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Submitted by Richie B. Oddsmakers Consensus on Friday, June 15, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Since the last time we were together, the state of New Jersey has started taking legal sports bets. Quite the crowd showed up Thursday at the locales that had been approved to write tickets. Imagine what a mess it’s going to be once football seasons starts! They had long lines for soccer, golf, and baseball. Of course, the addition of online access and apps will help alleviate congestion by then.

Many have been asking me if the markets are going to change at all now that more people will be betting legally. Will lines become “easier” to beat because more squares are betting (the general public)? Will lines become “tougher” to beat because sharps (professional wagerers) have more outs?

Honestly, I don’t think the market is going to change much at all beyond growing bigger. Lines won’t become softer because the corporations running sports books are already comfortable with the positions they take against the public. They have very deep pockets. The public is going to lose over the long haul. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

*Futures prices are already pretty bad when compared to true odds. People are betting them. Why make those oddds better? Plus, regional bias could make them worse at some of the local spots for area teams. You’re not going to get any bargains in New Jersey betting on the Giants or the Jets to win a division, conference or Super Bowl. A poor payoff (relatively to reality) in Las Vegas will be even worse on a regional basis. This is going to be true state by state as legalized betting grows. Each new state is going to post even lousier futures prices on the local teams. 

*Game prices “could” be adjusted based on the local team. Say, the NY Giants might be -3.5 in New Jersey when they’re -3 in Nevada and offshore. That’s at least a break for bettors who want to FADE the local teams for value. But, the companies running the books are international…and are already positioned to make money on the three considering vigorish and poor public decision making. Why open the door for sharps to use contacts in the area to bet the dog plus 3.5? We’ll have to see how that plays out. If there’s ever such a thing as a “purely local” place getting licensed that isn’t connected to a global corporation, maybe THAT place would have to go with Giants -3.5, or -4 in that example to help position its action. We’re not there yet.

*You might be thinking that “competition” is going to be great for the consumer. Honestly, it’s just a handful of companies fighting to divvy up the pie. And, in their case, “competition” is all about “location, location, location.” They’re all trying to find the best locales to draw in bettors, (and trying to carve out space on your phone) rather than using great prices to draw in bettors. Point spreads in Las Vegas are usually in lock step across town on almost every game on a college football Saturday or NFL Sunday anyway.

What competition has meant in Las Vegas is a few companies gradually gobbling up all the spots, some emphasizing “barring” sharps from placing any bets like they were blackjack players counting cards. In this field, competition has been good for the consumer in terms of squares having fun places to place bets that have really big TV screens to watch games. It hasn’t been good in terms of point spreads. Growth into more states is going to mean more big TV screens, not easier-to-beat point spreads. That’s who’s going to make a fortune in the sports betting explosion, companies that make huge television screens.

I am hopeful we’ll have quite a few new operators by the time other states are ready to begin. Future competition may be better than it is now.

To me, the great thing about expansion is that more people can take their shots. Those of you living in or near New Jersey don’t have to plan vacations to Vegas to place bets…and you don’t have to use a guy down the street who isn’t regulated. Sports betting is something that everyone should enjoy. If you learn to think like a sharp and bet like a sharp, it will gradually become easier and easier for you to earn some cash on the side of your real job, or even become a pro bettor. If you just bet for fun. It’s easier to do that. I’m skeptical that “the markets” are going to be any different. There will just be more money changing hands in newly regulated environments at the same point spreads. 

I’ll keep doing my best to help you earn that fun money. You can purchase daily BEST BETS from your friend in Las Vegas right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about long term packages that offer the best value. Check on early-bird rates for football when you call.

And, I’ll keep letting you know how sharps are making money and changing their strategies in this dynamic situation. You’re probably noticing an increase in betting related coverage in the mainstream media. They’re giving you more trends, and talking about bad beats and the like. I’m always amazed how fascinated the media is with bad beats. Every bad beat for somebody is a lucky win for somebody else. Happens all the time. Get over it.

What they WON’T be able to tell you is how the sharps are betting. That’s why I’m here. See you again next week. Have a great Father’s Day Weekend!

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