Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yankees-Indians series line versus individual game lines

The series is over and the Indians won in 4 games. But looking back, it continues to amaze me how overvalued the Yankees are on a game-by-game basis in the playoffs, especially when they are in a mist-win sitaution (note, I am a Yankee fan for 30+ years, but this isn't about being a fan but about making positive-EV bets).

I knew they would be overvalued in the individual games, so I decided to stay away from betting the Indians on the series. I thought I would get more value in the indvidual games. But last week, I was still able to find the Indians +180 in the series (when most books had -170 on the Yankees, in fact, the casino across the street had -170 and I had an instant arb if I wanted it - I passed on the arb, knowing that I couldnt' get +180 again). I didn't think even the inflated game lines would get be past +180. But as it turned out, it did.

I could have bet the following on the Indians in each game:

Game 1: +110
Game 2: +120
Game 3: +180
Game 4: +200
Game 5: +110 (at least +110 if that game was played)

These were not fair-market (mid-market) lines, rather they were lines I could and did bet on the Indians.

Using those numbers, the expected winning percentage on the Yankees was -185. So as it turns out, I could have done a little better taking the Indians in the individual games than the series. Even though I took that into consideration, I did not take it enough into consideration and the marketplace surprised me even still.

This won't be useful until next year, when (hopefully) the Yankees make it again to the playoffs.