mkl654321
mkl654321
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November 7th, 2010 at 10:48:50 PM permalink
I've been told quite a few times, by friends who worked in sportsbooks, that over the last few decades, one could make money in Vegas simply by betting against any Los Angeles team, ideally just before the game started. This is supposedly due to the fact that most casual sports bettors bet on "their" team, regardless of the odds/prices offered, so sports books skew the lines to take advantage of that.

Of course, since L.A. doesn't have a pro football team (and what's up with that??), this effect would be harder to quantify now, but I'm wondering if anyone ever did a systematic study of it. It seems to make sense, in that the best bet is usually on the team the public DOESN'T like, but I never measured it, other than to notice that the line on the Lakers often seems wildly inflated, but creeps upward even so as tipoff time approaches.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
Wizard
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Wizard
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November 8th, 2010 at 6:36:35 AM permalink
I don't have the data to prove or disprove it, but I'm skeptical of this. In my opinion, betting against the LA team would help in Vegas, but wouldn't overcome the house edge completely. If the line ever become positive I think the sharp money would realize it, and bet it the other way, moving the line back. At most, an equilibrium would be found where a bet against the LA team was right at fair.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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November 8th, 2010 at 8:29:42 AM permalink
It seems to be endless battling between where the line is and where various factions think the line should be.
Bookies want "the action" and don't really care who wins.
Some Bettors want to win and don't have the least bit of team loyalty or team hatred in them anymore than they would have any sort of loyalty to or hatred of an inch when measuring a boxer's reach.
Most bookies seem to want to layoff action so as not to be exposed but nowadays it seems the lines change so much and the bettors are no longer locals.
Some bookies seem to take a risk on local teams to some degree but will layoff major action.

I understand that when lines are first established their can be bargains available but after all news and rumors have been evaluated by the market place (The chump bettors and the sharpie bettors and everyone in between) I would expect no "bargains" to exist. The only exception might be late breaking news or late breaking rumors such as The Quarterback Was Awake All Night, or Rainfall Expectation Rose or something like that.

Now that many bookies offer betting after the game starts, there might well be an arbitrage opportunity and I believe some Asian gangs took advantage of this by influencing action in Eastern Europe and the UK while making bets elsewhere. And some arbitrage took place between what happened "Live" and what happened in what a was slightly delayed via telecommunications links but what was being improperly described as "Live", but in general I would say that the theory is once all the news is out there and has been evaluated ... any pennies that exist can only be picked up but the odds are on the steam roller!
Doc
Doc
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November 8th, 2010 at 9:37:02 AM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

... but I never measured it, other than to notice that the line on the Lakers often seems wildly inflated, but creeps upward even so as tipoff time approaches.

I am not a sports bettor at all, but if I were to take mkl's post as accurate about an LA bias, and adjust it by the Wizard's comment that it could not give enough to overcome the house edge, then I think the potential opportunity might be in the claim that the line tends to move in a particular direction as tipoff approaches. Wouldn't knowing this likely offer a favorable chance to bet early then hedge late?
thecesspit
thecesspit
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November 8th, 2010 at 9:49:38 AM permalink
You might find a profitable middle this way....
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
mkl654321
mkl654321
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November 8th, 2010 at 12:23:40 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

I am not a sports bettor at all, but if I were to take mkl's post as accurate about an LA bias, and adjust it by the Wizard's comment that it could not give enough to overcome the house edge, then I think the potential opportunity might be in the claim that the line tends to move in a particular direction as tipoff approaches. Wouldn't knowing this likely offer a favorable chance to bet early then hedge late?



It's pretty much a commonplace rule that you bet favorites early in the week (or other period when the line is posted), but late in the season; that's primarily effective in football, but the same general approach applies to basketball. Particularly if it's a weekend game, and there are a lot of L.A. people in town, the books will get hit with heavy action on the Lakers just before the game starts.

How you might take advantage of this is to get a bet down on the Lakers as soon as the line is posted, confident that you will see the line move more and more in favor of the Lakers (and thus, against Laker bettors) as tipoff approaches. You can then jump onto a possible middle by betting the other side. One caveat would be that the line would have to move by at least 1 point to make this approach even marginally worthwhile, and it would probably have to move at least 1.5 to mathematically overcome the vig. Of course, you could simply not make that second bet, and sweat the game knowing that you were giving up less points than just about every other Lakers bettor.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw

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