It is time for the Week 3 installment of BTSC Bookie! This is a chance for the BTSC community to collectively choose games in which to place an imaginary wager of “BTSC Bucks.” Each week I will remind everyone of the rules and explain an aspect of betting in order to further educate those interested about the process.
Before I get into the procedure of things, I want to remind everyone that gambling addiction is a serous problem numerous people face. Like many things in life, gambling can be a fun and safe exercise if done in moderation, while obsessive gambling can have destructive and life-altering consequences. If you or anyone you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, help is available HERE.
- We will start with $500 in BTSC Bucks for the season. If we bust, we may borrow from the BTSC Bookie, but will have to pay 20% interest each week it isn’t paid. It’s a steep price, but there are consequences to failure.
- All games this week will be betting against the spread with the consensus numbers given, and payouts will be based on the price.
- There will be 10 betting lines for users to place a vote. The point spreads are as of Tuesday evening and they are locked in throughout the voting. The polls will run until Saturday night at 11:59 PM and the top three results will have wagers placed: $100 for the top choice, $50 for the second choice, and $25 for the third.
- A write-in campaign can be staged for voting. If any comment in the weekly article brings up a different game in the comments to make the wager and can receive enough recommendations to place it in the top three vote-wise, it will be calculated accordingly. I know it’s highly unlikely for a comment to receive that many recommendations, but if it does it will count.
- Thursday games will not be included due to obvious time constraints.
- Some games may have the two opposing lines as an option. If so, only the higher vote-getter will be eligible for the wager. For example, if betting on the Steelers in Week 3 earns the most votes while betting for San Francisco is the second highest, only the bet for the Steelers will be placed.
- Betting both for and against the Steelers will always be an option.
Last Week’s Wager
For Week 2, the majority of the users voted for the Cowboys to cover the 4.5 points against the Redskins. With Dallas winning 31-21, we earned $100 towards our BTSC Bucks.
As for the other two games, the L.A. Chargers (-2.5) at Detroit game had a $50 wager on the Chargers for coming in second place in the voting and the Pittsburgh (-4) vs. Seattle game had a $25 wager on the Steelers which rounded out the top three. In both of these games the teams did not cover the spread let alone win, so after gaining $100 on the Cowboys we dropped the next $75.
Week 1 Balance: $475
Week 1 Net Gain/Loss: +$25
Week 2 Total: $500
Betting with Commission
One other thing to consider while placing a bet is the commission sports betters need to collect on each wager, better known as the price or “juice.” To better understand, here is a rundown on the juice according to Odsshark.com.
What Does -110 Mean?
The magic number in sports betting is -110 because it defines the amount required by a sportsbook to earn $100 on either side of most wagers. A bettor must lay $110 to win $100 when wagering on point spreads, which are set by oddsmakers with hopes of getting equal action on both sides.
Confused yet? Don’t be, as it’s really not that hard to understand once you get the basics of sports betting down between book and bettor.
What -110 Means for a Sportsbook
From the sportsbook’s perspective, the -110 number is used to ensure they make money from bettors on a regular basis and stay in business. The “juice” as it is often called is defined as the commission the book earns on bets wagered.
What does this mean exactly? Consider it like a fee to broker the wager so that between one winning bet cashing and another losing based on the same -110, the book will still end up ahead between the two of them.
If bettors continuously split bets with the sportsbook and there was no juice associated with them, the book would have a tough time making a profit. Instead, one bettor may win $100 after laying -110 while another loses $110 with the book ending up making the difference of $10 between the two wagers. Make sense?
What -110 Means for a Bettor
For a bettor, the -110 is like wagering on a small moneyline but typically with a spread or total involved where you take one side or the other to cover the number.
Sometimes sportsbooks will offer “reduced juice” at certain times or “nickel lines” that drop the -110 down to -105 in an effort to attract more bets. This is why it definitely pays to shop around for the best lines possible before placing your wager. Because the ultimate goal is to always make the most money you can, putting yourself in position to lay less to win the same amount is one way to help make that happen.
Sometimes you may even have to pay a bit of a premium and lay -120 or -130 to back the winning side. But as long as the bet wins, it does not matter. Losing is what matters, so minimizing losses is critical.
One item of note which wasn’t covered was if the juice goes to a positive number (such as +105) it means the commission price is a negative number and a bettor can gain more than 1/1 odds. This is sometimes done in order to drive the betting toward one team because the action is unbalanced. In a +105 situation, a $100 bet wold have a payout of $105.
Week 3 Options
Here are the options chosen for the Week 3 betting exercise. Make sure you cast your vote in the poll. If you want to play your own game, leave your choices in the comments below and keep track of your total throughout the season.
For this week, payouts are based on the price. The consensus and price are given as a percent and a +/- respectively in parenthesis after each selection.
Which Week 3 game would you like to place your BTSC Bucks?
This poll is closed
Pittsburgh (+6.5) at San Francisco (41%, -110)
San Francisco (-6.5) vs. Pittsburgh (59%, -110)
Houston (+3) at L.A. Chargers (63%, +100)
New England (-22.5) vs. N.Y. Jets (71%, -110)
N.Y. Jets (+22.5) at New England (29%, -110)
Detroit (+6.5) at Philadelphia (52%, -105)
Baltimore (+6.5) at Kansas City (51%, -110)
Kansas City (-6.5) vs. Baltimore (49%, -110)
Seattle (-4) vs. New Orleans (69%, -110)
L.A. Rams (-3) at Cleveland (70%, -105)