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Author: [NFL Betting] Topic: Public / Sharp percentage experts wanted - enlighten me please.....
vanzack send a private message View Space | Blog | Friends | Playbook | My Sportsbook: Pinnacle Sports |
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#1
Posted: 12/1/2008 2:56:02 PM
It seems like I cant read a post at Covers anymore without a mention of who the "public" is betting, and at what percentage.  I will admit, I have strong opinions (almost all negative) about the validity of these percentages, what they mean, and the seemingly endless inability of anyone to provide any sort of statistics with history of how to use them and what to expect.
 
But yet it is so prevalent in how people pick their games they must know something I dont, so Im keeping an open mind and putting this out there as an honest attempt to gain meaningful information.  Currently, all I have is anecdotal answers of personal experience, but no facts.  Its always things like "I use the numbers, but I use other stuff too" or "I am 10-4 in my last 14, its working!".  You get the same kind of answers when you ask someone "is there life after death".  Im trying to draw a line here between faith and science - so I will ask the follwing questions to anyone who will answer:
 
1.  Where does a company like sportsinsights get their numbers?
 
2.  Why would any sportsbook give up to sportsinsights (or anyone like them) any information about betting patterns?
 
3.  What type of sportsbook gives up these numbers?  If crappy sportsbooks with 500 dolar limits are the main contributors, what good is that?  Does pinnacle really give out these numbers?  Try walking up to a Vegas sportsbook and ask the manager about their handle - let me know what they say....
 
4.  Think about the business model of sportsinsights.  Spread a popular belief that you know more than the average gambler, then charge for that info - sounds a lot like a tout in different clothes if you ask me.  Explain sportsinsights motivation to be forthright in any capacity.
 
5.  Assuming the numbers are real, and from a real sporstbook, and from legitimate sportsbooks - what do they mean?  What - specifically - do you do with them and why would that make any sense?
 
6.  Do people who bet more money win at a higher percentage than those who dont bet as much?
 
7.  Please provide any history, statistics, or a model of when to use the numbers and how.  Not a vage answer - but specifics - with backup.  Example:  When a team is 80% or higher, and the line has moved 1 point in the opposite direction, that team wins at a 58.5% rate over the past 5 years.
 
Im sure the answers to the above will provide a platform for more follow up questions, but considering I have never seen an answer to the above - I wont hold my breath. 
 
This is not bashing those that use these numbers, or an attack in any way, it is an attempt to understand and inject some rational discussion in to what appears to be a totally irrational subject. 
 
Everyone has their own opinion about these numbers - but everyone uses them differently - and that is always trouble from a statisctical relevancy standpoint.  If something is statistically relevant, there shouldnt be varying opinions on how to use the numbers or what they mean, it should just be self evident.
 
My opinion going in to this discussion is that these numbers are absolute hogwash - an urban myth spawning an industry to suck more money out of lazy gamblers looking for easy answers to complex questions.  So someone please change my mind.....
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#2
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:02:19 PM
You mean you don't believe in the double reverse backdoor trap???
 
Very good questions.  I find myself guilty of what you mention.  Really the only concrete thing you can go on I think is line movement, which opens up a whole other can of worms.
 
 
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#3
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:09:58 PM
"My opinion going in to this discussion is that these numbers are absolute hogwash - an urban myth spawning an industry to suck more money out of lazy gamblers looking for easy answers to complex questions.  So someone please change my mind....."


I agree. They are horseshit in my opinion.

I tend to think books want an equal amount of money of each side so they can take home the juice. I'm no expert but this just seems like common sense. The guys that make these lines are good but they aren't "god" as some people make them out to be, or people wouldn't continuously beat their lines week in and week out. IMO there is no such thing as a trap, it's horseshit.

If 80% of the "bets" are on one side, say Indy -3 @ JAX for example, and the line moves to Indy -2 then obviously there is more MONEY on Jacksonville and the line has been adjusted to get more MONEY bet on Indy to even it out. 80% of the "bets" are just that, 80% of the bets. This is probably a lot of joe smucks and their $20 wagers, conversely the professionals can lay down on the other side the a large amount of money that covers thousands of these joe smucks' bet sizes. The public tends to not consider the situation and take the sexy looking team at a cheap price, while I believe the professionals look at it and will take their chances with a divisional home dog.

I've been telling people on here for weeks that just because 80% of the public is on a bet and it moves the other way doesn't mean that it's a trap, it just means there is a higher amount of MONEY not BETS on the other side and the books and looking for more on the 80% side to roughly even it out and take home the juice.

Don't know if it's right or wrong but it makes the most sense.
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#4
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:16:37 PM
Those numbers aren't available to us.
 
 
Want a good gauge of what the "public" is on? Ask 5 of your friends who follow football but wager occasionally who they like, that will get you a good answer. Or check the percentages provided by Covers that are directly from the contest picks, but I suspect even those are skewed somewhat by the follow the herd mentality here.
 
The only thing I believe is that the number is USUALLY set to get equal action on both sides of a game, and those numbers are based mostly on statistcal analysis, and partly on public tendencies to bet on such things as favorites, overs, certain teams, etc.
 
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#5
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:18:09 PM
Van, Mac,
 
Do you guys believe that the oddsmakers set bad lines on purpose sometimes?  Or, maybe better explained, in some games do you think they intentionally set bait lines.  Im not saying this happens every game but the Philly/Zona line is an example of discussion.
 
Without getting into a big conspiracy scenario, I think that line was tailor made to get people to jump on Zona.  Your average Joe Public bettor took one look at Zona getting points against a team in dissaray like Philly and unloaded.  A professional wouldve looked that it was a wounded home team, playing at night, in the cold against a desert dome team on a short week having just played the Giants.  Add in the fact they had a QB with something to prove and Philly clearly was the "sharp" play.
 
part time public bettors saw points and jumped on Zona.  I do not know the exact percentages but the line did not move, indicating more bets on Zona since pros were clearly on Philly. 
 
Just food for thought, I agree with most of what you say Van.  Great thread by the way.
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#6
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:20:16 PM
I've pondered these philosophical questions, and twisted whats left of my mind into a pretzel. Just gotta cap or have a "feel".
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#7
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:20:34 PM
My favorite is when people on this sight say that everything says bet  "Team A", therefore I'm gonna side with Vegas and bet "Team B".

Their recipe for success is being a horrible capper, probably works well for many on this site.
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#8
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:20:38 PM
good post bro, i always wondered what the sportsbook gained by giving this information to sports insight.even with all this information their steam plays are always below .500.  its like the cappers in the newspaper, its ironic how none of the cappers in the daily newspaper ever hit 60 or 70 percent.
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#9
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:21:46 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by BigHans:

Van, Mac,
 
Do you guys believe that the oddsmakers set bad lines on purpose sometimes?  Or, maybe better explained, in some games do you think they intentionally set bait lines.  Im not saying this happens every game but the Philly/Zona line is an example of discussion.
 
Without getting into a big conspiracy scenario, I think that line was tailor made to get people to jump on Zona.  Your average Joe Public bettor took one look at Zona getting points against a team in dissaray like Philly and unloaded.  A professional wouldve looked that it was a wounded home team, playing at night, in the cold against a desert dome team on a short week having just played the Giants.  Add in the fact they had a QB with something to prove and Philly clearly was the "sharp" play.
 
part time public bettors saw points and jumped on Zona.  I do not know the exact percentages but the line did not move, indicating more bets on Zona since pros were clearly on Philly. 
 
Just food for thought, I agree with most of what you say Van.  Great thread by the way.

To answer your question plainly - NO.

I believe that the books set a line to get 50% on each side.

And for every person like you who thought AZ was "tailor made" by the books to jump on, there is a person who thought the same exact thing about Philly.

Books dont set lines, you and me and the betting public set the lines.  Think about that.  That means that everyone has a different opinion, and as said above in this thread MONEY is what determines the line - yours, mine, and everyone elses - the book just wants a commission.

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#10
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:21:49 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by BigHans:

You mean you don't believe in the double reverse backdoor trap???
 
 

LOL.....i think i fell for one of those this weekend with the skins?

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#11
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:21:51 PM
Adding to that line, I think even if it had been a pickem or Zona a small favorite most average bettors still wouldve taken them.  How do I know this?  because when I first started betting and had zero clue what I was doing I know I wouldve been all over Zona.
 
So, being it is likely Zona wouldve gotten action regardless, I belive they set them as a dog to get even MORE of the smaller, public bets, because Philly was set up in a perfect situational spot which would only be seen by the experienced bettor.
 
Agree, disagree?
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#12
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:23:04 PM
What point am I missing? I answered the question, those numbers are not available to us. Where did I say the public always loses? All I said is if you want an idea of where the so called public is on a game, ask 5 random people that are recreational bettors.
 
As far as betting advice, I think I'm good, thanks.
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#13
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:23:13 PM
Nevermind you already answered my question.  End of the day it was still a bad line, as NE +3 open vs Miami was a bad, bad line.
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#14
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:26:16 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by vanzack:

To answer your question plainly - NO.

I believe that the books set a line to get 50% on each side.

And for every person like you who thought AZ was "tailor made" by the books to jump on, there is a person who thought the same exact thing about Philly.

Books dont set lines, you and me and the betting public set the lines.  Think about that.  That means that everyone has a different opinion, and as said above in this thread MONEY is what determines the line - yours, mine, and everyone elses - the book just wants a commission.

Maybe they determine where the number finally settles, but somebody determines the opening number, and that's not the market (us, the money, whatever)  

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#15
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:29:45 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by BigHans:

Adding to that line, I think even if it had been a pickem or Zona a small favorite most average bettors still wouldve taken them.  How do I know this?  because when I first started betting and had zero clue what I was doing I know I wouldve been all over Zona.
 
So, being it is likely Zona wouldve gotten action regardless, I belive they set them as a dog to get even MORE of the smaller, public bets, because Philly was set up in a perfect situational spot which would only be seen by the experienced bettor.
 
Agree, disagree?

Dude - once again - for you this view of the game is certain - because it is you thinking it.  But I am telling you that for every one of you, there was someone else thinking the same exact thing about philly.

And it is way simpler than what you are getting in to - the book set a line to get 50% of action on one side.  Sometimes they get it wrong and make Mia -3 over NE and the line moves.  Sometimes they get it right and it stays on the opener all week.

Either way, the book is not thinking like you should be thinking.  You and I and other handicappers should be concentrating on RESULTS, books only concentrate on ACTION - they could care less about results if they do their job right.  That is important.

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#16
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:31:26 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by 3rd_and_Long:

Maybe they determine where the number finally settles, but somebody determines the opening number, and that's not the market (us, the money, whatever)  

Agreed, but the opening line is a PREDICTION of what will draw 50% on each side.  Sometimes they are wrong, but it is still us who set the lines. 

The opener is the prediction of what we will bet, and the closing number is what we actually did bet - and the better a book is at predicting what we will bet, the more money they make.

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#17
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:33:05 PM
Still not a single attempt to answer any of the posed questions in the OP but there are at least half of the posts on the main page making reference to these percentages.
 
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#18
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:33:30 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by vanzack:

Dude - once again - for you this view of the game is certain - because it is you thinking it.  But I am telling you that for every one of you, there was someone else thinking the same exact thing about philly.

And it is way simpler than what you are getting in to - the book set a line to get 50% of action on one side.  Sometimes they get it wrong and make Mia -3 over NE and the line moves.  Sometimes they get it right and it stays on the opener all week.

Either way, the book is not thinking like you should be thinking.  You and I and other handicappers should be concentrating on RESULTS, books only concentrate on ACTION - they could care less about results if they do their job right.  That is important.

Fair enough .  Part of the point I was trying to get at was regarding action, or moreover "anticpated action."  We may disagree but I think the linesmakers know from experience which types of players play which types of teams in certain scenarios.  Since the goal is equal action, is it possible there are games where they aniticipate heavy action on one side, and set the line thusly to even it out. 

Who knows, all I know is they are smarter than I am, but Im getting better.  By the way I wont argue with you anymore on this stuff cause you are way out of my league when it comes to the ins and outs of linemaking etc. 

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#19
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:38:00 PM
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#20
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:38:46 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by BigHans:

Fair enough .  Part of the point I was trying to get at was regarding action, or moreover "anticpated action."  We may disagree but I think the linesmakers know from experience which types of players play which types of teams in certain scenarios.  Since the goal is equal action, is it possible there are games where they aniticipate heavy action on one side, and set the line thusly to even it out. 

Who knows, all I know is they are smarter than I am, but Im getting better.  By the way I wont argue with you anymore on this stuff cause you are way out of my league when it comes to the ins and outs of linemaking etc. 

Not arguing - its all good discussion - and I am not out of anyones league on any of this - Im willing to listen to any opposing viewpoints - but as you can see nobody so far has attempted to explain something that is mentioned in every thread at covers - and that should tell you something.

My opinion is that books have lots to gain by matching action.  Its that simple.  They dont know more than you or I about who will win or by how much.  They are a broker of money.  If they do their jobs right, there is a ton of money to be made.  The average gambler wants to get rich quick, so they look for easy answers.  There are similar things regarding the stock market - people want to get rich so they go to a free seminar and buy some program that does nothing but chart stocks and has the same success as a dartboard - but plenty of people will swear by it.  Same thing as this.

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#21
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:42:37 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by vanzack:

Agreed, but the opening line is a PREDICTION of what will draw 50% on each side.  Sometimes they are wrong, but it is still us who set the lines. 

The opener is the prediction of what we will bet, and the closing number is what we actually did bet - and the better a book is at predicting what we will bet, the more money they make.

It sure does seem to me that on occasion they gamble as well and set numbers designed to draw more action to a losing side, but I understand it's probably just my perception. I stand by my original thoughts that lines are set to draw equal action based on statistical numbers and public tendencies to bet certain teams and or situations. 

 

And of course if they make a stand and then end up being wrong, they just get on the phone with the review booth and make them take the TD off the board.

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#22
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:45:24 PM
These are the threads that makes covers the best place to read on the net.
 
 
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#23
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:46:08 PM
If you want to know who the public is on, just click on a few posts in these forums.
 
I've seen posters assume that the Covers consensus is "sharper" than JoePublic's. Sorry to inform the faithful, but Covers is JoePublic. I've said this maybe 100 times, but I guess I'll say it again:
 
Why would sportsbooks sponsor a site that is capable of producing winners?
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#24
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:46:14 PM
VANZACK The !!
 
Boy do I hate this guy and his stupid, endless posts.
 
Go Away!!
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#25
Posted: 12/1/2008 3:47:37 PM
Van, I think you are on the right track being suspicious.  I also don't go overboard with caring what the public thinks or does, mostly because a lot of it is simply disinformation.

For example I see a lot of posters react to other posters and act as if they are "the public."   In other words, poster A likes team A, says they'll cover.  Only a matter of time before poster B says he likes team B, and one of the reasons is he's fading the public.  In other words the public whoever is picking the other side.

That kind of thinking is just simple rationalization and is to be ignored at all costs.   But obviously there are games, especially high profile games, where it's obvious what side most of the money is on.  Different story, but even then, sometimes the public is right.

I've decided it's too much trouble to try to bet that way -- and it's also a negative or anti- way of betting, which to me is no fun.  I cap my games, I listen to and read other opinions, and then I decide who will win or cover -- not simply react to overthinking and stuff I can't control.

You can have a majority of posters in a given thread be on one side, and still have the public be on the other side -- especially if many of them are anti-public bettors.   And looking at wagerline %'s can be interesting, but I don't rely on it.

So in the end, I'm not trying to change your mind I guess.  Good luck and thanks for the well-written post.



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