DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
• Posts: 3201
January 4th, 2017 at 7:46:08 AM permalink
How do I figure out a bet to return the highest ev based on the following scenario:

I am in a small football contest where each contestant picked a winner for each college bowl game for a \$20 entry. With one game remaining I am tied with one other player for first place and I can finish no lower than 2nd.

!st place is \$920
2nd place is \$550

Both of us have Alabama to win the game so it will come down to the tie breaker which is whoever comes closest to the total points scored in the game.

I selected a total of 51 points and my opponent select a total of 40 points.

The current total for that game at the sportsbooks is 51.

My thought is that if I bet \$x on the under I basically have a 5 point middle where I can win first place and win my bet at the sportsbook. My initial thought was to bet around \$300 on the under at the sportsbook but is there a way to calculate the optimum bet?
WatchMeWin
Joined: May 20, 2011
• Posts: 578
January 4th, 2017 at 8:09:15 AM permalink
Congrats on getting this far. If you want to hedge yourself .. He is your best option.

Take the under 51 for 200. The following scenarios will now be in play.

- If total score is:
Under 46 - you will win 750 (550 + 200)
Between 46-50 - you will win both! 1120 (920 + 200)
Over 51 - you will win 700 (920 - 220)
Push 51 - you will win your pool prize of 920

Good luck!
'Winners hit n run... Losers stick around'
DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
• Posts: 3201
January 4th, 2017 at 11:20:00 AM permalink
Quote: WatchMeWin

Congrats on getting this far. If you want to hedge yourself .. He is your best option.

Take the under 51 for 200. The following scenarios will now be in play.

- If total score is:
Under 46 - you will win 750 (550 + 200)
Between 46-50 - you will win both! 1120 (920 + 200)
Over 51 - you will win 700 (920 - 220)
Push 51 - you will win your pool prize of 920

Good luck!

Thanks, I appreciate your input.

I really hate the idea of hedging because hedging usually implies giving up some EV for a guaranteed win and unless it is significant amount of money I would never do that.

I would think in this case because I have a 5 point middle I would be able to bet it to maximize EV. My logic may be wrong and maybe I should just be happy with the EV I have now.
Romes
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
• Posts: 4028
January 4th, 2017 at 12:09:25 PM permalink
I hope you realize if the fair Over/Under for the game is in fact 51 on the sports book, then you have the advantage on your pool bet. So it's not like you're 50/50 to win \$920, you're the favorite to win \$920. Given EV = NumHands*AvgBet*Edge = (1*920)*1.X, which is over 100% since you're the advantage on this bet, then your real EV of the \$920 bet is greater than \$920. I honestly don't know what the actual "edge" is for you, but since the sports book calculated 51, clearly you do have the edge over your opponents 41 pick.

If you do nothing, you'll ride your advantage at \$920 (EV > \$920)... at that point the Over/Under for you is 46... So you have an even money bet on the O/U of that game at 46, when the REAL line is at 51... Hello advantage =).

If you bet \$200 on the under, you have the outcomes that WatchMeWin laid out for you... which average out to an \$872.5 win... but REMEMBER, the fair Over/Under is 51, so the further away the 'outcome' possibility from that the less likely it is to happen. So your "worst case scenario" of under 46 should also be the most least likely outcome to happen, where as any outcome closer to 51 is more likely.

I'm finding this tough to explain, but basically pretend you're playing an advantage game with a \$920 even money bet... Then compare that to playing a disadvantageous game with an even money \$872.5 bet, but you'll more likely hit your EV. In this light, you can see what you're giving up to get the more likely outcome, and it's probably around \$75-\$80. This is all educated guessing, btw.

In the end if you want to guarantee yourself a MINIMUM of \$720 (920-200), then hedge away. If you like having the advantageous bet then say what I say to the dealer when they offer me insurance on a blackjack in a negative count: "No thanks. I'll want the full amount." Personally I'd look at it in the light of "The fair line is 51, and they're giving it to me at 46, but the max I can bet is \$920... Hells yeah I'll ride that bet."
Last edited by: Romes on Jan 4, 2017
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
WatchMeWin
Joined: May 20, 2011
• Posts: 578
January 4th, 2017 at 12:25:38 PM permalink
Like Romes said.. you definitely have the advantage since your number is what the oddsmakers have it at. It is too hard to predict what Alabama's defense will do with Clemson's offense. I think it will be really close to the line , and very well could land between 46-51. If you want a little extra action and excitement with a guarantee of at least 700 with an upside of 1120... Go for it! If you dont hedge and its a low scoring game, then you only walk away with 550, which is still nice. In the end, your hard work has already paid off so enjoy the final game!
'Winners hit n run... Losers stick around'
TomG
Joined: Sep 26, 2010
• Posts: 913
January 4th, 2017 at 5:30:19 PM permalink
You have \$370 riding on the game going over 45.5. If a sportsbook ever gave a free five point teaser I would want to have a lot more at risk than that.

Only possible reason to look for a middle is that the market is moving toward 50.5, so if you bet under 51 at -110 you're only losing 2.6% instead of 4.6%.
Ayecarumba
Joined: Nov 17, 2009
• Posts: 5327
January 4th, 2017 at 6:55:43 PM permalink
If Alabama loses, does the tie-breaker still apply?
America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad-ass speed. - Eleanor Roosevelt, 1936
DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
• Posts: 3201
January 4th, 2017 at 7:34:55 PM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

If Alabama loses, does the tie-breaker still apply?

Yes, the winner of the game has become irrelevant to the contest as all of the leaders have chosen Alabama..
AxelWolf
Joined: Oct 10, 2012
• Posts: 12531
January 4th, 2017 at 11:30:26 PM permalink
Quote: DRich

How do I figure out a bet to return the highest ev based on the following scenario:

I am in a small football contest where each contestant picked a winner for each college bowl game for a \$20 entry. With one game remaining I am tied with one other player for first place and I can finish no lower than 2nd.

!st place is \$920
2nd place is \$550

Both of us have Alabama to win the game so it will come down to the tie breaker which is whoever comes closest to the total points scored in the game.

I selected a total of 51 points and my opponent select a total of 40 points.

The current total for that game at the sportsbooks is 51.

My thought is that if I bet \$x on the under I basically have a 5 point middle where I can win first place and win my bet at the sportsbook. My initial thought was to bet around \$300 on the under at the sportsbook but is there a way to calculate the optimum bet?

Me likes Vig... so if you do decide to hedge.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪