On the whole, COVID-19 has been a game-changer for every industry. Sports gambling has not escaped. We no longer have jam-packed grandstands for major sports. In like manner home court, field, or ice advantage no longer exists. Quarantined sterile environments made for TV is the backdrop of competition. Thankfully billion-dollar TV contracts have ensured the games go on. For gamblers, the challenges are even more pronounced. Lineups and schedules constantly change due to COVID-19. Staying fully informed has never been more imposing which leads to the old saying about “adapt or die.”
NBA Bubble Trying Not to Burst Cancellations and Bankrolls
At the beginning of the NBA, the restart was considerable traffic at www.bestonlinesportsbooks.info. The opening night offered an inescapable irony. Featured were the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers. These are the top two teams in the Western Conference. Yet that marque matchup was held in a neutral quarantined location. “The Battle of LA” took place in Orlando. Location may have been a wild card but not the ultimate result. To illustrate the Lakers won 103-101 but failed to cover as four-point favorites.
Wagering Value Always Triumphs as Ultimate Concern
In view of that Lakers vs. Clipper’s result was a stark online betting reminder. Regardless of location and circumstances winning bets comes down to value. Every sport has public marquee brands. In the NBA that would be the Lakers. And we got a perfect illustration of how casual money drives wagering value. Lou Williams was out of that game for the Clippers. Media hype ignited the masses. Increasingly betting handle on the Lakers became a flood. The price on the Lake Show went up three points. And that proved to be the ultimate difference.
Regardless of sport or circumstance, a good bet means full value. In the Battle of LA, the Clippers had it. Through the years we have seen the Warriors dynasty flourish in red ink. Few teams bring as much Betting on NBA traffic than the Lakers. And much of that has been transformed into betting losses. This leads to an education that applies to ALL sports.
It’s Not What “Vegas Thinks” But Instead What YOU Think!
Our Betting on basketball example leads to the ultimate sports handicapping rule. Oddsmakers set the line based on public perception. Put another way the odds are NOT based on what VEGAS thinks. Instead, the betting line is set based on what Vegas thinks that you think!
Every sport carries iconic brands. Major League Baseball has the Yankees and Dodgers. Pro football brings us the Dallas Cowboys. While college football is dominated by Clemson and Alabama. Hockey gamblers flock to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. So too are the NBA Lakers being a matinee idol. Oddsmakers know this before any of these teams play. And they will bake this popularity into the cake.
Compare Sports Teams to Stocks on the Market
The best way to assess wagering value is to compare it to stocks. Namely, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and McDonald’s are examples of top stocks. These are the Yankees, Lakers, Cowboys, and Maple Leafs of investing. Investors will often overpay for these brands. Thus, other stocks less respected may perform better. But the average investor is most comfortable with companies that they know. It is true that the aforementioned stocks make money. What is equally true is that other companies could have made more. On this occasion, we recall that familiarity breeds contempt. Whether its in gambling or investing.
Translate this to sports. Specifically, Oklahoma City is a classic example of an undervalued stock. Russell Westbrook and Paul George departed OKC. This tandem manned the Thunder marquee as prominent stars. The only thing that departed faster was the gambling public. Oklahoma City was written off by gamblers as a hopeless cause. Oddsmakers knew this all the while. And adjusted prices based on this public perception. Subsequently, the Thunder offered enhanced sports betting value. OKC would get a better price than what was merited. Because of this, the 2019-20 Thunder became the most profitable team in the NBA.
Losing While Winning
On the whole, there is no better example of wagering value than the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2018 LA coasted to a 92-71 record and National League West title. In spite of that, the Dodgers drowned gamblers in red ink. Los Angeles lost -2283 betting units. How is that even remotely possible? Public demand!
Since 2013 Los Angeles has won the NL West every season. What’s most fascinating about that is three unprofitable seasons. LA lost significant money in 2015, 2016, and 2018. Public money drove the Dodgers price up beyond reason. Betting on the Dodgers at home is the ultimate comfort zone play. To oppose the Dodgers requires a level of courage that few casual gamblers have. So, these bettors overpay and get burned in LA.
At the beginning of Dodger home games are priced at $300 to win $100. Some times it’s higher. This means that even if LA wins two out of three games you lose money. More emphatically the price is set to protect the house!
Think and Bet Like an Oddsmaker
Starting with any analysis of a game is a handicapping assessment. The first thing to do on the path to profits is to think like a linemaker. Take the side of the sportsbook. You will quickly see the betting lines in a much different light. Notwithstanding your status as a handicapper is the soundness of this practice. Many sharp gamblers will set their own lines in advance. Before the actual odds are posted. More emphatically comparing actual odds with projected odds helps assess value. The greater the difference, the stronger the play.
Do You Want to be a Square or a Sharp?
To differentiate there are two types of gamblers. Squares, who take the popular home favorites.
Or sharps, who are willing and eager to go against the grain. Squares chase their tail and overreact to media-driven hype. By contrast, sharps laugh at such “news” and will have a contrarian bend. Most important of all sharps are usually on the side of the house. And that’s consistently the best place tom be.