Most recreational sports bettors believe they can handicap a sporting event as well as a Professional Sports Handicapper. Especially given the fact that they usually bet on their favorite teams which they have been following for a long time. While one might be fairly proficient in predicting the outcome of a game, in point spread betting that simply won’t be enough. Betting on the spread provides better odds for bettors than the 1x2 way of the European Sportsbooks, but its very nature is meant to eliminate every edge a regular everyday handicapper could uncover.
The book’s goal is to “balance” the action on both sides of the bet. The ideal case for the bookmaker is when both sides of the bet bear an equal number of bettors. That way, he can pay everyone out all right and walk away with the juice (vig), risk free. A perfect balance is impossible of course, (with the exception of a tie, in which case the Bookmaker wins everybody’s juice). However, the amount of money collected from this juice, allows the bookmaker to cover some of the bets left unbalanced and still walk away with a profit.
Often times, when the square money is going predominantly onto one side, the bookmaker may also choose to cover these bets himself. In most cases though, in order to balance the action, the bookie will shift his lines around or adjust his vig. The bottom line is, in order for the whole setup to work for the Bookmaker, he needs to squeeze all the value out of his lines. Sure, hidden value may surface every now and then, but recreational bettors do not get a shot at that. It’s plain to see that just going about and betting money based on intuition or home-handicapping is not the way to go.
How can some recreational bettors still squeeze value out of match-ups then? Simple, they use the picks provided by some professional handicappers. Some websites offer these picks for free, all you have to do is sign up, check them out and place your wager(s) based on them. The handicappers behind these picks (which may or may not be for free) are professionals who have access to information they can put to use in reverse-handicapping games. Reverse handicapping is the way to discover hidden value because it takes the Vegas lines into account. Professional handicappers know how sharp and square money influences the lines, and they know where the value goes. For a recreational bettor, making use of sports picks available on the internet makes perfect sense.
One might wonder however, how come these guys are giving such precious pieces of information away for free? Well, most of them are not giving you picks for free. Some handicappers demand money from the get-go, others require that you join their site in order to gain access to the resources. If you find yourself a truly good handicapper, it’ll be worth to give some of your profits up in his favor.
Other game-subtleties that may just elude home handicappers are circumstance-specific factors. Take the Mad March Final Four for instance. You may know your teams well, but you have no way of seeing them play under the given circumstances often, unless you are a professional handicapper yourself. The Final Four semi-finals come about only once a year, and the stakes involved make them very special for the teams involved. In the case of a final four, the handicapper can come up with approaches that would never cross your mind. One example would be his recommending that you bet on the totals under. While most squares (and sharps who are after their money) are busy betting on the line or the spread, totals remain a huge source of value statistically. The totals unders are usually crafted in a way that takes the tightness of the situation into account (teams will focus a lot on the defense), yet still, they fail to correctly assess the true shortage of points that plagues these match-ups.
Stick to a good online handicapper, use your bankroll wisely and pretty soon you’ll be making a profit on an activity that can easily pass as entertainment for most people.
Giving up on any sort of edge in online poker means you give up money for someone else. Rakeback is one of the biggest and most lucrative edges you’ll ever encounter. Make sure you milk it to the max.