James Holzhauer explains how he wins at football betting

James Holzhauer explains how he wins at football betting


James Holzhauer explains how he wins at football betting

Posted by Michael David Smith on June 3, 2019, 9:52 AM EDT


If Jeopardy! were a sport, James Holzhauer would be the most dominant athlete in America right now. Holzhauer is easily beating the competition and destroying Jeopardy! records, and he’s doing it in large part by betting heavily on himself on Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy.

Betting is something Holzhauer knows a lot about, as he’s a Las Vegas-based professional sports gambler. And on the Bet the Process podcast, Holzhauer revealed some of his strategies for winning big on football gambling.

Holzhauer is a big believer in futures bets, specifically betting during the regular season on which team will win the Super Bowl. He says that you should bet on the teams that have the best chance of earning the playoff bye weeks, as sports books routinely undervalue how much more likely those four teams are to win the Super Bowl than the other teams in the playoff field.

“In football, one of the big sources of edge I’ve had for years and years now, and I’m still waiting for it to disappear, is sports books underestimate the advantage going to the 1 and 2 seeds,” Holzhauer said. “I’ll virtually never place a futures bet on a team unless they’ve got a really good shot at earning the first-round bye. The math is so, so slanted in favor of those teams. There are times when they don’t understand the tiebreakers. I remember the year the Falcons lost the Super Bowl, Seattle got upset in Week 16. Seattle was then in a position to lose the tiebreaker to the Falcons, and they were still giving great futures odds to the Falcons as if this huge advantage didn’t exist, so I was really big on Atlanta that year — not the best Super Bowl party.”

When betting on point spreads, Holzhauer’s favorite tactic is to find two sports books listing different spreads and betting on opposing teams with the more favorable spread on each bet. In a best-case scenario, if New England is favored by 10.5 over Buffalo at one sports book and 9.5 at another book, Holzhauer will bet Buffalo +10.5 and New England -9.5, and if he gets lucky and New England wins 31-21, he wins both bets.

“A big part of my game is trying to hit a middle on the key number, like I see one sports book is dealing +10.5, another is -9.5,” he said. “There are definitely times I’ll bet both.”

Holzhauer also likes to bet during games he’s watching and often sees times when, say, a team is leading by 3 and the sports book underestimates the chances of that team going on to win by 10.

“Football halftimes are big,” Holzhauer said. “In-play football betting, I think they make a lot of mistakes on that.”

Holzhauer has developed his own systems for identifying how likely a given team is to win by a given margin of victory, but he doesn’t claim that his system is a whole lot better than anyone else’s. He said his own numbers are “really, really close” to publicly available analytics models like Massey-Peabody. And although Holzhauer will adjust his numbers based on something like a key player getting hurt, he doesn’t claim to know enough to accurately predict how much it will matter if one team’s starting right guard is doubtful with a foot injury.

“I’m not a scout. I only adjust for really obvious stuff,” he said.

Once his Jeopardy! run is over, Holzhauer will have another $2 million or more in the bank that he could bet, but he said he doesn’t think he’ll bet any more this coming football season than he did last season. Holzhauer’s bankroll has changed but his risk tolerance has not.

NFL News

via ProFootballTalk http://bit.ly/1ha5gZY

June 3, 2019 at 06:57AM

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