineup on a weekly basis over the course of a season.
An injury to a key player can usually have a profound effect on a team’s ability to win and due to expansion, depth isn’t what it once was.
And that’s why the money line bet is so appealing.
A quick recap for those not familiar with how it works. Each week, the sportsbook creates NFL game odds in order to attract an even amount of wagering on each side of a match-up.
They make their money (10%) on what’s known as the rake.
In theory, sportsbooks don’t care about the outcome of a game, although for those of you who bet on the Steelers (-5.5) last season versus the Chargers and saw a game winning TD returned by S Troy Palumalu as the game expired reversed, thus negating a seven point victory and putting the final at 11-10, you might think otherwise, but this is how it’s supposed to be.
And by the way, sportsbooks made a killing on that outcome…
But back to the money line, where the point spread makes no difference; you’re taking a team, either the favorite or underdog, and all that matters is the final score.
Now if you take a favorite who’s (-325), you’ve got to bet $325 in order to win $100.
Conversely, the underdog in that scenario would pay out $325 for every $100 you put down.
In the former, while the odds are much in your favor, the return is substantially less relative to the cost of the bet.
The latter is where the real potential lies.
So what’s the most effective strategy when picking the underdog on money line?
All of the same factors as our point spread edition plus momentum.
Late last season, the Falcons headed into San Diego as the 4.5 point underdog, +180 on the money line.
They were our money line bet of that week.
Here’s the criteria we used to settle on them for our pick:
Teams: the Chargers couldn’t get out of their own way over the first three quarters of the season; the defense was atrocious and the offense couldn’t find the right balance to win games. The surprising, surging Falcons, came into town winners of three of their previous four games.
Teams record on Road/Home: The Falcons were 2 and 3 on the road (7-4 overall) while the Chargers were just 3 and 2 at home ( 4-7 overall).
Date: The game was played in the 13th week of the season, when teams begin to make their playoff push, so a lot was on the line for both teams.
Weather: The weather wasn’t an issue in San Diego. It’s always mild in November and December and both teams are used to playing in good weather.
Momentum: The Falcons had won five of their previous seven games and were picking up steam while the Chargers, heading in the opposite direction, had lost five of their previous seven contests, and three in a row.
Verdict: The final score was 22-16, although the six point margin of victory wasn’t indicative of how lopsided the affair really was. Atlanta beat them in every facet of the game and took control from the first quarter on, making us winners of our money line bet.
If you follow this strategy over the course of the season to identify which games you’ll bet on, you’ll probably find more times than not that picking the underdog with the money line is more attractive than taking the points.
And a lot more profitable.
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