Take heart, if you didn't bring home the dollars last Sunday much wisdom was to be found. Plenty of bettors joined you in being fooled upon "Superman" not showing up for the Panthers disappointing 24-10 upset loss to the Broncos in Super Bowl 50. But was it such a big upset? Did you know that on October 1st, going into the fifth week of the NFL season that Carolina was anywhere from 35-1 to 50-1 in futures betting to win the big game?
Timing is everything. Well, almost everything in life and in betting sports as well. You can also throw in the increasing popularity of future wagering for major events like the 2016 Presidential Election, the Academy Awards and the Kentucky Derby at top online sportsbooks like Bovada, BetOnline and others. It aint just about who to bet on anymore, but WHEN. Here's some examples why:
The Main Event – Sunday NFL Football
Unlike College Football, many NFL games come astonishingly close to the wagering line, making one point or even a half point crucial to success. Sometimes getting that advantage the very second the line is released can make the difference. OR conversely, waiting until the very last tick before kickoff to cash. Your computer mouse provides the tool necessary and anyone not taking advantage of opening two or more sportsbook accounts with two or more open windows to comparison bet is a fool. Maybe not the best analogy, but you wouldn't buy the same stock at the higher price, would you?
Sunday's Super Bowl was a perfect example. We knew that the price on the Carolina Panthers was going to soar. It did, opening at -4 and peaking as high as -6 at favorite-oriented large sportsbooks like Bovada on Sunday morning. Denver Broncos bettors earned full advantage by being patient and waiting for the right timing before their money poured in, knocking the line down to -5.5 at most books. It didn't matter this time, but that full two-point difference could have been crucial to point spread and teaser action.
Keep this in mind as a good habit to pursue every NFL Sunday come next season. Lines are being released earlier and earlier should they not have a key injury to consider. Keep an eye on the wagering trends. Often this "sharp money" is not an accident and the trends of betting are available on industry websites like Vegas Insider and StatFox..
It used to be traditional to simply root for your favorite film or actor to win on Oscar night but not anymore. Not when you have the preferred offshore sportsbooks featuring Academy Award betting on February 28th. It comes in a lull period between the Super Bowl and the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Surprisingly, Oscars wagering has become increasingly popular and timing is also a key factor toward success.
The favorites always dominate here. Leonardo DiCaprio opened as a sure-bet -3500 favorite to win Best Actor. He's now -5000 at Bovada. Betting amounts are very limited but it's like free money while Leo is writing his acceptance speech. This year the only suspense is in the big award, Best Picture. The Big Short and Spotlight are co-favorites at +135. A well-timed wager could pick you up a few extra bucks in a few weeks.
And if you're interested in who will be our next U.S. President, forget Gallup or USA Today polls. Head to Diamond Sports, Heritage or any of the established online sportsbooks featuring political wagering. If you bet Hillary Clinton back in October at -180 you can't get your bet back. Before the New Hampshire primary, Hillary was down to Even money with Bernie Sanders making a furious run.
Then again, if you're confident Hillary Rodham Diane Clinton gets into the White House, this is your chance to cash in at the best value while Bernie is in the limelight. Surely, the Donald is not currently knocking down the odds. We'll wait to see what he defiantly says next to shake up the odds board.
Kentucky Derby – The Early Money
One of the original "future book" wagering staples was betting on who would win the Kentucky Derby three to six months before the first Saturday in May. It has continued and gained in appeal with horse bettors as not only an opportunity to cash in at a great price, but the ultimate "I told you so or I told you first". The amount you can potentially win is definitely related to timing of when you have the foresight to wager.
Last year was a prime example. While many early Derby candidates usually fall by the wayside due to injury or other horses gaining in maturity and talent, American Pharoah kept getting better and better as Spring progressed. You could have gotten Pharoah in Nevada casinos or offshore sportsbook outlets in early February anywhere from 5-1 to as high as 12-1. It was risky but you would have been bragging on Derby Day as he cruised and paid a modest $7.60 to Win.
With the ease of legalized U.S. simulcasting and the technology of last millisecond money being able to be dumped into pari-mutuel pools, it can be a great advantage of timing your wager at the last possible second. Many astute handicappers thrive on this practice and isolate opportunities to bet into the pools in the last moment in attempt to disguise or hide their action. Whether it's inside information or pure skill, again the timing can be very effective toward success.
One of our favorite sayings is "it's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game". For our money management lesson, in the long-run "whether you win or lose is often WHEN you play the game".
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding NFL previews and picks from Glenn, click here.