Straight Reads The Line – 3/26


LAL/DET 1H u109 @ 1.86
NYK/CHR 1H u113 @ 1.90
NYK +7 1H @ 1.90

NCAA Basketball
SF/UNT 1H o66 @ 1.86

CAR/OTT 1P o1.5 @ 1.90
BUF/TOR 1P o1.5 @ 1.76
NYI/FLO 1P o1.5 @ 1.71
NYR/WSH 1P o1.5 @ 1.80
ARZ/TB 1P o1.5 @ 1.80
VGK/COL 1P u1.5 @ 2.00
LA/CGY 1P u1.5 @ 1.83

AlMac – 3/26/18

Going to try something new.

After spending the weekend with a good crew of cappers. I feel like I have learned some new tricks of the trade when it comes to reading lines and finding value on the board by simply looking at where the sharp money is.

I am focusing on derivative bets because I feel like that is where the most value is.

IE: Basketball

If there is sharp money on PISTON/LAKERS u213.5

I am going to look at the 1H and 1Q lines.

If the total is more than 50% (1H) or 25% (1Q) of the game total – there is value in the pick with the higher margin of difference between the full game total and the fractional game total.

The same can be said about spreads. If there is sharp money on the Knicks +11.5 , there is value if you can get a line that is 50% (1H) or 25% (1Q) of the full game spread.

IE: Hockey

This approach works better with totals because there is no 1st period spreads in hockey unless we are talking international hockey or world competition etc.

If there is sharp money on HURRICANES/SENATORS O6. There is value if you can get a line at 1P o1.5. Based on the sharps action – they are expecting atleast 2 goals per period (in theory) for them to hit on the full game over. So if you can bet on a 1/3rd derivative of that by betting on OVER 1.5 (1P) – you are eliminating a large portion of variance by betting on small increments of the games.

This approach will work the same with Baseball using First 5 Innings. If there is sharp action on TOR/BOS u9.5 and you are able to get First 5 Innings u5 – there is value in that play.

I am basically using the sharp money as an indicator of what picks have value – and then using the market reaction to quantify that value into a bet that has less chance of variance (but same value) than the full game bet.

If sharp action comes in on one side, the market needs to re-adjust the line to get equal action on both sides – this is when you will see a crash or a run on a game total or spread.

EX: A basketball game opens at 216.5 – however within a few hours of the over night line being posted – tons of action comes in on the over – so the bookies move the line to 217, then 217.5, then 218, all the way up to 220 and by 12pm EST the line is sitting steadily at 219.5. Now you know that the sharps, the big syndicates, the artificial intelligence guys and the big math model nerds are the ones hammering these early morning lines to try and get the best value – they see an outright edge and they are hammering it hard.

So when you have a 219.5 line at 12pm EST – a line that opened at 216.5 but jumped all the way up to 220, then back down to settle at 219.5 – you have a bunch of separation in full game, 1H and 1Q numbers. This is where the value is!

This hypothetical 219.5 game should have a half time total of 109.5 – 110.5, however because the original line opened up at 216.5 – and got bet up – there is separation between the 1H and 1Q lines as compared to the full game. Alot of books don’t move their half time numbers in coordination with their full game total numbers. This is where you have the sharpest edge.

The 219.5 game which should have a theoretical half time total around 109.5 – 110.5 is actually hanging a half time line at 108.5 – this is because the game opened at 216.5, but all the money that rushed in was on the full game total – so there was no adjustment made to the 1H line. You know the sharps see an edge on this over. So the only logical thing to do is to take the half time line at the same value you would get the full game total – however you are reducing your chance of variance by a huge margin.

Now mind you – there is tons of outside factors you have to consider here – this system works best in the dog days of a regular season – not the playoffs or big marque games like Christmas or opening day. The more that is going on in the books – the more chance of finding value you have. This concept is basically using the market’s movements against itself to find where the most value is in a bet – and by reducing your chance of variance.

Factors to consider:

Sharps move lines – The big money syndicates in vegas and around the world operate on a different level than the basic old school mentality of “if you see a game with an edge – pound it.” – The big money syndicates, the guys that move the lines with their money have a different motive than the majority of recreational and even semi-professional bettors. Sometimes, sharps will hammer an opening line to simply get a better line on the other side. If you like the under in this hypothetical game were talking about – it opens at 216.5 – it gets bet up to 219.5 – sharps are getting 3 pts of value from feeding one side of the total with money and moving it up and up – and then hammering it on the other side.

The public has deep pockets – Again – this concept is not meant for finding value in the Super Bowl, or the NBA finals, or the Final Four – this concept is meant for the dog days of regular seasons when you can spot something that not everyone is aware of and hit that spot hard. When you are dealing with high profile sporting events – the public recreational bettor has more momentum behind their action than the sharps – so be careful. If you are trying to read lines – get to the board as early as possible because that is when you will find the most true indication of what the sharps are thinking. Once you start dealing with an over saturated market – you are walking blind in the woods and there is no light to help you find your way. So stay out of the woods.

Team trends matter – Now the absolute best way to use this concept is to pair it with a real handicapping method – use a model – know your league, know your teams. Stats like ‘Net Points Per Game 1H/2H’ are immensely key here – if you see there is an off line – and you can identify why it is off – that line just lost value – the bookies aren’t stupid – they just miss things sometimes. If a team trends to be more of a 1H team than a 2H team – it would make sense that the 1H total is higher than 50% of the full game total. That would be something I would stay away from. However, if you see sharp action coming in on the under – now you have found value, now you are using the market’s over reaction to this team trend in your favor. Now you are making the right play.

Let’s see how I do.

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