Daily Bets

Is Taking High Priced Money lines Free Money?

Taking bets with high prices is a strategy used by some gamblers. I consider high juice anything over -200. These bets are high risk low reward. Are they a good strategy? A long term losing strategy? I wasn’t sure, so I ran some calculations to find out.  Read till the end to find out what the math says.

Converting to Decimal Odds and Getting Implied Probability

The scenario: Ohio State is playing Rutgers and is -800 at money line. You place an $800 bet to win $100. Let’s first look at what the percent chance Vegas gives a -800 bet to win.

The implied probability is the probability the bet will win according to book maker’s line. Your implied probability of winning an -800 bet is 89%. Now let’s look at what winning percentage we need at these bets to be profitable. Let’s use an example where a caper takes all -800 bets. Obviously you need to win 8/9 (88%) to stay even. You would need to hit 9/10(90%) to be profitable. Let’s see how likely that is using implied probability.

Percent Chance You Win 9 Straight -800 Bets

According to implied probability, you have a 35% chance of winning 9 straight -800 money line bets. If they were all -800, your chance of winning is 39%. If all bets were -700, you would need to win 7/8 to stay even and 8/9 to be profitable

Profitability Chance For -1000 through – 200 Money Lines

LineDecimal OddsImplied ProbabilityNeeded Win %Profitability % Chance
-10001.00191%11/12 (92%)40%
-9001.11190%10/11 (91%)39%
-8001.12589%9/10 (90%)39%
-7001.14387%8/9 (89%)33%

Obviously it is not realistic you will always be betting the same money line, but this chart should help illustrate why this is a losing strategy. The higher the lines get, the higher win percentage you will need to be profitable. The lower the line, the less win percentage needed to be profitable, but the lower implied probability each individual bet will win. The numbers work the same way whenever you mix and match bets -700 and higher. I will prove this to the non-believers below.

Realistic Scenario For Varying Money Lines

LineImplied probabilityAmount RiskedBet resultBalance

Implied Probability for Mixed Money Lines Scenario

I randomly wrote down money line numbers higher than -700. The only way you will be profitable with this scenario is if you hit 10/11. Your implied probability odds of hitting 10/11 of these bets is 30%. That means you have a 70% chance to lose more than 1 bet, like the above scenario shows below. Your implied probability of winning all 11 bets and going up $1,100 is 27%. You may get hot and go on a streak where you cant lose, but if done consistently overtime, this strategy is a losing strategy. Avoid this strategy, you won’t come out on top.

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