Lovecomps
Joined: Aug 12, 2018
• Posts: 242
June 3rd, 2019 at 5:58:18 PM permalink
Quote: TumblingBones

I received an offer from Borgota Sports for a \$250 Risk Free First Bet promotion. My problem is that I know absolutely zilch about sports betting. Also, other than watching the Super Bowl, the only sport I follow on a regular basis curling. I am therefore coming at this in total ignorance of how to play this The fine print is as follows:

- Place a 1st bet of \$25 or more and if your bet loses, get a refund up to \$250 in cash back.
- First sports wager must be made within 7 days of signing up for account
- First sports wager outcome must be settled within 7 days of the date you placed the wager

Any suggestions?

A free bet is a free bet. I'm a more mathematical, conservative sort and would just put the whole wad on a near 50/50 bet. Personally, I'd put my money on the Boston Bruins.
The best things in life are not free.
sodawater
Joined: May 14, 2012
• Posts: 3263
June 3rd, 2019 at 7:25:51 PM permalink
Quote: Lovecomps

A free bet is a free bet. I'm a more mathematical, conservative sort and would just put the whole wad on a near 50/50 bet. Personally, I'd put my money on the Boston Bruins.

If you were a mathematical type you would realize that a 50/50 proposition is a horrible way to play a free bet, because it gives only 50% of face value.
Ayecarumba
Joined: Nov 17, 2009
• Posts: 6286
June 4th, 2019 at 12:32:40 AM permalink
Quote: sodawater

If you were a mathematical type you would realize that a 50/50 proposition is a horrible way to play a free bet, because it gives only 50% of face value.

I understand the idea of free "risk", but where is maximum value in a situation like this? Is it better to take a 1000 to 1 shot because the opportunity is free, even though it is very highly unlikely that you will be successful; or is it a better bet to go for 11 to 10 since you have the maximum amount of profit for the lowest risk?

In other words, is 10% of something better than 999% of nothing when the cost is someone holding your money for several weeks?
When I die, I want everyone who ever worked with me on a group project to lower me into my grave so they can let me down one last time.
odiousgambit
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
• Posts: 8022
June 4th, 2019 at 4:49:38 PM permalink
Quote: sodawater

to maximize value you should put the \$250 on the longest odds you can find on the site. something like 50-1 or greater would be best.

I believe this was the first correct answer

the reason is the value of a bet is determined by amount-to-win * probability of winning, minus amount-to-lose * probability of losing

so for the Craps pass line bet, [244/495] - [251/495] = -0.0141414141414141
but if it is a free bet, it's 244/495 minus nothing , or 0.4929292929292929 [+ not -]

however, if you placed the bet on a number in roulette, single zero,

35*[1/37]-1*[36/37] = -0.027027027027027

but 35*[1/37] minus zero = 0.9459459459459459

plain and simple, however, the trade off is how much unlikelihood of winning can you take?
Last edited by: odiousgambit on Jun 4, 2019
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
GWAE
Joined: Sep 20, 2013
• Posts: 8758
June 4th, 2019 at 6:24:39 PM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

I believe this was the first correct answer

the reason is the value of a bet is determined by amount-to-win * probability of winning, minus amount-to-lose * probability of losing

so for the Craps pass line bet, [244/495] - [251/495] = -0.0141414141414141
but if it is a free bet, it's 244/495 minus nothing , or 0.4929292929292929 [+ not -]

however, if you placed the bet on a number in roulette, single zero,

35*[1/37]-1*[36/37] = -0.027027027027027

but 35*[1/37] minus zero = 0.9459459459459459

plain and simple, however, the trade off is how much unlikelihood of winning can you take?

My only argument to this is there is a way to guarantee a win. Since you can guarantee a win of a small amount, that win amount should be what is used as your risk.
Expect the worst and you will never be disappointed. I AM NOT PART OF GWAE RADIO SHOW
sodawater
Joined: May 14, 2012
• Posts: 3263
Thanks for this post from:
June 4th, 2019 at 9:38:49 PM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

I understand the idea of free "risk", but where is maximum value in a situation like this? Is it better to take a 1000 to 1 shot because the opportunity is free, even though it is very highly unlikely that you will be successful; or is it a better bet to go for 11 to 10 since you have the maximum amount of profit for the lowest risk?

In other words, is 10% of something better than 999% of nothing when the cost is someone holding your money for several weeks?

Assume fair (no house edge) bets.

If you use the \$100 free bet on a 1 to 1 bet, 50 percent of the time you will get +\$100, and 50 percent of the time you will get 0. EV is 0.5 * \$100 = \$50.

If you use the \$100 free bet on a 999 to 1 bet, 0.1 percent of the time you will get +\$99,000, and 99.9 percent of the time you will get 0. EV is 0.001 * 99,000 = \$99.

The longer the odds, the closer you approach the upper limit of the value of the free bet, which is "face value."

Any discussion about utility of money is largely academic, because you're not going to find many bets longer than 100 to 1 shots in a sportsbook. Sure, you could bet it on a 50-50 chance to get a decent shot at a positive return, but you're paying way too much in EV for that, unless \$50 is life changing money.

My advice is to maximize EV by betting the longest odds you can.
sodawater
Joined: May 14, 2012
• Posts: 3263
June 4th, 2019 at 9:45:52 PM permalink
Quote: GWAE

My only argument to this is there is a way to guarantee a win. Since you can guarantee a win of a small amount, that win amount should be what is used as your risk.

There are many ways to "guarantee a win" when the house is offering you a promotion. Unless you NEED the amount of the guarantee, it should not enter into your calculations on how to play the promotion.
odiousgambit
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
• Posts: 8022
Thanks for this post from:
June 5th, 2019 at 3:08:53 AM permalink
Quote: GWAE

My only argument to this is there is a way to guarantee a win. Since you can guarantee a win of a small amount, that win amount should be what is used as your risk.

I know how you feel, and to do it 'right' and get nothing but knowing it was a free bet = not too much fun. You have to squeeze as much satisfaction as you can out of the Wizardly expression "It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet."

The casino seems to always handle their offer to cover the bet by having you use your own money to bet, then they offer you a betting situation to get your money back. To add to the confusion of the whole process,  in "phase 2" , to put it that way, for sure you want to forget making the long shot but select instead a low HE bet, and I believe it is true that you also want low variance [perhaps the latter is debatable]. Personally, I would not like to bet more riskily than I usually do, at the very least, for this phase 2. So, once you internalize this as the right way to go, you can easily take that feeling to phase one as well. Perhaps the House has found that this is one of the reasons they want to do it the way they do.

Looking to get a guaranteed amount in phase one just means trading opportunity away. It's a harsh thing to say in response to your statement, and it isn't as if I have no sympathy for the way you feel as I mentioned. But if you don't believe it, just note how the House will not allow longshot bets to be used with much of what they offer, such as with match-play bets and so on.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
TumblingBones
Joined: Dec 25, 2016
• Posts: 257
June 6th, 2019 at 10:46:02 AM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

Hey Tumbling Bones, did you go for the promo? I hope you didn't use my Indy 500 advice, which would have resulted in a loss by 0.2086 of a second.

The quick answer is that so far I have not placed a bet. After doing some studying, even going so far as to actually look at the sports section in the Sunday, paper, I am even more convinced as to how little I know about sports betting. At this stage, I might as well put the names of teams on the wall and throw darts. I would prefer, however, to take steps to shift things more in my favor. More on that in a moment. First...

Quote: prozema

He could just pick any random -110 game and bet the other side at another book.
He's either going to lose \$46 or win \$227 with a 1x playthrough. If that is the rules, that \$227 should be worth \$215.
I'd pick a game with a half point spread if you go this way.

If I understand your proposal correctly, that would require that I actually risk \$\$ by placing the 2nd bet elsewhere. I'm looking at this from the standpoint of 1 bet at the Borgota and, therefore, with a zero downside

Quote: Ayecarumba

I understand the idea of free "risk", but where is maximum value in a situation like this? Is it better to take a 1000 to 1 shot because the opportunity is free, even though it is very highly unlikely that you will be successful; or is it a better bet to go for 11 to 10 since you have the maximum amount of profit for the lowest risk?

In other words, is 10% of something better than 999% of nothing when the cost is someone holding your money for several weeks?

Agree 100%. This is the key question, as illustrated by the two opposite approaches advocated by GWAE and sodawater.

So I can summarize the situation at this point as (1) I still have no confidence in my own ability to come up with an optimal strategy and (2) the esteemed members of the forum who have offered advice have (no surprise) not reached a consensus. So I have decided that my best option is to offer to hire one of you to act as my consultant who will pick the bet I place. The question or course is who is interested, what's in it for them, and who do I pick? In trying to figure out who actually knows best the ins-and-outs of sports betting, it seems to me that talk is cheap. So after some pondering, as well as significant late-night drinking, I have come up with the following proposal:

1. I will select from those interested candidates, one of you to act as "betting consultant"
2. The selected consultant will pick one bet that meets with the requirements of the promotion. I will place the bet with my own money (max of \$250). If the bet wins, the consultant receives 90% of the profits and I receive the remaining 10%. Obviously, I also get back the amount wagered. If the bet loses or is a push, the consultant gets nothing while the Borgota, under the rules of the promotion, refunds to me my original wager. However....
3. Anyone interested in acting as consultant must indicate their willingness (and confidence in their abilities) by submitting a bid for the right to act in that role. The highest bidder will be selected.
• To be considered, bids must be submitted no later than noon ET June 30th
• Individual who submitted the winning bid must pay tme the bid amount prior to the placing of the bet and within 7 days of being selected. Otherwise, the next highest bidder gets the right to act as consultant.
• If two or more individuals tie for highest bidder the bidding period is extended for an additional 24 hours. If there is still a tie winner is selected randomly
• The bid amount is non-refundable with the exception of the conditions identified in Section 4

4. If the consultant selects a bet that satisfies the requirements of the promotion and for any reason I fail to make that bet, then the bid amount will be refunded.
5. Any disagreements over the execution of the betting process will be submitted to the Wizard (or a representative designated by him) for binding arbitration.

For example, if the bid is \$20 and the profit from the bet is \$100, the the consultant will have a net profit of \$70 = (\$100 * 0.9) - \$20. If the bet loses or is a push, they are out the \$20 bid amount.

So, anybody interested?
My goal of being well informed conflicts with my goal of remaining sane.
odiousgambit
Joined: Nov 9, 2009