How the Sports Betting Line is Made by RJ Bell

Mike Seba is a Senior Oddsmaker at LVSC and has been making lines for the last six years. In doing so they attempt to make more attractive the team that is getting less action. We do this by drawing from past experiences and applying them to current situations.

“The main objective is that our clients get equal action on both sides,” Seba said. “We’re not trying to pick the team that covers the spread, we’re trying to make it a coin flip, a tough decision (for the bettor).

What Is the Line Trying to Accomplish?

The purpose of these adjustments, like all line adjustments, is to more equally divide the betting action.

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Divided action means the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit on the game because of the fee charged to the bettor (called juice or vig – typically $11 bet to win $10). For example, the public might have heavy betting interest week after week on a popular college football team such as USC. If we’ve done that, we’ve done our job.”

Moving the line is the oddsmaker’s effort to balance betting action, and often times such moves can have a major impact on a bettor’s decision. If an oddsmaker comes up with a preliminary line of USC -7, then an adjustment up to -7.5 or -8 would be made in response to the public’s expected USC bias.

Oddsmakers can also change the line depending on various event-related factors such as player injuries or weather. Also, adjustments are made after reading each team’s local newspapers to get a sense of what the coaches & players are thinking going into the game. Power ratings are the oddsmaker’s value of each team and are used as a guide to calculate a “preliminary” pointspread on an upcoming game. In our extended interview, Seba explained that there are 4-5 oddsmakers assigned to make lines for each of the major sports (pro & college football and basketball; MLB, NHL, boxing, golf). Examples of non-game factors that would require an adjustment to a team’s power rating are key player injuries and player trades. Obviously, if the line comes out a week ahead of the event (which is the case in football), there is much that could happen during the week leading up to the event that could affect the line. Each of these oddsmakers bring unique opinions, strengths and weaknesses to the process.

Individual books having players who consistently bet with certain tendencies (such as an extreme bias toward favorites or toward a certain popular team like USC)

“You either have a passion for it or you don’t,” Seba said. This usually includes having up-to-date power ratings on each team. That is not the case at all – their intent is NOT to evenly split the ATS result between the teams; rather, their goal is to attract equal betting action on both sides. Oddsmakers have to determine if any changes are necessary and send out an “adjusted line.”

Once a game’s power rating based pointspread is determined, the oddsmaker will make adjustments to that line after considering each team’s most recent games played and previous games played against that opponent. The power ratings are adjusted after each game a team plays. Seba explained that it all starts with each oddsmaker creating a line on each game based upon their own personal approach.

The last step in the line-making process for each oddsmaker is taking one final look to determine whether or not the line “feels right.” This is where common sense and past experience with how games are bet enters into the picture.

How the Opening Line Is Made

Once the opening line is released by LVSC, the individual sportsbooks decide if they want to make any adjustments before offering it to the public.

There is a common misconception that point spreads represent the oddsmakers’ prediction of how many points the favorite will win by.

RJ Bell

┬ęPregame.com 2006

Website: http://www.Pregame.com

Oddsmakers at LVSC are professional sports junkies who love what they do and would probably do it for nothing if you asked them, but they do get paid for it.

For example, if the pointspread on a game is 7 and most of the money is coming in on the underdog (taking the +7), sportsbooks will then move the number down to 6 ┬Ż to try and attract money on the favorite. Of the 4-5 oddsmakers, generally the 2 most respected opinions are weighed more heavily by the Odds Director before he decides on the final line.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC) is the world’s premier oddsmaking company and the most respected authority on making the lines.

Since the oddsmaker’s ultimate goal is equally dividing the betting action, public perception and betting patterns must be taken into account. By moving the line, sportsbooks can influence how the public bets on a particular game. Reasons for such adjustments include:

Experts working for the individual books having a strong opinion on the game .

“The #1 thing for us is to make a line for each game that creates good two-way action. Of course there is an entire method to the madness on how the opening line is created. Stated another way, they want to create a line that half the people find appealing to bet one way while the other half find it appealing to bet the other way (known as ‘dividing the action’). By necessity their approach is very research-oriented and concise, since with millions of dollars at risk there is little margin for error.

Why the Line Changes

The opening line is the first line created by the oddsmakers, which is then sent out to sportsbooks.

A round-table discussion among the 4-5 oddsmakers involved in making the line for each sport is then conducted and a consensus line is decided upon by the Odds Director before it is released to the sportsbooks. People think it’s much more complicated, but it’s not.”

Once betting begins, sportsbooks can adjust the line at any time

12 Effective Tips to Get Rid of Gambling Addiction

Here are some useful tips regarding lifestyle changes to get rid of a gambling addiction.

. Study results show that a gambler who has not been treated for compulsive gambling during his desperation phase is likely to commit suicide. Addiction to gambling at a young age increases the risk of suicide. ‘Problem gambling’, also known as ‘ludo mania’, can destroy the life of the gambler and also of his/her family members. Despite being aware of the serious negative consequences, or despite having a strong desire to quit, he cannot stop himself from gambling. He lies to his family and friends, borrows money, and loses control over his mind and behavior. When a gambler with severe ludo mania meets certain criteria, the condition is diagnosed as ‘clinical pathological gambling’. To experience the same excitement, he needs larger wagers or more frequent gambling.

There are chances that he has other psychiatric problems at the same time; for example, substance use disorder, mood and anxiety disorder, personality disorder, etc. Researchers have noticed increased rates of mental health disorders in gamblers with severe ludo mania. Gambling addiction is referred to as ‘compulsive gambling’ or ‘impulse-control disorder’, where the behavior of the gambler is similar to that of a person who has substance addiction.

When an individual realizes that gambling is destroying his family and social life, he thinks of quitting, but in just a few hours or within a couple of days, he is again found in a gaming zone or casino. As he spends more gambling, he requires more money to recover his losses. He may lose his job and may commit crimes to get money for gambling. Analysis of casino customer data may help identify problem gamblers, but casino owners do not share this data for fear of losing their most lucrative customers (may be 25 – 50%). But studies show that suicide attempts are usually made by older people with problem gambling

Tipping Slot Attendants In Las Vegas

Good tips can encourage great customer service. Many people feel if they hit a jackpot, regardless of the size, they should tip the slot attendant because he or she was the one that paid out the jackpot.

In todays world the casino could just as easily have the machine spit out a ticket and then I could take it to the cashiers’ cage to redeem my earnings. As For Slot attendants, the only thing they can do is be rude too you. I also do not have to stumble with placing 2-3 quarters in her hand each time she brings me a new drink.

Others suggest that tipping the slot attendant is a waste of money and will never do it. A lot of their income is based on tips. The cocktail waitresses, the slot attendants, and all other casino personnel have no incentive to be friendly, prompt, and courteous to the casino patrons.

If I have to tip a slot attendant to keep him or her happy then I will simply spend my money elsewhere. Did the slot attendant pitch in on the money I put in the machine? No. The problem though, is that in order to survive the slot attendant needs to receive tips.

A slot attendant always needs to be polite and courteous to players regardless of whether they receive a tip or not. They point many customers to many different machines.

Their have been casinos in the past that have tried a no tipping policy.

It is a scam. These people feel that the only thing the slot attendant did is put a ticket in the machine and count out your cash.

If you feel that you have received excellent customer service in a casino and want to tip the person or people, then go right ahead. Casinos want players to keep playing after they win a jackpot, not pack up and move to a competitor’s casino.

If you win a jackpot and don’t tip the slot attendant, and then receive poor and rude service from the slot attendant, quit playing. Out of all of these customers, one may hit a jackpot. They can get you paid out faster, and they will let the cocktail waitresses know that you tip so your drinks will come more often without waiting.

Yes, You Should Always Tip the Slot Attendants

Slot Attendants generally work for minimum wage. It is very hard to survive in Las Vegas on minimum wage.

Tipping is very personal, at the restaurant if you are not a regular tipper but you always eat there, then be prepared to have mucus in your food. The customer then thinks they won because the slot attendant pointed them too the machine originally. I may have lost $700 before I won the jackpot. The slot attendants do not know any better then you do which gaming machines are the best too use. Every time those casino policies have failed. Did the slot attendant give me money last week when I lost money?

If this happens multiple times a casino will then either retrain the slot attendants in customer service skills or fire them.

Just because I won a $500 jackpot does not mean that I am ahead $500. On the same token, if you feel a customer does not receive a tip then do not tip them. Slot attendants do not deserve a tip and never have.. Explain to them how you won a mini-jackpot and was going to keep gambling here but instead you are taking your winnings to a different casino to play because you are tired of the slot attendant who is very rude too you, simply because you did not give her a tip.

The slot attendant will then stare at you, hoping for tip. Instead, the casino wants to verify that the win is authentic, and then have the slot attendant pay me my winnings.

The debate has raged on for years. I don’t think so.

Many people who like to tip say “well the slot attendant pointed out the good machines too use”. Cash out your machine and find a floor supervisor or manager. You should never feel forced to tip a slot attendant. That means I am still down $200, and the slot attendant wants a tip. It is all luck.

Further Thoughts on Slot Attendants

Whether you choose to tip the slot attendants or not is a very personal choice. Here are both sides to the story.

Tipping slot attendants is simply the right thing too do.

The debate on whether you should tip your slot attendant or not rages on. For what? The slot attendant did nothing but take 3 minutes of her time to pay me my earnings. Most of them will lose. If you go to the same casino to play on a regular basis, a repeat customer, then you should always tip the slot attendants. I tend to give a large tip too the cocktail waitress the first time I see her. Maybe in the old days, before all of this new computer generated tickets, I would consider tipping the slot attendant. You should decide for yourself whether you want to tip a slot attendant. They can point you out too machines that tend to pay off more often. Image Credit: (Flickr/sophistechate)

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No, Don’t Ever Tip the Slot Attendants

I gamble my own money, I get lucky and win $500, and now I am suppose to tip the slot attendant who simply paid me the cash? It is a scam. Each night the slot attendants play a game of numbers.

As for the other casino staff such as cocktail waitresses and blackjack dealers, if you tip or not is up too you. If your slot attendant is rude, cash out, talk to a floor supervisor, and then move onto a new casino.

The casinos that have tried to the no tipping policy have paid higher than minimum wage to their workers, but it was still not enough.

Most slot attendants will tend to be courteous, even if you do no tip them. I then usually receive many drinks and get them without waiting. I call hors manure on that