A lot of sports bettors are naive about bookies. They believe they are beating the bookies, but in reality it is the bookie who always wins. If a bettor is successful, their win comes at the expense of another poor bettor.
Bookies rely on fans betting on their home teams and not using proven systems to make educated sports bets. Gut feeling betting is a bookie’s best friend and your enemy.
Sportsbooks use numerous methods and tools to come out on top. Or at least to lose as little money as possible. So, how do they do it?
Sportsbooks are in the business of making money rather than losing it. To give them more of a chance to make money, sportsbooks lower the odds of sporting events. If major sportsbooks can win from the thousands of bets they accept each day, then they will rake in the cash. Even if they lose many on some of the bets, major sportsbooks should still be able to cover their losses with the wagers made on an opposing team.
It isn’t rocket science, but it is an effective tool bookmakers use when releasing game odds. They simply take the money they win from losing bets to pay the winning bettors. A percentage is taken from the money being paid out. Simple.
What is Juice?
Juice, also known as the Vig, is the amount of money a sportsbook takes as commission. Most sportsbooks take a 10 percent commission. So, if you wager $100 on the LA Lakers, but they lose, you must pay the sportsbook the $100 you bet plus an additional $10 as commission. The $100 will go to pay off the other bets while the $10 commission goes into the sportsbook’s pocket.
What is a fixed game?
A fixed game is a sporting event that has a predetermined result. Games can be fixed by athletes, coaches, or referees. Fixed games do not often occur. If they do, it is mostly in small leagues where the players are paid very little and swayed by financial incentives. Some fixes can be on moments during the game rather than a result. For example, a basketball player may take fewer shots in a game as to have fewer points at the end of the night. Bettors may have wagered on that player to score under a set number of points or his/her team to score under a set number of points.
Sportsbooks manipulate bettors when they post their odds. Odds change not because a team has a better chance at winning, but due to the number of bets a sportsbook receives in favor of that team. For example, the Pittsburgh Steelers may start at 1/1 odds to beat the Denver Broncos. The more people that bet on the Steelers, the more the odds will decrease. After a few days, Pittsburgh may be 5/6 to win. In contrast, Denver’s odds may increase. The Broncos may go from 3/1 to 7/1 while Pittsburgh goes the opposite way.
This is how sportsbooks manipulate odds. If sportsbooks want bettors to wager more money on an underdog, they will give bettors odds to tempt them. Bookies can manipulate odds for either the underdog or favorite.
In November 2018, the Steelers were favorite to beat the Broncos in the NFL. Moneyline betting showed bettors wagering on the Steelers only for the underdog Broncos to upset them.
Sportsbooks use different tools, websites, and apps to show bettors that a large crowd is betting on a certain team even if that isn’t the case.
Bookies also use trends and stats to confuse bettors. Sportsbooks can use various trends such as “the Steelers are 5-1 in their last six games to encourage bettors”. But on the other side, sports bettors who want to convince bettors to wager on the Broncos may use a trend such as “the Broncos are undefeated at home against the Steelers in their last four meetings”. So who do you trust?
So, how do you beat the bookies?
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