What do the bettors know that everyone else is missing?

Submitted by ChalmersE on November 13th, 2009 at 6:08 PM

I've spent the last hour or so browsing various Michigan football sites. There seems to be a universal belief that Michigan is not only going to lose this weekend, but lose convincingly. Indeed, Brian's 30-20 loss is about as close a loss as I can find. Yet, the official Vegas spreads have all become closer as the week has progressed. Many were as high as 10 early in the week; now all are either 8.5 or 9. That reduction in the spread is usually a reflection that more money is being bet on Michigan. So, I ask, what do the bettors know about this game that everyone seems to be missing?



November 13th, 2009 at 6:43 PM ^

The large point spread seems tempting. However, with Wisconsin's home field (HF) advantage, the last I checked, they should have had about an 11 point advantage, based on the Sagarin ratings (you just subtract the PREDICTOR ratings and add 3 points to WI for HF).* I would have more confidence in those ratings that in what bettors do, since they could easily be sucked in by the big spread for a brand-name team (UM).

That said, the Sagarin ratings also suggest that a win at WI is our best chance to get bowl eligible, since OSU is a 15 pt favorite (even with 3pts subtracted for HF).

For each game, I'm keeping my expectations low. That way, a loss will disappoint less and an upset will satisfy more.

*(you can google sagarin ratings on usatody)


November 13th, 2009 at 6:48 PM ^

The line has moved because early in the week it opened at 11 I think and that is a lot of points to be giving up. Especially when Michigans average is so high and Wisc is giving up 22+ a game. I would assume early money has been put on Michigan and the line was moved to get more action on the Wisc side to even it out. The point being to get about the same amount of money placed on bothe sides. At least that is how I see it. Just my guess though.


November 13th, 2009 at 7:48 PM ^

Yep, at 11 I would have taken Michigan if I bet, and I guess a whole lot of other folks did.

The bookies had to tighten down the spread to balance the risk over on W, than crank it down again to get as much money on W as was put on M back when the spread was 11.


November 13th, 2009 at 9:51 PM ^

Las Vegas spreads are not predictors, they are money-balancers. As long as money is going to Wisconsin at those numbers they will stay high. If it starts heading to Michigan the spread comes down. As far as TV talking heads predicting spreads that is useless hot air bellowing.

Just play the damn game...and win.