The Wiseguys & the 2012 Hall of Fame Game
C. Robert Crowne Assoc. August,2012
You can’t follow the wiseguys by relying on after-the-fact betting action statements from the bookmakers.
If the bookmakers are correct in their assessment of the side chosen by the smart money, then you will be too late. Once the bookmaker tells you the smart money has bet a side, the books have already been hit and have moved the line. The edge in sports betting is very small – too small for you to try to win with an almost 10% disadvantage betting the underdog when the number moves from +3 down to only +2.5.
Even worse for those relying on bookmaker information, more times than not the early action is not the actual side the syndicates want to bet. Often enough, they will make a splash betting one side in order to move the line off a key number such as "3" and then they will come back and bet under the radar and for much more money on the opposite side. The next thing you hear, the bookmakers will tell you that the public money is going the other way. What the books are really seeing is wiseguy money coming back in bigger on the siopposite side with bets disguised as public money.
That is the case with this year’s Hall of Fame Game. There are articles around the Internet quoting bookmaking sources as saying that early wiseguy action came in on the underdog Arizona Cardinals. Betting early is the perfect time to move the line. The total amount of betting is thin, and amounts that might not make a dent on game day have an exaggerated effect on the early line. Obvious smart money betting had the desired effect and moved the Hall of Fame Game line down to +2.5 from an opening at +3. That allowed the smart money to come back and bet the team they really liked, New Orleans at a line that gave them a 10% advantage over the opening number. Today, game day, the books are proclaiming that the public is heavily weighted toward the favored New Orleans Saints.
From everything I can find out, Arizona was never the actual smart money side. The money that came in on Arizona was merely a line manipulation. The books were suckered by the smarts, as is often case. If the books couldn’t be fooled, the smart money could never make money.
The money that was bet earlier on Arizona sets up a potential side, and the excess on New Orleans sets up the potential profit. If New Orleans wins by more than 3 points, the wiseguys will lose the Arizona money and win the equalizing New Orleans money for a loss of the vig, and then win all the excess bets on the Saints. If Arizona covers the +3, then the wiseguys lose their New Orleans excess plus some extra vig on the Arizona-New Orleans equal portion. If, however, the game lands on exactly the Saints by 3 points, as it will 10% of the time, the wiseguys win all of their New Orleans bets including the bets that equalized the bets on the Cards, and the bets on Arizona will push. It’s like hitting the daily double.
There is a rule that will help you to know what is going on in the Preseason NFL wiseguy betting.
RULE: In the Preseason, the early wiseguy betting rarely reflects the side the wiseguys may actually like. It is money either attempting to set up a more advantageous bet on the other side, or money aimed at simply setting up a middling opportunity in which both sides are bet evenly at different lines.
The reason smart money rarely bets the real money early in the Preseason is that winning in the Preseason depends almost entirely on late player decisions, and announced coaching intentions. That information simply isn’t available early. Even the coaches don’t necessarily know on Tuesday or Wednesday exactly what they will be doing on Sunday. The smart money waits for the information before making the real bets.
The point, however, is that you can’t follow the proclamations of the books if you want bet with the syndicates. I have had access to information before the betting starts for two decades. I don’t have it for every game, but I do get it. You can get my NFL Preseason and regular season selections by clicking HERE. http://pregame.com/pregamepros/pro-bettor/bettor.aspx?id=4441#capper