Mad Chemist: Still living on the ‘dog

By
Updated: October 17, 2013

It can be more financially advantageous to bet the money line on slight underdogs than to bet against the spread on those same teams.

In last week’s column, I gave a very general overview of the difference between betting against the spread (ATS), and betting the money line, also known as the straight-up win.

Ideally, the spread makes it a 50/50 proposition that either team will win, and you make 90.9 percent of what you bet. In other words, a $100 bet will garner $90.90 win (plus your $100 back).

The moneyline profit will vary greatly based on the odds that the team wins. If you bet on a strong favorite, you will likely only win 10 to 20 percent of what you wager. If you pick an underdog to win, you may make 200 to 500 percent more than you risked.

I laid all the groundwork to discuss minor underdogs, those with a spread of +1 to +3. If you feel confident those teams will cover the spread, you can increase you financial gain by just betting on them to win outright and foregoing the points.

Spread
+1
+1.5
+2
+2.5
+3
Moneyline +105 +110 +115 +120 +125
$100 win with spread $191.00 $191.00 $191.00 $191.00 $191.00
$100 win w/ moneyline $205.00 $210.00 $215.00 $220.00 $225.00

From 2007 to 2011, the record of these slight underdogs against the spread is 179-194-23, which shows that Vegas does a pretty good job of handicapping teams to make these wagers a virtual coin flip. If you had bet $100 on each of these games, you would have risked $39,600 finished with a relatively small loss of $3,111.00 (7.85 percent).

If you had instead just bet each of these underdogs to win straight up, your record would be 171-219. Although that is a worse win percentage, because of the more advantageous payout, you would have lost $3,080.00 (7.78 percent).

Show me the money

But no one bets to minimize losses. They bet to win.

So let’s thin the pool to get more winners and show you why eschewing those points can make your wallet larger.

Last year, had you bet only on my recommended underdogs of three points or less, $100 per game, this would have been the results:

Games Record ATS ATS payout Money line record Moneyline payout
29 21-8 +$1,111.00 21-8 +$1,635.00

That is a 32 percent greater haul betting on exactly the same games! In fact, although it appears you would have risked $2,900, you would have accomplished these winning off only an initial $600 pot. Week 4 in 2012 had six such games. They went 4-2 for a $850 win. You would have been able to pocket your original $600 risk and bet the remainder of the year with Vegas’ money (1-0 in Week 5, 1-0 in week 7, 1-1 in Week 8, and 3-0 in Week 9)

This year I have only given you two such games — Baltimore Ravens over Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals over Carolina Panthers — but you would have won both for a $430 take on $200.

This week you can take Baltimore to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Lastly, whether you are trusting my system, the  algorithm, or your wife’s “better-looking-uniform” method, it is to your advantage to bet the money line. Slight underdogs lose the games they cover only about 4.5 percent of the time, but the payout for betting on the straight-up win is seven to 15 percent higher.

In layman’s terms, you need fewer wins to cover any bets you make on the money line versus ATS, even if the money line bets seem at first glance to be a greater risk.

Neck and neck

Now on to this week’s Deep Cool challenge. I was able to beat Deep Cool, 3-2, in Week 6 and tie up the three-week.old contest. We are both 10-11-1 at this juncture.

Pick Line Opponent
Deep Cool Agrees
Denver Broncos -6.5 @ Indianapolis Colts
Baltimore Ravens +1.5 @Pittsburgh Steelers
Deep Cool Disagrees
Robert's Pick Line Deep Cool's Pick
Seattle Seahawks -6.5 @ Arizona Cardinals
New England Patriots -4 @ New York Jets
Atlanta Falcons -7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
San Diego Chargers -6.5 @ Jacksonville Jaguars

My other picks for Week 7 are

  • San Francisco 49ers -4 @ Tennessee Titans
  • Houston Texans +6.5 @ Kansas City Chiefs
  • Carolina Panthers -6 vs. St. Louis Rams
  • Green Bay Packers -10 vs. Cleveland Browns

About the author(s)

A self-described NFL addict and "stats geek," Robert J. Russ loves to demolish conventional wisdom with cold, hard numbers. When reputation doesn't jive with reality, he plows tirelessly through play-by-play charts and statistical tables to separate fact from fiction. A military brat who was born in California, raised in North Carolina, and bounced between the two states through college, Russ has lived in Coastal Carolina since 1990. He owns a small pest-control business and a free fantasy football and NFL betting line website. Feel free to contact him at with questions, comments, or ideas for future articles.

1589 comments
gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17 moderator

YEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.i JUST found out that I won the draw. I GOT MY ELK TAG. 

You fuckers know where Im gonna be on Oct 26th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tearloch
Tearloch

"Fasher faces a number of complaints from business owners in Canton and charges have been filed against him by a number of citizens in the community. Four people have filed civil-damage lawsuits against him after their private property was damaged by Fasher. One person has alleged that he had sex with her prize-winning French poodle in her backyard."

This article is the gift that keeps on giving...

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

hey fuckers, you do know that the daily cricket is a satire site, right?  I don't think that's a real news story

Tearloch
Tearloch

Wait, so if you are blasted and driving your car, and "happen" to urinate on yourself in YOUR car, you can be charged with urinating in public?  #whoknew

bp.
bp. moderator

Since Mark Tauscher was brought up, does anyone remember when he became a free agent after 2008, and neither the GBP's or anyone else picked him up?  But the in like October 2009 every single offensive lineman was injured (of course), and he came back when the Packers called?  And the team turned around their season and went to the playoffs?  And then he stayed on the next year and played about a month of 2010 before getting injured, and Bulaga still sucked for a while but eventually figured it out and Green Bay won a Super Bowl?  Then we ditched him again, but he stayed on as a radio guy?


Opposite of Burt.  Tauscher is the tits.

andylet445
andylet445

"He drink all morning,” said Chan. “He get crazy. I tell him no more beer for you and he throw Pu-Pu platter at waitress. He a very bad man. He broke very expensive mirror!"

how racist can that article be?

Tearloch
Tearloch

So when are Packer stockholders going to start demanding changes in the training staff in GB?

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

BREAKING: Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to play Sunday

rocketman6969
rocketman6969

DAmmit, Livefyre, I've been trying to post for 15 minutes now. WTF.

50CaliberFalconoles
50CaliberFalconoles

just so yall know the video game and kid thing was simply a joke, i do not allow my 10 year old to play adult video games. Hell he is still a Nintendo nerd with skylanders and stuff. It's my 7 year that I have to watch he loves the realistic fighting video games.

thenichels
thenichels

 Way to ruin my Friday, jizz-nozzle.

bp.
bp. moderator

 Hmmm.  I suppose that is consistent with the body of law that more or less allows police to look in your car for illegal items because of the lack of an expectation of privacy.  They can't go in your trunk or glove box without PC, but they can just go window gazing whenever they like.

thenichels
thenichels

 I thought that at first, but that charge might be from him pissing on some Persian rugs.

Gisele's Bottom Bitch
Gisele's Bottom Bitch

 If you're blasted enough to be pissing yourself and still driving, I think a urinating in public ticket is the least of your worries.

Childerz...
Childerz...

  First off.. don't get that drunk that you urinate on yourself.. and it'd never matter. 

.

More worrisome though is what is he doing with two women that are heavy enough to break his tires off his axle 

Tearloch
Tearloch

Oh, this gets better:

“We’ve been after this guy for quite some time,” said West. “Mr. Fasher is well known to us. He is a renowned transvestite, and he’s been arrested a number of times for prostitution. In June of 1998, he was arrested six times in one week. In fact, three of those arrests occurred on one day.”

andylet445
andylet445

Tauscher also never played for a football team outside of the state of wisconsin.  #loyalty

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

 he also had sex with a lady's French poodle, broke into a rug store and urinated all over a bunch of Persian rugs, and is a renowned transvestite prostitute.

Sounds like a winner!

Staffords_Glove
Staffords_Glove

 When they stop having the depth to overcome most likely

vanderheap19
vanderheap19

 ABOUT FUCKING TIME I CAN ADD HIM TO MY ACTIVE ROSTER. !@#(*!#

gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17 moderator

 Back in his Shell??

I havent seen him bud. But Im not on that much

Big Cheese
Big Cheese

 *50Caliber quickly shuts off Hookerbang Extreme IV, grabs controller from kid, turns on Spongebob.*

Tearloch
Tearloch

I don't let my kids play video games at all.  Problem solved.

50CaliberFalconoles
50CaliberFalconoles

  

Blackpowder starts here tomorrow so I may be High in a tree too especially if I get a call from my guy soon

andylet445
andylet445

well that's disappointing.  I was hoping there was a poodle fucking transvestite prostitute pimping out 400 lb women in the boston area. 

Tearloch
Tearloch

Can you piss in an RV without committing a crime?

vanderheap19
vanderheap19

  "but they can just go window gazing whenever they like" 

Oh, so many implications from this.

Tearloch
Tearloch

Read what I posted just above this.  That explains some of it.

Childerz...
Childerz...

 Best part of the story was they had to cut the roof of the car off and hoist the fatties out with a crane. 

bp.
bp. moderator

  What did he do for road games?


ZING!!

bp.
bp. moderator

  Yeah, I am just lashing out from a position of anger.  I'm not sorry about it.

bp.
bp. moderator

  "Untrue."

-- Your mother

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

  good thing you didn't just dump him off to Adam

thenichels
thenichels

  Meh, all my kids game, but it's a privilege in the house, and they are only allowed 10 hours a week.

bp.
bp. moderator

   Doesn't mean the analysis is wrong.  


Give me $25

Tearloch
Tearloch

I like when they found an actual mouse nest under the seat.  They thought one of the fatties was on PCP for claiming she was being bitten by mice...

niemerg1
niemerg1

  he is literally the only pass catcher on that team...he is going to be a beast