Money line mistakes for bettors
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - What are some of the mistakes that bettors make when betting the money line? Here are some thoughts.
The money line sports of MLB and the NHL are for the most part greatly misunderstood. The misunderstanding begins with not knowing what the money line truly is reflecting and that searching for value oriented plays is a fruitless task. Many amateur bettors believe that money lines greater than -175 should be avoided and that dogs greater than +150 are losing propositions. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In the NHL and MLB I do not ever have a break point where a line would disqualify a play. Value is hidden at any price tag and it is the matchup research that begins to identify the money making opportunity. Another tool I use is betting flows from 10 to 12 sports books that I follow daily. As a general rule, when there is public betting exceeding 70% of all bets made on one team a sense of irrational exuberance abounds. Upon occasion, levels reaching near 80% occur and then further support any play I have on the opponent that is produced by the simulator.
Rarely does the public ever bet extreme levels on Dogs, but when that occurs, the favorite then does get the support no matter the line.
On the Sunday NHL playoff card, the Philadelphia Flyers are visiting Madison Square Garden to take on the NY Rangers. The line is currently at -155 Rangers and more than 75% of bets have been on the Rangers. Although this an extreme level, the betting flows with a line of -150 to -175 are expected to be weighted at about 2/1 toward the favorite. For example, if the line is -125/+125 and one team is getting 75%+ betting support then a red flag is triggered. So, when looking at betting flows I must mathematically adjust the betting flow percentages based on the line.
So, in the example with the Rangers-Flyers game, there is value in playing the Flyers at +145 based on the excessive betting flows on the Rangers.
Another miscue that public bettors make is to incorrectly presume that favorites of -200 and higher are near locks to win. First, when you bet a favorite of this magnitude and it loses you then have to hit two straight plays just to get back to even and that is not an easy thing to do. Further, a money line of -175 equates to a line of about -4 points. So, if playing an NFL or NBA team that had a line of -4 points would you think that is a lock to win? Of course not, but somehow a money line of -175 does produce a false sense of winning with many amateurs.
One of the greatest plays I always like to make is when my SIM produces two DOGS of +140 and greater. This opens up tremendous money making opportunities. I first play them straight up and then form a 2-team parlay using the money lines. The pay-offs are huge and further, I need only to hit one of these parlays in every five or six opportunities to make profits. Then there is the rare three-team DOG situation where I for three straight wagers and then place a 3-team round robin parlay. In my 20-years of handicapping sports, I can honestly tell you these types of cards produce greater profits than my Games of the Year results.
Last, I will challenge you to follow a simple rule in MLB. Take every dog of +240 and higher and wager just 1/10th of your normal wager. Do this methodically over the next three months and see what the results produce for you. If there are TWO +240 and greater dogs on one card then add a parlay.