Sure, at its most basic, the return of football is its own reward. But perhaps you’re like me and looking for a way to make even the most uninteresting games have a little bit of excitement and put some skin in the game for you. Enter the glorious world of sports wagering.
Admittedly, sports wagering is not for everyone and there’s more reasons to not do it than to do it, but if you have disposable income and live near a place where this is an option, then combining making some dollar bills with watching some football isn’t a bad way to spend your time. You haven’t truly lived until you have been on pins and needles for a mid-week SunBelt game where a final drive is going to determine whether it’s a backdoor cover or a perfect weekend.
Each week this season, we’ll give you a little gambling lesson and your Mid-American Conference odds, all for entertainment purposes, of course.
Lesson 7: Moving the Lines in Your Direction
The transition from casual bettor to sharp also includes playing with alternate lines to maximize returns. From prior lessons, you know how to read the spreads in American terms: a positive number (+135 for example) is your return on $100 wagered while a negative number (-112 for example) is what you would need to bet to win $100. Simple, right? Most of the spreads you’ll see will be -110. That’s your 10% vig or juice that is standard in most every sportsbook, online or otherwise.
But let’s say you are very confident in a team or a spread seems wonky to you. We’ll use one of this week’s examples as a real world learning point. Let’s take Washington State -15.5 since that’s one of our bonus picks. That’s your standard -110 on the wager. But let’s say you take Cal and the points. 15.5 is an odd amount of points to get. The difference between winning and losing is 15 or 16, which isn’t your usual football score. You can move that line to +14.5 and your new vig is now a +100 even money bet.
Part of being a successful bettor is knowing when to tweak the lines to give you the best ROI. The 15 point example above is a good one. You are basically getting the same kind of wager, excluding the outcome that is most random, and getting an increased return on your investment. Win-win.
Week 6 Results
Mid-American Conference Picks
EMU (+14.5) WIN
Ohio (-10) LOSS
Miami (-14) LOSS
Akron (-6.5) WIN
NIU (-23.5) LOSS
WMU (-6.5) LOSS
San Diego State (-10) @ UNLV WIN
Marshall (-15) @ Charlotte LOSS
Ole Miss @ Auburn (-20.5) WIN
Duke (+2.5) @ Virginia LOSS
Brutal week this week in the MAC, with Ohio’s stunning upset and Buffalo and WMU needing 7OT to settle things. 2-5 in the MAC isn’t ideal, but we’re still ridiculously up for the season and still on fire lately. When your bad week pulls you down to 19-12 for the last four weeks of conference play, the same time that Vegas is supposed to have the spreads cold, that’s an impressive run. 2-2 on the bonus picks rights that ship as well.
Week 7 Mid-American Conference Spreads
Eastern Michigan Eagles @ Army Black Knights (-6.5)
Akron Zips @ Western Michigan Broncos (-13.5)
Miami-Ohio Redhawks (-10.5) @ Kent State Golden Flashes
Northern Illinois Huskies (-6.5) @ Buffalo Bulls
Ohio University Bobcats (-9.5)) @ Bowling Green Falcons
Toledo Rockets (-7.5) @ Central Michigan Chippewas
Six MAC games this week, and four home dogs. Let’s get rich.
Fearless Leader’s Week 7 Bet-kakke Picks
Mid-American Conference Picks
Western Michigan (-13.5)
Kent State (+10.5)
Marshall (-15.5) vs Old Dominion
Air Force/UNLV over 64
Washington State -15.5 @ Cal (Friday night)
What you have to decide is whether last week’s not great (but still not awful results) was the norm or if the three weeks prior where we killed it was. I’d bet on the three weeks prior. Just some friendly advice from Uncle Alan. 9-0, babies, so hop on the train and let’s make some money.