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Old 03-22-2019, 07:37 PM   #1
jjkfor20
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Newby question...basic stats but hey...

Hello All,

This is an absolute first for me so I'm nervous yet excited and hope that this intro is appropriate for the forum.

Working entirely on my own for the past 16 years, I joined today in the hopes of sharing what I've learned with bettors more experienced and smarter than I in an effort to become a more successful sports bettor.

I've collected and analyzed in several excel databases, over 30,000 individual games (hockey, basketball, football, and baseball) dating back to 2006, focusing exclusively on moneyline movement. For example, one strategy involves betting the dog in games in which the favorite becomes more expensive (and consequently the dog less so). The play is made on the dog at or near the break even point,the point after which early favorite bettors begin to bet the dog (take the other side) in order to take advantage of a no risk wager (if the favorite wins they break even, if the dog wins, they make a profit). For this play, I have 2800 specific games that meet this criteria. Statistical analysis of this sample indicates a profit rate of 5.3 units per 100 wagers with a 95% confidence interval.

I would love to find a way to interact with other serious sportsbettors who have had success focusing upon other strategies. Perhaps a combination of two or more strategies might produce something more powerful than any one strategy alone. Any suggestions on how I might appropriately reach out to others interested in the same? Are there meetups or telephone forums where this takes place?

Thank you all so much for hearing me out!
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:37 AM   #2
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

Basically what you're talking about is called 'chasing steam' where you wait for the sharp bettors to move the line (watching a sharp book/exchange and waiting for a big move in one direction, it doesn't matter if it's the fav or dog that's steaming) then bet the same side they bet at the best price available to you, ideally at a different book so you're getting the same price they got

It's a common strategy and it will win if you're beating the sharpest books no vig closing price, but a lot of sportsbooks will restrict your limits if you use this method

Best of luck.
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:41 AM   #3
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

Thank you for responding, I really appreciate it!
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:53 AM   #4
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

i am naturally skeptical of these kinds of betting systems but good for you for getting some data and trying to see what works. rickj is still grinding and i think his methodology is similar to what you're describing but adds in a few more variables such as public betting percentages. check out his blog and see if you can learn from him and build it into your stuff. good luck.
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:54 AM   #5
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

if i understand it correctly, i think what he's describing is the opposite of steam chasing. when the favorite is getting bet up, he takes the other side.
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:56 AM   #6
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

I"m sorry to bug you, but please explain what you meant by the best books and no vig....when is there ever no vig?

Also, I'm assuming that although I have a large sample size which is statistically significant, it is still very basic to a professional bettor and well known. Am I right in assuming that if the line moves too far in my described scenario, the value is no longer there because the early players have been betting the other side, taking advantage of the no risk wager option? Am I thinking about this correctly?

Also, may I share with you other findings to see what you think? If there is ever a way where I might assist with additional research on any strategy, please let me know as I absolutely love to investigate this stuff.

Thank you again!

JOhn
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:02 AM   #7
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

Thank you Tom G, I will check out Ricki right away.

Yes, the strategy does involve taking strictly the dog in this situation. I have found that there is a narrow range in which this is profitable as it seems to plummet to worthless as soon as he no risk wager opportunity presents itself.

Does this seem a reasonable conclusion that I'm drawing?
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:12 AM   #8
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

Today, the NHL Ariz/NJD is a classic example of this strategy. I currently have a +160 on the dog. It will be perfect UNLESS the line continues to move up toward puck drop, that is , moving beyond 160 such that the early bettors who are already down on Arizona, at say, -152 (available at BetOnline), or -155 (available on Pinnacle), will start to take the dog at +160, +161,+162 etc. It is my contention ( and I have thousands of games recorded which have done this exact thing), that the value of the play quickly plummets to zero and goes negative as more and more money is bet on the dog by these no-risk wagers. For them, they either break even if Arizona does with, or profit a small percentage if New Jersey wins. There is , however, no risk of loss on the part of the early favorite bettor. Any feedback on my thought process greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:48 AM   #9
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

If arbs are available clearly at least one of the sides is profitable - generally speaking one would assume that the closing line is on average correct at the sharpest books (eg Pinnacle; exchanges) so whichever side of the arb is beating that closing line is the profitable side

It seems like you have a focus on taking the dogs but i'm not exactly sure because I only briefly read your post. In any case, best of luck.

By 'no vig' I mean for example if a sharp book has both sides of a match at -110, the no vig line (true price in the sharp books opinion) is +100 on both teams

If the book had -115 and +105, the 'no vig line' would be -105/+105

Generally speaking at an ABC level you want to be beating the sharpest books no vig line at game time on average in order for your bets to be profitable
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Old 03-23-2019, 12:27 PM   #10
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

lines move for lots of reasons. only some times does it involve one side being overbet to the point it creates value in the other side. i think that's why rickj likes to include data on public betting percentages to help filter for that scenario you describe. let's keep going and maybe eventually we can reverse engineer rickj.
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Old 03-23-2019, 02:01 PM   #11
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

Thank you both for the feedback, will look in to both the no vig measure and a means by which to factor in the % of betting public on the movement.

I have focused on the dog as i did not find a similar effect when the favorite goes down rather than up. I have collected 10000 or so games which have done this and have never found a profitable range in which to take the favorite. Perhaps I need to consider another variable there also.
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Old 03-23-2019, 02:01 PM   #12
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

so the old adage that I've heard for years that money is the only thing that moves the line is not necessarily true?
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Old 03-23-2019, 03:08 PM   #13
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

up until start time lines are moving on all sorts of things. injuries, lineups, weather, coaching insights, player news, etc. sometimes these are books adjusting by themselves without ever taking a bet on the old line. then of course you are right they are moving on betting action. i'm just saying it's not always going to be clear from looking at a database of historical line movements that a favorite moving from -150 to -180 is the result of the public overbetting the popular team vs an announcement that the other teams star player is out.
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Old 03-23-2019, 04:17 PM   #14
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

Always have heard that the average bettor takes the favorite...if so, do you agree that therefore, the opening line will always be more expensive than it otherwise should be for the favorite, and consequently, less expensive for the dog? I believe that the reason I got prior stats results for the dog play is that the dog is already slightly more that it should be , at , say +135 (fav-155) and if it then moves to +155, there is value on the dog because it is as high as it can get before the early -155 players start to bet the dog and take advantage of no risk wager, taking the dog at +151,152<153 etc. Does this sound reasonable?
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:56 PM   #15
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

It depends on the situation, teams that are supported heavily by the public will on average be over-juiced compared to teams with a lighter following. Generally speaking you want to be fading the public money and following the sharp money regardless of which sport it is.

As TomG said lines move for lots of reasons - a lot of books will move more on a bet from a sharp bettor than from a square bettor even if the bets are of an equal size.

And yeah, books will move as soon as possible on injury/lineup news or similar or just 'because a sharper book moved their line' to make their price more in line with the current market as a whole
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:13 AM   #16
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

So for Notre Dame, for example, its opening line of, say -155 might really be closer to -145, if it were not such a heavily followed team, while the opening line for Syracuse is likely to be more accurate because the oddsmakers feel no need to compensate for heavy likely action?
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:26 AM   #17
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

Are there offshore accounts that are known to be more favorite vs. dog averse? Houses that tend to offer , on average, higher moneyline numbers for the dog than other houses? If so, can you recommend any? Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:56 AM   #18
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

I bet onshore (I don't live in America) with my soft locals mostly so while i'm sure they exist I don't have specific recommendations

Re Notre Dame example; I don't follow NCAAB closely enough for that specific example but yeah, in principle what you said is right. A bookie might set lines slightly off what they think the true price is when a team is likely to be pounded heavily by the public enough to cancel out sharp action
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:55 PM   #19
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

OP you may know a bunch about data bases and crunching and manipulating big data sets, but if you dont even know what no vig lines and what makes one book better than another, youre really not even close to being able to make money at this. Learn more about markets and what makes a market efficient and why and how and why certain ones are and o thers arent. I found info like that to be way more useful than anything when betting into big markets.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:29 AM   #20
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjkfor20 View Post
Hello All,

I've collected and analyzed in several excel databases, over 30,000 individual games (hockey, basketball, football, and baseball) dating back to 2006, focusing exclusively on moneyline movement. For example, one strategy involves betting the dog in games in which the favorite becomes more expensive (and consequently the dog less so). The play is made on the dog at or near the break even point,the point after which early favorite bettors begin to bet the dog (take the other side) in order to take advantage of a no risk wager (if the favorite wins they break even, if the dog wins, they make a profit). For this play, I have 2800 specific games that meet this criteria. Statistical analysis of this sample indicates a profit rate of 5.3 units per 100 wagers with a 95% confidence interval.
Why is there a point at which early fav bettors start to bet the dog? and how do you know when this points occurs?

Looks to me like you are saying;

9am team A -110, team B-110 (sharps start to hammer team A, team A to win is very profitable)
10am A -120 B+100 (sharps stop hammering, but public continue, team A is now break even)
11am A-130 B+110 (public have over bought Team A, you come along and buy team B before the sharps come back and sell some of A back).

I dont think it possible to buy B at 11am profitably

"Statistical analysis of this sample indicates a profit rate of 5.3 units per 100 wagers with a 95% confidence interval." Are you looking at data and simply getting the best price for team B?
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:03 AM   #21
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

Quote:
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OP you may know a bunch about data bases and crunching and manipulating big data sets, but if you dont even know what no vig lines and what makes one book better than another, youre really not even close to being able to make money at this. Learn more about markets and what makes a market efficient and why and how and why certain ones are and others arent. I found info like that to be way more useful than anything when betting into big markets.
I would second this advice - learn which books are sharp and which are square; which books will restrict you and which will take action - which books tend to over-juice favourites or underdogs, which books trading teams offer particularly sharp 'no vig' lines on each sport you're interested in betting/have database info on and so forth.

Even among my soft local books some are particularly sharp on say Australian basketball, but are super square on say Rugby Union, while another book might be the other way around and square on Australian basketball but sharper on Rugby Union. Then there are sharp books/exchanges I usually use more as an indicator of what the no vig price should be, books that take action on major sports but limit quickly if you bet niche stuff, books where you are at risk of not being paid if you win large sums, etc. there are all kinds of factors to consider and you need to do your research properly to succeed at this.
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:54 PM   #22
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

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Why is there a point at which early fav bettors start to bet the dog? and how do you know when this points occurs?

Looks to me like you are saying;

9am team A -110, team B-110 (sharps start to hammer team A, team A to win is very profitable)
10am A -120 B+100 (sharps stop hammering, but public continue, team A is now break even)
11am A-130 B+110 (public have over bought Team A, you come along and buy team B before the sharps come back and sell some of A back).

I dont think it possible to buy B at 11am profitably

"Statistical analysis of this sample indicates a profit rate of 5.3 units per 100 wagers with a 95% confidence interval." Are you looking at data and simply getting the best price for team B?
Thanks Akko for your response. Yes, what you described is exactly the scenario I'm talking about. My thought process has been as follows...and please tear me apart where appropriate...I would appreciate it:-).

I've been told for years, by every bookie I've ever spoken with, that the public takes favorites. I make the assumption that oddsmakers, certainly well aware of this, will therefore price favorites higher than they might otherwise to compensate for this expected bias. I assume this because I've also always been told that the less a line moves, the better and less risky it is for the book. If this is reasonable then I assume that an opening line of -150/+130 might otherwise have opened at, say, -145/+125. I continue to assume that as the favorite becomes more expensive in the games in which it moves up, there is what I called the break even point after which there is the opportunity for a no risk wager on the part of early fav bettors. Above the line opens at -150/+130 and if the favorite is bet up I assume that there is a break even point (-170/+150 in this case)after which the early favorite players will have an opportunity to take the dog at +151,+155,+160 etc. and have a no risk wager. (in your example above, the break even point is your 11AM measure; team A-130, team B +110) Back to my example above...if the favorite wins and the dog had moved to +160, a wash..., if the dog wins and the dog had moved to +160, then the favorite loss is the original -150, and the later dog bet of +160, produces a profit.
I've selected 2800 games that have done this in the past and found that, if took the dog at or near its peak (in this case +160), there is an overall profit of 5.3 units per 100 wagers of this type. I measured the closing line and came up with a % that measures how far beyond the break even point the line moved. If, for example, the line closed at 160, then I measured the over lap, in this case 10 ; (difference between -150 fav play and+160 dog play) divided by the closing fav number of -170. So the measure I come up with, for this game, is 10/170 = .058. The database of 2800 games include games for which this measure is between -.01 and +.03. I found an expected profit of 5.3 units per hundred for games in this range. I also found that, if this measure is .04 or higher, then profit plummets and in fact, there is a negative expected mean on the Vassar stats program I use.
I make the assumption that the profit quickly disappears because more and more early bettors take advantage of the larger and larger no risk profit amount available if they make a no risk wager on the dog at +163, +165, 167 etc. if the favorite continues to be bet up..
So far the biggest challenge seem to be the fact that lines sometimes move out of range at the very last few seconds and I'm stuck with a number that was in the range, but is now less than market because the dog jumped even higher, often out of the range and over 4% in to what my data says is no longer in the profit range.
I know that this is amateur to much sharper guys and I will take the advice given to study things like efficient vs. inefficient markets, but, in your opinion, are any of these assumptions reasonable?
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Old 03-26-2019, 01:14 PM   #23
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Like View Post
OP you may know a bunch about data bases and crunching and manipulating big data sets, but if you dont even know what no vig lines and what makes one book better than another, youre really not even close to being able to make money at this. Learn more about markets and what makes a market efficient and why and how and why certain ones are and o thers arent. I found info like that to be way more useful than anything when betting into big markets.
Thanks Like....I am looking in to that now and appreciate the suggestions...I'd like to ask you about efficient vs. inefficient markets. I assumed that the sports I bet (football, baseball, hockey, and basketball) are relatively efficient markets. Is the efficiency of the market based upon how quickly and equally individual houses respond to market changes? Are smaller markets for more niched sports necessarily less efficient? Are there books or software that you might recommend to better understand the efficiency of markets? Thanks for any advice...even if I never make a dime at this, I love to study it and try to improve anyway.
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Old 03-26-2019, 08:44 PM   #24
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

you've mentioned favorite moneylines a few times but it's my understanding most wagering is done on the point spread. how you analyzed these wager types? it could be a new area to explore.
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Old 03-27-2019, 01:31 AM   #25
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Re: Newby question...basic stats but hey...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjkfor20 View Post
I've been told for years, by every bookie I've ever spoken with, that the public takes favorites. I make the assumption that oddsmakers, certainly well aware of this, will therefore price favorites higher than they might otherwise to compensate for this expected bias. I assume this because I've also always been told that the less a line moves, the better and less risky it is for the book. If this is reasonable then I assume that an opening line of -150/+130 might otherwise have opened at, say, -145/+125.
I have never seen evidence that this is true, nor do I think you can profit from it. If that were true you should be able to verify using your data, that taking the dog you can beat vig. I don't think you will be able to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjkfor20 View Post
I continue to assume that as the favorite becomes more expensive in the games in which it moves up, there is what I called the break even point after which there is the opportunity for a no risk wager on the part of early fav bettors. Above the line opens at -150/+130 and if the favorite is bet up I assume that there is a break even point (-170/+150 in this case)after which the early favorite players will have an opportunity to take the dog at +151,+155,+160 etc. and have a no risk wager. (in your example above, the break even point is your 11AM measure; team A-130, team B +110) Back to my example above...if the favorite wins and the dog had moved to +160, a wash..., if the dog wins and the dog had moved to +160, then the favorite loss is the original -150, and the later dog bet of +160, produces a profit.
I dont think it is possible to do this and beat the vig. If you are smart enough to pick turning points, then spend your time doing it in the almost vig free financial markets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjkfor20 View Post
I've selected 2800 games that have done this in the past and found that, if took the dog at or near its peak (in this case +160), there is an overall profit of 5.3 units per 100 wagers of this type. I measured the closing line and came up with a % that measures how far beyond the break even point the line moved. If, for example, the line closed at 160, then I measured the over lap, in this case 10 ; (difference between -150 fav play and+160 dog play) divided by the closing fav number of -170. So the measure I come up with, for this game, is 10/170 = .058. The database of 2800 games include games for which this measure is between -.01 and +.03. I found an expected profit of 5.3 units per hundred for games in this range. I also found that, if this measure is .04 or higher, then profit plummets and in fact, there is a negative expected mean on the Vassar stats program I use.
I make the assumption that the profit quickly disappears because more and more early bettors take advantage of the larger and larger no risk profit amount available if they make a no risk wager on the dog at +163, +165, 167 etc. if the favorite continues to be bet up..
What you are describing cannot be achieved, how do you know where the peak is? It looks as though you are picking best possible entry points and showing that profit can be achieved. You need to figure out how to find these entry points on live data and estimate peaks from live data. If you are smart enough to do it is sports, then your wasting your time not applying it to finance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jjkfor20 View Post
So far the biggest challenge seem to be the fact that lines sometimes move out of range at the very last few seconds and I'm stuck with a number that was in the range, but is now less than market because the dog jumped even higher, often out of the range and over 4% in to what my data says is no longer in the profit range.
I know that this is amateur to much sharper guys and I will take the advice given to study things like efficient vs. inefficient markets, but, in your opinion, are any of these assumptions reasonable?
No, Its a waste of time.

The easiest way to win sports betting is to simply bet at which ever bookie is sufficiently from from the market. Simplest way to do this is by chasing steam. if you really want to minimise risk, chase steam then turn it into an arb (you'll sacrifice long term profits but you wont go bankrupt betting too much).
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