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Avoiding Bad Odds

College Football Betting: Avoiding Bad Odds

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

To receive the best odds, we need to develop an awareness of the different bets and which ones offer better payouts. There are some little tricks and tidbits of info you can get that will help you earn another extra edge when betting on college football.

Take a look at parlays for example. If you make a 2-team parlay, you bet $100 to win $260. Both teams need to win for you to get paid. Let’s try something different. Let’s say you’re able to bet using -105 lines- a common feature at some sportsbooks (5Dimes) that you should be looking for. Take that same $100 and bet it on the first leg of the parlay. If you win, you now have a little over $195. Now take that money and bet it on the second leg of the parlay. If you win, you earn a cool $185 plus change. So doing it that way, you collect a grand total of $380, $20 more than the $360 you would have collected on a two-team parlay. Other than the games needing to start at different times, what’s the difference? You earn more.

Take a 3-team parlay. Betting it straight in sequence has the same overall dynamic as parlaying it, doesn’t it? So let’s do that and see what happens. Instead of betting a $100 parlay to win $600, you just start betting the games straight. You bet $100 on game one and it wins. You would have $195.24 and bet it on leg two. If you win, you bet that amount to win $185.94 for a total of $381.18. Take that and bet it straight again. A win gets you $363.03 bringing the grand total to $744.21. That’s a lot more than the $700 you would have made on the 3-teamer. But even a 1% edge is worth playing. That’s just one upside to having access to -105 lines on college football.

And betting like this gives you more freedom. You’re locked into a parlay. Betting it this way allows you to pull out with a profit if you so desire. It can depend on how your other bets are faring. Maybe you figure to cut your losses on a losing weekend and take the dough after the second game. And it might seem different than betting a parlay, but it is no different, other than the option to pull out of you want to. The only upside to a parlay, an if-bet, or a reverse is that you can bet on games running simultaneously. If that’s not an issue--consider this option. Sure, there’s a certain comfort and tidiness to having all bets unified on a single ticket. But if it doesn’t make more money--forget it.

Another bad odds move is being on the wrong side of 3. Laying -2.5 or getting the same number can be a bad deal. Consider that the percentage of college football games being decided by the margin of 3 points is over 15%. Consider buying a half-point. Now you’re on 3 and a lot of the time you will get a push. Not a bad move. Make sure the price is right or that your book is at least offering a competitive rate compared to other books in the industry.

When betting college football, you go in knowing there is a built-in juice. The house always has an edge. In some cases, it’s small--other times it’s a lot bigger. If you can minimize that edge, take that option. Always be on the lookout for alternative bets, ones that enhance your odds. Being committed to finding the best odds can spell the difference between winners and losers in this game.

Just assume, however, that the more exotic your bet--the more juice is involved. If your betting is a high-wire act with wild plays, you’re getting juiced heavier than the guy just betting games straight, especially if he’s betting a bunch of games at -105. The book knows they can hide juice in the more exotic wagers, where the average guy cannot even fathom how to formulate the actual mathematic probability of winning. So in order to avoid getting juiced like Morrie from GoodFellas, the keyword is: Simplicity.

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