If you’re new to sports betting, you’ll most likely come across the over/under (O/U) statistic in one form or another. This is the amount of points that the betting line is allotted for the game, i.e. how many points the underdogs are expected to win.
As the saying goes, perception is reality, and in the world of sports betting, perception is everything. The layperson might regard an NFL game between the Colts and the Bears as a fairly even match. However, insiders might know that while the Colts have Peyton Manning, the Bears have one of the top quarterbacks in the league in Jay Cutler. Simply put, if you’re backing the Colts, you might want to consider taking the pointspread into account, especially if you’re looking to gain an edge over the sportsbooks. After all, the more points that you put on the over, the bigger your win.
How Big Is The Edge?
Although it’s rare, there are exceptions to every rule — and this is one of them. Depending on the game, the pointspread can vary from barely worth paying attention to to extremely interesting. On a basic level, you might look at the total number of points in a game and decide that betting on the total number of points is slightly more interesting than just betting on the home team. However, keep in mind that while this might seem like common sense, it might not be. For instance, take a look at the 2009 NFC Championship Game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New York Giants. The game was tied at three following a three-yard rush by Shaun Alexander on 4th and goal from the 1-yard line. It seemed like an impossible feat for the Giants to come back and win the game, but they did. The final score was 16-13 and the final lines had Seattle as 4½ point favorites. How much of a role did the pointspread play in your decision to lay the points?
What Is The Appeal Of The Underdog?
The underdog is often viewed as the more interesting of the two teams in a match up because the odds are always in favor of the underdog. In other words, the theory goes that since the odds are against the underdog, an even number of points will always prove to be the perfect scenario for the underdog. Therefore, if you’re a betting man, you’ll always want to back the underdog. This is particularly relevant during a NFL season when most NFL games feature one team that is either a heavy favorite or a long shot to win the game. In those situations, the oddsmakers have concocted what they believe to be the perfect upset and the odd of getting money back usually favors the bettor. It’s all about leverage and using it effectively. Consider betting on the Yankees with payroll and ownership in excess of $200 million as compared to the Yankees’ estimated $110 million payroll this year. Although the New York sportsbooks would like to think otherwise, the fact is they’d love to have your money. They have a history of hurting teams that they feel are beneath them. This is especially true in the postseason where a series of upsets have led to one of the most exciting periods in sports. When will we see another season like that?
To put it simply, the appeal of the underdog is that it’s a guaranteed winner. You’re guaranteed to make money no matter what whenever you lay the points. In theory, this is always the case but in practice, it doesn’t always work out this way. For example, take a look at the 2006 World Cup final between England and France. England was a 2-1 favorite in the match but what happened? Well, in a controversial decision, the umpires awarded the goal to France due to an incorrect handle on the ball by English goalkeeper David Seaman. The refs made the wrong call, there was no question about it, but instead of giving England the win, the line moved to 3-2. It was then that people who had backed England in the first place began to realize that they might actually lose their money. This is what makes the line so interesting, you never really know if you’re going to win or lose until the game ends. It’s all about the variables that come into play. It’s very similar to backgammon but on a larger scale. The game is never certain to end in a win-win situation but it’s the aim of every serious backgammon player to find that perfect combination of luck and strategy so that they can create the perfect “Gammon” on the board.
Are There Any Other Important Factors To Consider?
There are always a number of other important factors to consider whenever you make a wager. For instance, you need to consider whether or not the game is likely to exceed the number of points that you’re willing to risk. If you think that the game is likely to be one of the more high-scoring games this year, then you might want to consider adjusting your line a touch to the under. After all, there’s no sense in taking a risk on a game that you think is going to be low-scoring.
In conclusion, while it’s true that the appeal of the underdog is well-known, it’s also important to remember that there are a number of factors that you need to take into account before backing a team or laying the points. Familiarity with the game is certainly among them but so is the amount of money that you’re willing to risk on a particular game, the pointspread, the scoring difference and whether or not the game is in the playoff bracket. With this in mind, it’s never easy to handicap or figure out the perfect line in the betting world but if you keep all of these factors in mind and make the right calculations, you’ll most likely come up with the perfect line — without too much trouble.