Sports books win because of the hold. To win $100, you have to bet $110 on a typical spread or total.
Wouldn’t life be much better if you could bet $100 to win $100? The sports book would no longer have an edge.
In the book The Logic of Sports Betting, Ed Miller and Matthew Davidow discuss these no hold markets. While no single book will let you have +100 odds on both sides of a spread, it is possible to find the equivalent or better across two sports books.
As an example, Circa has a regular season win total of 10.5 for the Buffalo Bills. The price to bet the over is -150, so you bet $150 to win $100.
At The Power Rank, I use the NFL win totals market at Circa and back out a rating for each team. For Buffalo, this considers their difficult division and a schedule that also has Philadelphia, Kansas City and Dallas.
The Unabated NFL simulator provides a unique opportunity to compare the market at Circa to other sports books. Based on my preseason market ratings, this tool simulates the season 10,000 times to generate probabilities for a multitude of events.
For example, the win total market at Circa translates to a 51.5% chance that Buffalo wins the AFC East. Unabated shows this price of +106 against the posted odds at a number of sports books.
DraftKings has Buffalo at +120 to win the division. Between Circa and DraftKings, you have a negative hold market. This gives you two choices:
- If you like Buffalo, bet +120 at DraftKings to win the division.
- If you think Buffalo is overrated, bet under 10.5 wins, +130 at Circa.
In The Logic of Sports Betting, the authors recommend taking a side in a no hold market. I am high on Buffalo for three reasons.
First, my market rankings most likely underestimate the probability for the Bills to win the division. In an earlier episode of the 2023 preview series, I discussed how the New York Jets are overrated in the market. In addition, Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa has yet to play an entire NFL season due to injury.
Second, Buffalo has been excellent the past two seasons. The Bills have had the best point differential per game during this time. QB Josh Allen and head coach Sean McDermott have played a pivotal role in both seasons.
The excellence of the Bills might seem diminished with a bad 27-10 loss to Cincinnati in the playoffs last season. However, don’t let one game fool you.
Third, which sports book do you trust more? A sharp book like Circa takes large bets from anyone, even professional bettors. A public book like DraftKings seems to specialize in restricting bets from anyone who wins.
There is value in Buffalo +120 to win the AFC East at DK.
Bet smarter with professional software
I don’t let others do my analytics for me. It goes against my pretentious Stanford Ph.D. brand.
However, I make one exception. Unabated.
Rufus Peabody is one of the most successful sports bettors of the past decade. The Unabated NFL simulator comes straight from his code.
I also use the Unabated line in my handicapping. Based on historical data, they have determined which sports books are the most accurate in a specific sport. The Unabated line is a combination of these sharp books.
Unabated isn’t for everyone. The software requires a learning curve, and you will need to learn to fish for yourself.
But with a little bit of time, Unabated opens up new avenues of value. Buffalo +120 to win the division is the tip of the iceberg.
Before Detroit at Kansas City kicks off on September 7th, you can get Unabated for a massive savings through the NFL regular season.
This is an affiliate link, which means you will support The Power Rank if you decide to purchase the services at Unabated.