Welcome to Grinding The Edge with Jonny The Book. This is going to be an ongoing series on http://www.partyfoulsports.com through the end of the college basketball season, aimed at making you a better informed sports investor. If we have enough support and fanbase, we may continue it further into the future. Let us know how we’re doing periodically to keep us motivated in bringing you the best information possible. Please like and share. I can be found on Twitter @jonnythebook. You can come to me with any questions and I will always answer to the best of my ability.
If you don’t know me, that’s a good thing. I personally don’t like to be known. I’m a low key, low profile sports handicapper. For those of you who don’t know what that is, I’ll tell you. It means that I’m mentally handicapped to the point that I believe I can make a living beating the sportsbook’s lines. Most days I accomplish just that. It’s not a glorious living, but it can be done with the right knowledge and discipline.
Sports betting, to me, is a way of life. I live it every single day. I am a day trader in this industry. I look for value, buy into it, and cash out at the end of the night. I never hold my position or feeling on any team. The only team I’m a fan of is the American Dollars. And I never regret investing my money on the most probable outcome, regardless of result. Is there risk involved? Of course there is. But there are also plenty of rewards if you know how, when, and where to invest. Let’s get you started in the right direction.
First things first. I do not condone breaking the law. Check your local jurisdiction for sports betting laws. Now, onto the basics of sports betting.
Never, under any circumstance, wager anything you can not afford to lose. This seems to be a problem for a lot of people. If you have this problem, sports betting is not for you.
People ask me all the time, “Jonny, how much do I need to make money betting?”. The answer to that is whatever your current bankroll happens to be. I don’t care what size your bankroll is. With the proper discipline and strategy, you will grow your bankroll. Whether your betting unit size is $10 or $10,000 per game, a unit gained will always be a unit gained. Just like any other form of investing, interest eventually starts compounding. That’s when this gets fun. No matter your bankroll, manage it wisely. It will grow into the bankroll you want.
The first step to getting sharper is to understand this is a marketplace. When you look at a line, you will usually see something like this:
Duke O 134 -115
North Carolina -2.5 -110
You have to know what that means to you as an investor. If you’re looking at that and thinking, “I know what that means, the Tar Heels are going to win by 2.5”, you’re not even in the ballpark. There’s a lot of information there.
Let’s identify what’s happening here. We have our lines: Duke +2.5, UNC -2.5, TOTAL OVER 134, and TOTAL UNDER 134. And we have our prices, -115 and -110. -110 is the standard 11:10 payout odds. Basically, you’re risking $110 to win $100. With -115, you’re risking $115 to win $100. The higher the price, the more juice (house cut) you’re paying to play.
You have to understand that the bookmakers don’t care who wins this game. They want a balanced book with an equal action on both sides of the board. By offering these odds, they’re trying to find common ground to draw equal amounts of money to both sides to reduce their risk of exposure. Exposure being the amount they would have to pay out of pocket should the action be loaded heavily on one side. They will move these lines to achieve that equilibrium. So, this simply means that right now UNC -2.5 is bringing approximately 50% of the bets on each side. We can tell because of the standard -110 price. Looking at that line, you’ll notice the Over on the total has a price of -115. That’s because they’re making it more favorable to bet the Under. They must have a lopsided number of bets on the Over, but not enough to move the line just yet.
Tomorrow, I’m going to show you first hand how I use these odds to find valuable plays. I’m going to break down how I handicap a game, compare my numbers to the bookmaker’s, and how I dig out the value. And I’m going to give you all of my personal plays with a little insight into each choice I make. Keep following along and we will keep winning together.
-Jonny The Book
For my day to day plays, follow me on Twitter @jonnythebook. The handicapping and odds information contained in this article is for entertainment purposes only. Using this information to contravene any law or statute is prohibited. Sports wagering laws and regulations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Check your local laws prior to wagering. This site is not associated with nor is it endorsed by any professional or collegiate league, association or team. JonnyTheBook and partyfoulsports.com do not target an audience under the age of 18. Please visit http://www.ncpgambling.org for help with problem gambling.