Al Davis Remains Influential (On Vegas)

Posted: October 9, 2011 in NFL Gambling
Tags: , , , , ,

So the first thing I did after posting a link on my Facebook on the death of football legend Al Davis was check the line of the Raiders game. I know, that sounds terrible that I would try to leverage someone’s death for gambling purposes, but as a smart gambler I couldn’t help myself. The moment I heard the news of Davis’ passing, Oakland was getting 6 at -110. Within hours, the line had already dropped to 5 at -110 and is currently still at 5, but now at -115. As an average gambler, you may not see the significance here, but this is quite the difference. First of all, according to, only 1 in 30 NFL games ends with a margin of 5 points. However, 6 points is what gamblers refer to as an NFL Key Number (a group of 10 numbers that make up 2/3 of all margins of victory).

What does all of this mean? Statistically, there is a much greater chance of the game ending in a 6-point margin than a 5-point margin. Therefore, the odds of pushing this bet just decreased and the edge moves slightly more toward the books. On top of all this, the move from -110 to -115 gives the house an even greater advantage. If you think back to my mathematics of gambling lessons, the house has a 4.54% advantage at -110 assuming you are an average gambler with a 50/50 chance of picking a winner. Go up to -115 and the house has a 6.52% advantage. Beating the books is hard enough as it is, forget when they have a greater advantage!

Vegas understands the emotions that will be in play here. Vegas also understands that the average bettor will be jumping on to the notion that Oakland will play inspired football this week. While I typically like to shy away from the general public, I have to agree here. If I was smarter, I would have placed my bet on Oakland right away. Instead, I will have to deal with the fact that I gave up a point and some house edge. Stay tuned for my actual 1 PM bets.

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