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  #1  
Old March 16th, 2011, 02:04 PM
BrianCP BrianCP is offline
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I'm trying to look into the sports betting world more, but I'm having a lot of trouble. I'm confounded by all the the numbers and terms and such. I've tried to find some sort of starting guide online, but it seems most sites assume you know what everything means already and you are looking for a way to make profitable picks. Are there any resources that have a good introduction to sports betting? Websites, books, anything! Thanks for your time.
  #2  
Old March 16th, 2011, 02:53 PM
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Default Poker, Blackjack, Sports

Ever heard of jack of all trades master of none? If you are winning at poker, then young man play poker. If not making money at poker, then bj is a very good option.

I would think sports betting is another thing where you hope you win and even if you do, you cannot be sure you actually are due to variance.

bj is real, real math, real results over time.


good mastery
  #3  
Old March 16th, 2011, 08:44 PM
moo321 moo321 is offline
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Sports betting is tough. You're hoping to get, maybe 15-20 units over an NFL season (for example). And in exchange you get to put massive amounts of capital at risk, spend lots of time researching, etc.

Oh, and if you win too much, they won't let you play.
  #4  
Old March 16th, 2011, 08:57 PM
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Sports Betting is a tough row to hoe.

Far far tougher than poker.

I suggest reading Stanford Wong's book:

Sharp Sports Betting


http://www.half.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAP...lfBuyingWizard

A well-regarded book is:

Weighing the Odds in Sports Betting by King Yao

Sports betting can be attacked intelligently. Smart sports bettors do not gamble the same way as tourists play roulette or retirees play the slot machines. Instead, smart sports bettors are making bets that they have thought through carefully with supporting logic and/or research. The purpose of this book is to give you tools to succeed at sports betting, to show you how to evaluate, compare and view sports betting from an analytical perspective, not from a gambling perspective.
This book by King Yao, author of the widely-acclaimed Weighing the Odds in Hold 'em Poker, should be used as a guideline to sports betting rather than a blueprint. The sports betting market changes and adapts quickly. The underlying principles shown in this book should help you adapt and continue to make good bets even when the market changes.

This book is for you if you want to think analytically about sports betting. It is for you if you do not want to be spoon-fed supposed winners, but want to get some ideas to improve your game. You battle bookmakers and line makers constantly; betting sports is a game of maneuvers and adjustments. You can use as many weapons as possible in this continuous fight. This book should help in that regard.

The price is $19.95 plus shipping Weighing the Odds in Sports Betting

Phone 702-579-7711
E-mail info@bj21.com

Last edited by FLASH1296; March 16th, 2011 at 09:00 PM.
  #5  
Old March 16th, 2011, 09:44 PM
darco77 darco77 is offline
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The majority of my sports betting is based off learned material from Wong's book, as Flash mentioned above. It's a very comprehensive primer, and has opened my eyes up to a number of opportunities, primarily in props. But it won't tell you how to win.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 10:45 PM
moo321 moo321 is offline
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The best advice I can give is to shop around on a lot of lines, have a very specific amount you'll bet, do lots of research, and use bonuses online.
  #7  
Old March 17th, 2011, 12:23 AM
MangoJ MangoJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackjack avenger View Post
I would think sports betting is another thing where you hope you win and even if you do, you cannot be sure you actually are due to variance.

bj is real, real math, real results over time.
Although I respect BA's opinions (and I most often share them anyway) I must disagree strongly here. In Sports betting you can eliminate variance almost completely, if you know what you are doing. Indeed, it has far far less variance than blackjack - and in a perfect world of honest books variance can be eliminated completely.

And Sports betting can have a strong mathematical underlying layer. The key is not to try to predict the outcome of a game, but to find best prices for those games and take advantage of them.

Very simple (but still accurate) example:
Say the sport game is a coin tossing. There are humans who understand coin tossing (heads and tails have same probability), and there are monkeys who don't understand coin tossing (they think that heads and tails are more or less equal in strength).
On a real sport game WE are the monkeys. We have no profund clue of exact probabilities on sport games, we have no mean to estimate them. We also have no mean to measure them (because we cannot repeat the exact sport game a billion times).

Some monkeys know coin tossing by their live, they evaluate most coin tosses and coin tosser, and they are very sharp in guessing the correct probability between 49.8% and 50.2% (only humans know it is 50% exactly). They will offer bets of odds 1.99 on heads and 1.99 on tails (that is for a stake of $1, they will pay $1.99 if you guessed correctly).
Other monkeys are weak, they figured that heads came up more often in the last 10 games, and they estimate that heads is a more likely outcome (or for any other reason). Hence they will offer odds of 1.96 on heads and odds of 2.02 on tails.
Humans know that 2.02 is a "valuebet" with a 1% advantage for the bettor - by hitting those valuebets humans would make a considerable and consistent profit from those stupid monkeys. Unfortunatly we all are monkeys. Question: can smart monkeys (you!) make a profit from coin tossing ?
Yes they can. They can make a bet of 2.02 on tails with the weak monkey for $199 stake. And they make a bet on odds of 1.99 on heads (with $202 stake) with the sharp monkey ON THE SAME COIN TOSS.

What happens after the coin is tossed ?
If heads comes up, they collect $202*1.99 = $401.98 from the sharp monkey, but they payed $199+$202 = $401 in stakes. The smart monkey makes $0.98 in profits.
If tails comes up, they collect $199*2.02 = $401.98 from the weak monkey, but they still only payed $199+$202 = $401 in stakes. The smart money again is $0.98 in profits.
He makes profit regardless of outcome consistently, with ZERO variance.

The beauty is: the smart monkey doesn't have to know ANYTHING about coin tossing. The only thing he has to understand is that there are two outcomes (head and tails), and that there are best prices of 1.99 and 2.02 available. Then of course the smart monkey has to calculate how much to stake on each bet to make a consistent profit (if any).

The reason why the smart monkey is able to win is obvious for humans (who know about coin tossing). Humans know that the weak monkey is giving an +EV bet with 1% advantage. Humans would hammer the weak monkey alone, and not bother about bets with the sharp monkey. However you (the smart monkey) do not know that the weak monkey is giving an advantage, but you know how to compare prices. The smart monkey makes far less profit than the human (for $401 in stakes you make $0.98 in profits, less than 0.25%. The human would have made $4.01 on average with the same total stake (1% profit).
However the smart monkey makes his profit without any variance and hence is able to put the majority of his bankroll on the table, while the human is subject to variance and is restricted to a kelly bet (1% of his bankroll).

In sports betting WE all are monkeys, but that doesn't mean we cannot profit consistently. The key is: don't waste your time figuring out who will win, look out for best prices and make consequences.

Last edited by MangoJ; March 17th, 2011 at 02:53 AM. Reason: typo
  #8  
Old March 17th, 2011, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MangoJ View Post
Although I respect BA's opinions (and I most often share them anyway) I must disagree strongly here. In Sports betting you can eliminate variance almost completely, if you know what you are doing. Indeed, it has far far less variance than blackjack - and in a perfect world of honest books variance can be eliminated completely.

And Sports betting can have a strong mathematical underlying layer. The key is not to try to predict the outcome of a game, but to find best prices for those games and take advantage of them.

Very simple (but still accurate) example:
Say the sport game is a coin tossing. There are humans who understand coin tossing (heads and tails have same probability), and there are monkeys who don't understand coin tossing (they think that heads and tails are more or less equal in strength).
On a real sport game WE are the monkeys. We have no profund clue of exact probabilities on sport games, we have no mean to estimate them. We also have no mean to measure them (because we cannot repeat the exact sport game a billion times).

Some monkeys know coin tossing by their live, they evaluate most coin tosses and coin tosser, and they are very sharp in guessing the correct probability between 49.8% and 50.2% (only humans know it is 50% exactly). They will offer bets of odds 1.99 on heads and 1.99 on tails (that is for a stake of $1, they will pay $1.99 if you guessed correctly).
Other monkeys are weak, they figured that heads came up more often in the last 10 games, and they estimate that heads is a more likely outcome (or for any other reason). Hence they will offer odds of 1.96 on heads and odds of 2.02 on tails.
Humans know that 2.02 is a "valuebet" with a 1% advantage for the bettor - by hitting those valuebets humans would make a considerable and consistent profit from those stupid monkeys. Unfortunatly we all are monkeys. Question: can smart monkeys (you!) make a profit from coin tossing ?
Yes they can. They can make a bet of 2.02 on tails with the weak monkey for $199 stake. And they make a bet on odds of 1.99 on heads (with $202 stake) with the sharp monkey ON THE SAME COIN TOSS.

What happens after the coin is tossed ?
If heads comes up, they collect $202*1.99 = $401.98 from the sharp monkey, but they payed $199+$202 = $401 in stakes. The smart monkey makes $0.98 in profits.
If tails comes up, they collect $199*2.02 = $401.98 from the weak monkey, but they still only payed $199+$202 = $401 in stakes. The smart money again is $0.98 in profits.
He makes profit regardless of outcome consistently, with ZERO variance.

The beauty is: the smart monkey doesn't have to know ANYTHING about coin tossing. The only thing he has to understand is that there are two outcomes (head and tails), and that there are best prices of 1.99 and 2.02 available. Then of course the smart monkey has to calculate how much to stake on each bet to make a consistent profit (if any).

The reason why the smart monkey is able to win is obvious for humans (who know about coin tossing). Humans know that the weak monkey is giving an +EV bet with 1% advantage. Humans would hammer the weak money alone, and not bother about bets with the sharp monkey. However you (the smart monkey) do not know that the weak monkey is giving an advantage, but you know how to compare prices. The smart monkey makes far less profit than the human (for $401 in stakes you make $0.98 in profits, less than 0.25%. The human would have made $4.01 on average with the same total stake (1% profit).
However the smart monkey makes his profit without any variance and hence is able to put the majority of his bankroll on the table, while the human is subject to variance and is restricted to a kelly bet (1% of his bankroll).

In sports betting WE all are monkeys, but that doesn't mean we cannot profit consistently. The key is: don't waste your time figuring out who will win, look out for best prices and make consequences.
I am going to read this post several more times.

Did you prove my point or yours? You used a math example which is what I did to show bj is superior?

I don't know much about sports betting; can anyone tell?, but I think I can come up with an easy example.

Team A
Team B

You can pick the team to bet on, team A gets 28 points. Team A seems like the proper bet.

Team b is the pittsburgh steelers
Team a is the alabama crimson tide

Did the decision tighten up?

Rothlesberger is not playing
did that change things?

my skepticism on sports betting is because you are betting on an uncertain outcome (game injury?). Just like a BS player can win at bj I wonder if winning sports bettors are just positive variance. Whereas with bj you just put in time, it's math. A sports bettor can make more intelligent choices and cut the house edge and be more likely to be a winner even if his bets are in fact negative ev.

It's also this, Brian said? or talks about beating poker. He has shown interest in Bj and now sports betting. If he is winning at poker, play poker! or perhaps add bj if poker is limited in some fashion. He is spreading himself out to thin and not actually making money.

One can eliminate a lot of bankroll variance/risk in bj by betting conservatively. This is about where I go into an 1/8th kelly tirade, but I will spare everyone. THIS TIME

With Brain I do halve to look out for a potential fellow halver

good cards

Now I am going to read mangoj post again. Now that I think of it I do remember there is a situation that appears rarely in horse betting where one cannot lose. So this is similar to MangoJ example, but with the horses it's a rare occurence and you have to be aware when it happens and be where you can bet.

Last edited by blackjack avenger; March 17th, 2011 at 01:32 AM.
  #9  
Old March 17th, 2011, 01:50 AM
MangoJ MangoJ is offline
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If Team A pays 100 to 1, and Team B pays 1 to 1.... I'm going to ...

BOTH (not a joke).

Say I have a bankroll of 100 grands.

I would bet $1941.75 on Team A to win, and bet $98058.25 on Team B to win. That would be my full bankroll.
Whoever wins, I would make profit of $96116.75. Please check for yourself, that my win is guaranteed (unless the house refuses to pay!).

If you were a blackjack-style "punter", and choose to bet on Team A because you identified a +EV bet, assuming a 50% chance of winning you would kelly-bet not more than $49500 (full kelly bet). You are expected to profit $2,475,000 from your bankroll.

Playing conservatively you were betting 1/8 kelly bet, and thus make $309,375 - which is more than my return.

I agree that on this bizar opportunity for a 100:1 payoff on an even bet, I should also go for value alone (given a fixed bankroll).
However if value is much much less (and to compare to blackjack or poker, it is more likely 1% instead of 5000%, see my post above), a smart sport better performs better - and is hit by variance only minimal.

The difference between card bets and sport bets is: you can bet on both outcomes on sports, which will greatly reduces variance. It will also reduce profit (because you need to pay for an additional -EV bet). The -EV acts as an insurance, much like RA indices (which reduces profit for the benefit of reduced variance). With less (or even no) variance you are allowed to bet more from your bankroll (or even full bankroll).

Last edited by MangoJ; March 17th, 2011 at 01:56 AM.
  #10  
Old March 17th, 2011, 07:52 AM
BrianCP BrianCP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackjack avenger View Post
Ever heard of jack of all trades master of none? If you are winning at poker, then young man play poker. If not making money at poker, then bj is a very good option.

I would think sports betting is another thing where you hope you win and even if you do, you cannot be sure you actually are due to variance.

bj is real, real math, real results over time.


good mastery
I just like investigating everything that I possibly can while still focusing on one or two main items. I find that this approach only slows down mastery while allowing you time to find a potentially more profitable situation.
 

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