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How the Sports Betting Line is Made by RJ Bell

Also, adjustments are made after reading each team’s local newspapers to get a sense of what the coaches & players are thinking going into the game.

“You either have a passion for it or you don’t,” Seba said. Seba explained that it all starts with each oddsmaker creating a line on each game based upon their own personal approach. Obviously, if the line comes out a week ahead of the event (which is the case in football), there is much that could happen during the week leading up to the event that could affect the line. By moving the line, sportsbooks can influence how the public bets on a particular game. If we’ve done that, we’ve done our job.”

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Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC) is the world’s premier oddsmaking company and the most respected authority on making the lines. .

Once a game’s power rating based pointspread is determined, the oddsmaker will make adjustments to that line after considering each team’s most recent games played and previous games played against that opponent.

“The main objective is that our clients get equal action on both sides,” Seba said. Reasons for such adjustments include:

Power ratings are the oddsmaker’s value of each team and are used as a guide to calculate a “preliminary” pointspread on an upcoming game.

Individual books having players who consistently bet with certain tendencies (such as an extreme bias toward favorites or toward a certain popular team like USC)

How the Opening Line Is Made

The last step in the line-making process for each oddsmaker is taking one final look to determine whether or not the line “feels right.” This is where common sense and past experience with how games are bet enters into the picture.

Moving the line is the oddsmaker’s effort to balance betting action, and often times such moves can have a major impact on a bettor’s decision. “We’re not trying to pick the team that covers the spread, we’re trying to make it a coin flip, a tough decision (for the bettor).

Divided action means the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit on the game because of the fee charged to the bettor (called juice or vig – typically $11 bet to win $10).

“The #1 thing for us is to make a line for each game that creates good two-way action. Of the 4-5 oddsmakers, generally the 2 most respected opinions are weighed more heavily by the Odds Director before he decides on the final line. Examples of non-game factors that would require an adjustment to a team’s power rating are key player injuries and player trades. That is not the case at all – their intent is NOT to evenly split the ATS result between the teams; rather, their goal is to attract equal betting action on both sides. We do this by drawing from past experiences and applying them to current situations.

A round-table discussion among the 4-5 oddsmakers involved in making the line for each sport is then conducted and a consensus line is decided upon by the Odds Director before it is released to the sportsbooks.

The opening line is the first line created by the oddsmakers, which is then sent out to sportsbooks. In doing so they attempt to make more attractive the team that is getting less action.

For example, if the pointspread on a game is 7 and most of the money is coming in on the underdog (taking the +7), sportsbooks will then move the number down to 6 ½ to try and attract money on the favorite. This usually includes having up-to-date power ratings on each team. Of course there is an entire method to the madness on how the opening line is created.

What Is the Line Trying to Accomplish?

Experts working for the individual books having a strong opinion on the game

RJ Bell

©Pregame.com 2006

Website: http://www.Pregame.com

The purpose of these adjustments, like all line adjustments, is to more equally divide the betting action. By necessity their approach is very research-oriented and concise, since with millions of dollars at risk there is little margin for error. Once betting begins, sportsbooks can adjust the line at any time. For example, the public might have heavy betting interest week after week on a popular college football team such as USC. Oddsmakers have to determine if any changes are necessary and send out an “adjusted line.”

Once the opening line is released by LVSC, the individual sportsbooks decide if they want to make any adjustments before offering it to the public. People think it’s much more complicated, but it’s not.”

There is a common misconception that point spreads represent the oddsmakers’ prediction of how many points the favorite will win by.

Oddsmakers can also change the line depending on various event-related factors such as player injuries or weather. Each of these oddsmakers bring unique opinions, strengths and weaknesses to the process.

Why the Line Changes

Oddsmakers at LVSC are professional sports junkies who love what they do and would probably do it for nothing if you asked them, but they do get paid for it. The power ratings are adjusted after each game a team plays. If an oddsmaker comes up with a preliminary line of USC -7, then an adjustment up to -7.5 or -8 would be made in response to the public’s expected USC bias.

Since the oddsmaker’s ultimate goal is equally dividing the betting action, public perception and betting patterns must be taken into account. Stated another way, they want to create a line that half the people find appealing to bet one way while the other half find it appealing to bet the other way (known as ‘dividing the action’). In our extended interview, Seba explained that there are 4-5 oddsmakers assigned to make lines for each of the major sports (pro & college football and basketball; MLB, NHL, boxing, golf). Mike Seba is a Senior Oddsmaker at LVSC and has been making lines for the last six years

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By: Pedro Walker

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Learn Online Sports Betting

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Author’s Bio: 

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Online Gambling’s Good for U.S.

This is especially true given service providers’ unrestrained access to overseas Internet sites in jurisdictions without online gambling restrictions.

Federal prosecutors just dealt consumer freedom a terrible hand, shutting down the gambling website Bodog.com and indicting four company executives, including founder Calvin Ayre, for alleged illegal gambling that actually generated $100 million in customer winnings. The necessity of maintaining a strong customer base would motivate legal American service providers to offer legitimate, reputable gambling sites.

Banning online gambling in the domestic American market simply results in the establishment of Internet gaming sites overseas. As other jurisdictions identify the demand for online gambling, they have supplied this service to consumers.

This form of gambling also encourages private sector businesses to develop network capacity and commerce. He coauthored (with John Luik) the Democracy Institute book, Gambling: A Healthy Bet.

In 2008, the global online gambling market was valued at $20 billion annually, with 50 percent of that demand coming from the U.S.. If the domestic marketplace demands online gambling, which it clearly does, it will be supplied with or without government consent. Including unlicensed sites, the total rose to 6,000. Increased competition results in a more efficient allocation of resources, as gambling providers attempt to maintain and attract new customers.

The current prohibitionist law is really a protectionist measure designed to support specific domestic operators, such as the websites run by the horse betting industry.

Two additional factors contribute to the inevitable failure of prohibition. As such, the Internet offers potential consumers convenient and inexpensive access to their favorite gambling sites, introducing competition into an industry once dominated by highly restrictive licensing practices.

Online gambling can be regulated effectively and without excessive cost, to standards that will provide strong protections for consumers and vulnerable players. Stopping American online gambling is truly mission impossible, with a vast number of insurmountable challenges facing governments that endeavor to criminalize online gambling.

For example, in 2009 there were 2,381 sites run by 493 companies licensed in 50 jurisdictions worldwide. Many of these sites were established in small nations with little or no regulatory oversight.

The Internet has revealed the potential of technology not only to dramatically increase existing gambling opportunities but also to introduce new ones. As an international network, the Internet provides an instant detour around domestic prohibition.

Gambling is one of the great successes of online commerce. Not only will this increased competition result in a wider range of gambling activities, it will reduce cost to consumers. Many federal and state-level politicians want to legalize online gambling, which Congress made illegal in 2006.

Another major benefit of allowing online gambling is that competition will be introduced into a highly regulated marketplace dominated by licensed providers who monopolize the gaming market. Ironically the anti-Bodog crackdown comes as the push for sensible regulation of the online gambling industry is gathering serious political momentum.

Prohibitionists appear to ignore the fact that most gambling sites, like any reputable business, rely on customer loyalty to remain profitable. With legal online gambling, competition among operators would increase to such an extent that they will be forced by the marketplace, rather than by governments, to offer a reduced house advantage.

. First, online technology renders prohibition futile. In addition, the technological and human capital required to locate offenders is substantial, as are the costs of prosecution and incarceration. The principal benefit of regulation to online players is the personal and legal security of funds, whereas currently players in unregulated environments have no legal recourse over matters such as suspected cheating and frozen assets.

Patrick Basham is a Cato Institute adjunct scholar. The ill-advised indictments handed down against Calvin Ayre and his Bodog colleagues cannot alter that fact. Along with the inefficient use of resources caused by prohibition, there’s the danger of unintentionally increasing the criminal element.

Second, consumer demand for online gambling and the government’s demand for tax revenues will create enormous pressure for legalization in any jurisdiction, such as the U.S., that currently operates a domestic ban.

In recent years, it’s become clear to a growing number of policymakers, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that the ban on online gambling is a failure. The online gambling industry is merely another form of commerce where prohibition is the wrong option.

A great degree of surveillance is required to detect online illegality, and there are significant difficulties in locating, investigating, and prosecuting online offenders

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