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A Public Service Announcement On The Evils Of Betting Money Line Favorites

The following is a Public Service Announcement for those that are unaware, and a reminder for those that are aware, of the Evils Of Betting Money Line Favorites.

What we write about below is most applicable to College Basketball and Football, but the lessons should be applied to all your sports handicapping.


Those of you familiar with our site know that we project the outcome of every game played and track those projected results as simulated $100 wagers against the Money Line, ATS, and for the Total.

We do this for many reason, but most importantly to provide an easy to understand barometer as to how well our projection methodology is working overall and how it would have performed in any of the “what-if” queries that can be submitted through our site.

So last night we were poking around looking for some trends for the current season of College Football., and we happened to notice that the dollar-ized output for our season to date Projected Money Line results was –$16,265.

And we were like, “Ummmmm, do we have a bug somewhere…it’s only Week 05 that can’t be right, can it?”

So we started to double check everything and uncovered what you will always uncover when you bet Money Line Favorites; Sooner or later you are going to get eaten alive by a huge Live Dog.

Please note that all of the following are based on straight up Money Line wins for the 2012/2013 College Football Season.

Season to date there are been 232 games that we have forecast.

Of the 232 games, we had projected the Favorite to win 195 times and were correct 151 times, or 77.4%, a respectable figure considering that we include every single game played.


But a funny thing happens on the way to the bank with this simulation, and that is we’d have nothing to deposit since we would be $15,323 in the hole, even after winning 77.4%.

Three of the Favorites we had selected straight up were Houston –9000 over Texas State, Arkansas –8000 over UL-Monroe, and Georgia Tech –3000 over Middle Tennessee State.

All three lost outright, and those three games alone contributed $20,000 is losses in our simulation.

Our 151 wins would have gained $15,100 and our 44 losses would have resulted in a staggering loss of $30,423.

Three out of 195, or 1.5% of the games, accounted for 65.7% of our simulated monetized losses.

To further put this in perspective, just to get even from a deficit of -$15,323, betting $X to win $100 you would need to win 154 games in a row.

Once in awhile we come across a thread in a forum or a Twitter question where someone asks, “Hey wouldn’t it make sense to take the Money Line with these big Favorites and not worry about them covering a huge number ATS?”

The answer is, NO NO NO NO NO.

If you don’t want to lay the points in these types of games at something much closer to $110 to win $100, THEN PICK ANOTHER GAME, OR MAKE NO PLAYS AT ALL OR BOX A TRIFECTA AT SOME TRACK.

In our opinion for football/basketball in both college and pro, you should never be playing Money Line Favorites, and never ever ever ever playing huge Money Line Favorites.

Now if you are taking Money Line Dogs, we are all for that and if you have a good please pass it along.

This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by GreyMatterStats, and we have approved this message.

We now return you to your degenerate gambling habits.


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