|New Lines and New Value
|Written by Chris Coleman.
Are the Las Vegas Sports Consultants still calling the early lines? Ask most gamblers of yesterday or even today and they will tell you "The lines originate in Las Vegas." That is the unequivocal statement made by USA Today’s Michael McCarthy in Wednesday’s feature on sports betting in Las Vegas. There’s just one problem. It’s wrong. While that statement was probably right until recent times, there has been one big change since then and it's called world wide web. Opening sports lines haven't come from vegas in more than five years, yet the mainstream media continues to peddle the fable that the line originates in Vegas.
A number of offshore sports books have lines posted 2 hours or more before anything hits the board in Las Vegas. While most Nevada sports books don’t have lines until Monday morning, those that open on Sunday night absolutely take the offshore lines as their cue. The guys who run those places are too smart to not respect the heavy hammering that these numbers have taken offshore.
This is not something to criticize Nevada bookmakers about. In mimicking the offshore line a Vegas bookmaker is simply using good judgment and being responsible. Any Vegas bookie who actually posts his own opinion rather than more than a half-point away from what the market has hammered out offshore deserves to be fired. But some of the major offshore sportsbooks aren't too far from this now. Take one look at any comparative offshore oddsboard (oddsboard.com) and just look at the disparity between sportsbooks odds. Any pro gambler that isn't peddling multiple books is leaving money on the table every week. There has never been a better time to find solid value in sports odds and now most players can find new and improved value in their daily selections. Offshore sports wagering and multiple books fighting over new customers has created new value for the players that our fathers could have only dreamed about. Not only are we seeing value, but also seeing huge line moves as the sportsbooks scramble around to tighten down the loose lines created from the rush of the books to "be first" releasing the earliest point spreads.
Speaking of big line move losers on Saturday, none bigger than the LSU-Ariz. St. line jumping from Ariz. St. +7.5 to Arizona St. -2. Any players lucky enough to catch this major debacle scored huge with an easy play on ASU. For every big line move winner (TCU) there seemed to be three losers (BYU, Maryland, Miami-FL), as the opening line was more accurate than the ensuing opinion of bettors. Line moves can be a catch 22 in most cases as you can be on the receiving end of some of the moves, but smart players seldom are and its this player that is usually left standing with the most coin in his pocket at the end of the season.
Good luck this weekend, and be careful.
Last updated on September 12, 2005.