What Is A Good Win% Vs The Sportsbook 399 views

Its easy to get caught up in win percentage because it can work on the psyche to be able to cash in more frequently than not. I think most of the users on Pick Monitor know which numbers matter most. But if you know anyone that may be a little too concerned with win rates, please share

Edited 2/10/21 at 8:14PM by SportsDave - No reason listed.


SBO_SOCCER_BET awarded 200 tokens for this post.

Thanks man. I already knew about Billy Walters, but as I was making the video I actually learned more and started thinking of making a video just about him and his story. I think it would be fun.


Asipestyler awarded 10 tokens for this post.

Thanks for the video! I like how you incorporated pick monitor into this because it will help me utilize the site better!


David, I loved the info in this video and I think you should definitely do a bio on Billy Walters


Haha, sure it would be a great video about Walters but 60 Minutes kinda beat you to it, SportsDave!


Yeah I saw that interview. Not really talking about an interview tho. Was thinking more in terms of explaining his story while intertwining lessons about sports betting... it would take awhile for me to create, but I think it would be fun


Nice chart Daltonis. For those who want to convert any price to a percentage, here's the simple calculation:

Favorites: change price to positive, divide by itself plus 100, then times 100

Example of -132. 132 / 232 • 100 = 56.9%

For dogs you need to add one step. You subtract the favorite calculation from 100.

Underdog example of +137. 100 - 137 / 237 • 100 = 42.2%

Build your math models to calculate each team's win probability, then compare to the win probability of the posted money line price. When your model's win probability is higher than the sports book's, that's your implied edge on the game.

Test your model against years of previous games to determine if your model works. The smaller the edge, the greater the variance. So betting every 1% edge will have a lot of variance, but betting every 5% edge will have much less variance.

Remember math models don't know about injuries, travel schedule, or motivation. These things can offset the edge from your model, which is why you don't follow any model blindly. But you never bet against the model's edge.

Hope this helps some of you guys understand what you should be doing. Handicapping is not trying to pick who is going to win or using useless statistics like a team's ATS record against another team the last 5 years. So delete ESPN, Covers, and the Action Network from your phone because nothing on there will help you be a winning handicapper.


Since there seems to be some interest in learning how to handicap, let's apply the probability of winning to point spreads. First you need to build your model and test it using the probability percentages as stated in the previous post. That will work for betting money lines, but now let's add point spreads.

Once your model determines the probability of each team winning, then you assign a price to each point. For beginners, make each point worth 10 cents. So let's say your model gives a team a 54% chance to win, which is -117. What should the underdog price be? If you said +107, you are not thinking like a handicapper. The correct answer is +117. The sports book cheats us on the underdog price, but your model is trying to identify fair pricing for both teams, so there is no 10 cent spread or 20 cent spread from favorite to underdog. Your model is a 0 cent line. So a team with a 54% chance to win, should be a pk -117. Now apply a 10 cent value for each point and we get:

-1 -107, -2 +103, -3 +113, -4 +123, -5 +133

Underdog should be a pk +117, gives us:

+1 +107, +2 -103, +3 -113, +4 -123, +5 -133

Now look at the posted line at a sports book. Let's say it's -4 -110. So the sports book has the favorite winning by 4 points 52.4% of the time. Now look at your model's pricing for -4, which tells you it should be +123 so obviously you're not interested in laying the -4. But the underdog is +4 -110, and your model has +4 at -123, which is 55.2%. So there's a 2.8% edge on +4 (55.2 - 52.4). If the line were +5 -110, the edge would be 4.7% (57.1 - 52.4).

The next step is to get more precise with point pricing. A book could be written about this, but the idea is not all points are the same. In football, for example, the difference between 1 and 2 is not the same as between 2 and 3. So starting with a pk, you might add 5 cents to point 1 and another 5 cents to point 2, then add 30 cents to point 3. In basketball the first 4 points are worth more than points 8 thru 12. Once you get this far along in your handicapping abilities, you can start making point pricing adjustments to fit your model.

Hope this gets some of you on the right road to learning how to handicap. If you spend hours looking on websites for trends, streaks, head-to-head data, ATS records, a team's record on Tuesdays, etc., you are not even headed in the right direction. You are like a guy in St Louis who decides he wants to go to California so he heads East on the interstate. He has as much chance of getting to California as you do of long-term winning.


I would be interested to know what the actual results are in terms of win percentage was for the house. For example, if -150 suggests there is a 60% chance of that team winning. How often does that team win. I'm sure its close, but with the odds moving so much from open to close it would be cool to see how accurate those figures actually are


The sports book doesn't put prices on games based on reality, the price is based on public perception. All the book wants is the same amount of money on both sides, they couldn't care less if their prices are accurate or not.

A handicappers job is to know what the price SHOULD be, then take advantage of the underpriced teams because of public overvaluation.


I don't think many people realize how sports books make money on money line sports such as baseball and hockey. Most people understand on a football game with a point spread, the sports book gets an equal amount on both sides and keeps the extra 10% on the losing side. The book doesn't care which side wins.

But baseball and hockey don't work that way. Let's say the favorite is -130, and dog is +120. If one guy bets 130 on the favorite and another guy bets 100 on the dog, the book has balanced action. If the favorite wins, the book breaks even. Pay 100 to the favorite and keep 100 on the dog. But the book makes 10 dollars if the dog wins. Keep 130 on the favorite and pay 120 to the dog. Notice the book only wins when the dog wins. That's why square books try to pay less on the dog, so they would make 20 dollars if they price the game -130 and +110.

Since bigger underdogs don't win as often, the books will use larger spreads for those bigger underdogs. So a -175 favorite might be +155 on the dog. The dog won't win as often as a +120 dog, so the book wants to keep more when the bigger underdog does win.

The lesson here is that books don't win any money when money line favorites win in baseball and hockey, so do you really think they are going to give anywhere near a fair price on favorites? Of course not. There are some exceptions where there might be value on the favorite, but most of your bets should be on underdogs.


@SportsDave Remember we talked about Billy Walters and that model he used.
So went through all the NBA. 1st month was 35-19-1 ATS and 19-27 SU if you only bet no more than -150. Currently 59-58-2 ATS.
Maybe the bookmakers catch onto teams by the 5th week???


@EppleySports I did research into this (on Covers lines) for full disclosure over 8 years of data. IF you were very patient and had a 100 unit bankroll per sport. In both the NHL and MLB, doing nothing more than a monkey trained to play EVERY +120-200 dog all day every day (closing numbers so probably late in the day). You would net risk-adjusted stock market beating returns 15-45% per sport per year (I think it averaged 30%). You have to be willing to see disgusting runs down and up though and not change your strategy and of course that involves detachment from emotion and literally being okay losing 5-8% in some seasons knowing over 10 years you are going to destroy it. If you have ways to get low juice (there are many) and bonuses I am sure these results can be tweaked to be more in your favor as well.


"The lesson here is that books don't win any money when money line favorites win in baseball and hockey, so do you really think they are going to give anywhere near a fair price on favorites? Of course not. There are some exceptions where there might be value on the favorite, but most of your bets should be on underdogs. "

This was true about 10 years ago. Not so much now. Take a look at MLB dogs the last five years....not pretty.


There is no blanket historical system that I have found (and I've been researching this stuff for 15 years) that wins over time. Any winning system can certainly be rule or math based but it needs to factor in some sort of real time information. Things like injuries, recent form, point in season, and conditions (to name a few) can and do have significant impact. So attempting to take all favs or all dogs will always take you to the cleaners. If you can figure out a win % of 55% or more betting at odd of -110 or less, you can make some serious profits for sure.


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