If you're looking to improve your financial over-under by throwing money at weekend games, you'll need more than just a hunch. "Most casual football bettors place wagers with their heart, not their mind," says Johnny Avello, executive director of the sports book at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. "But there's less 'luck' in football than in most other kinds of gambling. You've gotta do your research."
Avello's wisdom in setting the lines has made the Wynn the country's go-to sports-betting parlor. He gave a us some tips so that we could create a set of guidelines for gamblers looking to mitigate risk and make a bit of coin.
Mind the blowout.
Professional teams are happy to walk away with a win, whether it's by one point or 20. Some college teams, though, will run up the score so they can cover a spread of 25 or 30 points much more easily. Research who does it – Urban Meyer at Ohio State, say – and don't bet on anyone who hasn't been called out in the national press for their hubris. Gamblers will have to spend less time looking at this after this season, when a playoff structure will replace the arcane bowl system, making one point wins as valued as blowouts.
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