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While the odds makers do to try approximate the median margin of victory between two teams, they also try to reduce their exposure to risk by setting lines such that the public money will fall evenly on both sides of a game, so that they can offset the bets against each other and earn a profit on the juice (cut of winnings taken by the house, explained below) without exposing themselves to large potential losses. Thus, odds makers are often in the business of gauging public perception rather than team performance, and therefore the betting public actually sets the line. In more recent years, the betting public has had less influence on the odds than professional betting syndicates or sharp money has had, but there is still value to be found – although in different ways than in previous decades. If Georgia is 4 points better than Georgia Tech according to my advanced metrics and analysis, but the aggregate public perception is that Georgia is 7 points better than Georgia Tech, then the posted point spread is likely to be closer to 6 or 7 points (public perception) than it will be to 4 points (the realistic difference between the teams). This makes my job as a professional handicapper much less daunting; not only can I exploit lines where the odds makers are off, but I can also exploit the uniformed opinions of the general betting public, and more recently take advantage of betting syndicates and ‘quants’ that rely more and more on algorithms but can overlook some of the hidden value in changes in team personnel or lineups and in the particular match up between two teams.
“When markets become more competitive, prices fall,” says Moskowitz, who was rooting for perennial disappointment England in last Wednesday’s match, because one side of his family is English. He’s typically more hard-headed when he thinks about sports, as shown in the 2011 bestseller “Scorecasting” that he co-authored with Sports Illustrated writer Jon Wertheim, applying economic analysis to sports. A popular working paper by Moskowitz studied sports betting markets for the asset pricing anomalies that we know and love in financial markets.
It sounds like Lionel Messi could be back, but he's coming off an injury, and Barcelona have a tough matchup, playing at red-hot Inter Milan. Kane scored a goal and took six shots in Tottenham's 2-2 draw at PSV, and also scored a goal and took eight shots in their 3-2 win at Wolves on Saturday. Tottenham dominated the first game against PSV, despite the scoreline, and must win to have any chance of progressing to the knockout rounds.
When you combine the number of opportunities to make good bets with the fact that baseball is mostly a moneyline betting sports, thanks to its low-scoring games, the odds for the bettor only increase. Betting against spreads is much harder to predict and analyze for value, but choosing a winner is more straightforward, and it’s easier to gain an edge and make solid bets.
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