Betting on sports has been around as long as sports have. Ties to sports betting go all the way back to the Roman Empire, with betting being done on Gladiators and other physical events. That's over 2,000 years of sports betting since.
As with anything that old and as popular as sports betting is, there are myths that are developed over the years. And no matter what some people are told, they just won't believe that what they think is not true. Just like people used to think the earth was flat, there are many things within sports betting that people don't understand. Here are some common sports betting myths you will probably hear at some point.
This is just not the way professional sports betting works. The sports book or bookie is not and does not want to bet against you. They are a middle man trying to get an even amount of bets on each side of a game. They make their money on the vig or commission on losing bets and then pay the winning bettors with the losing bets.
This is why you have to bet 110 to win 100, or 11 to win 10 on a straight bet. Losers lose 100, winners win 100 and the house takes the extra 10 on all losses. So their goal is to get exactly the same amount of bets on one side of a line as another. When they do not have an even amount of bets on one side, they adjust the line to try and get betters to bet the other side.
No they don't. And if they did, they would not share it with you. Sports books and bookies get information from news sources just like the bettors do. They may get the information faster than you because that's their job and you might be driving or working or sleeping, but the information they have is the same information you will get if you research and read.
Not if they are doing their job and getting an equal amount of bets on each side of the line. As a matter of fact, underdogs winning makes for free publicity. Anytime a big underdog wins you'll usually here news about someone winning a lot of money. When James "Buster" Douglas upset "Iron" Mike Tyson, there were some people that made a lot of money.
At fight time Douglas was a 42-1 underdog. But the line opened at 27-1. Too many bets were being booked on Tyson, so the line had to go up to be attractive to Douglas bettors. One bettor at the Mirage in Las Vegas put $1,500 on Douglas and pocketed $57,000! But the Mirage didn't care because they were able to get a close enough amount of bets on each side that no matter who won, they would still make money.
In reality, the betting public is who create the final line. The Sports book or bookie just sets the opening line. After that, it's the public betting that causes a line to move and eventually end at a certain number. As a matter of fact, betting lines in the hometowns of teams playing are usually much different than if you were to bet the same game somewhere else. Hometown bets usually favor the home team just based on the local public's love of the team. Just remember, the goal is to get an even amount of bets on both sides. Unless there is an injury or weather change, the line moving up or down is just a reflection of the bets taken in on one team or the other.
This is completely false. Again, the lines are adjusted by bettors. Bettors are not always right. It takes work, but there is money to be made on favorites. If a game opens at New England -6 1/2 and a sports book or bookie gets enough bets on the other side to lower the line to 5 1/2, that's a big 1 point change. Now a win by two field goals or a touchdown and missed extra point is a winner instead of a loser. Smart bettors take advantage of these small adjustments in lines on favorites and do just fine betting on them.
In almost all cases this is false. Pick selling services actually make their money selling picks, not betting on games. That should tell you something right there. Rare 60% win seasons are many times followed by non-publicized 45% win seasons.
Pick sellers also use tricks to make their money. If I'm selling picks and offer a special deal... pay me $20 and I'll give you a guaranteed win, lots of people are going to try it. If my pick doesn't win, next weeks is free. Sounds fair.
So the pick service takes in 100 individual bets on the game. But what they do is tell 50 of the bettors to go with one team, while they tell the other 50 the opposite. After the game, 50 players have won and are really happy. The pick service now has $20 from each of those people and most likely every one them is going to pay for the next pick.
For the 50 losers, the pick service give them a game the next week. 25 get one side of the game, while the other 25 get the other side. The 25 that lost again will probably never be heard from again, but the 25 that one might get a few that feel like 1 out of 2 is not bad. The pick service made $20 off these bettors original 50 bets and might get a few more paid bets off the 25 new winners.
The pick service offers this deal over and over again on every game every day to try and attract new bettors. And all they have to do is put an even amount of bettors on each side of the game to get half of them to pay for another tip.