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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Kelly criterion and how does it apply to sports betting?
The kelly criterion is a formula that tells you exactly how much money to wager on an event. When you invest in anything there are two steps involved. The first is picking the right investment. In our situation, that would mean picking the right team to bet on. The second step,which is understood much less, is wagering the correct amount of money. A money management system has to accomplish two goals: it has to maximize your winnings and minimize your losses. It is mathematically proven that no system can accomplish these goals better than the kelly criterion. Some of the most successful and famous investors of all time have been linked to the kelly criterion for money management, guys like Warren Buffett and Edward O Thorp. I encourage you to use our kelly calculator and see the different results you get by using different numbers. Also, there is a great article on Wikipedia expaining the Kelly criterion and proving the mathematical proof of the formula.
What separates you from the other handicappers in the industry?
We have a higher, more consistent winning percentage and we use a superior money management system. We know that there are a lot of scam artists in the industry, and you're right to be skeptical. That's why we have our picks tracked by two independent sites right now, Bang the Book and Wagerminds. We began allowing these sites to track our picks last season and they provide a record of our winning percentage.
What different type of bets are there?
There are many different types of bets that you will come across in your sports betting journey. What we are going to go over here are the most common.
Juice isn't a bet, it is the amount of money you have to pay to the bookie or casino on your losses, and it is essentially what keeps these people in business. The standard juice that you will see is 10%. It will normally be written like: Lakers -110. The -110 is the number that tells us the juice is 10%. What that means is you have to bet $110 to win $100. It is also known as the vig or vigorish.
The point spread is your most common type of bet. The idea of a point spread is to handicap a stronger team to equal it out with a weaker team. It can be thought of as the number of points the sportsbook thinks the favorite is better by. For example, NYG -3 means the NYG are 3 point favorites. At the end of the game you subtract 3 points from the NYG score and compare it to the score of the other team. If you bet on NYG -3 to win the bet the NYG would have to win the game by 4 points or more, 3 would be a draw. If you took their opponent you would win the bet if they lost by 2 or less or won the game outright.
The money line is a bet where you bet solely on who is going to win the game, it has nothing to do with the point spread. For example, you may see a money line that is: Lakers - 250 Money lines are always based in $100 dollar increments. So what that money line means is that you have to bet $250 on the Lakers to win $100. If the money line is a plus such as Miami + 160 that means that for every $100 that you put on Miami you will win $160.
A parlay bet is when where you bet on more than one team and all of your picks have to win for you to win the parlay. For example, your most common parlay is a 3-team. Some casinos offer odds on 3-team parlays as high as 6 to 1. That means that for every $1 you bet you win $6. So if you take a 3-team parlay with GB -3, Balt + 5, and Det + 7 and all of those individual bets win then your parlay wins. For every bigger parlay the odds increase, a 4-teamer pays 12 to 1, a 5-teamer pays 25 to 1 etc. Improper use of parlays can ruin an otherwise sound betting system.
An over under bet is one where you you are betting whether you think the score will go over or under a certain number. For example, the over under line for the GB game is 42 you decide whether you think the final score of both teams added together will be over or under 42. These bets pay out the same as a point spread type bet.
This term is most commonly used the same away as money line. In our above example we would be referring to the NBA odds on the game.