vanzack's Blog

Public / Sharp percentage experts wanted

By vanzack | View all Posts
Posted Monday, December 01, 2008 02:56 PM   185 comments
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.....
comment Post A Comment
BigHans says:
12/1/2008 4:02:19 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.



andarmac99 says:
12/1/2008 4:09:57 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.

BigHans says:
12/1/2008 4:18:09 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.

glenndef62 says:
12/1/2008 4:20:16 PM
I've pondered these philosophical questions, and twisted whats left of my mind into a pretzel. Just gotta cap or have a "feel".
AirRainman says:
12/1/2008 4:20:34 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.
12/1/2008 4:20:38 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.
vanzack says:
12/1/2008 4:21:45 PM

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.

Charlie_M says:
12/1/2008 4:21:49 PM

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

BigHans says:
12/1/2008 4:21:51 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?

BigHans says:
12/1/2008 4:23:13 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.
AChigurh says:
12/1/2008 4:26:12 PM
I believe sportsinsights and vegasinsider gather their information from various low class books.

I use it as a simple tool. I like playing numbers that are inflated by the public as long as they are not the "sharps" moving them. What do i mean by sharps? I believe that if vegasinsider reports 95% on the favorite and the line is droping then sharps are moving that. Anything below about 85% i will not even take into account. The information is to inaccurate and we do not know the line the percentage represented comes from because the info is gathered from various books with different spreads. Numbers that open around 3 and 7 i will not take public percentage into account for the previous reason. the difference between 2.5 and 3.5 is huge and books will vary with the spread so that will affect who the money is on obviously. anything above 7 is OK with me because of its deviation from 0. Anything above 90% as inaccurate and imprecise the numbers are, I feel gives enough "breathing room" to considerate it usable.

After all that i find statistical and subjective research will put you on those "sharp" sides before they start moving.

vanzack says:
12/1/2008 4:29:45 PM

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.

vanzack says:
12/1/2008 4:31:26 PM

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.

vanzack says:
12/1/2008 4:33:05 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.


BigHans says:
12/1/2008 4:33:30 PM

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. 

texancapper says:
12/1/2008 4:37:59 PM
vanzack says:
12/1/2008 4:38:46 PM

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.

allbees says:
12/1/2008 4:45:24 PM
These are the threads that makes covers the best place to read on the net.



PistolPete21 says:
12/1/2008 4:46:08 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?

danstyk says:
12/1/2008 4:47:37 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.

djbrow says:
12/1/2008 4:50:55 PM


I don't believe in fixed games that Vegas has clear knowledge of (the SMU, Zona State and ref scandals come to mind). But let me ask you this:


what it be theoretically possible for a book to have knowledge as to a fixed game and set a line to induce the non-suspecting public to bet a certain way? I mean, the money coming in from those that had knowledge of the fix could not outweigh the public money, right. I already know that the quick answer is you could not keep the fix secret, but it managed to work before in those major programs.....



PistolPete21 says:
12/1/2008 4:51:38 PM
And re the myth of "fading JoePublic"...


I think there's some merit to this if you're operating with the assumption that JoePublic is incapable of winning in the long term. The last part--winning in the long run--is the key because, of course, anything can happen in a given game. I can see the rationale in something like this.


But, like you said, even this would be limited and flawed because how do you determine who JoePublic is?

vanzack says:
12/1/2008 4:53:22 PM

I do agree that you can make assumptions about money bet on a game.  Certainly, Oklahoma had more money bet on them than OK ST.  It happens.  But can you or anyone tell me what the results are historically when a line move is significant?  I would think that would be in someones hip pocket who tracks line movement, but I have a lot of trouble getting these kinds of answers.

Another thing about line movement - there is a big difference in a line move on a monday than an hour before gametime.  Limits on openers are very small, and they will move openers very fast - as opposed to limits being 20X the opener limits - and they barely move with limit bets.  This is something that nobody really considers.  A 1k bet on a monday might move the line the same as a 50K bet on Sunday.  How does that figure in to this whole percentage thing?

BigHans says:
12/1/2008 4:55:45 PM

Well lets all agree on something: Capping games by simply fading the public is lunacy.

IMO, capping games successfully is done the following, in this order, feel free to agree or disagree:

1. Matchups on the Field

2. Situational shit like weather, amount of consecutive road games, travel schedule, locker room atmopshere, etc.

3. Gut

4. Finding the Double Reverse Trap:  KIDDING

vanzack says:
12/1/2008 4:55:59 PM

My opinion is that if this happens, it is WAY too small of a minority to be statistically significant.  Is it possible?  Sure.

But honestly, the one thing you are overlooking - and I think most overlook - is the incredible amount of SURE NO RISK money books can make by just doing their job.  They dont need fixes.  They dont need traps.  They dont need any of that, and I think the lack of understanding about just how much money a well run book can make by just matching action is what spawns all of these conspiracy theories.

DoubleUp4Life says:
12/1/2008 4:58:35 PM
Totally Agree with vanzack


I really don't enjoy reading a post and hearing ...well the Public is taking this so the Pick is the Other team .... No need ever to watch or Cap these teams ... Just makes laugh ... 


You could rack your Brain about False % of wagers placed


WHY ???


They don't mean money wagered .... 


If you could get those numbers ... would they be Real ???


and if they were real  would you Win ??????   

briantabitha says:
12/1/2008 4:59:20 PM


Its called gambling folks!!! There are way too many variables.......Just find the best value and hope that LUCK is on your side. Trends, superstitions, traps, fixes are all a part of making people overthink games...IMO

Ag-e81 says:
12/1/2008 5:13:22 PM
I have to agree with Vanzack. Gosh if we went by whats on paper sportsbooks wouldnt be in business. I opinion is that you have to watch sports all the time. Track and see how teams react to wins and losses. Its hard to just look at numbers and pick a winner. That in my opinion is what sportsbooks want you to do. I watch sports all the time you can say I am addicted to sports and I watch them closely. I win a lot more than I lose but it wasnt always that way. Anybody that has made a living out of gambling will tell you they have gone broke a half a dozen times. I feel you have to pay your dues and lose. Because then you start watching games closely and looking for things you normally wouldnt look for. You pay attention to whats going on throughout the game. Make notes for next time. If you are new to the sportsbetting world its good to sitback for awhile and make bets on paper before you bet actual money. Keep track of whats going in football or whatever your betting on. I watch all sports sportcenter on this site and look at stats. If you wanna win in my opinion it takes time and work., It is like a fulltime job if you wanna win. Here are a couple of rules to abide by I kinda have put into my way of thinking:


1. If you have to guess on what team will win dont bet on the game at all.


2. Intuition is not a bad thing.


3. Home teams are always good to bet on if the price is right. They play harder with the crowd.


4. Be wary of betting on road teams especially with spreads of -3.5 to +3.5. I seem to get burned on these more often than not.


5. Finally if it is too good to be true it probably is not a good bet.

    (My bet on Denver yesterday. I couldnt see Jets as the dominant team everybody thinks they are. They were on a high Denver on a low I saw these teams reacting opposite to this and I was right)

BigHans says:
12/1/2008 5:16:36 PM
I have the answer.  Forget capping, and just fade Bill Simmons.  There we go.
BigHans says:
12/1/2008 5:17:43 PM
Sorry, meant fade Brandon Lang.  Simmons is actually winning this year, amazingly.
MaineRoad says:
12/1/2008 5:18:18 PM
At the risk of avoiding all of the actual questions posed (several of which I have oft-wondered about myself), I can only say that when I see a game like SDSU/UNLV of two weeks ago, where everybody I know seems to be on UNLV, the "percentages" are north of 70 on UNLV, and everybody with an opinion on Covers is on UNLV, and I see the line move three points in the other direction, I'm certainly not going to bet into the teeth of that.  I don't know what it's all "telling me" aside from "get the hell off of Vegas, fatso." 
Ag-e81 says:
12/1/2008 5:19:19 PM

These are my thoughts the lines are brought by somebody like me who tracks everything about every team. You can occasionally get some pretty decent lines because it was miscapped.  These guys are doing this for a reason beause its their life. they know what McNabb had for breakfast and if he took a shit before the game. like what was said earlier the public betting moves it up or down. I can out 1mil on Houston 3.5 and it would go to 4. thats the way its done. The best mines are the opening ones.


Ag-e81 says:
12/1/2008 5:27:08 PM
Boxing is a good exampleof that. I dont see it anywhere else though. Its like horseracing the horse or player will react different everyday to a lot of internal and external factors. I cant get myself to think that refs fix the game because there are toooo many things that go into the game. I think the sportsbooks try to mislead and get you going into a different direction with numbers. I dont see no evidence that supports game fixing in any TEAM sport
tep says:
12/1/2008 5:29:08 PM
Well Van since no one seems to want to answer each question asked and since I am bored here we go.


1.  Where does a company like sportsinsights get their numbers?


CARIB and BETUS They do show numbers of BETS for each site btu the main market numbers come from these two.


2.  Why would any sportsbook give up to sportsinsights (or anyone like them) any information about betting patterns?


No one can answer that unless they ask them that question.


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....


The two mention one is rated a B the other at D+ by SBR and I am not sure about limits at either.


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.


I see it a s a line service that happens to alert you of a steam move or smart play when it happens. If you say your paying for picks that is wrong because the amount of alerts are extremly igh each day.


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?


The public numbers given I use as a guide true or not. Each sport I use differently. Basicly as I said I use it as a guide.


6.  Do people who bet more money win at a higher percentage than those who dont bet as much?


Do I really have to answer that one. Ok I will NO.


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


This last questions basicly covers my betting patterns. I do follow the steam/smart plays and there winning %. Example: When a smart play is first triggerred at CRIS in college basketball this is the record this year.




66.67 %


I will tell you this. When I  capped games myself I was horrible, always reloading my accounts. This year I started using the site exclusively with no capping and no thinking. Starting with baseball I have not reloaded any accounts offshore and with my locals I have had one bad week in football. I am not making a fortune but I am winning more and loosing a lot less when I do loose. There is a lot more to this and I will answer any questions you have just ask.

Ag-e81 says:
12/1/2008 5:36:34 PM
Like your answers. Its all about maximizing wins and minimizing losses. You have to lose before you can win to understand sportsbetting. Its not all about numbers you have have to pay attention. Like I said before its all about out working the oddsmakers. I guarantee if you put in the work and watch sports year after year you will make money. Lazy gamblers play with their heart and emotions, good gamblers use their brain and confidence.
johnnybunique says:
12/1/2008 5:52:48 PM
Vanzack - here is my opinion on the matter -


Numbers are very important, but most people on here just throw the terms around loosely, not really knowing if they are correct, or if they even know what they are talking about.  It is not as easy as just looking at a % and saying, "Hey, more people like this side so that must be the public side"  -  You would be surprised at how many people do that and talk about it when they don't understand the entire "scope" of this theory/strategy.  The object is to identify a misleading line that is backed by a large % of "average" bettors such as you or I (75% +), however the line is kept constant or drops against the grain due to "sharp" action (or someone with a lot more information than you or I).  You must know how to look at the numbers and follow the movements (which are tracked by SI and recorded for use anytime)  as well as see how the parlay and teaser bets factor in, then it will become clear when a game falls under this situation.  I don't have time to go through all your questions but I will paste this from Sportsinsights website (UNDER FAQ):


Where do the betting percentages come from?
The betting percentages are real numbers from real sportsbooks. All information comes directly from the participating sportsbooks' respective databases. Sports Insights has agreements in place with these sportsbooks to display betting percentages on individual sporting events to the public. Sports Insights polls the participating sportsbooks’ databases every 1-2 seconds and compiles running averages. These averages are expressed in terms of percentages and are displayed to the public in pie chart form. The "Market Average" betting percentages represent an average taken across the participating sportsbooks. Premium and Premium Pro Members can monitor betting statistics for individual sportsbooks before the data is averaged together.

List of Participating Sportsbooks:  (Canada)
SportsInteraction (SIA)is licensed and bonded online sportsbook in Canada - NEW!!!

WagerWeb (Costa  Rica) -NEW!!!
Wager Web is a licensed online sportsbook and casino located in Costa Rica.

Skybook (Costa  Rica) -NEW!!!, is licensed and bonded in the recognized gaming jurisdictions of Costa Rica.

BetUs (Canada + Costa  Rica), is licensed and bonded in two recognized gaming jurisdictions, Canada and Costa Rica.

Carib (Belize)
Carib Sports, is a licensed online sportsbook in Belize.

SportBet (Costa Rica) is a licensed online sportsbook and casino in Costa Rica. (Costa Rica) is a licensed online sportsbook and casino in Costa Rica

Why would any sportsbook allow Sports Insights to display this information? Doesn’t this information hurt the sportsbooks?
This is one of the most popular questions asked. Let's just say it wasn’t easy getting the ball rolling. It took Sports Insights over a year to convince the original participants to allow the release of this information. It basically comes down to the sportsbooks wanting and needing to attract new members. The sports betting industry in general believes that the availability of betting percentages will soon become as common as standard betting lines. Sports Insights is the company that finally put all the pieces together and broke the ice. The sportsbooks that participate with us feel that members knowing which side the public is favoring will not hurt their business model. Bettors still have to pick winners. Think of this in another way. Why do sportsbook advertise on sites/phone services (touts) that guarantee winners? No matter what any site guarantees or offers, you still have to win. Sports Insights’ mission from day one has been to help its members make informed decisions based on facts. Always remember, any information is only as good as the person using it.

How long have you been in business?
Sports Insights went online in Feb 1999. It took close to a full year of development and negotiation to make the business plan a reality. Since 1999, Sports Insights has been offering betting percentages to the public. We are the only site in the world that offers sports betting stats from major online sportsbooks. Once people start using our information they have a hard time remembering life without it.

How are these percentages compiled?
The betting percentages are real numbers coming from real sportsbooks. They represent actual bets placed at multiple online sportsbooks. We have been offering this information to the public since 1999. Sports Insights has legal agreements in place with these sportsbook to display to the public the percentage of wagers on the spread,moneyline, parlay/teaser, and O/U, plus the  #of bets placed on every sporting event. We poll each participating sportsbook's database every 1-2 seconds. Premium and Premium Pro Members are able to view each individual sportsbook's betting stats in real-time. In addition to original sports betting statistics, innovative Smart Money and Injury Report Alerts, and proven betting systems (Steam Moves, Surebets, Smart Money, Fade the Public), Premium and Premium Pro Members enjoy the sports betting industry's fastest betting odds updates. Basic members are only able to view a "Market Average" which is delayed 20mins.  It took well over six months to write software stable enough to process this enormous amount of betting information coming from multiple sportsbooks on multiple continents.



bird_fidrych says:
12/1/2008 6:03:40 PM
I don't have time to read all the responses to the original post, but I glanced over them and didn't see any hard statistics. I have some so I will post them. It may take a couple posts to get all the info in.

I bet NHL and MLB solely based on betting percentages, line moves and odds comparisons.

Here is data from the 2007 MLB season: (using sportsinsights bet percentage data and pinnacle line moves)

>> Games where a min. of 67% of bets were on the fav and the line moved against the fav at least 8 cents -- Record 75-76, +26.2 units

>> Games where a min. of 70% of bets were on the fav and the line stayed +/- within 5 cents of opening price -- Record 109-112, +37.4 units


2006-07 NHL Season (only have data for Dec-Mar using bet percentage and line moves)

>> Games where a min. of 70% of bets were on the fav and the line closed at least 8 cents below the fav's opening price, or games where a min. of 75% of bets were on the fav and the line closed at the same price it opened -- Record 38-45, +22.8 units


2007-08 NHL Season (entire season, using betting percentage and line move data)

>>Games where a min. of 70% of bets were on the fav and the line closed

at least 8 cents below the fav's opening price, or games where a min.

of 75% of bets were on the fav and the line closed at the same price it

opened -- Record 83-67, +62.8 units

Last hockey season was very good, a 55% winning percentage betting solely on underdogs. I don't have my numbers all organized for last baseball season yet, but I can tell you it basically only broke even. Maybe this is a sign that the market is correcting itself to these public consensus plays. The value may be gone in these plays after a couple years of consistent profit. I can post more specific data if anyone's interested.

bird_fidrych says:
12/1/2008 6:07:20 PM
Already realized a mistake. In the NHL paragraphs it should read "Games where a min. of 70% of bets were on the fav and the line closed at least 5 cents below the fav's opening price"
ILL says:
12/1/2008 6:27:29 PM
Van, very good post.  Good to see someone provoke some useful discussion around here.  Anyway..


Fading the public (profitably) is a huge myth, yet for some reason tons of people swear by it.  There's even people who cap games only by looking at who the public is on.  Beleive it or not, there's been highly followed "cappers" on other forums who have got thousands of people to follow him because he tells them who the "public" is betting on.  (He claims to be a bookie)


Anyway, I've done some pretty extensive research on fading the public, etc., and I've found that there's really no way to do it profitably.  Some seasons the public does very well, others it hits below 50%.  Sometimes 75% will be on the home team, and that home team will cover by thirty, and vice versa.  It means nothing.


Here's my thinking:


The public likes favorites.


Vegas is very good at setting lines, historically yielding about a 50/50  favorite/dog cover ratio.


However, dogs seem to cover a little bit more often.  Why?  Because the public will generally pound favorites and the line will move and the dog will end up catching a hook or sometimes an extra couple of points, and in those instances they will cover a little more often.



So it looks like this:


Vegas makes a tight line --> public usually plays the favorite --> dogs might catch a few more points ---> dogs will find a few more covers = fading the public is profitable (not)


ILL says:
12/1/2008 6:29:43 PM


This is exactly the point vanzack is making.  The linesmakers are not god, they have no idea how the game will play out.  If they knew everything, why wouldn't the make the steelers a 14 point favorite this weekend in New England, and make a killing when everyone in the world bets on New England? 


See what I'm saying?

brooklyn1 says:
12/1/2008 6:31:50 PM
JUST see the line movement and thats who people bet on, most of the time.   you open a line and move to your money or move to WHO is betting..  say a sucker lays -5  you do nothing

                                a wise guy -5  you move to -6   

andarmac99 says:
12/1/2008 6:46:11 PM

But the "sucker" does nothing because he bets $20 and it does nothing to the amount of money on each side. While the wise guy bets $25,000 and that makes more money on the -5 side so the line has to be adjusted to -6 to attract some money on the other side.

The "wiseguy" could also have a winning history at the book and they may give him the benefit of the doubt on such a big bet as he wins more than he loses. This is the only circumstance where I could see books setting lines on purpose knowing they may have a better chance of picking up juice with more people betting on the +6 line knowing that more often than not the "wiseguy" wins his bet, therefore they theoretically have an edge over the other bettors who take the +6.
pjrez says:
12/1/2008 7:12:40 PM
Van or someone could probably answer this better than I can, but is it agreed that all casinos and online books move their lines the same way as some of the industry giants such as Pinny?  Regardless of their action? Within seconds of Pinny moving a line, many others follow suit.


If this is the case, there is no way that each and every one of these books is looking for "balanced" action. Line shoppers aren't hitting soft lines at each and every one of these books to get them in line with the Pinnys of the world. The software/casino manager is making that change.

redwally says:
12/1/2008 7:19:04 PM
vanzack- Are u gonna post a pick?!
WendysRox says:
12/1/2008 7:28:20 PM
I am in a hurry to get out of the office, but I wanted to post a short note about some of the issues I see being raised because I love the subject matter:

1)  Van, you raise an excellent point which I haven't seen addressed yet which is: let's assume the info is correct regarding betting percentages, then let's assume that since 80% is on one side, but the line is moving in that teams favor, that large money must be on the other side... assuming all that, what evidence do you have that $5000 bettors hit at a higher % than $25 bettors?

2) As for companies like sportsinsights getting this info from sportsbooks - who's to say they don't pay a heavy price for this info?  Hell, I think that if I were booking and some guy offered me enough money, I'd give him legitimate figures for a legitimate fee.

OK, I could be here for hours - I love this topic.  I better leave this for later tonight or tomorrow...

I will say, for what it's worth, I have faded the "public" when the percentages get over 90% in TOTALS plays on sportsbookspy with better than 50% success.  I have no exact numbers (I'll get something concrete for you later, since I know this is supposed to be supported by facts), however, I want to say I've done this maybe 7 or 8 times this season and if I've lost at all, it's only been 1 or 2 times.
mrat says:
12/1/2008 7:30:37 PM
Hi Vanzack, a friend (a degenerate gambler, I think thats what you call them) read this thread and told me about it. We discussed this topic many times (he still gambles and loses, just like nearly everyone) and I think I have some insights for you. Please excuse my english, I havent written in this language for ages.
Before I answer your questions: I worked for an internet bookie and Ive been betting, too, so I know both sides.

1.  Where does a company like sportsinsights get their numbers?

They get them from the bookies. Some bookies give them away, some dont. Most of em tell the truth. Some openly give them away, betfair, caribsports and for example. You dont even have to register there.

2.  Why would any sportsbook give up to sportsinsights (or anyone like them) any information about betting patterns?

Because the betting doesnt change, no matter if you give the numbers out or not. For ever player who thinks "wow, the public is on Team A 90% AND the line moved in their direction.. Ive gotta follow that", theres another one who thinks "the public always loses... Team B for me". All in all, the percentages are not the secret about a bookies success, so theres no need to hide them.

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....

It doesnt matter who gives out numbers. Bookies cant just change their lines randomly. If the whole world has -6 or -6.5 and the betting is spread 50%/50% and a small bookie gets pounded on the -6.5 (lets say 95%/5%), he cant change the line to -8, even if he would have to in order to not lose money. There is a worldwide consensus to stay within a special range with your lines, so numbers from one bookie tell you nothing... you need every number out there, every bet placed in the world.
This worldwide consensus is always between 58% and 42% for every 2-way-handicap-sports event out there. If it isnt, the line is adjusted... usually at the bookie where it is off the most. The others just follow. So if a line moves against the percentages, it just means that the percentages from that one bookie arent the percentages the other bookies have.


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


 They want to give betters a chance to fulfill their dream. Making money without working. This dream is underlined by the idea of "sharps" existing and television that shows rich guys with big cigars playing poker... young people with money to spare want that, too, and in their need, they look for every possible way to beat the bookies. So yes, it is a tout service in different clothes.

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?

 They mean nothing at all. They are just like the stats on this page. They are one of many things that suck people into betting with the thought of making money off it. Its just another stat. And at transforming stats into winners, bookies are unbeatable... There is no number that you can come up with that no bookie knows.

6.  Do people who bet more money win at a higher percentage than those who dont bet as much?

Theres the big answer youve been waiting for. And the answer is no. Because big money doesnt mean "big money won with extremely great gambling skills". Big money can be rich kids burning their parents' money, businessmen who do it just to have someone to root on or people chasing losses with big amounts they cant afford.
On the other hand, there could be people with a great sense for betting who cant afford bets bigger than $5. Even if you hit 70% for two whole seasons in the NFL and you bet 5 games per week, you only are up around $180. Thats 1/20 of a big bet of a rich kid with no clue.
There are no sharps moving lines. Thats just part of the big story. Yes, there are some "professional betters". They usually win by middling, not by hitting 90% of their bets. So if a line is moving in one direction, it doesnt mean it is a winner. It could just be a guy buying a line who knows it swings in another direction, where he buys the opposite. Even if he is betting the game the normal way, he still only hits 5 of 10, just like the rest of the guys out there. So in 5 of 10 occasions, he loses. Just like Average Joe.

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.

There is no such model that has a higher percentage than 58% winning over the years. 58 is the magic number that has to be reached, because of the juice on the lines. If you ever read about a "system" and the "system" is over 60%, check if its really 60% over a bigger period of time. Otherwise its just a statistical edge that will even out over the years. I have not known of any system that produces more than 58% winners. If there was one, there would be no big casinos all around the world.

To finish this, around 80% of all betters lose consistently. Consistently meaning everything they load into their account. The others win or break even, and these numbers stay the same regardless of the average wager size. Of the losers, approx half would break even or win if they didnt chase their losses. And of the winners, around half just win because of lucky parlays or a win streak and a payout after the streak. Most of these people have the won money back in their account after one week and have lost it again after another week.
Hope to give you a nice insight. Cheers, Marty
vanzack says:
12/1/2008 7:32:46 PM
Stepped away for a couple of hours, going to try to get to everything....

First off is a couple of posts on the books that sportsinsights uses:

Do I need to go any further?  Does one single pro in the world use any of those sportsbooks?  Lets assume for a minute that the numbers actually do come from these books as advertised - these books dont represent anything but the casual gambler.

Am I missing something here?
vanzack says:
12/1/2008 7:36:31 PM
Bird-fidrych gives the best stats I have seen to date.

But they are 2 years worth, with very specific conditions.

At the very least, the general posting public here at covers is grossly exaggerating when and where these numbers could be useful.   You give the specifics of Hockey and MLB - with specific conditions - with 2 years of history.  That is a far cry from people using these numbers in all kinds of wild ways.

I applaud your reply though as it is one of only a handful of responses that provide anything concrete.

I am still skeptical of the relevancy of those limited results, but at least you post something noteworthy.

vanzack says:
12/1/2008 7:39:08 PM

Yes, you are correct.  Pinnacle moves a line, and the rest "move on air".

But that is anticipation of not getting one sided.  They know if they leave their line where it is, they will get blasted on one side.  If they move it, they will likely attract more balanced action. 
BarryDingle31 says:
12/1/2008 7:44:06 PM
great, another useless post created to cause controversial discussion that will prove no-thing to no-one

Good Work, next time run around in circles, at least you will get some exercise

SuckerBet77 says:
12/1/2008 7:46:03 PM
The only true way to gauge where the money is going (not the # of picks, but the money) is to watch the line movement and make of it what you will. As has been stated here already, a professional gambler can wipe out thousands of "public" bets with one wager, so 80% on one side has no relativity.  I look at line movement and generally interpret early line movement as meaningful and late line movement as Joe Public throwing down last minute $20 bets.  Also, where the line lands around key numbers is generally pretty indicative, again with more credence given to early movement than late movement.
I share your doubt in the validity of the betting percentages because I firmly believe that books use these numbers to bait bettors into putting money where the book wants it.  In a sports book's perfect world the money would be perfectly split and they would reap the juice with no risk.  If they are laying 80% on one side of an event and they have an enormous risk, why would they broadcast that information?  In reality, they adjust the line to draw more wagers on the short side.  But I think of lot of uninformed bettors blindly look at a number like 80% and think everyone knows something they don't. 
Long story short, I wouldn't put any stock into betting percentages because, 1) They are controlled by the book, who wants your money, 2) Even if they are correct, who the hell knows what they mean?  Did 80% of the bettors put 25% of the money on a side with 20% of the bettors putting 75% of the money on the other?  If you don't know this then the numbers are not relative, and 3) As you said, I've never once seen a solid model for betting the percentages with any metrics for success.

cacabware says:
12/1/2008 7:47:33 PM
vanzack,,,,,you come off like quite the arrogant douchebag most of the time,,,and, from what i've noticed,  you seem to pick a helluva lot of losers,,,,,,,,,,,,,,BUT,,,,,i'm a fan of the discussion brought about by this particular thread,,,,,,good stuff guy.
vanzack says:
12/1/2008 7:49:11 PM

I am very impressed.  Sounds like you are someone we could all learn a lot from.  I like your perspective, especially this:

They mean nothing at all. They are just like the stats on this page.

They are one of many things that suck people into betting with the

thought of making money off it. Its just another stat. And at

transforming stats into winners, bookies are unbeatable... There is no

number that you can come up with that no bookie knows.

That really struck me and made me think about it a little bit differently, but also proved my point a little bit more.  I never thought of it as just another stat - but that makes sense to me.

I think where people go wrong is in their interpretation of these numbers.  It is so widespread here.  And to further your point, you see one person who sees 75% on one side saying "fade the public" and someone else who says "Im following the steam" but neither of them have any backing for what they are talking about - they simply are guessing.  Its the lazy gambler get rich quick mentality of not taking the time to actually analyze the data to see if what they are assuming is actually correct.

The rest of what you say I also agree with 100%.  I agree that people who bet more dont necessarily win more, and your breakdown of gamblers in general is something I have also stated here many times with some minor differences.

I hope you post here more.  This place needs more grey matter.

vanzack says:
12/1/2008 7:52:06 PM

Good thing I post solely for your approval.

pjrez says:
12/1/2008 7:52:16 PM

To play devils advocate, they would only "get blasted" until their action was equal (ultimately their goal) then move the line appropriately to get even money and wouldn't have a care in the world what the competition was doing down the street.

Charlie_M says:
12/1/2008 7:56:43 PM

i like what u are saying sucker....but what do u make  of what the line did in the last few min of the chi/min game.....the line closed at 6 in some books....they must of known minny was live and knew "joe pub" would bite on the bears if they kept seeing the lne go up

PistolPete21 says:
12/1/2008 7:58:35 PM


I have heard that those who make money do so by "making a stand" on a given game. They accept the fact they'll be around 50% in picking games. What makes them pros, though, is their ability to single out those big winners and just go large on them.


This seems to depart from what you have stated above--that is, that pros make their profits by middling numbers. That would seem to suggest that pro's don't even need to know the teams, that they would just need to be good at anticipating line moves?

pjlvio says:
12/1/2008 7:59:33 PM
I have to agree with you 100% the books all they want to do is get their books lined up so that they are 50/50. They make the money no matter what. Why do they need to fix or hedge or trap a bettor? What would they gain, that they cannot gain by evening out the book? Why do some books lay off then? To ensure their profit. I have never believed in a game being fixed by the books, or Vegas. The players or ref's a different story. But even if a book did release any of the info on who was betting what or which side was being bet more, how would this help in anyway capping a game? You have brought up many question in which I have argued with my friends and peers and none of them have been able to give me a logical answer either. I 100% agree with you, a line is just a starting point, otherwise they would not move up or down. Nice write up one of the best I have read in quite awhile... 
vanzack says:
12/1/2008 8:02:41 PM

But because down the street does indeed exist - if you didnt move with them - you open yourself up to the worst possible scenario - the middle or arbitrage.  If pinnacle is at -4, and you are at -3, you are going to get maxed out all day until you go up and match them, and then there is no guarantee that +4 is going to get you enough to match your action, and even then you have opened yourself up to a middle on the spread.

It just seems to me that you are avoiding the ultimate risk by moving on air.  You know for a fact if you dont move that you will be one sided - and by moving - and everyone moving - you are willing to possibly forego having totally matched action but you give up the risk of definitely having non-matched action.

Im just speculating here - I have never run a book or been involved on the other side - but that is my observation and assumption.

PistolPete21 says:
12/1/2008 8:03:50 PM
Just to extend my above statement a little further, it would seem to me that getting the best line might be the most underrated thing in all of handicapping.


I don't have a chart in front of me, but what's the breakdown of the %'s of the final score relative to the spread. I think I remember seeing something like the spread is spot on 2% of the time, within 1 point 2% of the time, within 2 points 3% of the al.


With this as the case, can you imagine how much you increase your win-rate in the long run if you're consistently getting the best available number? Forget even middling games. You can almost increase your win rate by 3%. And if you're capable of picking at a 50% clip, then you're inching your way past the magic number necessary to beat the juice.


It goes without saying how important a good line is. But, I think it's absolutely paramount when one considers the differences between the final spread and the game's spread.

pjrez says:
12/1/2008 8:05:19 PM

I believe sports insights just tracks % of wagers made.  I don't think they claim to have any monetary figures.  Not sure if that makes their info better, worse, just as insignificant?  But it WOULD negate the presumption that bigger plays means smarter plays.

andarmac99 says:
12/1/2008 8:12:20 PM

This is the most underrated factor in "handicapping". I have begun to appreciate it more and more. If you have the time and want to make money at this you have to shop for the best possible numbers.
Ace77 says:
12/1/2008 8:12:45 PM

Americans who cannot make a bet without mentioning the following,betting percentages,the fix is in,fishy line,trap game,reverse back extension roll line movement,fade the public,square bettors,
VGPOP says:
12/1/2008 8:20:53 PM

I'd like to schedule an appointment at your convenience, Marty.

That was beautiful.

madrice1 says:
12/1/2008 8:33:04 PM
fred69 says:
12/1/2008 8:39:31 PM
thanks van for starting this post .Been just sitting back and watching what everbody was talking about and learned from the other post earlier about the "numbers or percentages" being posted by different sites.good info. but in the end you gotta remember its gotta be about the math or there would be no vegas or gambling. not saying these sites are reporting "true" numbers but it is based on numbers!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
vanzack says:
12/1/2008 8:57:58 PM

There is one thing I know for sure in this whole thread:

Getting the best line consistently is the biggest determinant of longterm success, and it is what good books like Pinnacle use to rate players.  Pinnacle doesnt care if you win or lose (short term), they care if you consistently get the best line because they know longterm you will win.

DiscoD69 says:
12/1/2008 9:01:04 PM
I think the numbers are relatively true...and agree that it's irrelavent to the Books b/c they know is the same as every other stat.


People will use this info to both win & lose, and I can see the motivation as trying to attract new gamblers.


I also have a strong oppinion that the books do take sides on games. I believe they have a great understanding of who the public will wager on, and either shade lines against them, or try to set lines to get action on them if they are in a tough spot.


So the so called 'trap' or bad line does happen IMO, IND/CLE yesterday is a good example...many people said the line was low, that Indy should have been another of the road favs in the 6-9 pt range...IND must have been getting most of the action...


So in scenarios like means two things:


A) there is more money on less bets (and IMO it's debatable if more $$ means smarter gambler or better capper)  




B) The books are siding with CLE


to me, I look at it the same as anything else, and treat it like a stat or trend...I try to figure out what it means.


I do believe the books take sides on games....they have the most knowledge & experience in capping games and the best info at their disposal...with that said, since they are excellent at predicting betting patters, if they know the public will bet a particular side, yet when they cap the game they have a strong lean the other way...why wouldn't they use this to their advantage?


even if IND covers and 80% of the (bets) are paid, in the long run, from what I've seen the books clean up in these situations...over time I think it works quite well for them.


just my 2cents

m15525 says:
12/1/2008 9:04:47 PM
The betting percentages are just 1 piece of information (they are not the only piece of information). The odds makers do this for a living, they know everything about every team, every coach, every city  and referee. They also have software that dates back to the beginning of time that tells them when certain teams play who the public backs, who they are likely to back now, how travel affects teams, amazing hone field advantage numbers...blah..blah...blah..) In addition to this software they have game simulators that predict outcomes.

The bottom line is that once a point spread move occurs the value is almost always lost, so if your not the one making the move your opportunity is lost.

BTW a change in wind speed, wind direction, bad sod (loose grass) kicked up in warm-ups from bad weather the night before...any of this stuff could be the cause of a line move...its not always sharp action 1005 of the time...assuming anythng else is flat out dangerous...

Use the percentages as a handicapping tool or place to start (like 10% of your opinion) but nothing more.

FYI..I think you will find more times then not...that you can pretty much guess where everyone is going to be on a game anyway. Its human nature to bet on the favorite and over.

Not many people have the balls to bet on the worse team...At the end of the day, the book is going to be holding the opposite side of the bet tickets. Te books generally know damn well most of the time who they are going to need to cover before the lines ever get posted.  truth be told anyone reading this post probably knows too.
ValueforRent says:
12/1/2008 9:07:05 PM
Very, very good information Vanzack and articulated nicely.  After reading your arguments I think a lot of people are beginning to feel like they did when they were little and found out Santa Claus isn't real.


cacabware says:
12/1/2008 9:13:01 PM


pjrez says:
12/1/2008 9:14:23 PM
WHAT! No Santa...........
empire13 says:
12/1/2008 9:23:45 PM
mrat -  Please post here more often .



Vanzack - Thank you for making this thread . This is the type of thread that should be on the frontpage of a main forum on covers . Great stuff as always bro .



pistol pete - Good stuff from you as well . Getting the best number is the most important factor for long term success .





the shambler says:
12/1/2008 9:31:20 PM

I really don't think that this line was baiting anyone nor is there such a thing.

It has more to do with the bettor's perceptions of teams.The Eagles had struggled without a healthy Westbrook and bad play calling.

The Cards have been palying great ,except for when they played the Jets. If you recall Warner had a terrible game and a lot of it had to do with the weather. What most people did not know is that Warner was wearing a new glove that he was not used to and it made gripping the ball difficult. Look at the T/O 's that game and how many points the Jets scored from T'O's

This week Zona travelled East to a cold Philly where once again Warner wore the gloves. Philly was playing with alot more desperation and look at how Westbrook played right from the 1ST quarter.

I think the biggest mistake recreational bettors make is putting too much value on lasts weeks performances.

Many examples but I will use the Broncos.They lost outright to a shitty Chiefs team and they lost bad. Then the next week they travel to Atlantla and most people jumped on Atlanta -5.5 . I believe Atlanta won but less than the spread.

Broncos lost to a shitty Raiders team last week and they lost bad. Meanwhile the Jets trounced undefeated Titans and they now host the Broncos who cant stop the run and have so many LB injuries and can't play pass coverage defense either.So what did we get ?

Most backing Jets and Denver wins outright.


If you want to be successful ,then cap the games and cap the teams based on the season not let last weeks perfomances influence your decision.

Best of Luck  

bopelinisucks says:
12/1/2008 9:33:14 PM
well, i believe that as a whole, this site has lost some of its luster.  There are so many posters on here that pick every game on Sunday and post "good luck" in everyone elses' thread just to get numbers up.  i know that it is my responsibility to just ignore these people, but it is hughly annoying and I need to get that off of my chest.  People that have joined in September of 2008 and have 2000 posts, annoy me.  Sorry I am venting but getting to your point,  this site doesn't have the skilled cappers that it once had.  More and more people using thes falsehoods and stupid percentages that other sites are trying to charge you for rather than capping the game with your own knowledge and gut. 
PistolPete21 says:
12/1/2008 9:40:08 PM

I guess, then, the underlying common denominator among "sharps" is their skill in predicting line movement, not simply picking winners.  It seems as though picking winners is the last part of the equation for a winning ticket.

There's a couple of good examples on this board of "sharps" who make damn sure to get the best possible line--WahooS and MrBator. Say what you want about either--and I'm sure many will come out of the woodwork about MrBator--but what gets lost in the bevy of winners that these guys produce is how their always holding on to the best possible damn line. No joke. And this isn't just about the points. For example, if 3 (-110) is readily available, MrBator will have -3 EV or +105. This factor alone goes a long way in giving us bettors an advantage. WahooS consistently posts his plays on Sundys because he's busy tracking down lines as they come out at BookMaker. Ask him how far getting good numbers--especially when betting favorites--has gotten him.

It's already so tough to pick winners, yet day in and day out, you see the "top" cappers on this board throwing out plays with the worst of numbers. People troll around for a guys' plays right up until game time where the said capper posts a play with a readily available line. If you're stuck with a readily available line, consider yourself already somewhat beaten. Who can afford to start in the hole before the game even starts?

the shambler says:
12/1/2008 9:41:06 PM
oh and if there are bait lines how does one explain why on earth the line was -5 for SD this week.


 I read a few places people saying take S.D because the line is fishy and Vegas is begging you to take Atlanta.  Again it has to do with perception. Atlanta would have been favored or at most been +3 had they not been a small market team. 


Teams like Dallas,N.E, Indy,S.D, NYG are always sexy teams for people to play on and therefore it is harder to find good value when backing these teams.Linesmakers will add on additional points on these teams.


 Same goes for all the big name teams whether it is pro or college

DiscoD69 says:
12/1/2008 9:48:35 PM


I think in the long run, the SD's of this scenario will cover. BUT that's a bad example b/c LVSC has SD ranked so high so they might have felt that the line was good, and it wasn't meant as a trap...there are many factors why ATL/SD is a bad example.

the shambler says:
12/1/2008 9:52:48 PM


Well Said ....Too many losers that have nothing to say except those stupid

and it just makes people .

don't you just want to them?

Seriously though what a waste of space. I hate those posts

I think this is the first or second tme I have used those emoticons.Usually those are the same goofs that will bash a good capper when they lose 1 game

bird_fidrych says:
12/1/2008 9:55:26 PM
As far as I can tell looking over all the posts in this thread, I am the only one who provided any real data regarding the question at hand -- is "fading the public" bs or can it be profitable? If you had selectively bet against public consensus plays in the nhl and mlb over the last two years you would have profited roughly 150 units.

For a $100 bettor, that's $15,000.

I haven't tracked public fades for the NFL or NBA as religiously as I have the NHL and MLB, but it looks to me like it isn't profitable, or at least not consistently.

It seems to me that most of you already made up your mind ahead of time whether fading the public was smart or not. There was plenty of info to check and results to track and apparently very few people have actually done that.

The reason they publish bet percentages, even though they can be used selectively to make a profit, is because the vast majority of people who might make money on smart wagers against massive consensus plays also turn around and bet their winnings on monday night football, or some other game where they have no edge, but they want to have action on it. The books end up with the money in the end.
PistolPete21 says:
12/1/2008 9:59:41 PM
It appears to me to be more and more evident that the road to profits is more easily attainable once one accepts his limitation of picking <55% and instead, searches for the best possible number/scalps/middles.


To do this, there's a certain amount of humility one needs to adopt. I'm not sure there's a more egotistical bastard than a capper who thinks he can consistently hit 55%+ year in and year out. Shed this ego and maybe stop shedding profits

the shambler says:
12/1/2008 10:02:23 PM
[Quote: Originally Posted by DiscoD69]


I think in the long run, the SD's of this scenario will cover. BUT that's a bad example b/c LVSC has SD ranked so high so they might have felt that the line was good, and it wasn't meant as a trap...there are many factors why ATL/SD is a bad example.


 many factors??? ...please give me two.

The fact that S.D had big expectations for this season and this was a Must win percieved game for them added to the line IMO.

Plus they are mos def a bigger market team that Atlanta. Before Vick even came to the Falcons they were the Bucs of the 80's.

Last year they were so crap that this year even though they are winning people expect them to start losing.Rookie Q.B ..not too many name players at key positions.

BTW...I did not say it was meant as a trap game.I don't believe in trap games but rather bad lines due to inaccurate perceptions of teams.

PistolPete21 says:
12/1/2008 10:04:11 PM
And just one more thing about the above: I think it's almost a preferable approach to handicapping. It focuses less on the inherent subjectivty of the process and manages to install some semblance of scientificness to the practice. When you're consistently hunting for the best number, it becomes more of an art than traditional handicapping is.


If you ask me, this practice is more preferable than floundering amid stats, betting percentages, tout picks, etc. You don't need to watch a bevy of games to do this. You don't need to read press clippings left and right. You don't need to spend years going back and forth with someone who just signed up a month ago and has 5 total posts.


GL to everyone.

DiscoD69 says:
12/1/2008 10:06:28 PM
Shambler, we're argueing two different topics...


I'm saying it's a bad example of a trap...


You're saying it's a good example of a bad line.



Just a misunderstanding.

glyde69 says:
12/1/2008 10:07:18 PM
I don't know where these numbers come from, but I believe they are fairly close to being legit.  At the end of the day, I don't think the books give a flying shit about disclosing that information.  Does anyone truly believe that blindly fading the public is a winning strategy to begin with?  Even if it was a winning strategy, don't you think that the millions of suckers betting parlays, reverses, and teasers would STILL find a way to muck it up and lose money?  Out the millions of dopes out there, what percentage of them even fucking know what the term "public" means?  This covers community is a very vocal minority in a big world of gamblers.


Theres a couple of reasons why I believe the percentages to be somewhat close to what people are betting.  The first reason is myself.  Every week I can pretty much nail the opening lines, and every week I can pretty much tell you in advance what the sheep are going to flock to.  These percentages that some sites give out almost always coincide with what I am thinking.  Now I'm no sports messiah.  I'm just a guy who has some experience.  The second reason is two different office pools I am in.  One has 50+ guys, the other has 27 guys.  Believe it or not, those pools are very accurate to what Joe Schmo is betting, and those pool numbers are usually in the ballpark to something like the percentages a site like Sports Insights releases.  The last reason is a friend of mine.  Lets just say he takes some considerable action and over the last 15 years or so, he has always let me pick his brain(or his guys brains) for figures and such.  He has squares, he has sharps, he $20 bettors, he has $10,000 a game bettors.  Looking over what these guys do on a weekly basis is usually fairly close to these public percentages.


Wow, I'm babbling.


I also believe in Vegas looking for 50-50 on each side.  Anything else just doesn't make sense.  While I firmly believe that, I still think there are a few choice games through the year where the "powers that be" do set a trap.  It's not often, but it does happen.  MY OPINION. I don't know.  You got a group of highly paid guys(the big dawg oddsmakers from Vegas/Pinnicle etc) who once a month or so find a high profile game where they all agree on an outcome that may not be so obvious to Joe Schmo.  They take a shot.  IT SEEMS PLAUSIBLE TO ME.  Please note I strongly strongly believe that 99.9% of games are by the book and looking for even money to clean up on the vig, but I would be naive to think that maybe 4 or 5 times a football season these casinos/books don't take a shot.


Sorry if this is disjointed.  I'm too fucking tired to look back at what the hell I wrote.

14daroad says:
12/1/2008 10:14:30 PM

You are missing:
The Greek
14daroad says:
12/1/2008 10:20:27 PM
By the way, this is at least the 3rd time vanzack has started a thread like this framing the question in a shamelessly dishonest fashion.
That is, pretending that anyone is claiming if you bet against the public in every instance you will win.

Vanzack does not want to be convinced. And that is ok, but why not just say "I don't believe it and never will" and be done with it?
PokinSmot says:
12/1/2008 10:58:26 PM
So i guess the conclusion is....there is no matter what anyone says theres no real good solid proof. what a waste of ppl's time...lolz  j/k... its like debating whether the egg or chicken came first or is there or isnt there a God. Is UFOs real are we the only ones in the universe?


You cannot guide the one who doesnt want to be guided, they are stuck in their own ways. by "some fortune cookie"









hope Jaguars cover....

vanzack says:
12/1/2008 11:06:32 PM

Sorry pal, those are not listed above in the info by sportsinsights.

Where does pinnacle give any of this info out?  Please show me.

I was quoting the above listed sportsbooks in this thread quoted from sportsinsights themselves.  Please tell me where you can get this info from the 3 books you list.

PokinSmot says:
12/1/2008 11:13:07 PM

when i look at s.i. the 3 casinos you are lookin for their info is posted among MANY others... how can you not see them?



DiscoD69 says:
12/1/2008 11:19:11 PM


I've been monitoring reverse line movement for a while, just to see if there is anything there...I've only recently started noting the results, and will now keep them for refrence. I could not find them all but I found what I've noted from week 5 on. (PS - the biggest problem I have is qualifying a game as having 'reverse line movement' with any type of exact science. I stated at looking at anything with 60% or more, but have tried to note anything at 51%)

week 5: 2-3

week 6: 2-2

week 7: 2-0

week 8: 2-0 (or 2-0-1)

week 9: 5-2

week 10: 2-1

week 11: 2-2

week 12: 1-4-1

week 13: 0-1

Overall (blindly it's 18-14-2), but this is a very small sample size, just from my notes, and I'm still in the midst of determining what conditions must be met for a game to have reverse line movement...

libra55 says:
12/1/2008 11:19:56 PM
How does placing a bet affect a sporting event. And if a large amount of gamblers place a bet and do not play on teams of this sporting event affect the result of the sporting event.

One event:Placing a bet or bets does not affect the outcome of a sporting event. Faulty logic is at play.

Most "squares" bet on the Favs and Overs and Most Sharps bet on the Dogs and Unders. The Books always lean on putting a hard line for the squares and let the sharps bet an earlier line earlier in the week to help the Books get a better line.

The late Linemaker Roxie Roxeborough always said he had the right line when he would not bet either side.

DiscoD69 says:
12/1/2008 11:21:04 PM
sorry week 8 should be:


2-0 (or 1-0-1)

luckyman7 says:
12/2/2008 12:01:54 AM
DiscoD69 says:
12/2/2008 12:11:46 AM

From SI: (FAQ)

How is the "number of bets" statistic calculated?
The number of bets placed is tracked on live odds page. It should be used to help users judge the quality of this information. An average size sportsbook will take at least 1,000 bet items for any major pro sporting event (conservative number). The "number of bets" statistic is the total number of bets placed on that game. Bet items include any wager on the spread, moneyline, parlay, teaser, or O/U. gathers the "number of bets" stats from, BetUs, and CaribSports ONLY. The other sportsbooks DO NOT provide us with the "number of bets" info. Estimated handle size of each sportsbook from largest to smallest, > BetUs > Sports Interaction > Skybook > Carib > Wagerweb > Sportbet.

This is very important to note


PS - Pokin I also did not see those books on the list

jkochvar says:
12/2/2008 1:00:51 AM

An article on Bookmaking from an economic standpoint...

Most people believe that bookmakers adjust their prices so that they

get the same amount of money on both sides of a game. Theoretically,

the bookmaker's only financial interest in the bets it accepts is the

vigorish it takes from losing wagers, and it simply wants to ensure

that the amount of wagers on each side is equal. However, some

bookmakers are willing to take more risk and attempt to maximize their

bottom line. While having an exactly equal amount of money wagered on

each contestant would guarantee themselves a profit and eliminate their

risk, that won't necessarily maximize their bottom line. They can make

more money when they accept bets at odds which are "inflated" from

those which are likely to occur. So for example, if the majority of

their customers are going to bet on a team regardless of the price,

they will set the price as high as possible. This is called "shading"

the line. Generally, the public prefers to back the favorite, and

unsophisticated bettors often show up during large events such as the Final Four and the Super Bowl.

Some bookmakers actually offer different prices to different customers,

using past bets as an indicator of who the customer will bet on as a

way of additionally increasing their potential profit. This practice is

known in the industry as offering "dual lines".

Traditionally, home-field advantage

in American football betting leads to three points being added to the

spread; for instance, if two identical teams, Alpha and Beta, played at

Beta's home field, then the spread would be Beta -3 (or, conversely,

Alpha +3).

With a match offering a point spread, however, bookmakers must be

careful of moving the line too much. Assume, for example, that a large

number of Oklahoma betters caused the line to be moved from 27 points

all the way to 29 points. If Oklahoma won the game by 28 points, the

bookmaker would have to pay both those who wagered that Oklahoma would

win by 27 and those who took Kansas on the 29 point spread. Bookmakers

refer to such an event as "being middled." This famously occurred in Super Bowl XIII between the Steelers and Cowboys which bookmakers still remember as Black Sunday.

For that game, bookmakers opened Pittsburgh as a 3.5 point favorite,

and the line closed just before kickoff at Pittsburgh -4.5. Pittsburgh

won the game 35-31, enabling both those who took the Steelers -3.5 and

those who wagered on the Cowboys +4.5 to collect.

Sometimes, a point spread is set at an amount that equals a common

margin of victory for a particular sporting event. For instance,

American football

games are often decided by 3 points (the amount awarded for a field

goal) or 7 points (the amount awarded for a touchdown with a successful

extra-point attempt). In the case of a football game where the favorite

is -7, moving the line up or down would likely result in a middle if

the favorite wins by exactly 7 points. In this situation, the bookmaker

may choose to adjust the return in response to unbalanced action,

rather than move the point spread. If the 7 point favorite is getting

the most wagers, a bookmaker may reduce the winning return on that team

from -7 (-110) to -7 (-120), and increase the winning return on the

opposing team from +7 (-110) to +7 (+100). Once this occurs, bettors

looking to wager on the favorite will only get a return of $100 for

every $120 wagered, while underdog players will get a return of even money for every dollar they wager. The house edge, or vigorish, does not materially change in this instance.

A bookmaker's line can be influenced by one or several large wagers

made on a match. Bookmakers pay particular attention to the bets of a

professional sports gambler, commonly known within the industry as a

"sharp" or "wiseguy." Most bookmakers will not accept bets from bettors

they believe fit in this category or otherwise severely restrict how

much they are able to stake. Professionals evade such efforts by hiring agents known as "beards" to place bets on their behalf. Groups of

professionals who work together are known as a "syndicate." These

syndicates will often place large wagers with several books

simultaneously, causing the prices to move quickly. Observers refer to

these fast line movements as "steam."

Conversely, bettors who are primarily recreational are referred to

as "squares". Online, there are certain betting shops that cater more

towards sharps and those toward squares. Shops that cater towards

professionals generally have higher (or no) upper betting limits and

offer lower vigorish, while making some of the money back on fees for

withdrawals or minimum bets. Meanwhile, "square" shops generally have

lower betting limits and offer more signup bonuses. In return, they

charge the standard 11-to-10 vigorish, and offer worse moneylines than

the "sharp" shops.

DirtPro13 says:
12/2/2008 1:10:05 AM
Vanzack - I don't know why you keep raising a question year after year on a topic you know the answer to. There always have been and always will be people who want the action and excitement of wagering but either don't know how and/or don't want to take the time to learn how to make informed picks. The vast majority of "gamblers" play games every day which is all the evidence you need to tell you that they are in it for the action and not to win money. There are people on this site who reload every week and bet it all only to lose and keep that cycle going. That is their business, not mine and not yours. I think you do this to try and embarass or expose the novices, the lazy, the ignorant and the born losers. What I don't know is what you get out of it. Why not write more blogs sharing your knowlege and experiences? It'd be much more interesting than this dead horse.
MJ2345 says:
12/2/2008 1:17:32 AM
I have leaned one thing over the years and it came up saturday again when a team line moves through 2 key numbers in a short period of time you better bet it.The example was Oklahoma moved through 7 and 10 all the way to 10.5 with some books trying to get as much Okla St as possible.When it moves through key numbers the teams wins at a very high %.You know how much money it takesto move a line 3.5 in 8 hrs.ALOT!!!
MJ2345 says:
12/2/2008 1:19:28 AM
 Also i have said this b4.You should use line movements along with other things like handicapping,trends etc..


Skipster says:
12/2/2008 1:24:36 AM
[Quote: Originally Posted by DiscoD69]

I do believe the books take sides on games....they have the most knowledge & experience in capping games and the best info at their disposal...with that said, since they are excellent at predicting betting patters, if they know the public will bet a particular side, yet when they cap the game they have a strong lean the other way...why wouldn't they use this to their advantage?


This is a great thread, Van.  I never look at all that gobbledegook they dish out about sides and money and percentages, because too much information of dubious quality can be confusing.  Reading posts on Covers can do the same thing to a guy.  But I think it's naive to think that the Books just want 50/50 on each side of a game so they can rake their 10.  For most games, I think that's true.  But they're greedy just like anyone else.  I think they make bets on various games each and every week.  They know which way the majority of people will go and they zag, if you will.  Sometimes they're wrong, of course.  One of their "hundred balls in the basket" bounces the wrong way and they get nailed.  But over time they make out big time.  If they had 50/50 money or thereabouts on each game, why WOULDN'T they release the # of bets and cash on each game?  It's because they don't want anyone to know.  Why?  Because they're players, too.  My opinion.

DiscoD69 says:
12/2/2008 1:31:16 AM
I agree Skipster.


overall 50/50 is no risk low reward...taking a side in that situation is medium risk, very high mentioned before, these books are a business, and are thinking about the bottime line. They are also very experienced...thinking they won't try to use their knowledge against us is naiive.


Even if they get hosed on one game or even a the long run, they're better cappers, and don't give gifts away..."if a line looks to good to be true, it usually is"

str8_chaser says:
12/2/2008 1:53:30 AM
NBA hard facts:
fading wagerline favs and totals of at least 68% or dogs of at least 63% for the last 3 years...

sides: 51.8% win rate
totals: 49.6% win rate
jkochvar says:
12/2/2008 1:57:30 AM
You guys must remember that no matter how much Vegas's casinos, sportsbooks, the LVSC and other cappers know, a betting line always has a 50/50 chance of hitting.

Statistically, and therefore of economic importance, the book wants to live off of juice.  It is their livelihood.  They do realize that due to public favoritism, they will be unable to keep all games close to this proportion.  But those games with such heavy sided action, as with all others, are still subject to hitting at a 50/50 ratio. Therefore, over time, these "out of hand pockets" even out and the book continues to operate primarily off of juice.

It's as simple as the most fundamental economic strategies my friends
str8_chaser says:
12/2/2008 2:00:00 AM
fading wagerline favs and totals of at least 68% or dogs of at least 63% for the last 3 years...

sides: 53.1% win rate
totals: 49.1% win rate

obviously, less games meet these filters in football
str8_chaser says:
12/2/2008 2:03:46 AM
wagerline is not the same as sportsinsights but it is surprisingly similar.  hopefully that is somewhat informative.
3825 says:
12/2/2008 2:23:07 AM
imo, % is wagers is mainly useless without handle, i do believe that % of wagers might have value IF one can use them for predictive purposes in determining where the prices might go in the future. I also believe that accurate handle info (from multiple books) might offer better value in predicting prices. I agree entirely with the premise that "getting the best price" is a critical component to long term success. With so many books these days, i might even shy away from putting much faith in handle info. How many books unload dollars on other sites in order to balance their action ? MB seems to be a depository for such actions. Thus, if one follows handle too closely, one could be fooled into reading too much into lopsided action because some other entity is just trying to sell 50k worth of steelers at -115 when they bought it for -110. That action isn't "sharp" or "public", it's just a smart entity trying to balance the books and make a little profit by selling a commodity for more than they bought it for.

in addition, i do love the folks who quote the wagerline % and then write . . . 79% is on this or that. ditto for the Logan's info. While I question the motivation of anyone associated with Logan's when they write an article or post betting %, I do appreciate the appearance that certain barriers might be coming down. I do believe . . . I might be able to benefit in the future as accurate and complete handle info becomes more available, because it might help me in predicting price movements, so that I can buy my commodity at the best possible price. Such info would have no bearing at all on which commodity i would buy.

VegasMaxx says:
12/2/2008 6:00:18 AM
this is laughable.  if you think pinnacle is going to rate you a good player and move the line accordingly(and let you keep betting) you are wrong.  if you are sharp and win substanial money you will be banned.  your account will be froze and you will call them up and say wtf and they will simply say they dont want your action.  that goes for every offshore and every casino,  ask billy baxter
VegasMaxx says:
12/2/2008 6:05:11 AM
hmmm  think i misunderstood you there van , and put a few words in your mouth to boot.  apologies
mrat says:
12/2/2008 7:58:57 AM

Good morning,

first of all thanks VGPOP and Vanzack for the warm welcome. I didnt expect that my post would even be recognized, let alone be answered like that. I didnt read everything in here (I have a big problem reading big chunks of foreign language text without any punctuation and free lines, and theres plenty of it), so sorry if I talk about something that has already been talked about.

Let me answer some of your questions.

PistolPete: "This seems to depart from what you have stated above--that is, that pros make their profits by middling numbers. That would seem to suggest that pro's don't even need to know the teams, that they would just need to be good at anticipating line moves?"

I didnt fully explain that, sorry... there are actually two kind of "pro" bettors' bets. The "real" bets are the "big ones", the right picks at the right time. Those are the ones where in-depth knowledge of the game is vital. The others rely solely on the mathematial background of betting, ie predicting line moves correctly (known as middling).

So, they dont win at a higher percentage... they just cut their losses whenever it is possible.

As for the "knowing the game" part: Yes and no.

Sure, you have to know the game. If you just look at the stats, see the immortal LA Lakers at +3.5 and bet everything you have on them because you see nothing that could get you out of it and they have only one injured player, some backup player you never heard of named Kobe Bryant, you actually shouldnt bet. So, yes, this kind of knowledge is essential.

Too much of it distracts you, tho. A quick example: Watch some TV specials like "Rick Nash at home" or read the blogs of ATP (Pro Tennis) players on their page. None of these guys actually see the kind of sport they do as their hobby... they have other things to do when theyre not playing.

Sure, all of them became big in their sports because they loved a specific game, collected every article about it, watched every minute of it on TV, played it 10 hours a day as a kid and so on. As soon as they got professionals, they had to leave that behind. You can make your hobby your job, but you can never have your job as a hobby.

Thats the same for bettors. If you own a Reggie Wayne jersey and love rooting for the Colts with your friends and a sixpack, stay with it. Watch the games, have some bets for excitement to go with. If you win, tell the whole world about how great you (and the Colts) are with a funny "Colts Rule" hat at work on monday or with some useless forum posts like OMG I AM 11-3 LAST 13; IM ON FIRE!!!. Its your hobby. You will win some, lose some more and waste your time/have some fun, end of the story. Just dont tell anyone you are a "pro bettor" just because you know the starting center's middle name and you won a 3-team parlay once. That just doesnt seperate you from millions out there doing the same thing every sunday.

If you want to make money, watch the games alone, no beer, no rooting. Write down things you might need (FG was defensive mistake, rushing defense looks better than the numbers say, ...) Dont come online telling total strangers how impressive your betting is. Do it just for yourself. No one profits off the things you do.

Dont fall into the "you can find the edge if you look hard enough" trap. You dont need 2 hours of strange calculations per game. If you have an objective point of view, you will know a) who most likely wins, b) who the public thinks wins and c) how bookies set the lines according to these facts. As a result, you will be able to place bets. No need to hide in a dark room behind paper stacks, talking about traps and reverse traps on an internet board like the crazy mathmatician in A Beautiful Mind... that will get you nowhere.

As for staying here and contributing more... I dont like forums stuffed with threads by 12-year-olds screaming at me (LOCK OF THE CENTURY, I GET YOU TO THE PROMISED LAND) and containing picks without any information or with the usual nonsense ("Teams from a city with an odd number of mayors in the last 17 years are 8-1 ATS last 9 when playing with a linebacker whose mother is divorced"). I got hit by some of these right after I first came here and only replied to this thread because this mentioned friend of mine dragged me into it.

This board contains some valuable help for bettors, but unfortunately theres enough that distracts from it, too. If theres any way to share my thoughts with those who actually think about the things behind betting, I will gladly stay in contact with you. Otherwise, good luck with your search for answers.


Eastwood7 says:
12/2/2008 10:07:04 AM
Very insightful
Diamondjake says:
12/2/2008 11:22:45 AM
One interesting comment I read from Dan Gordon who wrote a book called Beat The Sports Books (An insiders guide to beating the NFL). Its a good book on how he beats the NFL. Very in depth. What Dan says is that he looks early Monday for favorable lines and puts his plays down....if he holds out on some games thinking the line will go in his favor and he is wrong and the line moves against him the game is off the board. Of course Dan determines his own lines and see the spread as not what Vegas thinks the score will be but rather a number set to get action on both side. But never betting into a number going the wrong way is a concept used Dan that makes since if you are a professional in it for the long haul with no emotion or could care less about action. This is not me or 99% of the people on Covers in my opinion.
Livan33 says:
12/2/2008 11:23:09 AM

Van, first off thanks for creating this thread. This is the best read I've seen on Covers. Also thanks to other posters such as mrat that are providing such valuable information.

I was hoping you could further explain what you mean by the quote below. I understand what you mean about how crucial getting the best line is, but I'm unsure about what you mean in terms of sportsbooks rating you on the lines you get.

Do you mean that if a line opens at -4 early in the week and you grab that they will rate you much higher than if you get -6 later in the week? Or do you mean that they know that some of their lines are slightly better than other books, and some are slightly worse and they know you'll be a long term winner if you're getting the better lines? Or possibly you mean something else that I haven't considered.

Livan33 says:
12/2/2008 11:24:34 AM
Damnit, I hate it when that happens.
MJ2345 says:
12/2/2008 12:36:57 PM

You are absolutely right on sir!

C-Pu says:
12/2/2008 12:42:48 PM
I base a lot of my handicapping on public percentages and line movement. No matter how much I may like a particular game, if the public and the line movement don't agree with my, for lack of a better word, system, then I lay off.

I say I bet against public percentages, that doesn't mean that I go to Covers/Vegas Insider/TheSpread and check the percentages, then simply pound the other side. Checking the percentages, for me, is just the tip of the iceberg.

I look at the percentages on certain games to give me some direction in the 2nd step of my process.

For this step, I go on various handicapping message boards and read what people are playing. So now, whether the numbers that these services are providing can be validated. It's fair enough that Vegas Insider has 95% on the Nets tonight, but if I read through 50 posts and I don't see one person playing the Nets, I know that this is not a 'major public play'.

When reading capper's post, you can often tell 'public bettor' from a savvy bettor. The public bettor will roll out a card with 6 favorites and 5 OVERs, night in night out. So I look at what that capper is taking, then I try to poll as many of this type of capper as possible.

I now consider myself to have a general idea of what the 'squares' like on that particular night. I then start(continue) to watch the lines, looking to see if I can get some movement in the opposite direction for one of the 'major public plays'.

I know saying I watch the lines is rather vague. Most sportsbooks have varying lines and all sportsbooks have different demographic of cappers. However, for watching line movement, there is no better place to watch than at a quality sportsbook with high limits. You know that thier line movement is often caused by 'steam' and they're moving the line to cover their ass from getting hammered again.

So I continually check 1 or 2 quality sportsbooks until 10 minutes prior to the game closing. I make decisions based on the public percentages/line movement, then I journey over to a 'not so savvy' sportsbook to place my bets with better lines.

It must be noted, this strategy has been shaky recently, public bets have been cashing like never before.

I don't have any hard figures for the rate at which I win, however, I win.

DiscoD69 says:
12/2/2008 12:45:33 PM
I also agree with puffdawg & the "myth of splitting the action" article is what I believe takes place.


C-Pu says:
12/2/2008 12:57:26 PM
I mainly use TheGreek, they're an old fashioned sportsbook with high limits.

There are a few others I trust, but not at the same level. I like using Pinnacle as well, not that I consider them a great book, but they give smaller indications of line movement because they don't just offer multiples of 5 as their juice. That being, they give lines like -108 or -117.

andarmac99 says:
12/2/2008 2:05:26 PM

You are a dumb square who doesn't know what he's talking about. Pinnacle doesn't ban their good players. It's bad business.
andarmac99 says:
12/2/2008 2:07:06 PM

Mine as well.     ^^^
andarmac99 says:
12/2/2008 2:15:21 PM
mrat and puffdawg
MoneylineMan says:
12/2/2008 2:17:58 PM
I for one, have always thought that sportsinsights has false numbers, imo, there is no way these sportsbooks are giving a site real numbers!
bird_fidrych says:
12/2/2008 2:48:28 PM
Thanks to str8chaser for posting ACTUAL RESULTS for fading NFL and NBA consensus plays over the last three years. Apparently you're one of those crazy people who prefers to study and research before forming an opinion.

It's interesting that basically no one has responded to the few posts that gave Vanzack what he was asking for in his original post:

Please provide any history, statistics, or a model of when to use the

numbers and how.  Not a vague answer - but specifics - with backup.

vanzack says:
12/2/2008 3:14:21 PM

And thanks to you for posting your stats - you are one of the very few who could or would.

Do you think that you are on to a continuing trend in MLB and NHL or do you think it is just something fluky that worked for a couple of years?  In other words - is it sustainable - or what I call "retrofit statistics" - looking back on any historical data you can find trends - but are they trends that continue or just trends in that set of data points?

Thanks again for your input in this thread.  I am more convinced than ever that these numbers are used (or misused) by people who have no idea what to do with them - and no justification for what they are using them for.  Except for you - there is no post in this thread with actual stats that show a positive history for NFL or NCAAF - but still if you look in the forum everyone throws around these numbers.

I understand the point above about it just being another stat - but imagine if you had a stat that was kept regarding teams that win with the most green eyes on their team - and you had no frame of reference as to what that even means.  I have a feeling that the same people at covers would say things like "Tampa has 24 green eyed players, and Buffalo only 20, Im taking Tampa".  Maybe a bad example - but my point is that if you have statistic with no frame of reference of significance - how can you base anything off of it?

Thanks for your input in this thread.

vanzack says:
12/2/2008 3:17:59 PM
And BTW - pinnacle bans NOBODY, and they do rate their players on how often they get the best line, and it is what they consider to be the biggest determinant of longterm success.


And to answer the question up in the thread - the best line is not the best line at that particular moment in comparison to other books - it is the best line that pinnacle offered on the life of that bet.  So if you get a line at -4 -102, and it goes to -6-105, and -4-102 was the best line ever offered by pinnacle - that would be considered to be perfect.


VegasMaxx says:
12/2/2008 3:28:43 PM
Not trying to sound like a dick but offshores, pinnacle included will cut players off and tell them they dont want their action much in the same way casino's treat card counters.  Has happened to several people i know.
vanzack says:
12/2/2008 3:31:21 PM

Not trying to sound like a dick, but you do not know anyone who has been cut off at pinnacle for winning. 

Sorry, but you dont, and I would bet on it.

VegasMaxx says:
12/2/2008 3:41:33 PM
bet u a dollar van, post next time u coming to vegas and i'll introduce you to 2 or 3 of them.  greek george and danny to name two of the top of my head if you're familiar with high stakes poker action players you will know who im talking about.
VegasMaxx says:
12/2/2008 3:43:57 PM
bet nothing but steam and added games in college fb and bb and beat their brains in see what happens.
vanzack says:
12/2/2008 3:47:02 PM
Vegas maxx - it will be worth the dollar for me to see it because I have never heard of a player getting banned for any reason at pinnacle other than obvious cheating.


I think we will have to agree to disagree until a later date....


str8_chaser says:
12/2/2008 4:00:28 PM
please discuss intelligently:

assuming Sportsinsights posts real numbers from the low tier books (squares), and that 80% of gamblers lose their money, wouldn't fading very popular picks from these people be profitable in the long run?

this also assumes that the 80% losers do so not because of bad money management and stupid parlays but by routinely picking losers.  i think this might be the problem with the whole concept because money management probably kills more accounts than anything.

but if those assumptions are correct, this would still mean a very slow advantage in the long run.

C-Pu says:
12/2/2008 4:07:10 PM
Fact of the matter is, when you see a line like Portland Trailblazers -6.5 vs New York Knicks. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where the public percentage will lie.

I don't think many squares will look at that game and think, well D'Antoni's up pace system could give the Blazers some fits, especially if they aren't shooting well. If the Knicks could get some hustle points they could catch the Blazers in a let down spot. The Blazers are coming off two big wins vs NO and Det, they'll soon have to face Boston. Not to mention the Knicks have been reasonably successful at home.

I don't need to see any percentages on this game.

RobertoFiory says:
12/2/2008 4:07:11 PM
2) Why would any sportsbook give up to sportsinsights (or anyone like them) any information about betting patterns?

As you pointed out , there are plenty of posters highlighting the most heavily bet

teams on the board each week.

Valid assumption : The people that follow these percentages are contrarian bettors and are looking to bet against the public .

Without full disclosure and full understanding of the dynamics that ocurr between these percentages and line movements as they ocurr over a week's period, contrarian bettors will for the most part simply bet against the higher side.

Making these percentages available to the public will result in more action on the opposite side and that is precisely what these sportsbooks want .

If team A is getting bet at an 80 % rate , we have to assume that in most cases sportsbooks will simply be glad to attract contrarian bettors to balance the action some.

A consensus that includes several sportsbooks will only reveal an average ( percentage for each team and odds ) This information can be made public to no detriment for these books. It is in fact , in their own interest to provide these to the general public .

In this day and age of too much information, contrarian betting can only help their cause .

ownedbymerc says:
12/2/2008 4:11:11 PM
I think its safe to say that the legitimacy of the percentages released by sportsinsights and others is mildly irrelevant.  Whether the numbers were real or not, no one has ever been able to produce a long-term winning system from these percentages.


What they WERE able to produce however, is a bunch of people who will bet on ANY game that met certain characteristics based on these numbers.   The numbers create additional ACTION.


So really, if I were the books I'd release my numbers (in aggregate) for free.  Hell, I'd want people to look at those numbers if they thought it gave them an edge.  Because once someone thinks they have an edge, they're going to double or triple their 'comfortable' betting amounts...


kaponofor3 says:
12/2/2008 4:21:11 PM
VegasMaxx -- FYI "Greek George" is "Baccaratonly". Avoid like the plague, he's a scammer.
VegasMaxx says:
12/2/2008 4:28:46 PM
I'd bet if you had 50 years of data from sportsinsights and put them in the hads of a guy like nate silver he'd come up with a long term winning system based the percentages and line moves.(for baseball)
VegasMaxx says:
12/2/2008 4:34:14 PM
man . cant type to tired.  sports nerd of the year. nate silver

AJLightning says:
12/2/2008 5:53:35 PM
great stuff...between working and reading this thread, which has took all day, basically out of ALL that I got: 1) get the early lines for value. 2) think long, think wrong
dencol says:
12/2/2008 7:13:17 PM
Love it ZAK...I have been reading the same crap forever....Vegas is not volunteering any information it does not have to disclose....

One guy said it best...JUST WATCH THE LINE...and may I add READ THE POSTS ...thats the public

MJ2345 says:
12/2/2008 9:37:49 PM
Linemovements are important if used right as "part" of  determining the right side along with handicapping,weather,trends etc... 


The funny thing about sportsinsights is that their numbers are right on along with my friend who has 100 customers.So yes i do think those  numbers are pretty much correct but i don't know how they are doing it because along with most i can't see offshores etc.. just giving them their mumbers but who knows maybe they are.


BigPapa21 says:
12/2/2008 9:44:09 PM
Since you spend alot of time bashing what others use or say...why don't you use that time to enlighten us on the great way that you cap a game. Give us all the percentages over the last 5 years. How do you know that all the info that you use to cap a game is valid? In all the years I've been betting on games nothing works all the time. You look at as much info as you can and make an educated guess.
seriousdope says:
12/2/2008 11:46:54 PM
.10 or 10% is alot over time it doesnt matter what you bet you basicly lose juice and the books bankroll is never busted but yours can good luck
claycourtlesson says:
12/3/2008 12:33:19 AM
There may be plenty of debate on "percentages" from various places. I totally concur that you cannot trust for one second the validity of those "percentages."

However, and there is NO debate on this.............., Vegas (or linemakers, or whatever you want to call those who set numbers for gambling houses) most definitely takes on the public from time to time with what many call "trap lines." Not all the time, but certainly some of the time.

Just like not every game is fixed, but every now and then, one is.

That is stone cold fact.

cd329 says:
12/3/2008 1:57:02 AM

heres another thing you arent taking into consideration.  Even if the numbers were legit on these consensus sites, you have no way of actually know which lines moved because of smart money and which lines moved because of dumb bettors with large amounts of money. 

Another thing is the fact that sharp bettors arent all going to line up on the same games everyday.  In every game on the board you are going to have some sharps on one side and some sharps on the other side.  This could kill a bettor trying to follow sharp money, because you could endup playing alot of wrong sides.

Lastly the best way to get real numbers is to know somebody in a sportsbook who could supply you with real info and could also tell you that sharp bettor Joe who wins more games then he loses is betting this team.  Then you can make some money.

When these site all first came out, i myself was a believer in them and then i finally realized these numbers are all bogus, designed to make bettors believe they have found the golden goose.  In fact what these sites have now accomplished is they have gotton alot of bettors to stop spending time actually capping games and instead just use these numbers to pick their plays.

Look at it this way, if you owned a sportsbook would you want to give these numbers away?  If your a smart sportsbook owner your answer would be no.

You dont see Bill Gates giving away his code for the windows system, nor do you see kentucky fried chicken giving away their chicken recipe even thou the majority of people would bother making the recipe anyways.   Its just smart business not to give your secrets away no matter what type of business you own

MJ2345 says:
12/3/2008 12:40:22 PM
"Lastly the best way to get real numbers is to know somebody in a sportsbook who could supply you with real info and could also tell you that sharp bettor Joe who wins more games then he loses is betting this team.  Then you can make some money.'



Exactly have a guy that I get that from and then also he has 2 players that lose over 100+ units every single year and one sharpie that wins 100+.


str8_chaser says:
12/3/2008 1:23:19 PM
no one has addressed this concept directly so i am reposting it

assuming Sportsinsights posts real

numbers from the low tier books (squares), and that 80% of gamblers

lose their money, wouldn't fading very popular picks from these people

be profitable in the long run?

this also assumes that the 80%

losers do so not because of bad money management and stupid parlays but

by routinely picking losers.  i think this might be the problem with

the whole concept because money management probably kills more accounts

than anything.

but if those assumptions are correct, this would mean a  slow advantage in the long run.


bmoose11 says:
12/3/2008 1:42:35 PM
The most common misconception in linemaking is that linemakers create lines to get 50% of the action on each side.  Some say it is common sense to think so but really it isn't.  The line is set so that it each result has a 50% chance of occuring.  Sometimes you don't even need to look at the "public figures" to learn where most of the money is going.  Anybody who says that Vegas made Indy 4.5 point faves over Cle last weekend expecting 50% money on both sides is ignorant.  The bottom line is that Vegas does not care if 80% of the money is on either side as long as the result is random.  If Vegas can simulate a coin flip and continue to get people to bet at -110 odds they will win simple as that.  If they try to provide a line where 50% of the money will be on each side then they are supplying a line where one result is more likely than the other and that would be picked up on experts and exploited.  YOU CAN'T BEAT VEGAS IN THE LONG RUN BECAUSE IT'S SIMPLE PERCENTAGES, YOU'RE LAYING 1.1:1 ON A 50% BET, END OF STORY!
redskinsnut says:
12/3/2008 3:10:08 PM
bmoose-  Very interesting take.  I must admit it makes a lot of sense.  Kinda makes you want to just stop gambling though.  What fun is that?  
sean2114 says:
12/3/2008 3:12:02 PM
redskinsnut kinda beat me too it bmoose, but i will ask it anyway, if you truly believe what you posted then why even bother gambling? it would be like investing money in the stock market knowing you are going to lose 10 percent. Why bother?
sean2114 says:
12/3/2008 3:36:49 PM
1. Where does a company like sportsinsights get their numbers?

a select group of sportsbooks who most likely charge them a fee to have access to their databases.

2. Why would any sportsbook give up to sportsinsights (or anyone like them) any information about betting patterns?

sportsbooks will put out them nevers online to suck the average joe into betting with the heavy percentages, i have seen it pharsed "new to betting, see what the rest of our clients are betting on." they are attempting to get the squares to stick together. now will some others use this info to their advantage, yes but I am sure they are charging sportsinsights to access that data and I am sure they are picking up enough people to follow the high percentage plays that they are making money.

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....

strictly online sportsbooks, i highly doubt like you suggest vegas is giving out these numbers.

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.

it is a touting service, no argument here. it goes to trust, sportsinisights free verison is on a 20 min delay and only gives you spread and ml details, so it is only showing half of the picture, but the reason to keep that data true is because it builds trust among the free users, it just makes the sales pitch easier if you are giving truthfully information, trying selling your pitch when the user knows you are giving them wrong info initially, why would they trust you and pay for more information that may or may not be wrong.

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?

they can alert you of potential trap situations. i have been looking at these for a few years now trust most games that seem like a trap usually have a strong reasoning why they look like a trap? i.e. Arizona + 3 was refered to earlier, another poster said that a year ago he would have unloaded on the Cards but why did you like philly, well i took philly because i didn't expect them to be laying 3 at home in there situation. so when i saw that i began to research the game and problem solve as to why they were laying 3, well Kurt Warner has tradationally struggled in cold weather, he has tradationally struggle against teams who have complicated bltizing schemes, they were coming off a emotional home loss to the giants on short rest and have struggled mightly on the road this year. so it just helps you to think about things and look deeper into why that line might be set where it is.

6. Do people who bet more money win at a higher percentage than those who dont bet as much?

yes and no, just because you bet more money doesn't mean your a sharp bettor, charles barkley could go lay 20 grand on the chargers on thursday and that doesn't mean that the chargers are the sharp play. but there is a small group of people that are sharps that make money sports betting by making big wagers on fewer games, they pick their spots and lay down maybe 50 bets a year, the word sharp and "sharps are on this play" is undoubtly vastly overused around this forum.

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.

this i don't have nor i am sure where i could go get it from, this is where half of the people quit this theory and say its bull and walk away and this is where the other half hang on and believe because they have seen results and it makes sense, everyone in this world is one of those two types, type 1 needs to see the evidence and wants to see proof, type 2 is a theorist, they like theories and don't need real data or stats with they think they are right. just two schools of thoughts that all, know debating which one is right or wrong is ultimately going to get you nowhere because you are asking people to leap to the opposite of the way they think.

sean2114 says:
12/3/2008 3:37:57 PM
holy typos sorry but i had to type fast got to go
bird_fidrych says:
12/3/2008 3:44:00 PM

I would say, 80% of bettors lose money not because they "pick losers" necessarily, but because they think alike. In sports betting markets, as in financial markets, you pay a premium for following the herd.

As someone posted above, linesmakers are easily able to predict which games/teams the public will jump on each week, and they inflate lines against them. They are not able to inflate the lines as much in the NFL and NBA because there are so many professional/syndicate bettors who will jump on line value and make limit bets (and the limits are bigger generally in NFL and NBA than MLB, NHL).

So the markets in the NFL and NBA end up being pretty efficient, in my opinion. And that is basically what bmoose11 is saying above.

Here's what I think:
MLB and NHL lines are easier to beat because there are fewer professional/syndicate bettors who will lay huge sums of money in the interest of line value (maybe because betting limits are generally lower in these sports). With less force pushing back against linesmakers desire to inflate lines against the public, it creates a situation where prices on certain favorites can continue to be out of step with reality as long as the public is in love with them.

Here's what I know:
I've personally profited about 150 units over the last two years selectively fading public consensus plays in MLB and the NHL. Those are real bets that I made and cashed, not some trend that I went back and uncovered in hindsight. I have no doubt the value in this strategy is slowly leaking away and will become more inconsistent as more people catch on to it. But it has worked and it was not a fluke.

My final thought on this is that people who make betting decisions solely based on public betting percentages in the NFL and NBA are not making wise decisions. I don't think the profit is there (once the vig is figured in) and str8chasers numbers back that up. On the other hand, if you are routinely on the same side of heavy consensus plays, you're chances of turning a profit are even slimmer. If you want to have any chance of turning a long-term profit in the NFL, you would have to either A) uncover meaningful trends/situations the betting public is unaware of, or B) have access to inside information (ie sources in the training room, knowledge of player's personal lives, etc.)
gmarkool says:
12/3/2008 3:57:31 PM
how dumb r u vanzack or anyone to think books want even action? why do you think people win at the begining of the year and always shit it away towards the end? You think the VEGAS CONSULTING HANDICAPPERS or watever they are called sets lines and gets paid millions of dollars to make 5% of all wagers placed? 5% because winners obviously arent vigged assuming the 50/50 oaction on games dumb ass vanzack claims they want? Do you think theyd even bother with having a sportsbook; paying to get lines, paying employees, taking up space where table games that can be played in their casino for 5 fucking percent? anyone who believes that is dumb. And if they want 50 50 how many games do u think they actually get 50 50 action on per year or close to it??? NOT MANY.. this forum and thread is retarded.
str8_chaser says:
12/3/2008 4:03:45 PM

i think i agree with all of this
bird_fidrych says:
12/3/2008 4:07:23 PM
Actually I just read something above that I want to comment on, so I'll add this. CD329 said you have no way to know if a line move may have been caused by a poorly informed bettor who may have a lot of money to blow or a professional.

Using an example from baseball because that's my area of expertise, I would ask this question. Do you think an uninformed bettor with a lot of money and a desire to gamble is more likely to lay a huge sum on the Kansas City Royals or the New York Yankees? The dumb rich guy is subject to the same biases the poor rich guy is. They believe the ESPN hype of the big market teams with flashy offenses. Reverse line moves on teams in small markets, with no big name players are much more likely to come from a professional bettor laying a large wager.
bird_fidrych says:
12/3/2008 4:09:27 PM
poor rich guy?

that should read dumb poor guy. sorry.
DiscoD69 says:
12/3/2008 6:01:04 PM

Thats a good point to consider bird.

looking at reverse line movement differently on big vs. small market teams

mkan20 says:
12/3/2008 6:58:11 PM

I know if I am running a book, theres no way i would give out accurate information that shows what % of people are betting on what particular event.  Plus, I don't think we should take the numbers we see for having any value because most of the people who bet on sports are doing it on impulse or simply for casual fun.  This whole discussion reminds me of the electronic board at the roulette tables.  It shows the past numbers so people will be enticed to guess (and wager) a possible trend.  Its simply to create action.  Just my thoughts right or wrong.   

MJ2345 says:
12/3/2008 6:59:14 PM
"I've personally profited about 150 units over the last two years selectively fading public consensus plays in MLB and the NHL. Those are real bets that I made and cashed, not some trend that I went back and uncovered in hindsight. I have no doubt the value in this strategy is slowly leaking away and will become more inconsistent as more people catch on to it. But it has worked and it was not a fluke."



This is absolutely correct selectively fading the public.This still works.I bowl on monday night and have about 5 or 6 losers that bet NFL.When they all come up to me and say I love this game tonight or how can you not bet so so.When they are all on the same side it loses at a high percentage.Now remember these 6 I  am talking above your average public bettor here that wagers between 100-300 a game that are losers year end and year out.

MJ2345 says:
12/3/2008 7:03:50 PM
So the key is SELECTIVELY fading the public when most everything lines up.Not just looking at sportsinsights numbers and plain fade the numbers WILL NOT WORK.But using it as a tool with other factors at your disposal does work.Again i don't know how sportsinsights do it but their numbers are close to the percentages what real books have or at least real books i know
The_Book_2008 says:
12/3/2008 8:33:41 PM

I have heard there is a system in place in Vegas that tallies each and every sports wager made in the entire state. Done for Tax Purposes.

I only wish I could take a look at where all of the money is and then bet the other side!!

 My philosophy is the Road Least Traveled is the Road most Profitable. Especially on Monday Nights.
vanzack says:
12/3/2008 9:12:24 PM

And once again, this post and the post  you made right after this one are EXACTLY WHAT I AM NOT LOOKING FOR.

This is the definition of anecdotal personal experience evidence - not a single statistic to back up what you state - and actually saying "using it as a tool" without telling us HOW to use it as a tool.


DiscoD69 says:
12/3/2008 9:33:35 PM
Also, I've found a book that reports BOTH % and $ on each's a small book I'm assuming so I've never put too much stock into it.


I initially had trouble trusting it but the percentages are usually pretty similar to sportsinsights/sportsbookspy etc.


the thing to do now is see if that book ever has reverse line movement on a game they report with more money, not just bets.


let me know if you want me to post the book/link.

14daroad says:
12/3/2008 9:50:25 PM

Um, register for an account and login. You can select the books you want to see the %'s on.

14daroad says:
12/3/2008 9:59:13 PM
Sorry, if you have an SI account you can customize which books you want to have the lines displayed from. From the SI web site they do provide a listing of participating books.

However, to pretend the %'s at Cris or Pinnacle (why you think Pinnacle is some magical place when they don't accept us action is beyond me) are dramatically different is idiotic. I've kept a chart every week in college football of the bet %'s provided by SI and by and the variance is rarely higher than 5% for any game.
14daroad says:
12/3/2008 10:07:17 PM
For example, in college football right now:

Sports Insights has 64% on Rutgers. has 67% on Rutgers

A lot of the others are more disparate but they will trend in the same direction as the game approach.
bird_fidrych says:
12/4/2008 4:02:07 AM
Disco, yeah, post a link to that book, I'd be interested to see that.

To vanzack, I wrote that post you quoted to respond to your question

about whether I thought the profits in fading consensus plays would

continue in the NHL and MLB. I already posted numbers that backed up

what I was saying. There are a shitload of posts in this thread so I'll assume you forgot I had done that. And the second paragraph is not

from me at all. I don't bowl.

The post wasn't intended to be anecdotal or whatever, I was giving my

take on why I got the results I did. If you want a direct example of how

I use the bet %'s and line moves here's something I posted a couple

days ago in another thread:

I keep a list of how much money every

team has won/lost for the year on the moneyline. I also look at public

betting percentages and odds comparisons between square books and sharp


   Here's an example from today's

games. Nashville is +1.08 units on the season. They are playing Buffalo

who is -5.54 units for the year. The line opened at -165 or -170 and

has dropped back to -145 or -150 at some books despite roughly 70-75%

of bets coming in on Buf. The line has moved from -165 to -170 at

SportsInteraction (square book due to very low limits) while dropping

20 cents at betcris and pinnacle (sharp books). Looking at this I think

you can say that the sharps are on an undervalued Nash team and the

favorite loving public is on an overpriced Buf team.

The teams had identical W-L records (11-12) coming into the game, but a

bettor backing Nash in every game would have turned a profit and with

Buf lost over 5 units. Obviously the prices on Buf have been higher

than their play warranted. The fact that the public was still backing

them at a 70-75% clip was a signal to me that linesmakers still had an

incentive to overprice them. The line moves were a signal that there

was probably some sharp money coming in on Nash, which supports the

opinion that there was value on them. Considering all that, I thought it

was a pretty good situation.

And Nash won 2-0 which doesn't prove anything. I'm not saying all this

info was suggesting they would come out and play their best game of the

year and rout Buf (both teams played pretty poorly actually). It was

simply suggesting that the game was mispriced due to public bias.

I paid a tax for having to wait for the sharps to weigh in before I was

sure what to do. The smartest bettors took Nash early and got them at

+155 or +150. I got them at +145 when that was the best price available

later in the day.

Don't tell me this is just anecdotal vanzack, I already posted the

results of using this strategy over the past two years. I'm responding

to your claim that no one can explain why it makes sense to use bet % and line move info. If you look at all my posts in this thread I think I've explained it pretty clearly. And remember that I agree with you that this

strategy does not work long term in the NFL.

MJ2345 says:
12/4/2008 12:03:23 PM


I think he was talking about my 2 posts!

MJ2345 says:
12/4/2008 12:34:22 PM


Ok where do I start!Again don't know how they are able to get their numbers for the public,steam and smart moves etc...It seems to work if used right.

Here's how I used it as a tool i will take you step by step.


1.I look at the games when the lines come out and see what jumps offf the page,

2.I will handicap those games above along with other games

3.I will watch the linemovements,public,steam and smart plays on SI and with locals

4.Now I have handicapped a game and like it's as a play.Then  i look for the right line movement over 2 pts.

5.Now here's here i don't know how they do this if it's bogus or what but they provide you with steam and smart moves.I have noticed if there are 5+ smart plays and 2+ steam moves with no steam or smart play on the other team on a line movement going opposite of the public in games that i have handicapped as a play it is winning at rate of 68%.

On another note they give you the records of each smart and steam play throughout the year with each off shore they use and those records are correct.So steam moves from certain offshore are more powerful than othe others.

Example lets take NCAABB right now a steam move from Olympic is 33-15(68%)Betonline 15-4(78%) so far where there are there are some not as good  like 5dimes 18-20(47%)Grande 4-7(36%)



malibusurfer says:
12/4/2008 1:34:28 PM
i would go sharp.  public is at Target right now.
DiscoD69 says:
12/4/2008 6:45:34 PM

bird - as per you request: (you can make charts for % and $)

now, as I said earlier...use it objectively.

chodya says:
12/4/2008 7:12:54 PM

1.  Where does a company like sportsinsights get their numbers?

     There is a program to import the numbers from different sites.


2.  Why would any sportsbook give up to sportsinsights (or anyone like them) any information about betting patterns?

Information makes people actually feel good about their bets?

lots of people like better with the public trend?


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....

Cant compare sportsbooks in vegas with online books.


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.


I got bored after the 3 question... How long did it take you to actually think about this?   Wait.... How do you have this much time in life anyway?

vanzack says:
12/4/2008 9:11:12 PM
How long did it take me to actually think about this?


As much time as it takes.


How do I have this much time in life anyway?


Because it is my job, I take pride in it, and I care about making money.  I understand if this is your hobby you might not care, but since this is more than that to me I take great interest in this.


Its better than being a somali hijacker.



Allbutbroke says:
12/4/2008 9:37:49 PM

Thanks for the can this be your job because the picks you post do not result in profit earned?  I ask that seriously.

DiscoD69 says:
12/4/2008 10:01:05 PM

"Its better than being a somali hijacker."


well said


DiscoD69 says:
12/4/2008 10:18:19 PM

Van, here is where I think using SI is useful, especially given some of the points raised by various people in this thread.

CIN/IND: Pinny opened at -14 and is showing 70% on IND. The current line is -13.5 (+103), CIN is (-111).

Now, there is no way "the rich kid" or casual better with lots of money is picking the 1-10-1 Bengals against the resurging Manning led Colts. IMO, that has to be sharp money keeping that line BELOW the key # of 14, opposite one of the most public teams we've ever seen.

This is an example of where SI & this method can be useful.

DiscoD69 says:
12/5/2008 1:03:43 PM


where you hiding van, I'm ^^^ showing you how SI can be useful.


There is no formula, or system, you just add it to your capping tools and and look at it situationally, on a game by game basis.

MJ2345 says:
12/5/2008 2:57:47 PM


Good posts!

vanzack says:
12/5/2008 3:25:56 PM
Disco - I read your post - and please dont take this as disrespectful - but that is really what I describe as anecdotal evidence and personal opinion.


You make lots of assumptions about who is betting the bengals that might or might not be accurate - and your opinion might easily be seen by someone else exactly the opposite.


DiscoD69 says:
12/5/2008 3:53:01 PM

That's the point! There is no formula or system...stop asking for one. You use it as you would use any stat or trend or anything...objectively.

Thats why the books report it! Because people use it with their own oppinions. People will draw conclusions for BOTH sides.

Like, you're basically saying if some1 can't provide me with concrete evidence that looking at PPG (or any stat) will give you 100% winning system then there is no point at looking at it. 

Yes I'm making assumptions, that's part of what capping is about. So let me ask you this: If it's not sharp money on the bengals, then the books don't care if people are on the Colts, so either way I lean Cincy. Agree or disagree?

DiscoD69 says:
12/5/2008 4:00:50 PM

Also, LVSC sent it out at -14.5, and it's currently -13.5 accross Vegas (-13 at the Palms).

So you tell me what this all means.

bird_fidrych says:
12/5/2008 4:55:38 PM
Regarding the Indy/Cincy game:
There are plenty of "sharps" who are blindly jumping on double digit dogs this year. They bit on the chance to take Cincy at 14 early because they didn't see the public ever pushing it to 14.5 with Indy having trouble covering smaller spreads this year. It's interesting that LVSC released the line at 14.5, which definitely would have attracted a lot of action from the pros in vegas who love big dogs. No vegas or offshore books were gutsy enough to open it higher than 14 as far as I can see.

So you're getting mixed signals here. Yeah, 65-70% of bets are coming in on Indy so far and the line has dropped basically everywhere except BetEd and Bodog (very square books), but it looks like the smart linesmakers wanted to set a line high enough to entice some early action from the sharps, only to have their books balanced out by the public on Sunday morning.

The public will think they're getting a good Indy price at 13 or 13.5 on Sunday since the game opened at 14, and that might entice even more action on the fav.

This game is the second or third most popular game to bet on so far, which is strange considering Indy is laying so many points and has a bad ATS record this year. Obviously Cincy is not a popular team to bet on either. It looks like the lines have been set to entice as much balanced action as they can get in this game and it's playing out perfectly for them.

This game is just an example of good linesmaking, imo.
LTE23 says:
12/5/2008 5:06:55 PM
Nice Post. This is what we need. Its Nice to know that Sports are helping other Countries out eventhough its not talked about great Job Van...Keep up the good work.
DiscoD69 says:
12/5/2008 5:08:31 PM

bird - very solid take! All good points...I'm glad you wrote on this.

Van - Also, it's hard to create an exact science out of this because it also depends on when you get the numbers. I've been trying to keep it as consisten as possible and just do it on Friday afternoons when I know I'll always have the time. However, I always take it for what it is...considering the fact that the SI board does not reflect the entire betting market, and especially does not reflect the entire smart or sharp betting market (as smart dog players would wait as long as possible to try and get the best line)

This is why I think it's useful to a certain extent, but asking for some1 to prove there is a system or exact science you can use it with to create and blindly follow which always produces winners is just plain crazy. If some1 does it, props to them & tonnes of respect...same as if some1 created a system of simply looking at trends or stats and creates a system that always produces winners. Props if they do.

MJ2345 says:
12/5/2008 6:16:45 PM
Ask any large real book or local they hardly ever gets 50/50 action on a game.It's a myth it just never works out that way.Books are on side in almost every game and they have been getting hit hard this year.One book said it has been the most public winning year he has every seen.


Crashdavis565 says:
11/20/2010 12:05:07 PM
Great post-

I have to admit, most of my bets are reverse line movement bets and they do pretty well. We have a perfect example today with the Badgers and Wolverines. Covers has 70% of the people on the Badgers, the stats say this is a no contest yet the line continues to get smaller favoring the Wolverines.

Is there more huge money on the Wolverines causing the line movement?

or, do the books want exposure on the Wolvernes?

Either way, I will bet Michigan against popular public perception and be on the line with what I think is the smart money. When I look at this game, to me, Michigan has no chance, yet the line keeps moving to them. I will follow the line and the money to The Big House.

If there are any "sharps" out there who are on the Woverines and think they are a better team, please post why , either before or after this game.


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User: vanzack
Joined: November 2001
Location: Equatorial Guinea
Team: Phoenix Mercury
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