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.
My picks have yielded a much higher risk adjusted return than the stock market. Obviously, the variance from season to season is formidable, but as anyone who had a significant amount invested in stocks or real estate in 2008 can tell you, such swings aren’t limited to sports. In the long run, my edge in what I do is far greater than the edge that you could hope to gain in any other speculative market.
Avoid falling into “square” tendencies such as buying favorites down or underdogs up. For example, some bettors always feel the need to buy an NFL favorite of -3.5 down to -2.5. The sportsbooks are smart enough to charge more juice to do this, mathematically making it a bad strategy. The same goes with buying an NFL underdog from +2.5 to +3.5 for example. In 99% of cases I would advise against it. Check out the video I made below about buying points on NFL underdogs.

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. 
A very big step to becoming a winning sports bettor is to make sure you are shopping for the best lines. What this means is that you will have to have an account at a couple of different online sportsbooks and when you are ready to make a bet on a certain team or outcome you check the different sportsbooks and find which book is offering the best line for you (this ties in with our advanced how to find max value article). For example, if you are looking to bet on the New England Patriots on a 7 point spread, you would want to check a couple different sportsbooks to see if any of them are offering the Patriots at 6.5 points, or at the very least find the best price you can get them at 7 points at. Over the course of a sport betting season you can win yourself a lot of money from shopping the lines that would otherwise would not be one. Line shopping is definitely one of the best sports betting strategies used by winning sports bettors. To see a list of sportsbooks we recommend signing up for visit our Online Betting Sites section.
Although sports betting has one of the lower win percentages for casinos, it still draws millions in revenue for Vegas casinos year round. The most popular sports betting event in Las Vegas is by far the Super Bowl, which draws thousands of sports bettors each February to bet on the big game. Not far behind the Super Bowl is the March Madness college basketball tournament which also draws some big numbers to Vegas to bet on the event.
We will say that online sports betting may not be legal where you live, so please check your local laws before placing bets online at these sports betting sites. And we also want to point out that there have been “scam” type sites in the past known to steal money from their bettors, so make sure you stick with recommended betting sites we list here at The Sports Geek.
After the event, Manfred spoke briefly with reporters about the legalization of sports betting. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states were allowed to legalize sports gambling within their borders, overturning a longtime ban on the practice. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has proposed a sports-betting system in the Bay State, as have several lawmakers on Beacon Hill.
As per the introductory text of the proposed legislation, sports betting would have to be approved by voters on a county-by-county basis and there would be a 10 percent tax on sports betting revenue. A total of 40 percent of that allotment would be allocated for general appropriations. Another 30 percent would go toward to “state colleges of applied technologies and community colleges for equipment and capital projects.” Finally, 30 percent would go toward local governments where sports betting is approved and would fund education and infrastructure in those jurisdictions.
ATS equals “against the spread”. The spread is the number oddsmakers use to give people other betting options besides only wins and losses. A spread for a Premier League fixture would be something like .5 or 1.5. One club would need to lose the match by no more than 1 or 2 goals or the other needs to win by 1, 2or more goals.  If the final score doesn’t reflect the number set by the oddsmakers, your bet won’t cover the spread and you can’t win your bet.
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