Sports Betting

As someone who is neither inclined towards sports nor betting, but who is endlessly fascinated and intrigued by a hustle, I loved this Odd Lots interview with a professional sports gambler. (Disclosure: Bloomberg is my employer, all opinions mine, blah blah blah.)

I have been thinking about the influx of online sports books, legalized by a Supreme Court decision about six years ago. I’ve been thinking about it for two reasons:

  • To the extent that I am ever near a television while a game is on, it’s impossible to miss the advertising, marketing, and extent to which gambling has oozed into the experience of sports on television.
  • Shortly after legalization in NYC, Max Read wrote a cursory explanation of how to take sports book companies up on their loss leading “free money” ads and come out on top.

Anyways, this interview by Joe and Tracy is great:

  • It’s possible to arbitrage the books off of each other, searching for mispriced bets.
  • You can bet on anything and some of those things are easier to get an edge on: taller centers win more tip-offs, so it’s not really a 50/50.
  • Even professional gamblers think sports books advertising is a bit unseemly, and unfairly targets children.

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