Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sports: What’s the toughest part of betting correlated parlays?

Sports: What’s the toughest part of betting correlated parlays?

Sometimes two sport bets will have a connection to each other. If one happens, then the other is more likely than usual to happen. An easy example is: if Team A in the NFL covers the pointspread in the first half, then they are likely to cover the pointspread for the game…well, more likely than previously thought before the game started. Say the probability of Team A to cover the first half is 50% … and the probability of Team A to cover the game is 50%. But if Team A has already covered the first half, then the probability of them also covering the game is obviously greater than 50%. Let’s use 70%.

So if you parlayed Team A First Half and Game, the true odds would be: 50% x 70% = 35%.

If you find a stupid bookie who still offers regular parlay odds on these type of correlated parlays, then you’ve got a goldmine. Regular parlay odds are 2.6 to 1, which is equivalent to 27.8%

But of course, it is highly unlikely to find anyone willing to let you bet these type of parlays, they are too obvious. The good news is there are other type of events that are correlated, the events do have a connection to each other where if one thing happens, another thing is more likely than usual to happen. Unfortunately, I’m not going to mention those things at the moment, I just want to point out they exist. And there are a few books that are willing to take these type of parlays because they don’t know the edge it could give to the player.

So there are two tough parts to these correlated parlays:

1. Figuring out which bets are correlated.
2. Finding a book that’s willing to take them….and figuring out how to keep betting them week to week, year to year before they cut your limit or stop the parlays.

I think #2 is tougher than #1. #1 is easy for anyone who is intelligent and is willing to work hard to find. Whether by logic or by searching through a database, it’s just not that difficult to figure out what is correlated and what isn’t. I think #2 is tougher because the books don’t have to know that a parlay is correlated to kick you out, or to stop you from betting it. All that has to happen is that you have to have several good weeks for them to start to scratch their heads and wonder if they should cut you off. They do that anyways with some players who are just betting straight bets. But with straight bets, they have the ability to lay off to other books, so they may be willing to take a sharp guy’s action in order to get the information. With parlays (and other derivative type of bets), that’s a different story.

So here’s a plan on what to do:

1. Search hard to find a book that takes these type of parlays.
2. Don’t play them too big, you don’t want to kill the golden goose too fast. Unless you think other players will take advantage of it also (say it’s a new book), then you may want to push it to the limit since you know they’ll stop it for everyone sooner or later. In that case, you might as well get your bets in, because they’ll stop those parlays based on other players’ actions and not just yours.
3. If you find an isolated book, or an isolated play, then also sprinkle in other type of plays at that book, so it is not obvious what you are doing. Make your straight wagers at the same book at the same time you put in your parlays. This way it will not be as obvious as you will have a greater portfolio of bets.
4. Don’t tell anyone else except for possibly someone who you think can help you figure things out. Say you think two plays are correlated and you found a book willing to take the plays. But you aren’t sure of your own abilities to figure out the edge, and are worried you may be betting parlays with zero correlation, and thus losing a lot of vig. In that case, it may be best to go to someone else privately (don’t post in a chat room or a forum) and ask for help. It is better to go directly to an individual because then it is only one other person that may use the information. Whereas if the info was posted in a forum, then there could be many hundreds who take it up and kill the opportunity for you.

1 comment:

jhon said...

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