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Who Sets The Line

Now that we understand some of the mechanics of betting the point spread and why the line moves, there is a question that comes up regularly about the genesis of the line.

Who sets the line and how do they set it the damn thing?

The first line, also known as an ‘overnight line’ or ‘opening line’ is an educated guess, often by the smart sportsbook guys in Las Vegas or with online sportsbooks. [ See opening lines for each game by clicking on the league navigation links at the top of the page. ]

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Odds to Win 2011 Rugby World Cup

With the Rugby World Cup only 6 months away and the qualifying complete, it’s time to take an early look at odds to win the pools and the tournament.

The World Cup is set to kick off in New Zealand on September 9th. Early indications are that the recent earthquake tragedy in Christchurch will not affect the event the spectacle and the RWC 2011 will proceed with all matches will take place in New Zealand.

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Fatigue and Sports Wagering

How much energy a team has heading into a game often factors in to the game’s final decision. With so many statistics, matchups, and trends to study and take in, bettors sometimes forget that these are still human beings playing these games; and a bad case of fatigue can trump just about any statistic.

Back-to-back games can be extremely fatiguing in both the NBA and NHL even if travel isn’t involved. Bringing your best effort night in and night out is difficult enough; doing so with less than 24 hours rest in between games is even more challenging.

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Public Underdogs

Taking a good hard look at underdogs before placing a bet on any favorites is a good habit to adopt. Oftentimes the public’s adoration for favorites will skew the line in an underdog’s favor, and even though it is more difficult to place your hard-earned money on a “lesser” team, every week there are some valuable underdogs on the board.

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Betting Against the Public

One of the more popular methods of betting is the ‘contrarian method’ of going against whatever the public is betting. The idea behind this policy is that the public is wrong more often than not, and the more excited and loaded up the public is on one side of a game, the more likely it is that side is the wrong one.

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Zig-Zag Theory

The Zig-Zag Theory applies to NHL and NBA playoff series that follow the 2-2-1-1-1 format (which includes all NHL series, and all NBA series except for the Finals which are 2-3-2). Named the Zig-Zag Theory for its propensity of going up and down, the idea is that when betting on the playoffs, each game in the series is affected by the result of the game that preceded it.

NBA

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Betting Non-Marquee Sports

There are only 30 teams in the NBA, MLB, and NHL, and there are 32 teams in the NFL. That makes these major sports a lot easier for sportsbooks to keep track of and make sharp lines. They are also among the most popular sports to bet, garnering more attention from bookmakers who go over these lines with a fine-toothed comb.

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Prop Betting

As a general rule, sportsbooks do well on prop betting. Many bettors just play them for fun, or don’t give them too much thought. Most sportsbooks also spend less time making sure the lines are sharp than they do on more traditional lines (point spreads, moneylines, and Over/Unders). This is because they usually charge extra juice on prop bets, making it easier for them to profit on these types of wagers.

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Specialize in One Sport

Sportsbooks offer all kinds of events to bet on all year long. September brings NFL and college football which run through January; October brings the NBA and NHL which run through June; November brings college basketball highlighted at the end of the season by March Madness; and the MLB rolls around in April, giving us daily baseball through October. The menu also includes favored niche betting opportunities in popular sports such as auto racing, golf and tennis, not to mention boxing and Mixed Martial Arts.

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Sports Betting Glossary

ATS (Against the Spread) – A term used to indicate the result of an event that takes the pointspread into account.

Book – Short for “sportsbook”, a book is an establishment that accepts wagers on sporting events.
 
Chalk – The favored team or athlete.

Cover – The act of winning by enough to beat the pointspread, in which case you have “covered the spread”.

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