Sportsbook 101: Post-Season Football Wagering

Las Vegas Hilton SportsBook Have you ever heard of the term “Supply and Demand”? In basic economics it is the belief that the something that is rare and in short supply is considered valuable and therefore a monetary price would be at a premium. The same goes for something in abundance. Autumn leaves in New England are not worth anything because they are everywhere and everyone has them in their front yard. This same basic principle can be applied to sports wagering and post-season football.

When it comes to smart sports book wagering, one needs to keep a level head about placing wagers. Keeping an even keel during the college and NFL regular season is easy because there are so many games to choose from. For example, any given Saturday you can take a peek at the NCAA Football Lines and see a plethora of games to get some action on. And we’re not just talking about the big SEC showdown that will be televised nationally that day. The wagering options are so extensive to the point you can bet first half spreads on the Youngstown State vs. Kent State game and most sports books will take the action. By having so many options, i.e. supply, you can gain an advantage by spotting an over/under that looks to be out of whack. This potential disparity in the line could be caused by over supply.

Were you with us back in October when we explained How Sports Books Work? In there we told you the line fluctuates up and down based on the amount of money wagered on each side. The sports book ideally wants to have a 50/50 split of money placed on both sides of the line because they all charge juice. (Another sports book slang term explained back in September.) But when there are so many games to choose from the sports books do not always get an even split on the games they offer. Not everyone is wagering on the same games because there are so many of them and a particular sports book could take 90% of that game’s handle on one team. But now that the regular season is over and there are only a few football games left, the supply has shrunk. That means lines will adjust quickly to meet the amount of money coming in on one side vs. the other. In short, advantages are harder to spot because every Tom, Dick and Harry still wants to place bets on football but their choices are now limited.

The point of this post and this lesson is to encourage those sports betting tailgaters out there to be smart with your bank roll. Just because there are just a handful of Bowl Games left and the NFL playoffs are about to start this weekend, you don’t need to feel like you have to bet them all. Be smart and still look at the games objectively and try to spot betting trends or if a line seems to appear out of whack. Don’t be painted into a corner by blindly picking a team to cover a seven point spread just because it is the only football game that is being played that day.

Be smart and if you have to pass on betting that college bowl game or that afternoon’s NFL playoff game, so be it. It is better than plunking down your cash and just picking a side because you want to have a little more incentive to watch the game. You might as well be picking the team with the most colorful uniforms or which team’s mascot would probably win in a fight.

Despite there being a dwindling supply of football games to bet on, don’t be suckered into creating an artificial demand. Sometimes the smartest sports book bets are the ones you don’t make.