Sportsbook gamblers would argue that of course they want to win. But the way they go about sports gambling indicates otherwise. Success at a sportsbook isn’t achieved by “winging it” and by simply having fun with sports gambling by making numerous wagers based on feelings or what was said on “Sportscenter” or written in the paper.
The first thing that you must understand if you want to have success at a sportsbook is that the line makers know everything you know, if not more, but also know how that knowledge will be interpreted by the gambling public.
The line makers are often the ultimate manipulators of the masses at a sportsbook and to overcome their tremendous skill you must learn to think like one rather than as a gambler. One of the most useful skills that a sportsbook handicapper can develop is the ability to set the line and odds.
Unlike the line makers, however, a good sportsbook handicapper will set his own lines based on the actual merits of the teams, rather than the public perception that is used to set the lines by the odds makers. Let’s say that the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing the Detroit Lions.
The sportsbook line makers will immediately know that the public will want nothing to do with the Lions. As a result they are going to make the Steelers lay more points than what is actually merited, especially if Pittsburgh is at home. This means that there may be a 3-point or more difference in what the line is and what it actually should be.
The bigger that difference the better the value at a sportsbook. Often times you will also hear about lines that are “too good to be true” or lines that “don’t make sense”. When you see such lines and hear the buzz that is the odds makers manipulating the public into a trap.
The most successful gamblers will avoid traps and know how to read them with their expertise at thinking like an odds maker.
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