In 2012, despite federal law preventions, the state legislature of New Jersey and Governor Chris Christie signed a law that would allow sports betting to take place in New Jersey race tracks and Atlantic City casinos. In August 2012, Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind conducted a study on the issue. Voters were asked whether New Jersey should allow sports betting even if federal law prevents it from doing so, or wait to allow sports betting until federal law permits it. Results showed that nearly half (45%) of voters wanted to allow sports betting, while (38%) decided to wait and allow sports betting once Congress allows it. Krista Jenkins, director of the poll, commented, "Although support is not overwhelming, these numbers suggest the public is cautiously behind the goal of moving forward with legalized sports betting."
Throughout January and into the middle of March, as football winds down, there are thousands of betting opportunities each and every week. With around 100 NBA and NHL games and over 300 college games per week, there’s a minimum of 1,200 spread, moneyline, and over/under bets to make. That does not include any of the props! The action is ongoing and smart sports bettors take advantage of it as they prep for March Madness and the start of the MLB season.
This is a relatively new one for sports bettors to deal with, as many online sportsbooks now have casino-style gaming, which is too much for some sports bettors, including some very good sports bettors, to walk away from. It's not unheard of for a solid sports bettor to generally show a profit each week, but give that money back, plus a little extra, playing the casino games their sportsbooks offer.
Before I delve into rigorous explanations of how a bettor can gain an advantage against the point spread, it is important to understand what the spread actually represents. Point spreads were invented to keep bettors interested in games between teams of different talent levels – if a perennial powerhouse like Alabama plays a mid level team such as South Alabama, you’ll find very few people willing to bet on which team will win the game since Bama would be such a prohibitive favorite. However, most are willing to bet on whether Alabama will ‘cover the point spread’ and win by a certain number of points. If the point spread is 21.5, then the Crimson Tide must win by 22 or more points for their side of the bet to cover, while South Alabama must either win outright or lose by 21 points or less to cover their side. Point spreads are designed so that the probability of each outcome is roughly equal, and are generally set so as to approximate the median score differential between the two teams at the given site of the game.
Most losers base their judgement on a subjective feel for the forthcoming event, relying on an inkling or a hunch about what may happen. The skilled tipsters has a huge advantage over the recreational bettor, finding “value” in the odds, where the true chance of a win is greater than that estimated by the bookmaker. Many punters fail to appreciate the importance of value betting, preferring to subscribe to the “back winners, not losers” school of gambling, which will not make you win 57%.
Taken at face value, it sounds as if the AAF is primed to offer the fantasy equivalent of in-game prop betting. That model is currently being deployed with varying level of success by operators such as Boom Fantasy and Fanamana’s InGame Fantasy. However, as a proprietary offering of a professional sports league, it would seemingly qualify as a first.