Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lessons Learned in the Desert

1.  Follow your strategy- It's easy to maintain a betting strategy sitting at home.  Participating in point spread pools that allow/force you to pick a certain amount of games treat all games equal.  Currently I sit at 28-20 ATS in a pool that picks 3 college and 3 pro games weekly.  That is a darn good winning percentage against the spread.  What happens when you get to Las Vegas?  You want to have action on every game.  The more games you bet, the more the "juice" influences your bankroll.  You are also essentially just flipping a coin.  Lesson Learned: Bet equal amounts on each game.  I already knew this yet refused to stick to my strategy.  If you are increasing your bankroll you may up your bet, but up it for all games.
2.   Check 2nd-Half Over/Under's--With Sunday night's Bears-Vikings game I had a significant amount of my bankroll (the rest of it) on the Bears to cover 2.5 points.  At half time the score was Bears 26 Vikings 3.  I'm always interested in hedging my bet, so I checked the 2nd half line--Vikings -3.  Right away it looks like an incredible play to take the Vikings as 3 point favorites and guarantee myself a push and have over a 20 point window where I could win both.  However, the Bears were dominating the game and the Vikings did only put up a mere 3 points in the 1st half.  I looked at the lines again and saw O/U 20 for the 2nd half.  Even if the Vikings scored all 20 of these points they still wouldn't cover.  This seemed like a better option.  If I were to do it again or have the bankroll to supply it I would consider betting half on the 2nd half.  Lowers the effects of a loss while at the same time bumping up your maximum rake.  Not every game is going to play out like this but over/under 2nd half bets can sometimes give an opportunity to hedge without having to choose one side.

3.  Parlays--I don't ever play them and there is good reason.  They payout and the odds don't match up. Example below.
 # of plays
 Standard Odds
 True Odds
2 plays
3 plays
4 plays
5 plays
6 plays
7 plays

However, I had not thought about parlaying 1st half lines with entire game lines.  Example:  I had Wisconsin -24 in the 1st half and -39 for the game.  If they cover in the 1st half it is certainly looking good for the whole game right?  If you bet 100 units on 1st half and 100 units on 2nd half (200 units on the line) you would have won both and come out ahead 180 units or so after juice.  However if you had put 100 units on a two-part parlay (100 units on the line) you would have won both for a payout of 260 or 160 units ahead.  You win about the same amount while risking half as much.  This is the only type of parlay I will consider because each part is relevant to the other one.  If you bet Game A and Game B they have absolutely nothing to do with each other.  A first half bet and an entire game bet are directly correlated and if the first half covers your chances of the whole game covering go up significantly.

4.  Hassle for drink tickets-- Most people working the cage in the sports book are willing to give in to lowering the minimum bet for a drink ticket.  Better idea--spread your bets out over different windows in order to maximize your drink tickets.  Even better idea--get a seat at a video poker machine directly overlooking the sports book--even more comps at your fingertips.

5.  Stay away from lounges--No matter how cute the waitress is our how "VIP" you might feel the price isn't right!  A basketball game takes two hours, a football game three and half.  I don't know about you but my bankroll doesn't allow me to bet thousands at a time.  Add up 12 dollar cocktails over the course of a three and half hour game?  Your bet is at best a push, at worse a double loss.  Do whatever you can to get the comp's!!!

6.  Hydrate first thing in the morning--It will be the only time all day you will get legit fluids

7.  Don't eat at the buffet at Imperial Palace--Think Griswold Vegas Vacation

8.  Venetian Sports Book--The place to be.  Was under construction this last time and it was definitely missed.  Can't wait for it to be open in March!

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