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Old 10-04-2011, 01:39 AM   #1
PropPlayer
Sports Betting Mod
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southeast Asia
Posts: 3,610
PropPlayer's Awesome Sports Betting FAQ

This is the 2+2 Sports Betting Forum's FAQ. It was started many years ago, and just in 2012 I took it over by making updates, edits and additions. It is meant to help new players learn about sports betting and to address frequent topics that come up. It is updated on a regular basis. If you have content or helpful information you’d like added please PM me.

Part I: Betting Sports

What are the best sportsbooks?
What is the best book for US players?
What do you think of (specific) book?
What books do you use / should I use?
Etc...


There is no single right answer. There is no one "best" book for everything. It depends on what sports you are betting, how often you bet, whether you're betting prematch, half-times or in-play, where you live, what currency and banking methods you're using and many other factors. If you're remotely serious, you should have money in as many legitimate sportsbooks as your bankroll can handle.

Remember that lineshopping >>> handicapping in at least 80% of sports betting.

Now with this said, using a multitude of sportsbooks brings added risks. This is because some books are reputable while others are not and quite a few fall somewhere in between. A lot of the industry is barely regulated and the recourse players have in disputes is often limited. It is highly advised you do research prior to depositing money with any particular sportsbook.

Sportsbook Ratings

Researching is not always easy. A lazy but valid cheat is to reference a couple rating guides that stand out as being bit more honest than the field:

It is advised to compare both. Generally if BOTH guides have a book rated very low, or very high, it's probably close to accurate. If there is a discrepancy - it is harder to gauge. Ratings Matching Up or Ratings Not Matching Up - it is still VERY IMPORTANT to take all sports book ratings with a grain of salt - these sites while known as reputable still do get paid to recommend sportsboooks.

Warning about SportsbookReview.com (SBR)

This is a good example of the reasons to be careful of using sportsbook ratings blindly:

SBR is a well-known industry review portal that for many years was considered the market leader for sportsbook ratings. Starting a short while after UIGEA (2007), more and more savvy players began questioning some of their business practices and ratings. There is a brewing opinion, even now on their own forum (due in part to the BetIslands failure), that SBR ratings are now heavily influenced by advertising cash.

Some of SBR's other alleged questionable practices are discussed in this SBR Discussion Thread. This is a near must read if you're going to be researching sportsbooks.

How to Research Sportsbooks

Taking it step beyond just glancing at some website's ratings is using Google search. For example if you're searching BookXYZ some good terms are: BookXYZ Payouts, BookXYZ complaints, is BookXYZ legit and BookXYZ scam. From here site searches are helpful. In Google enter the following into search boxes.

site:twoplustwo.com BookXYZ
siteeepsplace.com BookXYZ

We don't have many of them at 2+2, but do be advised of the potential presence of paid posters which are employed by sportsbooks to boost their book's reputations on forums. Generally if a book is rated well by the more honest rating guides, and you can't find much concerning about them when searching Google, the book is probably okay to use.

Getting a Sportsbook Opinion on 2+2

We encourage posters to do research and search the 2+2 archives before asking lazy questions about specific sportsbooks. However, if after doing this research, you still have a question about a sportsbook - go ahead and ask in our thread which online sportsbooks are best (do check the archives first).

Sportsbook Disputes / Complaint Resolution

There are all sorts of issues that can come up with a sportsbook. Voided lines, bets graded incorrectly, slow pays, locked accounts and the list goes on and on. While an SBR warning (regarding ratings, news etc.) appeared earlier in this FAQ, they do also offer players assistance in sportsbook complaints that can be helpful. If you have a serious complaint with a sportsbook starting a thread at SBRForum.com is probably advised.

Do understand SBR will not always (perhaps often won't) help if the thread involves a complaint against one of their sponsors.

If taking your dispute to SBR doesn't work, take it to many other forums. Be careful not to blast the book too much in the early going as you're just looking to hopefully catch the books attention or to find someone that can assist. Sticking only to the details and asking for help and advice is most often the best approach.

Reduced Juice Sportsbooks

The reason researching sportsbooks is important is serious bettors want to have accounts at multiple sportsbooks in order to shop odds and take advantage of bonuses/promotions at each. Recreational players who are not serious and not willing to fund multiple sportsbooks will have their money on average last longer using sportsbooks that offer reduced juice.

Pinnacle Sports (no US players) offers -104 base prices for many sports. Risk $1.04 to win $1.00, where the industry standard is -110. Risk $1.10 to win $1.00. US players can find reduced juice at 5Dimes, though this site is only ideal for bettors wagering $500 or less per game. Also betting exchanges such as Betfair (no US players) are available for better odds. If you're a recreational player not willing to fund multiple books, you'll stand a better chance of winning in the short term due to variance by using a reduced juice sportsbook or a betting exchange.

I'm in the US, how do I deposit?

There are three primary ways US players deposit and withdrawal.

Western Union and MoneyGram: Most sportsbooks will pick up the fee for deposits made via this method so long as you deposit over the minimum threshold ($250 or $300 at most sites). At some sportsbooks this is the ONLY accepted method. It’s possible to use this method with cash at your local supermarket, or online using credit card or in some cases checking account.

Credit Card Deposits: Many sportsbooks accept credit card deposits. Be sure to check the terms before making the deposit. BetOnline charges a 6% fee not well disclosed, where Bovada charges 4.95% clearly disclosed.

Note: Purchasing a prepaid card at local supermarket is sometimes a way to deposit with credit card. VISA is strong advised and make sure the card is approved for international purchases (most are not).

MoneyOrder: At some sportsbooks (ex: 5Dimes) you can purchase a postal money order and send it via courier. They request you send them the tracking number immediately so they can watch for it and credit your account as soon as the money order arrives.

*Note: e-wallets and e-check deposits are quite rare these days, as far as US players are concerned.

How Can I Move Money Between Books?

If you live in a country where e-wallets such as Skrill or NETELLER are available this is very easy to accomplish. If you live elsewhere, there are books that do transfer with each other. This is discussed in this Book2Book (B2B) transfers thread. Also a small number of sites such as 5Dimes do Player2Player transfers making it possible to trade with friends who have or need an account funded.

Can sports be beaten consistently for a profit?

Yes. You simply have to find lines that are far enough away from the “true” line for the bet to be profitable. This requires good line shopping and/or good handicapping. Personally I know far more winning line shoppers than winning handicappers. Line shopping really cannot be stressed enough. Generally the difference between a losing sports bettor and winning sports bettor is line shopping.

How do sportsbooks make money?

Let’s take a standard wager, where you must lay -110 (11 to 10) odds. Most point spread wagers are approximately a 50/50 proposition, something akin to flipping a coin. So you are laying 11 to 10 on the flip, while the book is TAKING 11 to 10 on the flip. Over time, the book must win. Also, the book has a margin for error in the lines. To win, you must overcome this inherent advantage by finding bets that are not true 50/50 propositions (i.e., far enough way from the true line). Note: There are lots of other types of wagers such as money lines, parlays, teasers, etc., but the basic idea is the same for them all – the sportsbook takes a fee by making you lay odds that are greater than the true odds of the wager.

What win rate do I need in order to make a profit?

This depends on the odds you are laying/taking. At standard vig (-110), you need to win 110 / (110 + 100) = 52.4% of your bets to make a profit. At any other price, you can use the same method to calculate the necessary win rate (risk/return=required win rate *this is referred to as “implied probability”*). Keep in mind that you can sometimes get by with a smaller win rate if you are collecting bonuses from the sportsbooks.

What is the highest sustainable win rate in point spread betting?
Generally, somewhere in the 55%-60% range is considered the maximum that is sustainable. However, if you start approaching the higher end of that range, you are probably passing up some +EV wagers.

Part II: The Basics: Learning How to Beat Sports

What are the best books to read?

Sharp Sports Betting by Stanford Wong is a good introduction to thinking like a sharp. Weighing the Odds in Sports Betting by 2p2'er King Yao is a good update to Sharp Sports Betting but does not replace it. David Sklansky’s chapter on sports betting in Getting the Best of It provides a good explanation of the math behind betting. Roxy Roxborough’s book Sports Book Management provides a good view of how sportsbooks operate. Elihu Feustel (aka Justin7) has written Conquering Risk: Attacking Vegas and Wall Street which is a solid look at a lot of the maths.

Ok, other than Sharp Sports Betting (and Yao's book, and now Justin7's) what are the other good books to read?

Sadly this gets asked so much that it needs its own entry in the FAQ. There really aren't any other great sports betting books not listed here that I know of - if you know of one, submit it and we'll pimp it. Sharp Sports Betting is the Super/System of Sports Betting. No one has written a Sklansky-level follow up to it.

2+2'er King Yao has written "Weighing the Odds in Sports Betting" which is a solid follow-up to Sharp Sports Betting but does not replace it.

We've had one recommendation for the following - I can't personally vouch for them, but listing here for completeness: "For a good overall book check out Education of a Sports Bettor by Bob McCune. It's older, so you'll have to get past some editing mistakes, but it's very good. For football I'd also suggest How Professional Gamblers Beat the Pro Football Point Spread JR Miller and Beat the Sports Books by Dan Gordon." Another poster provided the following disclaimer: "you should ignore the advice about Kelly betting in the Miller book, and ignore the advice about parlays, teasers etc. in the Gordon book. Dan Gordon is a reasonably decent handicapper but pretty clueless about optimal betting."

Update: Books on Sports Betting Thread

What is a good bankroll to start with?

However much you can afford to lose. Seriously, you can get started with as little as $100 with $1 units (see the next question).

What part of my bankroll should I bet for each game?

A commonly accepted guideline is 1%-2% of your bankroll. This is generally referred to as a "unit".

Why 1%-2%? A unit size greater than 2% dramatically increases your risk of ruin (risk of going broke). If you dont care about going broke, use whatever size units you're comfortable with.

Should I use flat betting or change my bet size each game?

If you can accurately quantify your edge on a bet, it is mathematically correct to vary your bet size. However, in practice (a) it is often hard to quantify your edge accurately and (b) the edges in sports betting are generally small enough that you don’t lose a huge amount by failing to vary your bet sizes on common point spread wagers. For these reasons, flat betting is best for most people even though it is not optimal. You can use what is known as "Kelly Betting", which is betting a certain percentage of your bankroll based on how much your edge is. If you are new, stick to the guidelines of 1-2% of your bankroll. If you know you are a winning sports bettor, then do a Google search of "Kelly Betting".

Are parlays and teasers bad bets?

Generally yes, parlays and teasers are -EV compared to straight bets. Although correlated parlays can be +EV, and teasers through certain numbers (through the 3 and 7) in the NFL (called Wong Teasers or "basic strategy teasers) can be +EV as well. Beyond that, stay away from parlays and teasers unless you are just out for fun.

What are some websites for handicapping info?

Yahoo! Sports, or the sports league websites such as nfl.com, nba.com, etc.

Sports Insights for betting trends, Covers.com for various data, etc. (be careful as much of this is written to just impress not so savvy sports bettors).

For others do a Google Search.

What is a moneyline?

In a game between the Braves and the Giants, the moneyline might be Braves -150 / Giants +130. That means you have to lay 15 to 10 odds to take the Braves and you get 13 to 10 odds to take the Giants. In other words, you have to bet $150 to win $100 on the Braves and bet $100 to win $130 on the Giants.

What are some general betting tips? What are some good tips for someone new to Sports Betting?

Check out Some General Betting Tips (My Pooh-Bah Post) by Tech.

Although containing some outdated information also check out: Tips for the new sports bettor

How should I track my bets?

As carefully as possible

Everyone has their own preferences and methods when tracking bets. For a neat method check out sharpbettracker.com/ which is a site ran by poster ensign_lee. A discussion of his free bet tracking product can be found in this thread.

If you have other tools or resources to share, submit them!

Should I pay a service (aka "tout") for picks?

No. See this thread Paying For Picks for a good overview of why this generally is a bad idea. (Update: Tout Discussion Thread)

Also 2+2'er riccja has been regularly posting his picks for free for many years. He sometimes has additional picks at his other sites. Follow him at:

www.Rickjshandicappingpicks.com
Twitter: rickjsportplays
Twitter: rickjswingtrade


There are many others too. For example, poster faststeady runs tipsandpicks.com. There are others who post free picks on twitter, this forum and other forums around the web. A tip: when you find someone you suspect is providing +EV picks for free, track their record yourself, perhaps keeping it in excel. You should probably track the record since the time you discovered them rather than what their stated record is overall.

Am I sharp or am I square?

See this thread from "TrixTrix" for a good discussion of some pointers that he feels delineates a sharp bettor from a square one. These are good points to read for someone just getting started as goals to work towards...

Part III: Advanced / Sport Specific Questions

Where can I see lines from multiple books?

Where can I see what the public is betting? (Where can I gauge public opinion?)

What is an arbitrage? How do I do it?

An arbitrage, also known as a scalp (the process is often referred to as "scalping") is the process of betting both sides of a game to ensure a guaranteed profit or at least no possible losing scenario. In a quick example, say BOOK-A is offering the line of Texas +105, USC -105 and BOOK-B is offering the line of Texas -105, USC +105. You could bet on Texas +105 with BOOK-A and USC +105 at BOOK-B, and you would win $5 with $100 bet on each side, no matter which team wins the game.

For a more detailed explanation and some more examples, see the questions and answers in this thread. For a calculator to calculate arbs refer to scalpulator.com.

Should I hedge?

This is a question that comes up frequently on all sports betting forums and the answer rarely changes. If your question is along the lines of this:

I hit the first 5 picks of my 6 team parlay! Should I hedge?

PLEASE - Read this guide to parlay betting and this should I hedge thread (sincerely if this is your spot do not skip that reading).

If after reading you still want to hedge or if your question is along the lines of:

I picked Miami preseason to win the Super Bowl at +15000 and they just won the AFC Championship! Should I hedge?

The answer to hedge or not to hedge depends on your goal in hedging, and no one will be able to accurately answer your question without knowing more about your goals and your situation.

Which are you trying to do accomplish? Maximize EV or Guarantee Profit?

I Want to Maximize my EV!

OK, great, but keep in mind that you cannot change the EV of your pending wager. Your “hedge” is simply creating new wagers whose values have no relation to your initial wager. Analyze these new wagers on their own merit; if they are +EV, go ahead and bet them. If they are –EV, you would be losing value, despite the possibility of guaranteeing a profit. (But if that was really your goal, read on.)

I Want to Guarantee a Profit!

Well go ahead and hedge. But, understand that you are most likely sacrificing EV. You are paying a premium to reduce risk – sort of like buying insurance on your wager. But, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily a bad thing. If the sum to be gained is substantial to you, the utility of the potential win could be significant. For example, despite being -EV, it may be better for you to lock in a profit of 48 units rather than coin flip on 100, but that is a personal preference dependent on a large number of factors including your tolerance for risk, the wager size compared to your financial standing, among other things. The average person would probably choose a guaranteed $50 million rather than a 50/50 shot at $125 million. A multi-billionaire would probably choose the latter. The utility value of the guaranteed $100 million is greater to most people than the utility value of the 50/50 shot at $225 million.

If you decide to hedge lock in a profit, examine the various options, and decide how much you want to guarantee, and how much you want to potentially win in excess of this, and you will have your ideal hedge.

How to Hedge in Full

For complex wagers the answer will differ, but for a simple wager on a 2-way market (example last leg of a parlay, or a Super Bowl future now playing in the Super Bowl) where you want the same payout no matter which team wins:

Step 1: How much will your wager return on a win? This is stake + win = return. So if you made a $300 to win $10,000 parlay your return is $10,300.

Step 2: What are the best odds you can get on the other team/player/side. (shop around to get the best price).

Step 3: Hedge Stake = return/decimalodds

Example: final leg in your parlay is Packers -4.5 and if they win the return is $10,300. They are playing the Bears. You shop odds and find Bears +4.5 at decimal odds 1.91. Your hedge stake on the Bears is 10,300/1.91=5393. In this example no matter which side wins you get back $10,300. Your stakes were $350+$5,393=$5,743. No matter which team wins your profit is $10,300-$5,743=$4,557.

Note: All betting sites I know of offer decimals odds format. If you are used to using another format simply change the odds display at the sportsbook you're looking to make the hedge bet with to get the decimal odds.

What exactly is a Wong Teaser (also called a "basic strategy teaser")?

Update: The links provided in the answer below is part of the archives and some of the information is outdated with the odds offered. I'd suggest for now starting with this article and then this post. That post is the thread for discussing wong teaser and has other information in it. The original answer is below.

For the ultimate answers, see the excellent Wong Teaser FAQ compiled by MyTurn2Raise: Daliman WONG Teaser FAQ

This is a very specific teaser that is generally regarded as +EV, which Stanford Wong details in Sharp Sports Betting. Wong states that if you can cross 2 key numbers including the 3 with a 6 point, even money teaser, you have a wager with a statistically positive expectation. That means in the long term a winning result.

To spot a basic strategy teaser, look to tease games where you have a -7.5, -8 or 8.5 point favorite and/or a +1.5, +2 or +2.5 point underdog. These would tease to -1.5, -2, or -2.5, and/or +7.5, +8, or +8.5. So simply put a Wong Teaser is teasing across (not just to, but across) the 7 and 3. Either plus or minus. For example, teasing from -8 to -2 would cross key numbers at -7, -4, -3. Likewise teasing +2.5 to +8.5 would result in crossing +3, +4, +7.

Crossing to the 7 or 3 isn't, for example teasing a -9 to -3, as you're not gaining the probability of a win when the game lands on those key numbers, only a push. You want to move across them. Again, that's detailed in Sharp Sports Betting.

What is the easiest way to clear a sports book bonus? (Also asked as "What are the basics of Sports Book bonus whoring?")

See the discussion in this thread: Easiest way to clear sportsbook bonuses?

Where can I see past lines for historical purposes?

Why isn’t there more detailed information on how to bet?

Generally, Sports Betting is about edges in market information, much like the stock market. For the most part, successful sports bettors don't have as much of a motivation as for example poker players to share techniques on how to be successful. As an example, if a sports bettor were to tell every little detail of how they bet sports, someone could simply beat that person to the lines they want and would negatively affect the success of the person giving out the detailed information.

In other words, giving out detailed information on how to bet sports is a significantly –EV proposition for those who do it well. So you're unlikely to see a detailed "this is exactly how I bet sports" guide.

How do betting exchanges like Betfair work? Can Americans use Betfair?

To answer the second question: there not many exchanges accepting US players that have liquidity. Outside the US exchanges such as Betfair (the largest), Matchbook, Betdaq etc. are available and can often be used to get better odds. Click here to learn how Betfair works.

How often are Major League Baseball games decided by one run?

From Betting Baseball by Michael Murray, when the home team wins they win by 1 run 31.7% of the time. When the away team wins, its by 1 run 23.6% of the time. Keep in mind, however, that a game is more likely to be decided by 1 run if it is lower scoring, and less likely to be decided by 1 run if it is high scoring.

What is a correlated parlay?

Generally speaking, it means combining two outcomes which are more likely to occur together. In sports betting, the basic idea applies most often to NCAA Football. For example, in a game with a large underdog and a relatively low total (over/under) - IF you think the under is a good bet, there is value in parlaying it with a huge underdog, because if the underdog scores at ALL, they're almost a lock to cover in any game that finishes under. The parlay nearly doubles your payout on the under bet, while *probably* not halving your odds of winning, giving it a higher EV. At least, that's the general theory of the correlated parlay when the spread is very close to the total.

What if I make a bet and the line later improves?

See this thread for good discussion on both sides of this issue.

How do I win my NFL pool?

See How to win an NFL pool for n00bs by kevkev60614 for a great writeup of basic strategies to win your next NFL office pool.

Why do Lines Move?

In theory sports betting is a market of supply and demand. For example several books such as Bookmaker and Pinnacle open the lines and start accepting small bets. The initial lines are considered rough, and represent the opinion of select few handicappers. Therefore the betting limits start out small. If lopsided bets come in on one side or the other, the bookmakers moves the odds until lopsided action stops, at which time he increases the betting limits. This process continues with the sharpest lines found just prior to the game starting. In theory, it’s the bookmaker’s goal to find a line that the most talented bettors are no longer interested in betting (because neither side is +EV).

What are Off-Market Prices? (What Are Shaded lines?)

Sportsbooks that welcome professional action are where lines sharpen. Much of this takes place on sites that don’t accept US players. For example Pinnacle Sports for the US sports leagues, SBO Bet for soccer, Betfair’s (peer to peer) betting exchange for cricket, etc. The vast majority of sportsbooks copy the lines from sites taking professional action, and use them as their base. An off-market price is one that doesn’t coincide with what the professional sites are offering. A time this might happen is a recreational book is dealing mostly with fans that are heavy on the New England Patriots. The Pats are -7 at most sportsbooks and -7.5 at a recreational one. When this happens, their opponent is +7.5 and might be an example at a +EV off-market price.

Is Beating the Pinnacle Price/Odds Profitable?

A common strategy is shopping odds at sports books for prices that beat the Pinnacle line. This is because Pinnacle (no US players) offers the lowest margins (-104 base on NFL point spreads) accepts the highest betting limits, and has a solid track record for fast payment. They openly solicit winners. Pinnacle is considered sharp, because they can’t easily get away with offering +EV bets, because their margins are small and betting limits massive. Therefore the strategy many use is line shopping to beat the Pinnacle price. While this is the extent of it for many bettors, those more skilled understand the better use of this strategy is not to just beat the Pinnacle price, but rather to beat their no-vig price.

What is a No-Vig win probability/price/odds (how can I remove vig?)

The easiest way to remove vig is to use a No-Vig Calculator. I’ll however explain this in more depth:

Bookmakers make their profit by charging juice/vig. For example if on a moneyline the odds are -250 / +200, the 50 cent gap between is where their profit lies. In order to analyze bets, it’s common for bettors to work out no-vig win probabilities and no-vig prices from professional friendly sportsbooks such as Pinnacle Sports. It’s important to note that these CANNOT be averaged to find a no-vig line. Meaning -250/+200 DOES NOT have a no-vig line of -225/+225 (this is a common mistake).

The correct way to do remove vig is to first determine how often each selection needs to win to break even (this is called implied probability) and the formula for this is risk/return=implied probability.
  • -250 = stake $250 to win $100. If the bet wins we get a return of $350 ($250 stake + $100 win). The implied probability is therefore 250/350=71.43%.
  • +200 = stake $100 to win $200, so the return is $300 ($100 stake + $200 win). The implied probability is therefore 100/300=33.33%.

Notice if we add the two implied probabilities above 71.43% + 33.33% = 104.76%. The reason the total is higher than 100% is the bookmaker advantage called vig. To remove vig we just divide both implied probabilities by their 104.76% total.
  • 71.43/104.76= 68.18%
  • 33.33/104.76=31.82%

The two probabilities now equal 100%; the vig is removed. These no-vig win probabilities represent each team’s true chances of winning IF the starting lines had vig distributed equally. To change the probabilities to a no vig line, use this odds converter where the math is also explained. Under “required break even” enter 68.18% and see it equals -214 and enter 31.82% and see it equals +214. Therefore the no vig price of -250 / +200 is -214 / +214.

What’s the Fair Price for Buying a Half Point?

This depends on the sport, the specific point in question, and the price prior to purchasing. To show an examples let’s say in NFL football the line is -7.0 -110 and we want to know the fair price of buying to -6.5. Our starting point is the fact -110 has a 52.38% implied probability. Now let’s say we determine this game will end with the favorite winning by 7 exactly 6% of the time. Here we’re going from a push to a win on that number. Initially half the 6% probability was in our opponents +7 line and half in our -7 line. We therefore by moving off the 7 picked up half of this 6% probability. If we now add that half (3%) we see this is 52.38%+3.00%=55.38%. Again use an odds converter and see 55.38% = -124 in American odds. In this case purchasing the half point was worth 14 cents. Keep in mind however 6% was a made-up of figure. To get exact you’ll need a push chart which can be developed using historical data.

To drill a small point home: If the starting price was -7 -170 our starting point is that -170 has an implied probability of 62.96%. Add the same 3% to and we get 65.96% which an odds converter will reveal is -194 in American odds. So here the same exact half purchase is worth 24 cents, as opposed to 14 cents. It’s important to understand the starting price is major factor in how much a half point is worth.

The bigger factor is that all half points have different value. This is especially true in football where games end with a 3 to 7 point margin of victory some 3X.XX% of the time, and certain margins of victory such as 5, 9 and 12 are quite rare. Also even in basketball certain margin of victories occur much more often than others. This answer is only helpful in getting you off to the right start.

What is Steam?

Steam is when odds start moving rapidly on a given game. A player might be watching an odds feed and suddenly see red lights indicating movement on dozens of sites. Betting steam is spotting this occurring and then quickly betting at one of the sportsbooks that haven’t yet moved their line. The idea behind this strategy is betting lines move due to wagers placed, and a large volume in wagers placed means something. Either a big syndicate started making bets, insider info just leaked (perhaps about an injury) or something else. Generally steam betting is profitable, but it’s also the most common reason players are given personal limit collars.

What is a Limit Collar? (What are Personal Limits?)

Most sports books have a certain level of risk tolerance. When bettors display signs that they might not be a long term profitable client, the book will reduce their limits. This could be down to a couple hundred per game or can be the extent of a ban – such as $1.00. Certain betting sites with a low risk tolerance are often the easiest to beat, so as long as the book is reputable it’s still worth using them until getting cut off. For bettors outside the US, Pinnacle Sports and Betting Exchange allow players to keep betting without fear of a personal limit collar. For the US, Bookmaker.eu has the highest risk tolerance, however better lines can be found elsewhere. This is another of the reasons it is advantageous to use multiple sports books.

What are Dual Lines?

This is the practice of giving one line to a certain client, and a different line to another. Bodog/Bovada is infamous for this practice. When players first join they’re given square lines, which are heavily shaded to make the odds worse for popular teams. After a just a few bets exploiting this, players are changed to a new line profile where this can’t be exploited to the same extent. The ethics of this have been well debated with much of each side passionate about their opinion. Whichever way you feel about it, it is still part of the industry, and where applicable - exploiting it your first day with the book is well advised.


Part IV: The 2+2 Sports Betting Forum

What are the guidelines for posting in this forum?

Absolutely no spam, period. This is rule A, B, and C for this forum. This means no advertisements for tout services and the like, and absolutely no affiliate links of any kind. Anything falling into this category will be deleted on sight.

Also be advised of our picks posting rules. With the exception of riccja who is grandfathered in, each member is not allowed their own thread for posting picks. Each week one official thread is allowed for NFL picks, another for NCAAF picks. For other sports one thread per season is allowed. All members share the same thread. Some exceptions may be made for specific markets. For example there is a wong teaser thread. Another is TomG's player scoring props. Generally speaking however, all members share the same thread for each sport.

Also as a guideline it is encouraged when you post picks that you include your season-to-date win/loss record along with units won. Also, please include at least some type of justification/reasoning for your picks. In many cases, the reasoning is more important to your readers than the actual picks.

Can I post low content / parlay threads / whatever ?

This forum is for sports betting content. However, we allow one active thread with "anything goes" rules where you can post pretty much anything you want that doesn't break the terms and conditions of 2+2 or the general rules enforced in this forum by the moderators (i.e. still no commercial spam, no belligerently insulting other posters, no bypassing the content filter, etc). Search around for the most recent forum chatter thread.

Part V: Glossary of Terms

Bar Stool Pundits. Abbreviated as BSP. A term used for universal consensus from the general public, i.e. walk in to your local sports bar and ask the Bar Stool Pundits who they think is going to win. If there's a consensus, that's a BSP pick.

Juice – see Vigorish

Kelly betting – Kelly betting refers to a method of calculating your wager size given your edge on a bet

Line - see Spread

Middling – Betting both sides of a game in a way that gives you a chance to win both wagers. For example, let’s say Dallas is playing Denver. If you bet Dallas +3.5 at one book and Denver -2.5 at another, you win both bets if the game lands on 3. If it lands anywhere else, you only have to pay the vig. This allows you to bet much larger than your normally would.

Pinny - a common abbreviation for Pinnacle Sports Book. Generally regarded as one of the top books.

PK or Pick or Pick'Em - a spread of +0 for each team. Mostly shown as PK but sometimes expressed as Pick or referred to casually as "a Pick'Em". Note that you still pay "vig" on a PK line.

Push – When the outcome of a game falls exactly on the line, it is a “push” and the money is returned to bettors. For example, if the line on a game is New England -3 and they win by exactly 3, it is a push.

Runline – an alternative method for betting baseball; typically given as Team A -1.5 / Team B +1.5. This means that team A has to win by at least 1.5 runs to win a bet on Team A, and a bet on Team B wins if B loses by no more than 1 run.

Scalping – betting both sides of the same game in a way that guarantees a profit; for example, laying -120 on the favorite and taking +140 on the underdog

Sharps – knowledgeable bettors

Spread - a specific victory margin set for a game which must be "covered" to win your bet against the spread. For example, Chargers -7 means that the Chargers must outscore their opponents by 8 points or more to win this bet. If the Chargers win by seven in this case, the bet is a Push.

Squares – unsophisticated bettors, collectively known as “the public”

Square line – lines offered to square bettors, often shaded against favorites, overs, and other popular bets

Sharp line – lines offered to sharp bettors, often shaded against underdogs, unders, and other advantage bets.

Unit - a standard amount you bet on a game. Generally recommended as 1%-2% of your bankroll. So if you have a $2000 bankroll and typically bet $20 per game, then $20 is your unit. Posting plays as units instead of $$$ is better as it lets people see an independant measure of strength regardless of if you're betting $20 units or $200 units or $2000 units.

Vigorish (vig) – This is the “fee” that sportsbooks charge for your wager. So instead of getting even money on your wagers, you must lay -110, -105, or something similar. The extra money you must wager is the vig.

Part VI: Closing Comments / Notes

For more information, you might be interested in the old usenet rec.gambling.sports FAQ, or you might consider using this site as well.

If you have any suggestions for items to be added to this FAQ, please PM the moderator of the 2+2 Sports Betting Forum.

It also needs to be noted that 2+2 does not necessarily endorse any of the "outside" websites and were listed here by the moderators. If you are the owner of a site and wish to share information for the benefit of the 2+2 Sports Betting Community to get your site promoted here, please contact the moderator.

Last edited by PropPlayer; 11-21-2014 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:24 PM   #2
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re: PropPlayer's Awesome Sports Betting FAQ (Updated 05.30.2012)

The Well:

A stranger is being shown around a village that he has just become part of. He is shown a well and his guide says "On any day except Wednesday, you can shout any question down that well, and you'll be told the answer" .

The stranger shouts down several questions, and all are answered. The stranger is impressed, and after thinking a minute he shouts down: "Why not on Wednesday?" and the voice from in the well shouts back "Because on Wednesday, it’s your day in the well".




====

Last edited by PropPlayer; 11-13-2012 at 07:51 PM. Reason: calm's well
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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Re: PropPlayer's Awesome Sports Betting FAQ (Updated 05.30.2012)

PropPlayer submitted another awesome update on 5/30. Added to the bottom of Part III is a ton of great, new information :

Why do lines move?
What are off-market prices? (What are shaded lines?)
Is Beating the Pinnacle Price Profitable?
What is a No-Vig win probability/price/odds (how can I remove vig?)
What’s the Fair Price for Buying a Half Point?
What is Steam?
What is a Limit Collar? (What are Personal Limits?)
What are Dual Lines?
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:10 PM   #4
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Re: PropPlayer's Awesome Sports Betting FAQ (Updated 11.06.2012)

11.06.2012 Updates

1. Detailed Edit: Made several updates to Part 1 adding new questions, covering disclaimer regarding SBR ratings but also their value in dispute resolution. All along lines of what was discussed recently in a thread on this topic.

2. Deleted: Where can I go for more information? Likely the answer had carried over for 7+ years of FAQ edits. This was short and I failed to see how the page it linked to could be at all helpful.

3. Deleted: Carib from the where can I see what the public is betting list of links. Link was dead and don't see the feature on their site.

4. Minor Edit: small advice added to the should I buy a touts picks section.

5. Detailed Edit: Greatly expanded the "should I hedge? section.

6. Insignificant: fixed several typo mistakes.

11.07.2012 Updates

1. Added a note regarding purchasing a prepaid VISA approved for international purchases to deposit section.

2. Added details of book to book, and person to person transfers to a new question regarding moving money between sportsbooks.

11.09.2012 Updates

1. edited "How should I track my bets?"
a. link to performify's bet tracking spread sheet was dead so I removed it.
b. ensign_lee has improved his bet tracking tool so I updated the details of that.

Note: The answer to that question is pretty basic right now. If anyone would like to write up a more helpful answer please PM me. Or if you have a spread sheet or another tool for bet tracking you'd like added to the FAQ please PM me as well.

11.12.2012 Updates

Clarified the Picks Posting Rules under "What are the guidelines for posting in this forum?" section.

12.23.2012 Updates

I made the FAQ posted under my own name making it easier to PM me with questions and requests for additions. I also did some minor touch up to section one, including adding the 5Dimes dispute thread some members thought should be included.

Note: The title has also had the date removed. The reason for this is this picks up links around the web, but every time the date is updated in the title the URL changes. While the old links do redirect, for Google ratings - which bring this forum traffic, it is better we don't keep changing the URL. When there are updates you can see so in this log, but notice will no longer be shown in the title.

05.24.2013 Update

Added link to open thread about books on sports betting

07.22.2014 Update

Removed 5Dimes dispute references. This was 19 months ago with nothing similar since. There are disputes about every book that could be included but don't include them. It seems a disservice to players to highlight the single one in the past two years from a book that offers the best value to players.

Last edited by PropPlayer; 07-22-2014 at 05:13 AM.
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