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The line vs. Atlanta

Washington Taylor beat Panthers

Henry

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I'm talking the betting line. :)

We're 3 point home dogs. I have to admit I thought it would be more than that. I guess our offense is good enough that Vegas figures we'll keep it close.

And the over/under is 50. I'd bet the over and wouldn't even think twice about it.
 

ntotoro

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Well, when you factor in home field, the line is really a TD. We haven't been blown out in terms of final score in our two losses, so I can see Vegas being cautious this early in the week.

Nick
 

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I'd bet the over as well. My guess is that by the end of the week the line on over/under is 60 or more.
 

tshile

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I don't bet on the redskins because I haven't been able to figure out when my analysis is based on fact and when it's based on homerism.

That said, I want to take this as an opportunity to explain what the 'line' number means because people regularly confuse it.

The 'line number' does NOT mean that vegas thinks the Falcons are 3 points better than the Redskins at fedex. I'll repeat that: Vegas does not think the Falcons are 3 points better.

What the line means is that Vegas thinks the current line will generate equal action on both sides of the line. If people start betting heaving Redskins the line will go down, if they start betting heavy Falcons the line will go up.

The line has absolutely NOTHING to do with who Vegas thinks will win the game or by how much. The only thing the line has to do with is what Vegas thinks will generate equal action from the betting public on both sides. Once the public starts to go heavy one side the line starts shifting - Thats not because Vegas has changed its opinion on who the better team is.

This is not something I know, this is something people much smarter than me with betting have always said/told me. I'm just trying to spread the knowledge around.
 
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Henry

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Yes tshile, but it's easier to write 'vegas thinks' than an entire paragraph explaining the way the line is generated every time we talk about it. :)
 

tshile

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I just know there's a lot of confusion over it. I know I didn't originally know what it meant, but I'm not exactly a gambler.

Every now and then people get all angry because we're a 7 point dog or whatever and they don't even understand how that number is generated or what it means.

I'm sure anyone on the board who actually throws money around on this sort of thing knows what it means :)
 

Lanky Livingston

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Well, we've gotten into this discussion before (and its quite tiring), but there's a lot more to do with what Vegas thinks about who will win than you're representing here. There is a lot of research that goes into setting the line.

Also, the fact that the line moves with bets is a post-line reaction, not anything to do with how the line is set. The line moving with heavy-betting has more to do with getting equal action than anything else.

EDIT: Vegas thinks we will lose a close, fairly high-scoring game, is what that line means.
 

tshile

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The line is designed to generate equal action by the public. It's not a prediction of the game. Vegas has no interest in predicting the game for people. It's only interest is keeping the betting so that there is equal action (or close to) on both sides. That's how it gets its money.

I'm not denying the research or knowledge that Vegas has on the situation. It's a representation of what Vegas thinks the public thinks - not a representation of how Vegas predicts the outcome of the game to be.
 

Lanky Livingston

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The line is designed to generate equal action by the public. It's not a prediction of the game. Vegas has no interest in predicting the game for people. It's only interest is keeping the betting so that there is equal action (or close to) on both sides. That's how it gets its money.

I'm not denying the research or knowledge that Vegas has on the situation. It's a representation of what Vegas thinks the public thinks - not a representation of how Vegas predicts the outcome of the game to be.
This is only partially true, and I will leave it at that. If you're interested in continuing the discussion, you can PM me or search the site for previous threads where the topic has been discussed. :)
 

McD5

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The line is designed to generate equal action by the public. It's not a prediction of the game. Vegas has no interest in predicting the game for people.
Tshile, this statement above isn't true. I know from personal experience.

For years, I was on the other side of the bets. Individual bookies all over the country work very close with Vegas. A good, close to the final score line is crucial for both Vegas and the bookies. This is especially true at halftime. Here's what happens every week in the NFL.

At halftime, with less than a minute til kickoff, the phone rings and someone bets $10k on a team. Usually, I would call Vegas quickly and place that identical bet with them (laying off any risk).

But if they call late enough, and I don't have time to call, then I am dependent on that line being accurate. Otherwise, I am screwed, and then am at risk for $10k.

There's a lot more to it than just trying to figure out the public.
 

tshile

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You guys can say what you want, but the guys making the actual lines have already told us what goes into it

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1064579/1/index.htm

The Line does not really reflect deep analysis of which team will win a game—although Vegas goes out of its way to promote that myth. True comparative team strengths have surprisingly little to do with point spreads. What has everything to do with The Line is which team the public wants to bet on.
The quotes in that article come from one of the four guys that actually sets the line for the Stardust. There are lots of them. They're very clear in what it is they are trying to do when they set the line. They also specifically state it's not just the public, but how specific people are betting; where the money is coming in from. A well known bookie's money is worth more than random tourists dropping cash in vegas because it's fun.

Vegas wins money on both sides of the bet. It's in their interest to have the bets split relatively even (not perfectly, relatively). They make the most money that way.
 
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Henry

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Wow, uh ...

Didn't really expect the thread to go in this direction, but ok.
 

Goaldeje

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Right? Who would have figured on tangents on an internet message board?
 

McD5

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You are right on the final goal.....to have money split evenly. That's it.

It's the execution part that you are wrong on.

Imagine this for a second. A "bad line" is issued from Vegas, favoring the Redskins by 20 pts over Atlanta.

Your big guys immediately call you, and take Atlanta plus 20 points.

You must then call Vegas to lay it off. Within minutes, the line already drops down to Redskins by 17.

You, the bookie, can now only take Atlanta plus 17. You are now at risk.

It's extremely crucial that the lines are "good" especially when they open, and at halftime.

One way for bookies to avoid this huge risk is to not allow betting immediately, until the line settles down. But then you lose your biggest clients.

The article you are quoting is a simplified explanation of the final goal. It has very little to do with what is really important behind the scenes.
 

tshile

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You are right on the final goal.....to have money split evenly. That's it.

It's the execution part that you are wrong on.

Imagine this for a second. A "bad line" is issued from Vegas, favoring the Redskins by 20 pts over Atlanta.

Your big guys immediately call you, and take Atlanta plus 20 points.

You must then call Vegas to lay it off. Within minutes, the line already drops down to Redskins by 17.

You, the bookie, can now only take Atlanta plus 17. You are now at risk.

It's extremely crucial that the lines are "good" especially when they open, and at halftime.

One way for bookies to avoid this huge risk is to not allow betting immediately, until the line settles down. But then you lose your biggest clients.

The article you are quoting is a simplified explanation of the final goal. It has very little to do with what is really important behind the scenes.

Just because the public (more specifically, the important money) isn't entirely stupid doesn't mean the process revolves around accurately picking the winner. For what you said to have happened, the line setters would have to think the public is stupid (again, more specifically the big money). It's rare that they're willing to make that assessment. It does happen, and maybe rare is not the right word to use there. But it's not common for the line setters to announce in the morning "Hey Public, we think you're stupid, so we set this ridiculous line."

This isn't my opinion, so I'll end it with this quote. I have no reason to defend this opinon, it isn't mine. It's what comes from a lengthy interview with one of the four people who set the line for the most prominent line setters int he country. If you want to believe counter to what this guy says it's your business. But I, personally, will take his word over yours. Unless you're one of the other 3 guys?
During the football season last fall the Hat spoke about this from behind a billow of pipe smoke at his kitchen table. "I favor Iowa, but the public will favor Michigan." He recommended that the Stardust start Michigan off as a 1½-point favorite. Why? Because all the Stardust wants—and all your corner bookie wants—is to have an equal amount of money on each side of any given betting proposition. If a team is a big favorite, the Stardust may start it off with an even bigger point spread than is warranted to ensure that money is bet on the underdog as well as on the favorite.
So getting upset because Vegas thinks the Falcons are 3 points better than us at FedEx is getting upset at the wrong thing. Those guys don't think the falcons are 3 points better than us in our stadium, those guys think the public is genuinely split on whether the Falcons are 3 points better than us at our stadium. How accurate the public is a different argument.
 

McD5

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Tshile, you are arguing semantics.

If Vegas comes out with lines that are very bad, then bookies (clients of Vegas) are dead meat.

Certainly you can understand the risk to a bookie if Vegas comes out with a crazy line?

And that risk is magnified at halftime of NFL games, when bookies often don't have time to lay off bets. It's also magnified the second betting opens. A bad line can equal financial destruction for a bookie.

The goal is right. Not putting the bookie (their client) at risk, is what is missing.

Also.....to get on topic.....I'd take the over.
 

Om

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Perhaps it's possible to meld the two lines of discussion...

Given that the 2012 Redskins have so far generally been fast starters, then either hang on or fold in the second half, the whole halftime laying off bets thing would make even a hardened Guido double-clutch.

Of course, the expection to that through four games has been the one game the Redskins played at home...where they hit the field somnambulent and didn't even make a game of it until the second half.

If I'm betting this one, I can't hang my dollars on the possibility that this will be the week the Redskins pass defense figures out how to stop giving up the handful of killer big plays they can't seem to avoid. Not against an attacking, accurate QB in Matt Ryan and a stable of dangerous wideouts.

RG3 is a wunderkind, but until they left him play CB too.....
 

tshile

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I agree with you Om. I think Atlanta + 3 is an easy, easy pick.
But I certainly don't bet on/against the Redskins and there's a reason for that :)
 

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