Losing Streaks are Inevitable

Feb 18, 2014

The betting line or “point-spread” if you prefer expresses the imbalance between two unevenly matched teams, thereby reducing every game to the mathematical equivalent of a coin toss. So when someone suggests (touts or ego-maniacs), suggest they are handing out 65-70% winners consistently, they are lying to you because it’s not possible over an extended period of time, exactly like a coin toss. If we were to flip a coin 20 times, it’s quite possible that is would come up one way 13 or 14 times out of 20 but extend that into the hundreds or thousands and we guarantee you it’ll come out close to 50% and the same applies to sports-betting.

The line is generated by highly paid consultants in Vegas and the Caribbean who weigh the relative strengths of the teams and more importantly, the public’s perception of those strengths. Because of regional prejudices, people in New York, for example, think more of the Knicks than do people in Chicago or Los Angeles, the line can slightly vary from sportsbook to sportsbook by ever so slightly. Furthermore, on games where the bettors are disproportionately betting on one side, books will incrementally adjust the line to make the under-bet side more attractive. Thanks to the general brilliance and accuracy of these lines, gamblers that can consistently beat the sportsbooks are as rare as an honest politician. But it can be done.

Less than one half of 1% of sports bettors are able to consistently pick point-spread winners (you’ll notice we said point spread and not money line winners). The proverbial “one in a million” can consistently pick winners over an extended period of time because those few are able to derive a more precise, more accurate, more “valuable line” than the oddsmakers. It’s for that reason you often see us on teams that nobody else wants. You see, these teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Utah Jazz, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills and many college teams in both football and basketball are almost always taking back an inflated price due to the reasons mentioned above. That doesn’t mean it’s going to work out every night because it’s not. There are so many intangibles that impact the winner, whether it’s straight up or against the spread, that 85-90% of all games are nothing but pure luck. It so often comes down to a missed or made free throw or whether or not the team losing is in foul mode or not in the final 20 seconds. Half the time the losing team lets the clock run out if they’re down by more than two possessions and half the time they do not. Hell, we’ve seen teams down by nine or 10 points with 13 seconds left foul the ball carrier and there is no crystal ball in the world that can predict that stuff. In football, 72% of ALL games over the past 20 years came down to the final drive before a point-spread winner could be declared. In MLB, a hard hit ball could be hit right at someone while a softly hit ball could bloop in for a single and decide the game. The bottom line is you are not going to be on the right side of all those intangibles a high percentage of the time. Much like a coin toss, you will be on the right side of that roughly 50-52% of the time.

When you toss a coin and it lands on heads 12 times in a row the odds of it coming up heads on the 13th toss is exactly the same as it was on the first toss, or 5th toss for that matter, that being exactly 50% because each roll is independent of itself. Again, it’s quite possible that heads could come up predominately over a small sample size but impossible over a large sample size and that’s why losing streaks are inevitable when you’re betting sports.

That said, we’re in our 12th year of posting our plays online and we’ve had one losing year. Being able to recognize overvalued teams, undervalued teams and playing the money line as much as possible are the reasons we’ve been able to consistently win. So when you see us on a losing streak, and they’ll happen several times over the course of a calendar year, you can be damn sure that many of those losses were bad beats and a turnaround is just around the corner. The money will come back with interest and we’ve proven so over 12 years. Stick with value.