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Why Gamble on Sports?
Its really not that big of a stretch of the ole imagination to think that today's gamblers are no different than gamblers of old, the only real difference is what gamblers of old wagered on and what gamblers of today wager on.
Today we gamble on a lot of the very same things that gamblers of yesterday wagered on, with regard to wagering on horse races, cards, dice, and even political elections to name a few, but gamblers today have the ability to wager on a much wider assortment of things including but not limited to church and fire hall bingo, slot machines, poker machines and even state sponsored lotteries, heck, today we even have a state who has an economy built around gambling halls or what we now refer to as casinos.
It's kind of hard to believe that it was not all that long ago when a gambler interested in wagering on a sporting event was more or less forced to run his/her wager thru a local bookmaker and thus had to take the line given if he or she wanted to place a wager, unless of course the same gambler had access to other "outs", meaning that this same gambler had an out of town connection that he used in order to allow himself or herself to gain an edge with respect to the posted spread or money line placed on an event.
In days gone by before the invention of the personal computer, a smart gambler with the right connections could find more than his fair share of "Middle's", meaning that if for example NFL team Blue were at home against NFL team Red, it was not that unusual to find the hometown Blue team bet up with the local books because of hometown sentiment while the line placed on the visiting Red team in their hometown would hold steady or be bet down.
Thus, a savvy guy or gal with the right connections in both the Blue city as well as in the Red city might just find a 2 or a 2 1/2 point and sometimes even a 3 point difference in the local line from town to town if he or she looked hard enough and did not hesitate on making a wager upon finding the difference in posted lines city to city.
As an example, lets say that the home Blue team was favored to win by 5.5 points on the opening line but by game time the home town Blue backers had bet the line up to -7 points, meanwhile, the visiting Red team's fans back home bet the line down to +4.5 by game time.
Thus the line at game time in Blue town is +/- 7 while the line in Red town is +/- 4.5, this creates what is known as a "Middle" meaning that a 2.5 point difference now exists between these teams, the worst that can happen is that one wager will lose and one wager will win which means that all that one would lose is the "juice" associated with the wager, meanwhile, the best that can happen is that the actual score falls somewhere in the middle which allows the gambler to collect on both ends.
Today however, sports wagering is getting bigger and bigger thanks to the availability of the home computer, cable TV, sports talk radio, and of course the influx of so many off shore sports books, thus the days of finding a good many "middles" are gone although an astute gambler can still catch a middle opportunity now and then if he or she keeps their eyes open.
The lines placed on sporting events today are a lot sharper then in days gone by, but it all evens out in the end because the odds maker is now not the only one privy to the multitude of information available surrounding any given sporting event, this is of course due to the large number of gamblers today owning a home P.C. which allows the savvy gambler to not only gain valuable handicapping information via the internet, but to also "line shop".
So, the real question my friend is "Why should today's savvy gambler wager on sports instead of wagering on other games of chance"?
Quite simply because a gambler has a much better chance of winning on a consistent basis when gambling on sporting events than he or she has when playing any casino game, slot or poker machine, the state lottery or for that matter any other game of chance, except for maybe poker or blackjack, but regardless of whether you gamble on poker, blackjack or sports, the savvy gambler must have a firm understanding of the game itself and must do his or her homework.
When it comes to wagering on major sports such as football, baseball, basketball and hockey, usually a spread or money line is placed on the game by the lines maker and then this established spread or money line is wagered on by the gambler, however, most novices as well as a lot of supposed experienced gamblers make the mistake of believing that the spread or money line placed on a sporting event is a true indicator of one teams strength and ability versus the opposing teams strength and ability.
The truth of the matter is that the spread or money line placed on a game is meant to garner equal action by the gambler on both teams involved, the winner wins his wager while the loser pays the "juice" associated with the particular wager that he or she placed, thus creating the commission that the middleman or bookmaker/sports book makes for handling the transaction between winning and losing gamblers.
The serious gambler understands that it is not the bookmaker or sports book who is his or her enemy, the true enemy is actually the "Joe public" bettor that places uninformed, opinionated wagers which of course causes what is referred to as line movement.
Line movement is simply the difference +/- in what the opening spread or money line was on a particular event versus what the closing numbers were on the same event, it must of course be understood that many factors can and will influence the opening and closing numbers on an event, including but not limited to weather and injury concerns, but always remember that it is the very same "Joe public" bettor that still influences the established line when they hear of possible weather or injury concerns amongst other things and thus often creates an over reaction with regard to line movement.
Its all about odds and percentages when it comes to gambling my friend, and that is what truly sets apart sports wagering versus other forms of gambling, take a moment and think about it, if you wager on a football game for example and the posted line is -3 or -5 or minus whatever, it is still a 50% proposition on a straight wager that you are either right or you are wrong which makes the odds essentially the same as a coin toss.
Of course you must take into consideration that you pay more when you lose, thus on a straight wager you pay 11 to 10 odds or 110 to 100 dollars wagered, thus the real "Break even" point or winning percentage that you must achieve on straight wagers is actually 52.38% in order to avoid a monetary loss.
Keeping in mind that 52.38% is the break even point with regard to straight wagers, a gambler needs to realize that anything above this percentage is money made, most honest, professional handicappers achieve winning percentages of 57% to 60% over the course of an entire season, often the more experienced handicapper can achieve winning rates of 60% to 65% if the ball bounces right for him or her here and there over the course of the season.
I pointed out the above with regard to what the "Break even" percentage is versus how honest professionals fare over the course of an entire season for a reason, did you ever notice those ads placed in Fridays edition of the USA Today newspaper by scamdicappers claiming winning percentages of 80% or 85% or 90%?
Ever see those claims of "Can't lose", or "Sure lock winner", or "Game of the year"? Heck, if you get up early enough on Saturday or Sunday morning you can even catch a scamdicapper show or two on TV with some of the very same individuals whose ads were in the previous Fridays USA Today newspaper.
Ads such as the ones described above are designed to sucker in the poor souls who in all likelihood have dug holes for themselves and are panicking, in a lot of cases these panicked losers will do or pay anything for a "Can't lose", or "Sure lock winner", or "Game of the year", I would even venture a guess that this sort of desperate gambler knows in their heart that those claims of 80% or 85% or 90% winners are bogus.
So how did this desperate gambler get into his or her situation to begin with? It happens season in and season out because of a failure to start with a dedicated starting bankroll that is used solely for sports wagering which negates the need to use monies ear marked for the mortgage or car payment.
A dedicated starting bankroll and a firm understanding of money management is a must if anyone wants to survive the peaks and valleys and ups and downs of the season long marathon that is involved with sports wagering.
I will get into the different aspects surrounding money management and other topics in another article, but for now remember the key points brought out in this article, the importance of doing your homework, understanding that the line or odds placed on a contest is meant to garner "equal action" which means that Joe Public is the reason for line movement which of course amplifies the importance of shopping for the best available line thru multiple "outs" while keeping an eye open for middling possibilities.
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Over the past 30 plus yrs, I have been on both sides of the Sports Investment Business, as a entrepreneur that ran his own business, to building and maintaining a Private Clientele base that Greatly Benefits from my Superior Handicapping expertise in the sporting arena.
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