January into February is about the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl. This weekend the divisional games will be held, and then the following weekend the conference championships will be played. Two weeks later on February 4, it’s the Super Bowl, which is brimming with props! In between the conference games and the Super Bowl, the NFL will offer its Pro Bowl on January 28.
Everyone has an opinion on sports in today’s world. There are not only a dozen shows on ESPN and other networks discussing the same topics over and over, but there are thousands of blogs and radio stations also adding their own opinions. It’s fine to watch and read these outlets for entertainment or news purposes, but not for betting advice. The talking heads may seem confident with their opinions, but remember, their job is to increase ratings and spark controversy.
One of the distinct advantages of working with a professional handicapper is convenience. When you want to bet but don’t have time to do the necessary research involved with making an educated wager, a picks service will do the hard work for you. Maybe you’ve gotten so bogged down with other parts of your life that the only sports updates you have time for are the analysis that comes with your purchased picks. In this case, buying picks and information from a trusted professional who has studied all the lines, trends, odds, etc. and makes knowledgeable predictions based on facts – not just gut feelings or based on their favorite team – could be your best option.
I don’t believe that the term ‘gambling’ applies to what I do. I sell information to subscribers, with which they can take positive expectation positions in uncertain markets. With correct financial optimization and bankroll management, long term risks are nominal compared to the risks of investing in other, more conventional markets. Just as a single stock may go up or down in a day, any one team may win or lose a given game. But as long as the investor maintains a long-term perspective, understands variance, and doesn’t over-extend themselves or bet more than they can easily handle, risk can be highly mitigated, and they can earn a very attractive risk adjusted return.
Future wagers. While all sports wagers are by definition on future events, bets listed as "futures" generally have a long-term horizon measured in weeks or months; for example, a bet that a certain NFL team will win the Super Bowl for the upcoming season. Such a bet must be made before the season starts in September, and winning bets will not pay off until the conclusion of the Super Bowl in January or February (although many of the losing bets will be clear well before then and can be closed out by the book). Odds for such a bet generally are expressed in a ratio of units paid to unit wagered. The team wagered upon might be 50-1 to win the Super Bowl, which means that the bet will pay 50 times the amount wagered if the team does so. In general, most sports books will prefer this type of wager due to the low win-probability, and also the longer period of time in which the house holds the player's money while the bet is pending.
Imagine a football match between Team A and Team B. A sports betting agency offers the odds 1.8 for the victory of the home team (A). If we suppose a 10% margin of the betting agency then (according to its bookmaker) it represents 50% (or 0.5) winning chance of the Team A. How do we arrive at this value? The procedure to determine the odds and winning chances is described at the page Sportsbook odds calculation (clear examples are included). It will be partly obvious from the further text too.
Soccer truly is a global game. Unlike a sport like American football, any number of leagues from multiple countries might be pursuing the services of the same player soccer at the same time. A highly sought after soccer player could be purchased or “transferred” to any number of destinations, whereas the NFL is really the only competing force for top-end talent.
My long term percentage on College Football Best Bets is 56% (1290-1017-40 over 29 years) and the new NFL play-by play model was 100-69 (59.2%) in 2016. However, despite being a combined 148-107 (58.0%) on Football Best Bets, college and NFL, in 2016, I will continue to use 55% winners as a realistic goal going forward. If I expect 55% on 200 Football Best Bets (I had 255 last year, which was higher than expected) then the expected profit at -110 odds would be 200 x (0.55 – (1.1 x 0.45), which is +11.0 units (or +22.0 Stars if my average Best Bet is rated 2-Stars). The Kelly Criterion recommends a wager of 3.4% of your bankroll for a wager with a 55% chance of winning and odds of -110. However, the Kelly formula assumes sequential betting and sports betting usually involves simultaneous betting, which is part of the reason behind using some fraction of full Kelly to reduce risk. If I play 2.0% of my initial bankroll per bet, or 1.0% per Star, (i.e. flat betting) then my expected return during football season (5 months) is 22.0%. Adjusting your bankroll after each week rather than flat betting will increase your expected return, as explained in the KC simulation section of my money management section.
Sportsbooks are huge for Vegas casinos, bringing in $136.3 Million in 2009. The only games which brought in more money were 3 card poker, roulette, craps, baccarat, blackjack, and slot machines. It seems as bettors do well with sports betting as the casino only has a 5.31% win percentage, compared to 11.31% for blackjack, and 12.04% for all table games.