LineAdvisor’s Picks recommendations are arrived at via the model’s two-layered decision logic. This is because theoretical ‘value’ alone is not enough to form the basis of a wagering decision, particularly when wagering on underdogs where the allure of a skewed payoff can seem irresistible at times. In LA’s view, one must also have a reasonable enough expectation that the outcome can buck the odds, such that you may be able to collect that value differential. And we don’t mean the odds implied by the line offered by odds-makers, but the odds LineAdvisor’s model assigns to any given game.
This logic can apply to favorites as well. Consider a -15.5 point favorite in a recent NBA game. We assigned this favorite a 97.6% win probability, and therefore a ‘fair’ money line value of -4067. Now let’s assume, for example, that on that day one saw bookmaker lines as good as -3675. Was this a good LAY? Well, “theoretically” YES, getting nearly $400 of value at odds which appear as close to certainty as one would find on any game. But of course we know that as a practical matter, underdogs can and do win such games. And more importantly, over short runs, they may do so at significantly better percentages than our assigned odds projection. On top of that reasoning, the issue of limited bankroll comes into play. Does the bankroll of the individual looking at this bet allow for a near $3,700 drawdown…irrespective of how “certain” the odds look? The answer is probably NO.
As the prior two paragraphs explain, our Picks analysis encompasses both our theoretical value projection based on our odds projection model, and a decision engine which determines a confidence band within which we feel the skewed risk against is worth taking advantage of. For outside this band, which we simply feel the likelihood of collecting value is too small to be worth chasing. This applies to both underdogs and favorites.
To be clear, this isn’t a function of our disbelief in the concept of playing purely for theoretical value, such that over time (if you’re right often enough) you collect it. It’s simply an acknowledgement that (A) bettors do not have unlimited bankrolls, and (B) they will not have betting lives lasting 20,000 years. Therefore, as a mere matter of practicality, and with a very healthy respect for the ever-present ‘swings’ which naturally occur, our belief is it’s better to focus our value collection concept within certain practical, rules-based bands. These bands vary from sport to sport, and were arrived at through some fairly deep historical analysis meant to avoid chasing odds on the ‘tails.’