When odds and totals are established by the oddsmakers I can honestly state that I have no idea what combination of information they are using specifically to determine their displayed opening lines. It is more than likely an exceptional multitude of statistical data that includes among it; injury information, historical significance, standardized player data, etc... and would most certainly also take into account where they believe the line will end up prior to closing.
In my distant past, I would see a team I thought would prevail against their opponent and select them without paying much attention to the 'juice' or point spreads that were assigned to these contests. However, after taking the time to surmise the underlying impact these lines have on a sportsbook's clientele from a psychological and linguistic perspective, the potential advantages could very well be significant enough to warrant further research and review.
From a psychological standpoint, it is safe to say that the sportsbooks and their respective oddsmakers are well aware of the importance of getting into the heads of their opponents... those who wager on sports. Even though I mentioned earlier that I have no idea the exact combination of information being utilized to produce the opening lines, I have gained enough experience over the years to positively identify what available wagering parameters, and games to avoid, simply because the oddsmakers are expressing this through the lines they have set. The novice sports bettor will more than likely fall into this trap numerous times, quite possibly for the rest of their lives, if they do not become conscious of the fact that the oddsmakers are providing the lines not just because they have to present a number to their clients, but also an attempt to induce a perception and subliminally directed action by the player, that is far from being in the player's best interests.
The study of language, or linguistics, may not sound relevant to this situation, but let's see if I can persuade you to think differently about this matter. As in any language, whether it be spoken or written, codes can be created within the framework of the language itself, allowing important information to be revealed to some while leaving others in the dark. We have all done this in our past where certain words used within our own cliques have a distinct meaning that others outside of our groups are unable to comprehend the true meaning of what we are saying. Furthermore, language does not have to be speech or written words, it can take the form of pictures/images (Egyptian Hieroglyphics), body movements (sign language), and yes... NUMBERS! Code cracking has been vitally important over the history of humanity, specifically during times of war. My hypothesis is that there are correlations between the opening odds provided and resulting outcomes of the associated events. Why the opening lines? because they are constant and allow the researcher to establish a control group when comparing these lines to every other opening line moving forward and historically. In order to derive validity from any research it is imperative to have this consistency. Once there are external forces placed upon these opening lines, which are predominantly public and sharp money being wagered on these events, then these lines become variable and are no longer useful from the perspective of understanding the set language displayed by the opening lines.
In conclusion, if you are a sports bettor or forecaster, experienced or novice, I hope this article prompts you to search deeper into what the oddsmakers are doing when they provide their opening lines to you. Take note of your initial reaction to the lines you are looking at, examine what these lines mean from the oddsmakers perspective and how they may influence the actions of the general public. I can think of a zillion times I thought a game was a sure thing, a lock, and much to my dismay, I have to admit to being wrong probably 99% of the time.
Good luck everyone !!!
Edited 3/23/13 at 10:03AM by Timothy Wynn - No reason listed.