Sometimes money is dumb: Betting picks

There are going to be two early NCAA football matchups that have been heavily touted. Oregon at Stanford and Oklahoma at Baylor. The lines at the Bitcoin sportsbook I use most frequently now1 lists the following action on those games.

Oklahoma+466/5.66
Baylor-639/1.16
Oklahoma +14.5-102/1.98
Baylor -14.5-121/1.83
Over 73-109/1.92
Under 73-113/1.88
Oregon-398/1.25
Stanford+307/4.07
Oregon -10-118/1.85
Stanford +10-104/1.96
Over 61.5-109/1.92

Under 61.5-113/1.88

Now let's get to the heart of my betting philosophy and cut out the cruft which means everything that isn't the moneyline.
Oklahoma+466/5.66
Baylor-639/1.16
Oregon-398/1.25
Stanford+307/4.07
Now I took the moneyline bet on both underdogs, meaning I bet on Oklahoma to win and on Stanford to win. Why?
Well in the United States more than any other sport, Football/Handegg tends to create "National Teams" which dominate conversation about the sport. They often dominate the conversation to the point that fans particular teams will often watch a "great game" between nationally hyped teams over the games of the team they are ostensibly fans of. Baseball lacks this though it has the related concept of teams hated by most everyone but their fans like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Cardinals. Hockey fandom seems to be an almost entirely local phenomenon in the United States.

What this means for betting on American football is that often money on betting lines disproportionately favors one team over the other when they in reality seem rather evenly matched. Oregon is definitely a national team and Baylor, once they started winning under RGIII, has for the moment the characteristics of a national team.2 A person simply has to remember that a sports betting line though is rather than being an actual odds of winning a reflection of how bet money on the outcome was allocated.

Thusly I was able to place two bets and if either game ends in an upset I make some money. If both games end in upsets I make quite a bit of money. If the favorites win both games I am out a bit of money. Expecting to win money is a poor reason to bet sports though. I'm betting because Thursday night television is shit and putting some skin in the game makes this shit almost interesting enough to watch.


  1. I won't mention which one, because in Bitcoin everyone is best left to evaluate the counterparty risk in every transaction on their own  

  2. National teams aren't necessarily fixed. Alabama perennially has these characteristics, but Boise State is an example of a team that for a while had characteristics of a national team and then faded.  

2 thoughts on “Sometimes money is dumb: Betting picks

  1. Baylor beat Oklahoma, but Stanford destroyed Oregon. Stanford's win covers the Oklahoma loss while netting a profit, and almost made the games watch able though I dicked around on the laptop instead of paying attention hence the late gloating.

  2. Pingback: NCAA Picks Again | Bingo Blog

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