Advanced Betting Concepts
It is not enough to only understand straight betting. An Advantage Player in the sports betting world must look for other opportunities to make money. Where the average sports bettor thinks the only way to make money is to cash the ticket he is holding, the Advantage Player looks for ways to lock in profit. Below, we discuss Hedging, Middles and Scalps…
Futures wagers probably offer the most bang for our sports betting buck. If we have set up the wager correctly, and have the bankroll to hedge properly, we are almost always guaranteed a profit. Hedging is not for the squeamish and it is not for under-capitalized bankrolls. Hedging is an excellent strategy as seasons wind down and you hold a live ticket. For example, assume you bet $100 on the Eagles to win the Super Bowl, prior to the start of the NFL season, at 30 to 1. They win the NFC and advance to play the Patriots on Super Sunday. In this scenario, you have the opportunity to hedge your expected win on the Eagles by betting the Patriots money line to win the game, to guarantee you lock in a profit. Using this example, you stand to win $3100 on your preseason future wager. Let’s say the Patriots are -200 to win the Super Bowl. One thousand dollars bet on the Patriots at -200 would win $500 and you would collect $1500, for a net profit of $400. Not quite as thrilling as winning all $3100, but you have absolutely guaranteed a profit. In the event the Eagles win the game, your net profit would be $1900.
Opportunities to “play the middle” occur following significant line moves. For example, assume you have previously bet the Vikings -3.0 to beat the Packers and Aaron Rodgers is suddenly ruled out of the game due to an injury in mid-week practice. The line will typically be taken off the board until a status report is issued. Once the report is issued, the line will be repriced to account for the importance of the starting quarterback not being able to play in the game. The oddsmakers will then reopen the line at something like Minnesota -9.5. Bettors can now play Green Bay +9.5. By holding both Vikings -3.0 and Green Bay +9.5, bettors can play the middle and win both bets, if
Minnesota wins by a margin of 4 to 9 points. If the Vikings win by exactly 3.0 points, that ticket would be graded a push, but the Packers +9.5 wager would win.
Scalping is a strategy where bettors guarantee profit by betting both sides of the same contest, when money line odds are favorable. Let’s consider a hypothetical matchup between the Cubs and Dodgers. One sports book hangs a money line on the Cubs +105, across the street, a different sports book offers the Dodgers +105. If a bettor wagers the same amount of money on both money lines at positive numbers, he is guaranteed a profit no matter which team ultimately wins the game. Money lines jump around all day long on baseball games. These situations happen, but a bettor must be diligent in finding them.