Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Four games

Wherein flying to Las Vegas with next month's mortgage

Using this Java dice roller, I rolled a 20-sided dice for each team. Then I multiplied the away team by 2.5 and the home team by 3. Why those numbers? Why not? Home team usually has a slight edge and those seemed fair.

Games and scores:
  • Seattle (5) at Green Bay (3)
  • Jacksonville (7.5) at New England (39)
  • San Diego (35) at Indianapolis (42)
  • N.Y. Giants (10) at Dallas (33)

Green Bay loses a close one at home -- check the weather forecast for that one -- otherwise it's all home teams. Indianapolis and San Diego look to be the only game worth watching. I don't know what the point spreads are, so place your wagers accordingly. I looked at this USA Today page and it made no sense to me. Looking at a vegas page gives the odds at different casinos. Favorites are Green Bay (8.5), New England (13), Indianapolis (9), Dallas (7.5). If I'm understanding this correctly, that means I should bet Seattle, New England, San Diego, and Dallas.


Blogger XWL said...

The line isn't designed to be a prediction of the outcome, it's designed to get an equal amount of bettors to pick either teams.

The house makes money on the "vigorish", you have to give them $55 dollars to win $50, so if they have an equal number of people picking Seattle at +8.5 as they do picking Green Bay at -8.5, the house will win no matter what.

It doesn't matter which team wins or by how many points, let's say Seattle does win 5-3 as the dice have ordained, then all the people who laid their $55 on GB would be providing the money the bookies use to pay the $50 they will shell out to all the winners who picked Seattle. The house keeps 10% (aka "the vig") for themselves, so as long as they get about even money on both sides of the line, the bookies are happy. That's also why the line will move during the week. If they see a lot of money coming in on one side, they'll adjust the line to attract bettors on the other. Some gamblers only bet when they see really big changes in lines, assuming that somebody knows something so they better jump in. Other gamblers see big shifts as sucker money, and bet the opposite figuring the masses are always suckers.

This is the one part of gambling in Vegas where the house advantage isn't assured, though. With all the card, dice, wheel, and slot machines, the house advantage is based on mathematical principles that aren't influenced (much) by human behavior. At the sports book, the whole point is human behavior, both that of the athletes, and the betting public, which may be why Vegas doesn't really push sports betting much, it's a headache.

Whether you bet or not, it still is the best weekend in football of the season.

1/09/2008 08:35:00 PM  

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