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Horse Racing Tips for a Sloppy Track By Joe Kaufman

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Changing the Rules of the Game By David Marks

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Sports & Recreations Articles

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How the Sports Betting Line is Made by RJ Bell

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Once betting begins, sportsbooks can adjust the line at any time. Reasons for such adjustments include:

“You either have a passion for it or you don’t,” Seba said. “We’re not trying to pick the team that covers the spread, we’re trying to make it a coin flip, a tough decision (for the bettor). By moving the line, sportsbooks can influence how the public bets on a particular game.

Oddsmakers can also change the line depending on various event-related factors such as player injuries or weather. Examples of non-game factors that would require an adjustment to a team’s power rating are key player injuries and player trades.

Since the oddsmaker’s ultimate goal is equally dividing the betting action, public perception and betting patterns must be taken into account. Also, adjustments are made after reading each team’s local newspapers to get a sense of what the coaches & players are thinking going into the game. By necessity their approach is very research-oriented and concise, since with millions of dollars at risk there is little margin for error. Seba explained that it all starts with each oddsmaker creating a line on each game based upon their own personal approach. Oddsmakers have to determine if any changes are necessary and send out an “adjusted line.”

Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC) is the world’s premier oddsmaking company and the most respected authority on making the lines.

Individual books having players who consistently bet with certain tendencies (such as an extreme bias toward favorites or toward a certain popular team like USC)

Once the opening line is released by LVSC, the individual sportsbooks decide if they want to make any adjustments before offering it to the public. People think it’s much more complicated, but it’s not.”

What Is the Line Trying to Accomplish?

Experts working for the individual books having a strong opinion on the game

“The main objective is that our clients get equal action on both sides,” Seba said.

Moving the line is the oddsmaker’s effort to balance betting action, and often times such moves can have a major impact on a bettor’s decision. .

The last step in the line-making process for each oddsmaker is taking one final look to determine whether or not the line “feels right.” This is where common sense and past experience with how games are bet enters into the picture.

Divided action means the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit on the game because of the fee charged to the bettor (called juice or vig – typically $11 bet to win $10). If an oddsmaker comes up with a preliminary line of USC -7, then an adjustment up to -7.5 or -8 would be made in response to the public’s expected USC bias. The power ratings are adjusted after each game a team plays.

A round-table discussion among the 4-5 oddsmakers involved in making the line for each sport is then conducted and a consensus line is decided upon by the Odds Director before it is released to the sportsbooks.

RJ Bell

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Once a game’s power rating based pointspread is determined, the oddsmaker will make adjustments to that line after considering each team’s most recent games played and previous games played against that opponent.

There is a common misconception that point spreads represent the oddsmakers’ prediction of how many points the favorite will win by. In our extended interview, Seba explained that there are 4-5 oddsmakers assigned to make lines for each of the major sports (pro & college football and basketball; MLB, NHL, boxing, golf). That is not the case at all – their intent is NOT to evenly split the ATS result between the teams; rather, their goal is to attract equal betting action on both sides. Obviously, if the line comes out a week ahead of the event (which is the case in football), there is much that could happen during the week leading up to the event that could affect the line. We do this by drawing from past experiences and applying them to current situations. Each of these oddsmakers bring unique opinions, strengths and weaknesses to the process.

How the Opening Line Is Made

The purpose of these adjustments, like all line adjustments, is to more equally divide the betting action. In doing so they attempt to make more attractive the team that is getting less action. Of course there is an entire method to the madness on how the opening line is created. This usually includes having up-to-date power ratings on each team.

“The #1 thing for us is to make a line for each game that creates good two-way action. Oddsmakers at LVSC are professional sports junkies who love what they do and would probably do it for nothing if you asked them, but they do get paid for it.

Why the Line Changes

For example, if the pointspread on a game is 7 and most of the money is coming in on the underdog (taking the +7), sportsbooks will then move the number down to 6 ½ to try and attract money on the favorite. If we’ve done that, we’ve done our job.”

The opening line is the first line created by the oddsmakers, which is then sent out to sportsbooks. For example, the public might have heavy betting interest week after week on a popular college football team such as USC. Mike Seba is a Senior Oddsmaker at LVSC and has been making lines for the last six years. Stated another way, they want to create a line that half the people find appealing to bet one way while the other half find it appealing to bet the other way (known as ‘dividing the action’). Of the 4-5 oddsmakers, generally the 2 most respected opinions are weighed more heavily by the Odds Director before he decides on the final line.

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Power ratings are the oddsmaker’s value of each team and are used as a guide to calculate a “preliminary” pointspread on an upcoming game

Analyzing the Horse Betting Odds Today

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Just don’t forget that payoffs use the actual odds and are rounded down to the nearest nickel or dime depending on the rules at that track.

The odds quoted will tell you the amount of profit you will get and the amount you have to bet to get it when horse betting.  Thus, 6-5 means you will get $6 profit for every $5 wagered.

1-5 $2.40 8-5 $5.20 6-1 $14.00

1-2 $3.00 2-1 $6.00 8-1 $18.00

Total pool: $900. This money is used to cover the state and local taxes, purse money for the horsemen, expenses at the track and the track’s profit. If you really must find the exact odds, just calculate the exact odds on your horse and subtract the take from the total pool.  Then subtract the amount bet on your horse to give you the amount of cash to be paid out.  Divide that figure by the amount bet on your horse to get the exact odds.  This figure will always be rounded off to the nearest dime (usually) or nickel as mentioned above before the payoffs are calculated.  Ask yourself, is it really worth the extra effort for the amount bet?

 Amount Bet on that horse.

Total Win Pool and the

We have a chart here that will help you out on your payoff but note that your actual payoff may differ slight from the chart since the odds at most racetracks are rounded off, also depends on which sportsbook site you joined in. Before the racetrack pays off the winners they deduct the “take” which generally comes between 14% and 20% and is different for every state. Round this off to $1.50 for breakage and you get odds of 1.5-1 or 3-2 as it would normally be written which yields a payoff of $5.00 on a $2.00 wager.

3-2 $5.00 5-1 $12.00 50-1 $102.00

3-5 $3.20 5-2 $7.00 9-1 $20.00

Here is a sample:

7-5 $4.80 9-2 $11.00 30-1 $62.00

6-5 $4.40 4-1 $10.00 20-1 $42.00

$900 – 15% = $765

Pay-offs for $2 win bets:

2-5 $2.80 9-5 $5.60 7-1 $16.00

$465 / $300 = $1.55

It is quite surprising how many horse bettors out there do not understand horse betting odds at all.

4-5 $3.60 3-1 $8.00   10-1 $22.00

Knowing your actual pay off when you bet $3 on a race will be enough to give you an edge and start to wager smartly.

Amount bet on horse #1: $300

Calculating the exact win odds on a horse will require you to know the following such as;

1-1 $4.00 7-2 $9.00   15-1 $32.00

$765 – $300 = $465

A fun way and exciting way to earn money is to be on horse races. People who bet on horse races take time to understand horse betting odds and use it to their advantage.

Take amount: 15%

ODDS PAYS ODDS PAYS ODDS PAYS

The Total Win Pool is all the money bet on all the horses to win, but is not necessarily the amount that will actually be paid out to the holders of winning tickets