Progress Publishing Co.

 Football Betting

 

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Football Betting

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The odds in football betting

Laying odds

Bookie’s vigorish

Minimum winning percentage for profitable football betting

Football bets

Football touts

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The odds in football betting

A football point spread gives both teams in the match equal chances of beating the spread. In result, the bettors on the opposite teams have true odds of winning equal 1:1. In other words, according to the true bets it’s an even-money proposition. However the payoffs are not done according to the true odds. The standard odds offered to the football bettors by the bookies are 11 to 10; 6 to 5 and for the parlay bets 7 to 5. These are the fixed odds that never change. No matter what bookie you’ll be placing your bets with, the odds will still be the same fixed 11 to 10 odds. A football bettor can find the difference in the point spread between the bookies, but the odds offered will always be the same.

Laying the odds

When a bettor takes 11 to 10 odds, he is “laying the odds”. A bettor will always lay bookie the odds regardless of the team he is betting on. Laying the odds means betting to win less than the amount of the bet. With 11 to 10 odds, a bettor has to bet $11 hoping to win 10. If he wants to win $20, a football bettor has to bet 22. If he wants to win a hundred, his bet will be $110. The difference between the bet and the amount of the possible win goes to the bookie to pay him for handling the bets. That difference is called the bookie’s “vigorish” or simply a “vig”.

Bookie’s vigorish

Since the odds that the football bettors have to lay are worse than the true odds, a bookie has a built-in percentage profit from every dollar bet on any team. It is easy to calculate that percentage. Suppose a bettor lays $11 trying to win $10. He has equal chances of winning and losing. The average result on his $11 bet will be a loss equal 0.5 x10 – 0.5x11 = - $0.5. Since he was betting $11, the bookie’s percentage or vigorish will equal 0.5:11=0.0454 or in percentage terms 4.54%. An individual football match will result in a win of $10 or a loss of $11. However, a bettor will be losing on average 4.54 cents on every dollar he bets.

Small bookies offer worse odds of 6 to 5 instead of 11 to 10. In this case a football bettor will have to lay $6 to win $5. An average loss on $6 dollar bet will be 0.5x5 – 0.5x6 = -0.5. Since he is betting this time $6, the bookie’s vigorish will be 0.5:6 = 0.0833 or in percentage terms 8.33%. The betting with 6 to 5 odds will cause a bettor to lose his bankroll almost two times faster at the rate of 8.33 cents per every dollar bet. A bettor should never accept less than the best odds for his betting.

A bookie always has an edge against the public in the form of his vigorish regardless of which particular team the football bettors are betting on.

Minimum winning percentage for profitable football betting

The only way to overcome the bookie’s edge and beat the bookie is to employ thorough and careful handicapping to increase a winning percentage. What is the required minimum winning percentage a bettor should have in order to profit from his football betting? If a football bettor has to lay 11 to 10 odds, then the winning percentage P% can be found from a simple equation: P%x10 – (100 – P)%x11 >= 0. That means that P% must be more than 1100%:21 = 52.38%. A football betting must be more than 52.38% successful for a bettor to come out ahead in the long run. NFL football betting tips along with latest Football Odds, game previews, and betting news will make your betting successful.

Football bets

When a bettor is betting on one team to beat a point spread it’s a simplest form of football betting. The more complex forms of betting such as parlay betting, teaser betting, over and under betting consist of bets covering multiple games.

Parlay betting

With parlay betting a bettor makes a bet that at least 2 teams in 2 games will beat a point spread. If at least one team loses the whole bet is lost. Parlay betting may cover up to 6 teams with one bet. The winning percentage for parlay betting is a lot less in comparison with the straight betting on one team. A bettor gets compensated for a smaller win percentage by better odds. Instead of laying the odds to the bookie a parlay bettor will be taking odds. He’ll bet paid more than amount of his bet if his bet is successful. In case of the 2 teams parlay betting a bettor will be paid 13 to 5 odds – for every $5 bet he’ll get $13. For 3 teams parlay he’ll enjoy 6 to 1 odds. The odds for 4 teams parlay are 10 to 1 etc…  Because of the big odds given to the parlay bettors, that type of betting is very popular among betting public.

Teaser betting

Teaser betting is similar to the parlay betting because the bet is made on the result of the few games instead of one. A teaser is added to entice the public to make bets. The teaser comes in the form of additional points that can be added to the point spread to improve a winning percentage. The number of additional points can be 6, 6½ or 7 points. The teaser betting requires all chosen teams to beat the spread. If one team loses or there is a tie, the whole bet is lost. If a bettor takes 6 points teaser he’ll have even money odds. With 6½ points teaser a bettor will lay 11 to 10 odds. A 7 points teaser will require laying 7 to 5 odds.

Suppose a football bettor is betting with a 6 points teaser on the results of two games: Dallas Cowboys 7 points over St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears 3 points over Miami Dolphins. The bettor can use 6 points any way he wants to change the point spread to increase his winning percentage. If he likes Dallas he can adjust 7 point spread down to 1. If he also likes Miami he’ll use 6 points to make spread 9 points instead of 3. Now he’ll win his bet if Dallas will win over St. Louis by more than 1 point instead of 7 points and Miami will loose by less than 9 points instead of original 3. Teaser betting gives a football bettor a better chance to win in exchange for the smaller payoff.

The Over and Under betting

With that type of betting a bookie will predict a certain amount for a total score in the upcoming match. A bettor has an option of betting that the total score – the total number of points scored in the game by both teams – will be higher (“over”) than the bookie’s number. He also has an option of betting on the total score being lower (“under”) than bookie’s prediction. An over and under bettor will be laying bookie regular 11 to 10 odds.

Football touts

A tout or a tipster is a person who sells supposedly inside information to the bettors. Usually this information is not worth anything. It is often offered by the bettors who lost their bankrolls. Without bankrolls they can’t participate in betting themselves and they try to make money selling tips to others.

Copyright Progress Publishing Co. 2006

Selected References:

John Scarne  New Complete Guide to Gambling The Gambling Times Guide to Winning Systems
Kelso Sturgeon  Guide to Sports Betting Alice Fleming  Something for Nothing/A History of Gambling
Carl Sifakis  The Encyclopedia of Gambling Alan Wykes   The Complete Illustrated Guide to Gambling
Edwin Silberstang  How to Win Big in Football, Baseball etc. Bert Randolph Sugar  Sports Book of Betting
Diagram Book   Rules of the Game Ralph Hickok  The Encyclopedia of North American Sports History
Dave Ominsky and P.J. Harari  Football Made Simple Charles Fellows   Football Rules Illustrated