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This upcoming weekend, the 2012 NASCAR season heads to Michigan for the Pure Michigan 400 race. It is a two mile d-shaped oval, and it is going to feature some of the best of the best out there racing, and of course will make for a touch decision for who to bet on for our NASCAR bettors out there. Today though we are going to take a look at a few drivers who have a great shot to take down the checkered flag in Michigan. Let’s hop right into it with a few drivers who catch our attention.
Jimmie Johnson is the definition of a beast in the NASCAR game this season. He’s been an absolute killer on high speed intermediate tracks throughout the year. If Johnson hadn’t had to go to pit road late in the race in Charlotte this year, then he would actually be 7 for 7 in terms of top ten finishes in these types of races, which explains why he’s coming in as the favorite at +600 from most online sports betting sites to get the job done in this race. If you look at how he did last year you’ll see that he finished in second place and actually held the lead for 18 laps. He’s definitely going to get a lot of love from bettors, and he’s worth some action here.
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Earnhardt Jr. comes in as the second favorite on the board at +700, and it’s for good reason. He was incredibly impressive at the Quicken Loans 400 in June as he held the lead for almost half of the race, and ended up winning his second race in Michigan as well. So far in 2012 at high speed intermediate tracks, he has an average finish of 5.9, which is good for second best out of any driver. Junior is also the only driver who has been able to finish in the top ten of every race in this type of track as well. He’s a great betting option, and the odds are definitely worth looking at as well, because 7 to 1 on your money is still no joke!
Kenseth had a strong showing back in June in Michigan as he began the race in 6th place, and ended up finishing in 3rd overall. While he led the race for 17 laps early on, he wasn’t able to hold on, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him come back and get it done at the Pure Michigan 400. Kenseth has been very strong all around, and this includes going back to last season as well when he finished in 10th with a third place average running position in August. In his other race last year in Michigan (in June) he finished in second place leading 17 laps also. The odds on Matt Kenseth are very nice as well at +1000, so if you are looking for a driver with a bit longer odds, he could be the way to go.
UFC 150 is probably one of the most anticipated fight cards in recent memory, mainly due to the headline fight between Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson, who both just went head to head to decide the lightweight championship about six months ago. This fight was obviously won by the current champion, Ben Henderson, and many people felt that the win was definitive by Henderson. Edgar didn’t think so, and continued to push for a rematch for the belt, until he got it, and the two will now meet in a big time MMA betting fight.
UFC 150 is going to kick off at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, and is going to begin on August 11th, 2012, which is a Saturday. The rematch that we are looking at between Edgar and Henderson is a rematch from way back in February at UFC 143. What’s incredibly interesting about this fight is the way that these odds have moved to this point since they were released. Originally the line was released from online sports betting sites with had Henderson having odds of +120, but since they have moved all the way to Henderson being a pretty large favorite at -175. As the underdog, Edgar has odds of +145, so if you believe that he can get his belt back, you can get good odds on it.
The last fight not only featured the win by Henderson, but afterwards, many people expected Edgar to move back down to the featherweight division to contend for the title there against Jose Aldo. Aldo is the current champion, but instead of making the move down he was granted the rematch against Henderson for the belt.
Obviously this big line movement shows that the bettors out there are all about Henderson being able to defend his title. The key reason for this is because of the fact that Henderson has a major size advantage, as he is around three inches taller, and has a longer reach also. If the fight stays standing up for the bulk of it, then Henderson will have a major advantage against Edgar in this UFC 150 fight. Henderson has won four straight fights before this point, and it has left him as the champ.
One other thing that’s definitely worth noting is what would happen if Henderson defends his title and pulls out the win. For starters, it would set up some massive fights potentially down the road. He could be looking at facing Nate Diaz or potentially Anthony Pettis after this fight for starters, but also, if Edgar loses he still has some good opportunities as well. Essentially Edgar is in a great spot, because if he does end up losing the fight, then he could head back down to take on Aldo to fight for the featherweight championship as well.
What a fight this one will be, and it looks like if you are hoping to get your bets down on it that you should do it soon. With the amount that these odds have moved I’m really not expecting much more movement before the fight kicks off on the 11th of August!
Every regular sports bettor should have an account and a little money at multiple sports betting sites. I preach this constantly and it’s not because I have something to sell. It’s because having a few accounts gives you the ability to go line shopping. Multiple accounts also give you the advantages of being able to take advantage of multiple bonuses, last minute line changes and bankroll risk management.
This is going to be a fairly long read but hang in there. This is all good stuff and it’s worth keeping in mind. There are so many benefits to spreading your bankroll a bit that it’s something you should just do by default. Here’s why.
Shopping for the best lines is single easiest thing you can do to increase your return. No matter how good or bad you are at handicapping, line shopping improves your results. This is one of the few times I’m comfortable making a guarantee in anything related to sports betting. It’s a simple matter of math.
In short, line shopping is the practice of checking the odds at a few bookmakers and placing your wagers with whoever is offering the best odds. If you plan to bet on the underdog, you find the book that pays the most for the underdog. If you plan to bet the favorite, you find the book that asks you to risk the least.
Finding the Best Spread
Let’s say you’re betting on the NFL and want to place a wager on the Broncos this weekend. They’re sitting at -7 at your main sportsbook. You could just place this bet without a second thought and continue on with your day. But… you might be missing out on some value.
What you could do instead is check with a couple of other online betting sites. You just might be lucky enough to find the Broncos listed at -6.5 somewhere else. It’s only half a point, but half points add up over time. That’s could be the difference between winning and losing a few bets over the course of a season.
And in this particular example, the difference between -6.5 and -7 marks the critical difference between a single touchdown and two scoring drives. At -7, the Broncos would have to win by at least 8 points. That’s a touchdown and two-point conversion at the very least. At -6.5, the Broncos could win by exactly one touchdown and you would cover the spread.
I’ll grant you that you probably won’t find this exact situation often. Oddsmakers know there’s quite a difference between those two point differentials. Even so, the example shows the power of shopping around at a few different sports betting sites.
Finding the Best Line
Let’s use the NFL for another example. Again, you want to bet on the Broncos but this time it’s a straight moneyline bet. Your main sportsbook has the Broncos listed at -230. This means you’ll have to risk $230 for a shot at winning $100.
You decide to shop around and see that some other book has the Broncos at -210. This means you’ll have to risk $210 for a shot at winning $100. Again, it doesn’t look like a huge difference on paper but this kind of thing adds up over the course of seasons and years. This is a direct increase in value with very little work on your part.
You can probably see where this is going but let’s look at one more example for fun. We’re going to use the NFL again. This time, you want to place a futures bet on the winner of the Super Bowl. Let’s compare the odds from two different books:
|Team||Odds to Win at Bovada||Odds to Win at 5Dimes|
|San Francisco 49ers||+700||+750|
|New England Patriots||+900||+900|
|Green Bay Packers||+1100||+1300|
These are the payouts each team is paying if your pick wins the Super Bowl. I’ve bolded the best odds for each team. It’s interesting to note the discrepancies between these books. There’s only one team in which the payoff is the same at both books. Every other team pays more at one book or the other.
If you wanted to bet on the Broncos again, you would get the best odds at Bovada. Bovada is paying $6.50 for every $1.00 wagered on the Broncos. A $100 bet would pay $650. That same bet at 5Dimes only yields $5.80 for every $1.00 wagered on the Broncos. A $100 bet at 5Dimes would only pay $580. That’s a difference of $70 on a $100 wager.
This is a perfect example of why it’s so important to go line shopping. And just to let you know, that chart is showing actual data from Bovada and 5Dimes at the time of this writing. This is an actual bet that you could place right now if you really wanted to. Well, it was when I wrote this post anyways.
Making It Work
The point of all this is to show why it pays to use multiple sports betting sites. The big caveat here is that you only keep accounts with reputable bookmakers. Nothing good comes from doing business with untrustworthy sportsbooks no matter how good the odds may be.
Here are two bookmakers that I can recommend right now. These are all excellent betting sites that have positive reputations.
Bonuses add directly to your bottom line and every betting site has at least one bonus available at all times. This is kind of like odds shopping in that it adds to your profit potential without any extra work on your side. All you have to do is wager like you normally would and you end up with more money than you would have had otherwise.
Every online sportsbook has a bonus of some sort. These bonuses normally come in the form of new customer promos, reload bonuses and short-term promos such as free wagers and money back guarantees. This is how all the biggest betting sites compete with one another for your business.
New Customer Bonuses
There’s no law that says you have to be loyal to just one betting site. Sure, they compete against one another but that doesn’t mean you have to stick with just one book for life. Instead of depositing your entire bankroll at one site, you can split it up and deposit it at a few sites and take advantage of all their deposit bonuses.
Let’s say you have a $1,000 bankroll. Bovada is offering a 50% bonus worth up to $250 while BetOnline has an unlimited 25% bonus. If you put your whole $1,000 bankroll into Bovada, you’ll get an extra $250 and end up with $1250. That’s not bad, but it’s not as good as it could be.
Instead, you could deposit $500 at Bovada to get your $250 bonus for a total of $750. Then, you deposit the remaining $500 at BetOnline to get an extra $125. Altogether, your bankroll totals $1375 after getting both bonuses. That’s $125 you wouldn’t have had if you just deposited everything at Bovada.
Short Term Promos
Online sportsbooks are always hosting short-term promos, usually for whichever sports are in season. These promos come in all different forms. Sometimes they promise to give back your first baseball bet if it loses while other times they offer reduced juice on the World Cup or some other major event.
It’s different everywhere you go. So again, keeping your bankroll at multiple sites makes it that much easier for you to take advantage of more promos. You shortchange yourself when you only do business with one site. Keep your options open and watch your overall return go up.
Last Minute Line Changes and Other Bets
Oddsmakers are always updating their lines as new money comes in. One of their primary goals is to spread the risk by getting money on both sides of every wager. Money comes in differently at different sites so they all end up adjusting their lines in different directions.
Line changes can be good or bad depending on the side you want to take. A line change in the right direction just might turn a borderline bet into a profitable one. A change in the wrong direction is no good, but you’re under no obligation to take that wager. So once again, an account at a few bookmakers makes it that much easier to take advantage of lines that move in the right direction.
On top of that, different sites always host different wagers for events. Two different football sites are likely to have similar wagers for the main event but a whole list of unique team and player props. Why limit yourself to just one set of options when you can see them all?
I think we can all agree that more options are always better than fewer options in sports betting. Not only is it more interesting, but it also provides more opportunities to find value lines. It’s so much easier to make more money when you have more wagering options.
Bankroll Risk Management
The last big advantage to keeping multiple accounts is risk management. This isn’t a fun topic to address but it’s worth talking about nonetheless. If a site experiences financial difficulties due to poor business management or unfavorable new legislation, it puts your bankroll at jeopardy.
The sad truth is good books have gone bad in the past. Legends sportsbook was a great betting site until it got hit with an indictment by US Feds. The book closed for business almost overnight, lost its Panamanian license and transferred all player accounts to WagerWeb. WagerWeb then put a ridiculous 10x rollover on all account balances, basically forcing people to place a large number of wagers just to withdraw their own money.
This is a nasty situation and I don’t describe it to scare you. The sites that I recommend have been going strong for years in a variety of legal climates. However, the story of Legends goes to show that a little caution is warranted.
Spreading your bankroll is a form of diversification, of not keeping all your eggs in one basket. You wouldn’t invest your entire life savings in one stock would you? No, you diversify. You put some of your money here, some of your money there and so on. You minimize the potential for damage should a good site go belly up.
As you can see, I’m a big advocate for spreading the bankroll across a few different sites. There are a number of very strong advantages to doing so. This is obviously easier for people with larger bankrolls due to deposit limits and whatnot, but it’s still a good idea for anyone interested in betting for the long term.
It’s really not such a big deal for casual punters who deposit a few bucks specifically to place exactly one bet. But for those of you who like to keep a bankroll and place multiple bets throughout the year, it is extremely advantageous to do as I’ve recommended. In the end, the advantages of keeping multiple accounts outweigh the inconvenience of keeping track of your money at 2 or 3 different sportsbooks.