Fellas, please forgive me for the lengthy post but I'm not only taking the time to share my thoughts and offer up some information, it's also being used as "therapy" so I can get this off my chest and move on to what's ahead. Those of you who take the time to read it may pick up a nugget or two that will be useful to you and at the very least, possibly be entertained. More importantly, I'm VERY interested in getting other's thoughts on this topic so PLEASE feel free to comment below..
It all began at the famed "Tuesday Meeting"..we were going around the table and each sharing our opinions on the Wk 3 NFLX games and it was no secret that I was having one of my best Preseason's and start to the CFL ever. So when it got to me I explained that I was about to make my biggest bet of the exhibition on the Vikings -2 after opening at -1.5. I gave much of my reasoning as explained in the analysis I shared here on Pregame and after those who had something to add on the game chimed in, I was even more convinced I had the right side.
But before firing I contacted a couple of the "mover" sources we've got access to and asked what they know about the game..and every single one stated they had a buy-order on Minny so if I was going to bet it, I better not wait.
At that time I checked my odds screen and saw a couple of sharp books already moved to -2.5 and since we all know how much value's lost if it got to -3, I immediately fired and simultaneously had my package created for Pregame and uploaded the play into the system for clients to get the pick as quickly as possible..noting I would add the analysis later.
The next day I woke up to find that most books had gotten to -3 on the game but when making my rounds by a couple of Vegas sportsbooks, most notably the "local" outs..there were still some -2.5's out there and although I had already bet the maximum I wager on a play of this size, I decided to get down more money since I felt I had a huge advantage. I mean the sharpest books on the planet were already at -3 and some as high as -115 for the privlage of laying it, so how can I not exercise this edge. So for the next couple of hours I went ahead and took -2.5 at every out that was still offering it with the mindset that at the very least if it does get to -3.5, I can work a +EV middle.
Rest assured within the next 48hrs that line had shot up as high as -4 in some spots and I was feeling good. Each day when talking with our "mover" sources they commended me for taking their advice and not waiting, and more importantly informed me that after laying -2.5 and -3, they went ahead and laid -3.5 after hearing some news that Rivers may not play and the SD starters weren't going to be in nearly as long as Minny's were.
Finally on Friday morning that news was confirmed and when the market got wind of it, plenty of professional bettors/sharps went ahead and laid -4, ultimately forcing the books to move the line as high as -5..even with the recreational bettors taking the Chargers.
At that point I was feeling good..I told myself it was a job well done and that I accomplished something with the Vikings pick that every serious sports bettor hopes for with every wager that place. We've been told over and over that the goal of all sports bettors needs to be : "Getting your bet down at a better number than the game goes off at"..
Blogs, podcasts, videos, etc all have explained in great detail that if you're able to beat the market by doing what I touched on above, then you are what's considered an "Advantage Player" and looked at as a mathematical certainty to turn a profit since you obviously have the edge even after laying 11 to win only 10.
Then last night when I joined much of the Pregame crew at the Super Book for their handicapping seminar I had the chance to discuss this exact subject with a handful of professional bettors and cappers that I greatly respect and are some of the most successful at their craft. I shared the fact that I had placed a huge wager on the Vikings -2.5 and they were currently behind in the game 6-0 in 2nd quarter.
The overwhelming response I got besides "it's still early"..is that I was on the "RIGHT SIDE"...
Not because they agreed or disagreed on the Vikings based on any handicapp, but instead soley on the fact that I got ALL of my wager down at -2.5 and the game kicked off at -5. Not only was the key number of "3" bypassed, but my bet reflected a price 2.5 pts better than the close. Therefore, win or lose I was without a doubt on the "right side".
Personally, as a serious sports bettor that's had the privilage of being around some of the sharpest minds and successful bettors for a very long time, even prior to my 15+ yrs in the trenches here in Vegas..I kind of agree with that reasoning. BUT the truth is that I'm also not completely sold on it..
Meaning, in the short term the main objective is to cash a ticket by picking a winner..even though it's been proven that beating the "market" is the real way to make money in the racket.
Plenty of betting syndicates hire "readers" who's ONLY job is to analyze every bit of information via team beat writers, websites, newspapers, etc to try and predict which way the market will move. They do this by identifying pieces of information that when the betting public or other wiseguys are informed of, will most likely move the market a certain way.
I've read a lot of material as I'm sure you have, about how our goal should be to simply beat the market..We know that most of the positions taken by wiseguys/betting syndicates are in an attempt to be first more than anything else..
Finally, I'm sure that deep down I know this is all true..and that I'm just sore because last night it didn't work out for me. But there's also a part of me that thinks that in the short term, maybe it's not as important as simply trying to pick a winner..
I'd really like to hear other's take on this..
For those that rode the Vikings with me..I truly wish for my pocket and yours that the result was different. But according to the sharps, we were on the "right side"..If that's the case, why is my bankroll a lot lighter today than it was before last night ??
Almost forgot..I think the main mistake I made was NOT limiting my exposure by working a middle that was undoubtedly +EV...I always preach that when it comes to middles, scalps, etc you have to make certain they are kept seperate from everything else your doing so that your opinions don't effect them. Instead of following my own rules and doing what I knew was the right thing, I got greedy and figured since I had 2.5 pts better than the closing line..I should ride it out.
Goes to show that no matter how long you've been doing this, you'll ultimately be tested almost daily and with those tests..you'll continue to learn, hopefully.
Thanks for your time, looking forward to what you guys think about this subject...Best of luck ahead, VR.