‘Smart money,’ aka well-informed betting syndicates that wager massive amounts of money on sporting contests, own more influence in the world of sports betting than most casual bettors realize.
The reason why they have earned the title as ‘smart’ money rather than just ‘average’ money is because they possess an ungodly amount of sophisticated information on injuries, weather and psychological factors, as well powerful computers that can process millions of bits of data. Since they have access to such powerful information, they can produce a more accurate point-spread than the bookmakers, which is why bookies fear and despise the smart money.
The people who possess smart money are also known as ‘sharps’. Fewer than 0.0001 percent of gamblers are able to consistently pick point-spread winners over an extensive period of time. But there are betting syndicates, aka sharps, that are privy to the most up-to-date information on injuries, weather, game plans, and, most important, the real power of the teams involved.
Since they have access to more raw sports information than anyone else on earth, they are essentially able to create their own theoretical line on the same slate of games offered by the bookmakers. Once they spot a discrepancy between their line and the one the bookies are offering, they strike. They can wager up to $1 million on a single game if they feel they hold a massive advantage over the bookmakers.
Once these wagers hit the sportsbooks, the bookies simply have no choice but to move the line. Their objective on nearly every game is to get a 50/50 split of cash on both sides of a single type of wager. For example, if the Chargers are facing the Raiders and are favored by three points, bookmakers want half of the money wagered on the game to be on the Chargers and the other half on the Raiders. This guarantees a profit for the bookmakers because of the vig placed on every line.
If you are still skeptical, make no mistake about it: There is a colossal difference between a sharp and the average sports bettor who throws down a few $20 bets in any given week. In some ways, the difference between the sharps and ‘squares,’ aka casual bettors, is as wide as that between Wall Street’s institutional investors and an unemployed speculator sitting on his couch dabbling at day trading. Sharps can wager up millions of dollars in a given weekend if they like a particular slate to a certain degree. And there is a reason why they take on such a tremendous amount of risk: They win more than they lose more times than not.
Shane Davies is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Shane, check out his archive.