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## Secrets of Sports Betting – The Bookmakers Secrets!

During the 1980s, I was part of a group that used computers to win millions in sports betting from Las Vegas casinos. This was before personal computers were in everyday use. The invention we don’t call the internet was years away from having access to poor statistics and data. We were successful for two reasons. First we were ahead of the oddsmakers in gathering important information. They were still doing things the old way, and we took advantage of that loophole.

Those days are gone forever. The second key to success is understanding how the numbers actually work.

**ODDS DO NOT PREDICT THE WINNER**

Think of it this way. “The odds are not predicting who will win. They are actually predicting who the public THINKS will win.” Most sports bettors, both professionals and novices, do not understand the secrets of bookmakers.

Two-way sports bets (ie two teams with a 50-50 chance of winning without a draw) are published at odds of 11-10. This means you bet £11 to win £10. Half the punters select Team A and collect their £10 when they win. The other punters pick Team B and lose the contest paying £11 to their bookie. You might think this gives the house or bookmaker a 4.55% edge. You’re wrong about that assumption, but don’t feel bad, 99.5% of punters think like you.

**THE GREAT ICONCEPTION**

The general thought is something like this. Bookmakers ensure a profit just by balancing their books. In other words, they hope to get half of the bets on each of the teams, so they win every time. In reality, they hardly ever balance their books, not even close. You may find small local bookies, with small money, trying to operate this way, but with so many online shops available, they can even increase the books. Many small bookmakers don’t even know the secret. They are like other cattle and travel with the herd. The mistaken belief that large sports betting operations need to balance their bets is the industry’s big secret. What they do need to achieve is to ensure plenty of volume on both sides, without balancing the books.

**THE SECRET OF THE BOOKSTORE REVEALED**

Let’s say the bettors in our example game risk $165,000 to win $150,000 on the favorite. But the public only bet $82,500 on the underdog trying to win $75,000. This looks like a mismatch, with the bookies heading for big trouble if the favorite wins. If the dog wins, the sportsbook makes a profit of $90,000. Win $165,000 from favorite punters and pay $75,000 to dog winners. If the favorite wins, the bookie loses $67,500. He will win $82,500 from underdog backers, but lose $150,000 to fans betting on the favorite. That’s a loss of $67,500.

Now you might also be saying that math doesn’t make the house a winner. So let’s review, when the Underdog wins, the bookie wins $82,500, but if the favorite wins, they lose $67,500. Favorites and underdogs usually split the winnings equally, with each side winning 50% of the time. Half the time he will lose $67,500, the other half he will win $82,500, so his profit is $15,000 regardless of who wins. So, in our example, what is the bookmaker really risking? The bookie is actually risking $67,500 to win $82,500. In simple terms, you are basically putting in $75 to win $100. That means he doesn’t even have to win 50% of the time to break even. The house only needs a 42.9% strike rate, after that it’s all profit.

**DISCOUNT 33% PROFITS, WIN WHO WINS**

Give me odds of losing $75 and winning $100 on a 50-50 coin bet. I will beat you every time with this huge house edge. For most fans, the general thought is that the bookmaker should balance their books with even bets. You can see from my example that this is not true. When you have bettors risking twice as much as the favorite side, you get a 33% return on every dollar.

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