Understanding Oddsmakers

Kelso's Advanced Handicapping: Understanding Oddsmakers

Today in my College of Advanced Handicapping I want to go over some myths and realities for you about the true goal of oddsmakers in Las Vegas. Far too many sports bettors twist themselves into knots trying to analyze what a line "means" in terms of what the "all powerful" men behind the line are "thinking." I hear more conspiracy theories in a week than people in Roswell, New Mexico do in a year!

MYTH: Oddsmakers are trying to split the action in every game
REALITY: It's rarely possible to split the action in any game!

Even though oddsmakers have become very public about their process within the mainstream media over the years, there are still people who will tell you that oddsmakers are only trying to split the action with 50% of the money on one side, and 50% of the money on the other side.

Try it yourself with your friends and see how well it works. You'll find very quickly that your friends will ignore most games, and all line up on the same teams in the others. Las Vegas is just a big city with the equivalent of several thousand of your friends! The action does not get split!

  • The public bets favorites almost exclusively

  • Wise Guy wagerers often fade the public by betting dogs, but there's a lot less Wise Guy money than there is public money in the gambling economy

Oddsmakers shade lines against high profile favorites knowing that's who the public wants to bet on. They figure...over time...that the public will lose more than they win against those shaded lines and sportsbooks will pocket the profit. That's how it works. That's how it's always worked. The action does not get split. Oddsmakers are not trying to split the action. Oddsmakers are taking positions against known public betting tendencies.

MYTH: Oddsmakers have "secret" information about games
REALITY: Oddsmakers aren't nearly as smart as you think they are

Oddsmakers know sports teams and public betting tendencies, but they aren't part of a cabal of sports puppetmasters who secretly control the outcomes of games. The human brain seems hard-wired to imagine conspiracies. Losing bettors never want to admit it's their own darn fault for making a bad pick. Any fluke play, bad break, or questionable call can get traced back to "the oddsmakers must have known something." If YOU think that, that's you deluding yourself.

MYTH: Oddsmakers set "traps" to trick bettors
REALITY: The majority of bettors are so bad oddsmakers don't need to set traps!

I heard this from a couple of bettors the other day. They were both convinced an NFL game was a trap, but they were arguing about which team was the trap! One guy said the favorite was too cheap...and that it must be a trap because oddsmakers knew the dog was going to win outright. The other guy said, "Aha! That's what they want you to think, so everyone's going to bet the dog to avoid the trap and the favorite is actually the right play!

Which guy turned out to be right? It doesn't matter! Vegas had posted the correct price in the first place (slightly shaded against a public favorite). They're both going to lose over the long run because they believe in fantasies rather than actual game analysis.

Bad gamblers can convince themselves of anything. I created my College of Advanced Handicapping to help lessen the number of bad gamblers, and increase the numbers of you who will apply the right strategies and grind out a profit over your betting careers.

There are no fantasies or conspiracies involved with isolating the PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS and asking them to win bets for you. There are no fantasies or conspiracies in recognizing THE MOTIVATION FACTOR for teams based on proven situational histories. There are no fantasies or conspiracies in seeing when a bad team has given up hope, then betting against them before the Vegas lines properly adjust. That key right there is a big part of the fortune my clients and I have won this season (as you read about yesterday at this website on my list of big play college football winners).

Here's what oddsmakers do well:

  • Make decent Power Ratings
  • Fade numbers against known public tendencies
  • Respond quickly to respected sharp money

Here's how you beat them:

  • Create better Power Ratings
  • Focus on non-public favorites and value underdogs with Advanced Handicapping principles
  • Be the sharp money!

If your friends start spouting conspiracy theories to you about "trap games" or "somebody knowing something," ask if you can be their bookmaker! Well, if they're true friends, show them your printouts from our past coursework and encourage them to become students of Kelso Sturgeon's College of Advanced Handicapping. Then show them by list of big play football winners this year, while telling them I was the one who knew something!

Our next class will be Tuesday. We'll be mixing football with basketball through the months of November and December. If you ever need game day assistance, you can purchase my top releases right here at this website with your major credit card. Thanks again for the hard work you've been putting in this season. I trust that it's been paying off for you on a weekly basis, and will continue to do so through the football stretch drive and the postseason. I'm hoping today's discussion about oddsmakers will make that even easier for you!

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