Croatia and France - the final which, I am confident, no one outside of those two countries could have possibly imagined. Both teams have very much done enough to deserve to be here, though, and they set up to be a great finish to what has been an unpredictable and shockingly good tournament. It has been a wild ride from a betting perspective with so many favorites looking so undeserving of the respect that they were given. Read More >>
Bookies look at the weight of their books all the time and adjust odds and other factors to make sure their books balance. Though it isn’t possible to completely balance a book, bookies that go too far out on one side run the risk of losing money, and losing money in gambling is the fastest way to find yourself in another industry. All of these factors are why bookies generally root for the underdog—too many favorites winning in a sport with a short season (such as the NFL) can cause a bookmaker to lose money, while a bunch of upsets (like you generally see in college football) is a guaranteed profit for the bookmaker.
This leaves smart gamblers to find great value opportunities where the general public's opinion is just plain wrong. It also means that great value can be found on events where there is expected to be greater interest than normal by the occasional and casual gambler, who lets be honest, knows nothing or very little in terms of profitable betting strategy. Events like the AFL and NRL Grand Finals and major horse racing events are prime candidates for this sort of opportunity.
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Bookies don’t offer even money like friends in a casual betting situation. In the above example, with two evenly matched boxers, a smart bookie will offer 5/6 odds for each. That way, a $10 winning bet would only return $8.30 plus your stake. What does this do for the bookmaker? He can float an equal amount of money on both fighters, winning no matter which fighter actually wins. If they take $1,000 worth of bets on one boxer and $1,000 on the other, the bookie would take in $1,000 but only have to pay out $830, for a guaranteed $170 profit regardless of the outcome.
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These recreational bettors account for the majority of people who bet on sports, but there are also plenty of people who bet primarily to make money. This doesn’t mean that they don’t still enjoy themselves, it’s just that their motivations are different. They generally put a lot more thought into the wagers that they make, and dedicate some time to researching and analyzing the various factors that can affect the outcome of games and events.
If you put $5,000 into a bank savings account and let it draw interest for a year, you could expect to make about $100 to $150. (I think even two or three percent is unlikely these days, but we’ll use this as an example) But many of us get very greedy when using that same $5000 to bet sports and feel that a $1000 or $2000 seasonal profit is unacceptable. Yet this is roughly 10 times what you would have made by putting the same amount of money it into the bank and, personally, I don’t know of too many investment advisors, individual stocks, ETFs, bonds, or mutual funds that can make you a consistent 15 -30 percent each year, do you?
If boxing was a chess tournament, Mikey Garcia would be the grandmaster. He's never fought at 147lbs before and he's only had two fights at 140lb. Hell, just eight fights ago he was fighting for the featherweight title! Yet of all the fights on offer for him at lightweight and super-lightweight (most notably Lomachenko), Mikey decided to jump up two weight divisions to challenge one of the most feared punchers in the sport today, and the man many consider to be the best welterweight on the planet.
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