One reason most gamblers lose, and most should be read as nearly all, is because they are bent on beating their books. A much more reliable way to be in the minority of making money while wagering on sports is to read the books, align with where they find advantages, and win with the books.
The guys setting point spreads and allowing you to wager on either side of a proposition are in the business of separating you from your money … and they are very good at it. Now, they have a built in advantage given a typical wager will pay 91% on wins and take 100% on losses. But the books consistently earn bottom line profits that far exceed what they would earn based on the 10% vig alone.
Much of this extra profit for the books is derived from the emotional mistakes gambles consistently make, but some of that extra income for the books is based on how well they know how to set point spreads that entice wagers on the wrong side. Given their vast resources utilized to establish their point spreads, they have a lot better idea how games are going to end than almost anyone wagering on the games.
To make money wagering on sports, requires a well conceived wagering method that is consistently followed along with a handicapping method that illuminates probable point spread winners. Then, and this is essential, an understanding of what the books are doing with the point spreads and not giving them what they want … but rather winning with the books.
Case in point is tomorrow’s contest between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. Despite the Thursday night game inching over on the total based on the Kansas City Chiefs late field goal, I am of the opinion that the defenses would be a step ahead of the offenses this year given the lack of preseason work to sync up quarterbacks and their weapons.
With that in mind, I think that strong defenses teams, particularly those that offensively rely more on their running games than passing attacks, would be the best wagering propositions in September. When I can add those factors to a team that owns a season-to-season motivational trend that should enhance their 2020 record, I would expect profits could be realized from that pocket of games.
We have all those elements aligned in Detroit on Sunday. The Chicago Bears burst onto the playoff scene two years ago under first-year head coach Matt Nagy and behind second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky. The success of Chicago in going from four straight last place finishes to winning the NFC North Division and hosting a playoff game was greatly pinned to a rock solid defense.
Now, history will show that a team that reverses field from years of being one of the dregs of the league to a playoff berth will almost always experience a dip the following year, that would be the 2019 season for Chicago. And, after suffering through that down season in the wake of their breakthrough campaign, a team will often return to top form the next year … this year for the Bears.
Expecting Chicago to have a better season than most expect this year, I have my eye out to find them in the right spot. What would be better than backing them as an underdog against a Detroit squad they even best twice last year in their down season?
While I’m working off that knowledge base, I find myself in conflict with the people that have more information than me … the books.
The opening point spread on this game had it posted as a pick ‘em, now the Bears are getting three points on the spread. That tells me that the books may be loaded up with Lions money and are fishing for Chicago wagers. If the public was backing the Lions to warrant this point spread shift it would have to be an imbalance in the wagering of 70% or more of the bets on Detroit.
But, alas, that is not the case. In fact, the Lions do have a majority of the wagers but only at a 54% clip. A wagering percentage that close to an even split does not warrant a three point shift in the line which means this, the books want Chicago wagers.
First rule in making money in this business, don’t give the book what they want.
Now, I don’t turn my back on all my data that points to Chicago in this game, but I am not so hardheaded that I’m willing to step into a bear trap set by the books. Winners only collect 91% profits, losses cost more. It is a lot more bottom line smart to skip an occasional winner to avoid stepping in against the enlightenment offered by the books maneuvers.
No time is a better time to pay attention to what the books know than right now. Without the benefit of preseason football to evaluate the teams, my information is not up to par with what I normally have for an opening weekend. But the books have methods and resources that are in tune to a greater degree and we have the advantage of knowing how to read the books to find spots where my information and their insights match.
It does on a couple games tomorrow, but throws caution on backing my original Bears spot.