The oddsmakers decide what the line is to reduce the risk of the sportsbook losing money. 50% betting on each team means the bookie wins the vig, and the losing bets pay the winning bets. Often the betting public makes the line move, in order to keep the betting even on both teams. However, rarely is the betting truly even taken by the sportsbook. Studying how the public is betting and analyzing the line moves, is the key to picking college basketball winners.
When the betting public is heavy on one team, and then the team winds up losing, the sportsbook wins. Therefore, there was no need for the sportsbook to adjust the line, because the majority of betting was on the loser, making the sportsbook the winner. Picking winners is done by identifying when this scenario is happening, and betting against the public.
“I bet the first half, usually, if the numbers look right. The shorter the game, the easier to predict the outcome,” says data analyst and expert handicapper, Luigi Evecedo. “Also, you don’t have the frantic end of game scoring to worry about, which has nothing to do with the bet.”