When I started betting, basketball became one of my favourite sports. Why? Because I was was placing bets in my local bookmaker and they simply didn’t move the lines back in late 90’s and at the start of 2000. This was the time, when I started my betting career and I had not idea, that this will be my full-time job 20 years later.
The difference between my lines and my local bookmakers lines
Back then I didn’t have any betting model and didn’t go deep with analysis like I do now. But I understand one thing – and this is the concept of +EV. I knew, that I should never ever bet on so-called winner, but instead of this I must to find the value. The value is always, when you get more for the same price or if you like, the value is when you get more than you would expect.
I was not basketball expert, but I was smarter than my local bookmaker back then. I was checking sharp online bookmakers lines and then I compared with my local bookmaker. I found, that betting on games, where the lines from my bookmaker and those from online sharp bookmakers (like Pinnacle), is very successful.
How it worked back then?
My local bookmaker didn’t create their own odds, they didn’t have any betting experts or math models to create their own lines. They simply opened the same lines on basketball games like Pinnacle and other big online bookmakers. Then they added little bi more juice and this was enough to eat small bettors.
However, there was also a small group of bettors, that understand this and I was among them. I knew, that they opened the same lines than Pinnacle on all basketball games and they opened that lines couple of days before the actual games even started.
But they missed one thing. They didn’t move the lines. And even if they moved them, they were to slow. And I knew it. So, I simply payed attention to those games, where my local bookmaker didn’t move the line and the difference between their lines and Pinnacle lines was big enough to bet on that game. And I can say you, that those differences were pretty big and I made a lot of money back then.
At some point they blocked my bets and all my combinations. The limits were not big, but I send my friends to bet at the same time the same combination and same bets.
Well….this is an example how it worked back then…
On Wednesday, Pinnacle opened the odds on Spanish basketball league games, that would be played on Saturday. Their opening lines on basketball game between Barcelona vs Real Madrid were:
BARCELONA -7 at 1.95 (-105)
REAL MADRID +7 at 1.95 (-105)
My local bookmaker copied those lines and add little bit more juice:
BARCELONA -7 at 1.89
REAL MADRID +7 at 1.89
At the first look, there was no value on this play and I also didn’t have betting model to estimate my own lines or odds to see if I have a value.
But then something happened….
Pinnacle moved the lines. Sometimes those line movements were quick, because of some very important information.
Their odds changed and would be immediately
BARCELONA -2 at 1.95 (-105)
REAL MADRID +2 at 1.95 (-105)
My local bookmaker was not that fast and didn’t move the line so quickly. Sometimes, they didn’t even move it. And the lines on my bookmaker stayed the same. They still offered:
BARCELONA -7 at 1.89
REAL MADRID +7 at 1.89
Of course, I knew, that playing Real Madrid is a vale play now, because my “betting advisor – sharp online bookmaker” – has Real at only -2. In other words, my online bookmaker thinks, that Real will lose this game for 2 points, no more. So, I have +5 points of room with Real +7 at my local bookie.
And this is how I beat a bookmaker back then, just by looking for the difference between my lines (my lines = online bookmakers lines) and my local bookmaker lines. In other words I was looking for a value, where my betting model was simply odds from online bookmakers.
But the things have changed….
Of course this couldn’t last forever. Local bookmakers were smarter and smarter, they started to move the lines very quickly and with the internet there is no bookmaker, that will make such mistakes on a daily basis.
So, I needed to find another way and this is how I started to bet baseball in next few years. But I learned one thing – you will beat a bookmaker only if you will find different lines and odds than they. There is no other way.
Most bettors still didn’t make a step forward…
I quickly realised, that betting on bookmakers will not be profitable anymore. Big bookmakers don’t make big mistakes anymore and small bookmakers don’t do a lot of them. I was an active member on different forums and I also saw, that following other people’s picks will not be profitable anymore, because you’ll never get the same lines and the odds.
With the internet whole sports betting world changed. The lines move all the time and the the best way is to learn how to bet. Sports betting is not like some other speculative businesses, where you trust your money to someone and they will make money for you. In sports betting there are many obstacles, like limiting players from bookmakers and every single bettor is a single story.
Then I decided, that I will start using my own statistics in sports betting…
Next few years I spend analysing the baseball and didn’t pay too much attention to basketball, because of little bit lower bet limits, because of quick line movements and I simply didn’t have enough data for European basketball leagues. Baseball gave me all that with huge data size.
Until 2017 I didn’t pay much attention to basketball betting, I also started with my Underdogchance site and then somebody asked me if I can create a betting model for soccer, for basketball, for tennis,….even for a cycling.
I said myself – why not
I still want to stick with baseball betting, which is my main sport to bet, but because I can help other bettors with their sports too, I decided that I will challenge myself to create betting models for other sports too.
STATISTIC and ANALYTICS is crucial and if you can mix this with other information that you have, you can beat a bookmaker. If you bet without statistics at all, if you rely on intuition, if you rely on public information, if you follow other people’s picks, where you always pay very big price with the odds, you don’t have a chance on the long run. And long run will happen at some point to all of us. Bettors that win in short time will keep betting for sure and they will face “long run” sooner or later. Unfortunately “long run” means also a bankruptcy for most bettors in the world. And one of the key reasons is that they don’t use statistics and analytics at all.
I understand the basic concept in sports betting, I know how to use statistics and I wanted to create something that will be simple and easy to understand for everyone. When I started betting I was always looking for betting models, but they didn’t existed and if they existed, nobody would share them with me. But this is something I wish existed back then.
And this is how it started…
I have created a basketball betting model for my basketball friends and followers, so they can include statistic on a very simple way before they bet.
I didn’t use any complex programming languages, like python, but I wanted to create something in excel or google spreadsheet, which is free. After all those two tools I use for myself too.
I wanted to create a betting model, where you can calculate your own lines for basketball games. Something like information about first lines, that I get from my online bookmaker back then when I was beating my local bookmaker.
The idea was to compare my lines with bookmakers lines and then bet where there is bigger difference.
Because all my work is based on honesty and transparency, I started to share all my bets with my followers and also on some forums.
The success was great and I knew that I have created some tool, that every basketball bettor that don’t use any statistics must have.