Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Aug 2009

Lines For Every NFL Game...Now?

Vegas Watch highlights a very interesting development -- SportsBetting has apparently released lines for every single game for the upcoming season. Now. There are some, uh, opportunities here.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 26 Aug 2009

12 replies , Last at 30 Aug 2009, 12:21pm by BroncosGuy

1
Re: Lines For Every NFL Game...Now?
by NRG :: Wed, 08/26/2009 - 11:59pm

Maybe they're counting on the time value of money to make up for the risk of such an early offering?

2
Re: Lines For Every NFL Game...Now?
by BigDerf :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 1:01am

Think about it though... What you set the lines to now is based on how good everyone thinks those teams will be right now so shouldn't the betting follow to being about even?

Bet you they'll make a killing cause of injuries too. If a player goes down on a team people think will be bad then who cares but if a player goes down on an expected good team then they have people locked in on obviously bad bets.

3
Re: Lines For Every NFL Game...Now?
by Podge (not verified) :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 4:14am

But if there's a team that conventional wisdom says is very bad and you think is actually quite good (or that conventional wisdom says is very good and you think is actually quite bad) and you're right you can make a bit of a killing.

5
Re: Lines For Every NFL Game...Now?
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 4:39am

No different from placing a regular gameday bet.

You have, as always, the same information available as you bookmaker.

And even if you think you have an edge, for example through FOA09, you will still represent an almost invisible minority. And i assume the lines are adjusted when the first bets have been placed, so if FOA readers place millions of dollars of bets, they can adjust quickly adjust so that they still have a 50-50 distribution of the bets.

But that is moot. People who know enough about math to appreciate FOA, know that sportsbetting is a fools game.

7
Re: Lines For Every NFL Game...Now?
by TBW (not verified) :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 2:09pm

There is no mathematical reason you can't make money betting on sports, if you are better than the unwashed masses at picking games, to the extent that your advantage over the masses exceeds the vig, you should make money.

If you are arguing it's impossible to be that good at picking games that's a different argument.

9
Re: Lines For Every NFL Game...Now?
by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 4:56pm

Sportsbetting may be a fool's game. But with only 16 games per team each year, betting on the NFL can be a great source of easy money, if you can afford the risk.

---------------------------------
"Just look at that pumpkin."
-John Madden, looking at the moon.

4
Re: Lines For Every NFL Game...Now?
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 4:28am

I see no risk in this at all...

These lines are based on the percieved strengh of the teams in this moment. So if you, right now, take the Steelers over the Ravens you run exactly the same risk (by extension: so does the bookie) as if you wait until gameday to place your bet. You have exactly the same information available as the bookmaker.

6
Re: Lines For Every NFL Game...Now?
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 11:20am

Correct. As with any sports-betting proposition, the only concern (from the book's point-of-view) is setting the line such that equal action falls on each side. The outcome of the game, or how different the spread is in week 7, is completely irrelevant.

8
Re: Lines For Every NFL Game...Now?
by TBW (not verified) :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 2:16pm

That's correct to a point. If I set a really bad line, let's say Patriots +7 vs the Lions, I'm going to get hammered. Money will pour in on the Patriots, and I'll have to change my line dramatically, let's say I finally end up Patriots -14 vs the Lions to get the wagers split 50/50. I still have a huge exposure. Presumably I have big chunks of wagers with Patriots +7 and Lions +14. If the Pats win 20-10, both of those groups win, and I am the big loser. So, it's crucial to set an accurate initial line, otherwise you increase the probability of losing both sides of the bet.

10
Re: Lines For Every NFL Game...Now?
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 08/27/2009 - 8:07pm

Good point - didn't realize that.

It doesn't really apply here, though, but I'm guessing you were talking about general bookmaker-ship.

12
Re: Lines For Every NFL Game...Now?
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Sun, 08/30/2009 - 12:21pm

Well, yeah, I said you have to set the line such that (relatively) equal action falls on each side. If you misjudge the public's perception, you've blown it. But that risk is the same whether or not you are offering bets on a game tomorrow or game in week 13. The only important thing is: does the line today generate the right action today?

But wait, if Peyton Manning breaks his leg in week 3, doesn't that screw things up? No, it doesn't. The book is not locked into the late-season lines; it merely changes the lines to fit the new perceptions of the teams. The only way the book would be hurt is if a substantial number of bettors somehow knew Manning would break his leg in week 3.

11
Re: Lines For Every NFL Game...Now?
by jebmak :: Fri, 08/28/2009 - 9:59am

It may be the more risk averse person in me, but I would rather take O/U on season wins, or division winners, than get a few extra points (theoretically) on StL vs Ari late in the season. It just seems less risky.

Though, I guess that if I were to take StL right now on every one of their games this season, then that might be interesting, hmmmm. Now I have to think about this.

I hope that it is successful for them, more options is better, even if I don't like the idea this year.

Um, if I were to bet, that is.

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