Understanding the Market
Old betting strategies are no longer relevant in today’s world. The top sports bettors nowadays use a different system to pick winners compared to in year’s past, which we will explain in this section.
So, what’s changed? In the past, the general consensus among sports bettors was to fade the public. What that means is you find out what the public is doing and then bet opposite. It was a great strategy and still can be at times, although now it’s less effective.
It was a profitable play in the past because the public suffers from a bias towards popular teams such as the New York Yankees and New England Patriots. So, when the oddsmakers are setting the lines, they would always take into account the perceived bias of popular teams and add on a couple points to the spread in favor of those teams. Knowing the oddsmakers were doing this, the smart bettors would bet against those teams, otherwise known as “fading the public.”
Why Fading the Public is No Longer a Profitable Play
However, those days are mostly gone. In today’s world, bookmakers have gotten smarter. They’ve caught on to the pros who fade the public. After taking some hits, losing massive bets from pros who took advantage of the favorable odds.
To counter that strategy and ensure a house win, many online and even live sportsbooks refused heavy action from professionals. And they began eliminating the popular team biased point spreads. That made things more difficult for the pros to thrive, but it’s still profitable if you know what you’re doing.
How You Can Still Win in Today’s Sports Betting Market
Betting against the public can still be profitable at times. For example, many sports bettors still make a killing betting the under on certain football games. The public tends to lean towards the over because most football fans prefer high-scoring games. That makes for a profitable venture fading the public quite frequently.
But, generally speaking, the best way to win money these days is to employ a derivative betting strategy. If you’re racking your brain trying to figure out what the heck that means, of course we’re going to explain!
A derivative is a betting market derived from a larger betting market. So, for example, a smarter play is to wager on the first quarter point spread of a football game instead of the entire game. That kind of prop bet tends to be more profitable and easier to pick. The first quarter point spread is a derivative of the full game point spread.
Another smart bet to beat the house is to play teasers. Teasers are a variation of parlays for football and basketball betting, but with a twist. In a standard parlay, you pick x-amount of games and must win them all to win the parlay.
The same rules apply to a teaser except in each game you get a few extra points added to the spread of each game. Typically, for football betting, a teaser is worth 6-7 points. So, for example, if you do a three-team teaser with New England (-6), Chicago (+4), and Baltimore (+2), the lines will shift to New England (even), Chicago (+10), and Baltimore (+8). Teasers are a great way for sports bettors to get some value and add points to the spread, making it easier to win a parlay.
Top 5 Betting Markets in the United States
Americans love to gamble. The gambling industry in the United States makes a total contribution to the economy of around $137 billion annually. There are many great places to gamble in the US. That includes the “City of Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia. Baltimore, South Florida, Reno, New Orleans, Biloxi, and Tunica also have some exciting casinos. But none of those towns make our list of five best betting markets in the United States.
1.Las Vegas (Nevada)
Duh! Like there was ever any doubt about which city in America topped this list. Las Vegas, otherwise known as “Sin City,” isn’t just the gambling capital of the US. It’s arguably the best casino town in the world.
Las Vegas Boulevard (“The Strip”) generates over $6 billion in gambling revenue each year. In Sin City, there are casinos on virtually every block. The Strip is home to world-famous casino hotels such as Bellagio, Venetian, Caesars Palace, and MGM Grand.
2.Atlantic City (New Jersey)
Nationwide, Atlantic City’s popularity has decreased the past 20 years, especially with Las Vegas continuing to grow. But it’s still a highly popular gambling destination for those in the northeast.
Gambling revenues far exceed $2 million annually, making it the second biggest betting market in the US. Atlantic City, like Vegas, is a town built on casinos. Gambling fuels the local economy with its state-of-the-art casinos such as the MGM-owned Borgata and Caesars Palace.
Chicago isn’t just known for its delicious deep-dish pizza and Michael Jordan. The Midwest city is also home to some entertaining casinos. On the Indiana side, in a town called Hammond, major poker tournaments take place at the Horseshoe Casino.
Chicagoland residents and visitors help the area generate around $2 billion each year in gambling revenue. Not bad for a city with so many other entertainment options (sports, art, science, theater, beaches, etc.).
4.New York City (New York)
The largest city in the country, and eighth in the world, has a rich gambling history. Much of it is illegal, however. So, we don’t know exactly how much gambling revenue New York City generates. The estimate is around $1.5 million per year, on average.
But with all the underground card rooms and illegal bookmakers in the area, who really knows? If you’re ever in New York, hit up the fabulous Resorts World Casino. It’s kind of a cheesy name, but you’ll have an incredible time.
The Motor City could also be called The Gambling City. People in Michigan love to bet on sports, and what better place than the state’s largest city? Detroit brings in nearly $1.5 billion annually from gambling.
The new MGM Grand Detroit is one of the best casinos in the Midwest. You can get down on some horse races, poker, slots, and table games. And the hotel offers clean, comfortable, and luxurious rooms.
Top Bookmakers in the World
There are literally thousands of online sportsbooks. We’re going to let you in on a little secret. Most of those sportsbooks are complete garbage. We don’t trust them for many reasons, including a lack of security and shady tactics. But there are a few places we absolutely love.
Betway: Betway is one of our favorite online sportsbooks and casinos because they are trustworthy, offer lines on all international sporting events, and have some great promotions (such as a free bet for making your first deposit).
Bet365: Bet365 offers many of the same features as Betway. You simply can’t go wrong. It has everything a recreational or hardcore sports bettor could want in a sportsbook.
888 Sports: We are partial to the 888 brand because they always reward loyal customers and pay their winners in a timely manner.
Craziest Sports Bets in History
Our readers range from casual gamblers to professional sports bettors. But we aren’t sure if any of you have ever made any bets as insane as these ones:
‘Bettor X’ is Better than Everyone: During the 2017 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros, an unnamed bettor placed massive moneyline wagers on each game. After winning, he would take that money and let it ride the next game. He won every time during the seven-game series and took the Las Vegas sportsbooks for millions. His name was never publicly revealed.
Nearly Impossible Parlay: Winning every game in a 15-team parlay has odds of 20,000-1, meaning you’re almost as likely to get struck by lightning. But that didn’t stop 26-year-old Tayla Polia from putting down $5 on a 15-team NFL parlay. And she won every single game, netting $100,000.
When Being a Fan Pays Off: Most futures wagers are placed by unrealistic fans at the beginning of a season. But sometimes they pay off for big bucks. Just ask an anonymous St. Louis Cardinals fan who dropped $250 on his team to make the World Series in 2011 (500-1) and $125 to win the World Series (999-1). The Cardinals weren’t expected to contend that year but they ended up winning it, and this lucky fan netted $375,000.
Boxing Legend Has “Money” to Burn: Floyd “Money” Mayweather, one of the greatest boxers of all-time, is a big-time sports bettor. He often places six and sometimes seven figure wagers in his hometown Las Vegas. Perhaps, his riskiest bet came in 2013 when he wagered $5.9 million on the Indiana Pacers to defeat the Miami Heat by at least seven points. He won the bet for $6.49 million.
Father Confident in Son: Rory McIlroy is one of the top golfers in the world now. In 2004, he was only 15 but his father bet he was destined for success. Gerry McIllroy wagered 200 British pounds at 500/1 odds that his son would win the British Open (now “The Open”) by the time he turned 25. Rory came through for his old man by winning it in 2014, right at the age of 25.