The Value of a Number in Sports Betting

League: All Leagues
By: Tony George Published on: 09/10/2013

This weeks Monday Night Football game with Houston and San Deigo is a good example of the value in a line.  The game opened over the summer on the futures at Houston -3 and stayed that way until about a week ago when heavy action was coming in on Houston and at gametime the number had soared to -6.  My LVH Supercontest line was -4 which concerned me but I made a move anyway on it.  My BET on this game was wagered at -3 in Las Vegas 3 weks ago.  The Value was sitting on a fall number of 3 if you were on Houston, I thought it mattered little because Houston was clearly the better team with a more expereinced team, a back to back playoff team with all skill players in place, a veteran coach going up against an entirely new coaching staff and QB Rivers loves to throw interceptions and make bad decisions.  The only black mark in this game was it was a road game for the Texans.

Now that was capping the game.  The VLAUE in any wager is the NUMBER you are betting into.  In simple terms I will explain it this way.  My mentor in the handicapping business was Mike Lee.  He wrote numerous books on handicapping and was a legend in the industry and passed away some years back.  When I first met Mike I wanted to impress him with my knowledge of the game, and the X’s and O’s of the game I knew so well because of my extended playing time in football through Division II football, and my years coaching Pro Arena Leauge teams.  I went through the progressions of a particular game, why Team A’s WR will burn the press coverage of Team B and score at will, why the OL line outmanned the DL of the other team by 40 pounds a man, and why the speed on the corners and pure talent of the OL will have that same team running it like crazy and moving the chanins at will.  The line in this game was Team A -8.  Mike laughed when I was done and said “Tony that was a brilliant and well researched analysis, with only 1 problem, you never onced mentioned the LINE” 

In sports handicapping and sports gaming, you handicap the line, then the game!  Hard for some to fathom unless they are seasoned at this craft,  but opening weekend is a prime example of this in the Houston and San Deigo..  The fall numbers that are key in the NFL are 3-6-7- and 10.  You are likely to PUSH on these numbers instead of losing on these numbgers.  Now guys get action going one way or the other off of  these fall numbers by teasing a game through them with another game, but at days end getting a team at -3 versus -4 or 5 is CRUCIAL if you are betting the favorite.

In other words, once you find a game AND A LINE you like you need to consider betting it early.  Shopping for the best line in football will gain you 6 to 8 units a season minimum.  If you sit on the sidelines and wait to bet a game whern you are laying a number with the better team then do it early.  Conversely if you are taking a dog where you have a feeling a line is going to move, for instance with the Chargers, you see that line jump midweek to +3.5 and then to +4, then it is a watching game to see if it continues to climb for more value.  Either way, REMEMBER, you are betting into a number and not a game.  Your wallet will thank you during the season by knowing this.