What did i do? please help figure my Steelers-Ravens risk

Let’s see how good we are at handicapping math. On Wednesday night I laid three stacks of high society on the Ravens at -3 (+110). Late yesterday afternoon, I learned that I may have serious cash-flow issues as a big customer of mine will file chapter 11 and beat me for $1.35mm. So I have no choice to scramble. After a long sleepless night I turned around this morning and hedged my bet by taking the Steelers at +1(-105). Because I like round numbers I bet $31.5k on the Steelers in an attempt to lower my risk.  Did I do the right thing?

In this case it was a tough call, was I better just letting the $30k ride? I hedged my bet by taking the Steelers but it was not a perfect hedge, I am still exposed. Please do the math and let me know where I am exposed and by how much.

While this is a fictional scenario, believe me I wouldn’t give a shit about writing on BTSC if I was facing a $1.35mm loss. But a scenario very similar to this actually happened to me a while back, so I know it is possible. If you are unfamiliar with spread betting you may refer back to my recent post for a more thorough explanation, click here:  Spread Primer  hope you enjoy figuring it out and putting my mind at ease, have fun!



[Note by kk99, 09/11/11 8:42 AM PDT ]

below is the answer to my question, since no one wanted to do the math:)


So, if you didn’t already guess, a stack of high society is $10k so I bet $30k on the Ravens. Therefore, my total bet is $61.5k ($30k on Ravens & $31.5k on Steelers). Now, I started with the Ravens not because I like them but because the odds were so much better. I had no vig on the Ravens but I would have had to pay $30 vig on every $100 on the Steelers. Too much vig is always a bad idea, so I bet the Ravens giving 3 points and hedged by betting the Steelers +1. These are all my possible outcomes:


  • Ravens by 4 or more points – my payout is $63k, win $1,500.
  • Ravens by 3 points – push Ravens bet ($30k refunded) lose Steelers, lose $31.5k
  • Ravens by 2 points – lose both bets and am out $61.5k…. OUCH!
  • Ravens 1 point – push Steelers bet but lose Ravens bet, lose $30k.
  • Tie game or Steelers win outright – win $61.5k on Steelers, breakeven.


So my real exposure is the Ravens winning by 2 points. It would have been better to find odds closer to the 3 points. Had I found odds at Steelers +2.5 even if the moneyline was slightly worse I would have been exposed only if the Ravens win by 3 points. I would push Ravens, lose Steelers for a $31.5k loss. That would have been a much smarter move. Had I been able to get Steelers +3 then I would have only been exposed by the amount of the vig on the Steelers above $10 per $100. Were I able to bet the Steelers at +3 (-105) then I would have had an +EV bet and at least broken even if the Steelers won or Ravens won by 3 or less points. And I would have made $1,500 if the Ravens won by 4 or more points.

This is very similar to options trading and you can make a lot of $ if you are very disciplined and pick your spots. most of the time you pass but once in a while there is a great opportunity and you go balls out. Problem is that most people (including myself) are impatient and they cannot wait for the right opportunities.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.