In virtually all sports events, one competitor is the favorite, or the team most likely to win, and the other is the underdog. You also hear the favorite referenced as the betting chalk and the underdog as simply the dog. Prior to the launch of the internet sports betting professionals found the best value each week on betting the underdogs. There simply wasn’t enough data for bettors to improve their craft as betting articles were rarely found outside of Las Vegas. The recreational bettor in their journey from cities across the country into Las Vegas sportsbooks would usually bet on the favorites because they had little to no data to make educational sports betting decisions. The launch of the internet gave sports bettor’s valuable tools to aid their betting. Also the rise of sports betting radio saw professional sports bettors give outstanding betting advice to listeners and suddenly the sports betting public had become educated. Today’s bettors have been trained to look at the underdog first making sports handicapping a more challenging puzzle.
In order to make wagering more even, the linesmaker draws up an odds line, or the odds. Today’s professional Las Vegas and online sportbook bettors set their own pointspreads. Instead of looking at the underdog side at first glance, they make their own numbers and look for the greater variances between their numbers and the current betting line. Professional sports gamblers then circle games on their betting sheet with the greater variances and begin to do thorough research on the game. Sports betting professionals will sift through injury reports and individual teams websites to look for data to help support a cause to bet on the game that gives them the best value in the betting. Value is defined as the variance between the actual betting line and the line the professional bettor made based on their power rating. The side with the greatest positive variance for the sports bettor on the sports betting board would be the side possessing the greatest value in the betting. Let’s say the Eagles are playing the Cardinals and the current line shows the Eagles as a 5 point favorite. Based on the power rating of the professional sports bettor the Eagles are computed to be only a 1 point favorite. After putting in the research and in return it shows no impact injuries or bad weather the sports betting professional will then place a bet on the Cardinals. The size of the bet will vary but usually the greater the variance the bigger the bet.
Professional bettors make their pointspreads based on their own power rating. Tracked by computer programs professional sports betting professionals will input statistical data that they feel is the most important in determining the proper line of a game. Sports betting professionals will weigh variables such as run defense and run offense from NFL teams very heavily in their computer software program. Other key categories include home field advantage, passing offense and defense, special teams and turnovers.
In baseball, soccer and hockey betting moneyline odds are favored by American bookmakers and, therefore, are often referred to as American odds. With this format, the odds are quoted using either a positive or a negative number. A negative number indicates the favorite, and the odds show how much money you’ll have to risk to win $100. A positive number indicates the underdog, and the odds show how much money you’ll win on a $100 wager. When the odds are listed as EVEN, you’ll win exactly what you wager. A standard line, where the odds are -110 for both teams, indicates that neither team is favored to win. The best practice sports betting professionals follow are to create a percentage chance of victory for both betting sides and then comparing that with the actual current moneyline odds posted at a Las Vegas or online sportsbook. The betting professional will then look for the positive variances on the betting sheet and put in the research to help make a cause for a bet that gives them the best value in the betting.