How do modern day books create and adjust for the different participants in the betting line?

Sunday we had 4 plays and went 1-3.

Our half unit play on Toronto -119 lost 1-15, 1/2 unit total on Houston under 8.5-109 lost 8-1 and our 2 overnight split at 1-1 with and Texas +116 losing 5-6.

Today so far I have sent out 3 plays.

I received an email last night I would like to share:

“I figured you would be the best person to ask with  your experience in dealing with Sports Books in Las Vegas. I am in a debate with someone about essentially how much risk a typical sports book willingly embraces.

One of us says they always look for 50/50 action or having just over 50% on one side to be free rolling the other side while the other person says that the book trusts their algorithms while actively searching out positions.

One of us says that the books set tight limits on games to mitigate risk while the other says that once these books were large entities, they needed a profit – and they weren’t going to do that on juice alone. They need to have the best people / algorithms that could allow them to have an unbalanced position on a game to turn the larger profit/growth that was being demanded from higher ups (just like any other large for profit business really).

So my question(s) to you is what exactly is the objective/goal of the sportsbook and how much of an influence has Cantor Gaming had in allowing more risk to be taken by the sportsbooks.

I appreciate any feedback you can give.”

My quick response:

First, this is a rather complicated subject. My views have shifted a bit on this but overall remains pretty consistent.

First, there is no question that the books have some of the best algorithms in setting lines. They have the best working for them, at least on the creating the line end.

However, sophisticated sports bettors have caught up and in some instances have surpassed the books in coming up with an accurate line.

My thought is that this has occurred for a number of different reasons. The first is the ingenuity of some of the professional sports bettors and their expertise in programming. They incorporate variables into their techniques that typically you do not see books even attempt to quantify into theirs.

That is why you see reverse line moves in many instances add value to whatever handicapping technique you are using. These reverse line moves reflect in part what the best of the best handicappers are doing.They tend to move massive amounts of money into the system which is reflected sometimes in a low % public side’s line moving opposite of the % action.

But saying that the books tend to be different in how they evaluate what type of action they wish to get. Some move their lines substantially with the action while others barely move and take the heat.

As an aside, this is a good thing for a sports bettor as long as you have access to both types of books. You get to pick which line you want to bet, a sharp line or a public line. This is no small thing!  It can add many units a year taking advantage of this.

So to answer your question it all depends on the book. And that depends on who is running the book and their concept of risk along with their volume of wagers.

A small book does not have the luxury of relying solely on a algorithm while books like Cantor Gaming to a degree can.

My opinion is you are both correct on this one. Even in this day and age, there is still a substantial difference between how books handle their business.

My comments are given as a general proposition. Each sport has different considerations for the books. The extreme being the NFL where the public still has a massive footprint in the betting. But even that has shifted a bit over the last 5 years.

Good Luck Today

RickJ

RickJ’s Handicapping Picks

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