Questions about how to optimize betting with roster composition



  • Suppose you owned an NBA FRANCHISE, plus a number of gambling casinos (maybe with online betting portals) in the state where the franchise was located, and an online lending business that could perhaps help bettors finance their betting with collateralized credit lines. What roster composition would you want to optimize betting? Would it simply be the best team you could put on the floor, or the biggest star, or do you want to fill the roster out so there were individual players that have targeted appeal to the various demographic cohorts of bettors you are trying to get to bet on your team? In short, what kind of team and roster composition tends to attract the most bets that you do not have to pay out on? Or do you just want the most aggregate betting regardless of level of payout? Anyone have a clue?



  • Without doing any real research I would assume that those who bet on NBA games bet on star power. So if championships were a non issue, and the goal was to get bettors to bet on your team without paying out. Then you get a star player with no sidekicks.

    If championships are important also. Then I would say build a team like the Spurs. Then bettors would bet against your team. Then you would just plug along quietly picking up championships and money while becoming the best franchise since those Jordan Bulls.



  • @jaybate 1.0

    The bulk of Vegas style betting does not depend on the composition of the teams; it uses the spread to account for the difference. As long as half of the bettor bet one way and the other half the opposite way, the house is guaranteed to make a profit on the “vig.” This is why the spread constantly changes to insure betting is balanced.

    Also, the betting industry depends more on the compulsive bettor and not on the one time, big event only bettor. Compulsive bettors will be on anything as long as they think they ha chance to win -they seldom do- occasional bettor will bet on their team. regardless of the odds (say a KU fan betting on the NCAA), but this type of bettors are not sufficient to support the industry. Just my opinion.



  • @JayHawkFanToo and @JAF

    Thanks for responding. I raised this issue hypothetically and in the abstract, after reading that the Cav’s owner, Dan Gilbert, or maybe one of his organizations, also reputedly has some kind of interest in several casinos and an online lending business. I am not suggesting Dan Gilbert looks at his investments in the way I hypothesized. But I do wonder how many NBA owners have interests direct, or indirect, in casinos these days?



  • @jaybate 1.0

    I believe they can own interest in casinos in jurisdiction that legally allow them; however, the casinos cannot cannot have any involvement in Association activities…

    ( f) Willfully permit open betting, pool selling, or any other form of gambling upon any premises owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the Member or an Owner, except, subject to Article 8(a), for gambling activities that are lawful in the applicable jurisdiction and do not involve in any way, directly or indirectly, gambling with respect to any aspect of the Association’s games, events, property, players, or other personnel.

    This the article from where the quote above came:

    Link to article…

    The unattributed, 5 year old article below would seem to indicate that NBA owners with casino interests are allowed to take bets on games except those involving their own teams…

    Link to article…

    I am not an attorney, did not play one on TV and did not stay at the Holiday Inn, but it would seem that if owners have a an interest in casinos, said casinos cannot participate in any NBA related gambling particularly involving their own team.

    In short, it would appear that Gilbert could not take any gambling action that involves the Cavaliers and maybe the NBA as well. Like I said, just my opinion and I could be wrong.



  • @JayHawkFanToo or anyone else…

    Do you think owners of NBA franchises owning interests in casinos and perhaps online bettiing portals will alter the risks of gambling exploits of professional basketball in the years to come? Or have they already been altered as much as they are going to be?



  • @jaybate 1.0

    The NBA has been trying to develop a squeaky clean image and even the appearance of intermingling would be frown upon. I just cannot see the NBA going any further than it has and risking potential government intervention which would be the beginning of the end of the sport as we know it. Remember the whole Donaghey scandal? Congress threatened to intervene then but luckily it did not. The only branch of government that works reasonably well is the military, and that comes at a high cost; nothing else the government manages is efficient or well run. The most government regulated sport, boxing, is also the most corrupt.



  • I believe there are two kinds of bettors; pro and ‘amateur’.

    The pros develop their own unique techniques for ‘picking winners’ and they should practice discipline and try to prevent emotions from factoring in to decisions.

    Amateurs gamble more on emotion, picking their favorite teams and playing hunches.

    I’d be curious to know what percentage of legal sports gambling in Vegas comes from pro and what from amateur.

    It seems like wagers go up on events where there is a definite popular sports figure or a definite ‘bad boy’ playing. When there are both in the same event and on opposite sides, the wagering totals get huge, especially if there is plenty of publicity leading up to the event.

    The ‘line’ on a game or event moves according to how much total wager is put down on both sides with the goal to even out the bets so the house limits risk and settles for a small percentage (usually 10%) and the occasional “push” pinpoint score where the house wins both sides.

    In theory… if there is an event where there is lots of amateur money wagered and one side is heavily favored for emotional reasons, the line should move away from any logical handicapping algorithm and gaming pros look hard at a strategy of taking the popularity underdog…



  • @drgnslayr

    The line is initially set up but the experts based on the most likely outcome that will result in a 50-50 betting distribution. After the initial line is set up, it moves solely based on the amount of money (not the number of bets) wagered. in order to bring the bets as close as possibly to the ideal 50-50 distribution, where the house is guaranteed a profit.

    Generally, amateur gamblers bet small amount where professional bet larger sums.

    Addendum: Slayr. I did not see your edited post so we ended up saying the same thing :)



  • @JayHawkFanToo @drgnslayr I imagine teams like KU and UK, with many enthusiastic fans, would be emotional “overdogs” to some extent, so logic would say to bet against them.

    I wonder if there is any record of how these or other teams do against the spread?

    If I ever did bet on a sports event, I would prefer odds rather than a point spread. I would hate not betting on the outcome itself.



  • @ParisHawk

    Even in sports like basketball or football where you usually bet on the spread, you can also bet on the money line or odds. In either case, you ARE betting on the outcome.



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    "Addendum: Slayr. I did not see your edited post so we ended up saying the same thing "

    Nothing wrong with that!

    Yes… amateurs typically bet small sums and the pros go heavy. But there are a lot more amateur gamers than pro.

    Do you have any idea of the %s on total sports gaming $s between pro and amateur? I’ve been curious on that for years.

    @ParisHawk - You can visit gaming sites and blogs and you can find out which teams cover the most (percentage wise). Something you definitely would want to know if you ever count on “winning a living.”



  • @drgnslayr

    Money wise I would say pros bet 95% of the money; this is what I heard once upon a time while in Vegas. By pros I mean the guys that beat many time per week and amateurs the one that bet occasionally, usually when they are in Vegas on vacation.

    If you go to the Vegas books, you will see the pros betting thousands of dollars at a time and they don’t care who they bet for as long as they believe it will win for them. Amateurs will bet a small amount for their favorite team. If a hotel in Vegas will comp you the entire stay, then you are a pro, if not then you are an amateur. Now, I am talking about Vegas betting; I am not sure what the % on internet betting would be.



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I guess it matters how you define “pros.”

    One of my criteria would be that a pro lives off his/her gambling earnings, and not only pays tax on earnings, can deduct losses if they classify with the IRS as a professional gamer. I’m not sure how that is accomplished, but I would guess that most of your earnings would have to be derived from gaming.

    I know some guys who gamble every week, and in total they gamble a decent amount, but they are still hobbyists and work full-time jobs.

    It would be an interesting life. Spending your day studying a wide assortment of stats, stories, gossip, etc.



  • If you are going to gamble for a living, you better know what you are doing. Much like being a trader in the stock market – if you “think” you know what you are doing, you will quickly learn that you don’t.


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