The Value of Betting at Reduced Juice
by Charles Jay, Predictem.com
Would it help you if you didn't have to pay as much on your losing bets at one sportsbook as opposed to another?
You bet it does. Let's illustrate!
Always remember that when you're wagering on a football game, you're generally going to have to lay a price, unless you're somehow getting what is considered to be the "worst of it" in the pointspread. What this has meant, through the years, is that you have laid 11-to-10; that is, for every $10 you wish to win on a game, you'll be betting $11. The difference here is what is known as the "vigorish," "vig" or "juice," which amounts to a fee the bookmaker (or sportsbook, as it were) will extract from you for utilizing their services. So a $100 bet would actually become a $110 bet. So you'd be pulling in $210. The vig is only retained by the sportsbook for bets that you lose.
This constitutes the margin for sportsbooks that have kept them in business forever. And it is what makes the game of sports betting such a difficult one to beat.
How difficult? Well, let's take a look at what your break-even point would be. In other words, what percentage of games would you have to win to break even with the house?
Many people would say 55%, rationalizing that since laying 11 to 10 makes you lay 10% of your intended wager, you simply add 10% of 50% to it. But that is NOT the break-even point.
Let's make the assumption that you are dealing with a flat bet (i.e., the same bet every time), which is the only model we can use for this. There is a formula that can be used, and it's this:
Price / (1 - Price) = Break-Even Percentage
So what you want to do is plug the figures into the formula, just like this:
1.10 / (1 + 1.10) = 1.10 / 2.10 = .5238095
What does this tell you? Well, it indicates that in order to break even laying 11 to 10, you need to win 52.38% of your bets, based on a flat bet per play. If you achieve any percentage higher than that you will be operating at a profit.
If you won only 50% of the time, assuming a $100 bet each time, you wouldn't be doing too well. That's because you'd lose $110 on the unsuccessful plays and win $100 when you hit. At the end of 100 bets, you're going to have lost $500, which would cancel out what you'd gain on five winning plays.
Now let's change the dynamic.
Let's set it up so that instead of laying -110 you'll be laying reduced juice at just -105...
Again, here's that formula:
Price / (1 - Price) = Break-Even Percentage
And here we go......
1.05 / (1 + 1.05) = .512195122
Okay, so you'll now only have to win 51.2% of your bets to break even, based on a flat bet. That means you'll only have to be slightly over the .500 mark in order to be a long-term winner.
It doesn't look like a lot, but if you're going to make a lot of wagers during football season, and then carry that into basketball, it could go a long way toward making up the difference between winning and losing.
They say football is a game of inches. Well, sports betting is also a game of inches. And dollars. And cents, not to mention sense.
Reduced juice -105 makes sense, any way you slice it. Start saving money today by clicking here to sign up at 5Dimes Sportsbook!
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