New Jersey Sports Betting Strategy Guide

New Jersey Sports Betting Strategy Guide

If you live in the state of New Jersey or plan to visit soon, read on for sports betting tips and online betting information. Whether you are new to sports betting or looking for some advanced sports betting ideas, this New Jersey Sports betting guide will help you with the planning, strategy concepts, and analysis techniques to improve your sports betting experience.

Legal Sports Betting in New Jersey

A US Supreme court decision in 2018 cleared the way for each state to decide on the legal framework and types of sports betting allowed within their respective state borders. Nevada had long been the only US state to provide the service and reliability of legal sports betting. In June 2018, the state legislature in New Jersey granted the Atlantic City casinos, and several racetrack locations, sports betting licenses.

Very importantly, the New Jersey sportsbooks are also licensed to offer online wagering. That means you can install a sports betting app on your internet accessible phone and you’re ready to join in on the action. Online action includes the full range of bet types: spread games, money-line wagers, point total bets and prop bets. Online betting sets the stage for live betting action, that can really add to your sports betting fun.

Strategy Planning

The definition of strategy is to develop the specific steps necessary to reach a defined set of goals. Further, strategic planning can also be described as a combination of art and science to reach those objectives. In sports betting the goals are two-fold: to have fun and to make a profit in doing so. The combination of art and science also applies to sports betting. It is not all numbers, but understanding the odds/payout factors is very important. In a sense, sports betting can be viewed as a creative process, supported by sound number analysis.

Sports betting does require an ability to apply some intuitive sense about the outcome of a sports contest but also demands objective numbers to support the expected results. One should have an unbiased, creative sense, but not lose track of the underlying facts. This number focus is especially important when planning and controlling your bankroll.  Your wagering funds balance is a critical planning component.

Set Goals

The key first step in making a sports betting plan is to define your goals. If you are betting for fun, then the goal is simple; make your bet and enjoy the game. However, if your goals are more for-profit, the goal should cover a defined period of time. That period of time could be any series of events such as the NFL season, the NCAA Basketball tournament, or the World Series.

Take a Business Approach

The profit goals should define a positive cash outcome over a period of time, recognizing that there will be losses. The bettor’s edge on the odds/payout prospects is fairly narrow, and a solid planning approach is essential. A business approach recognizes the betting opportunities and slight edge you may have on a specific range of sports bets, along with the inherent risks. 

Bankroll management is a key aspect of long-range planning for a series of sporting events. You need to selective with your bets and preserve cash flow for the right opportunity.

Preparation is Essential

There is no “one size fits all” approach to betting on any sports category. The long-term statistical results, and current performance factors that can impact betting outcomes can vary by the type of sport. The betting approach for the various major sports is discussed in more detail in the sections below. At the planning stage, it is the review of past information that is important in developing the right evaluation numbers for the coming season.

You may have a good sense about opportunities in the betting lines, but you should always have the past performance information that will help you spot trends to back up your betting insights.

Betting Tip:

Find two or three good on-line stats feeds for the sports leagues you intend to wager. Statistic feeds provide source data for trend analysis on home/away performance, scoring and defensive metrics, as examples.

These are just a few examples of the information types of that can help you develop an edge. The internet offers a variety of sports data sources and team performance statistics. The art is knowing which set applies to the range of sporting events you need to evaluate.

Review Your Performance

Your personal wagering performance versus the sports betting lines is an important past performance category. You should always track your actual betting performance.

This tracking process allows you to measure how well you did last season against the spread or the moneyline. Were there positive trends you can build upon this season? Were there obvious negative trends?

For example, were there more point spread losses on home favorites, losses on under bets, or too many losing parlays? The concept is to look at your past performance for specific areas of improvement as you approach the coming season.

If you are new to sports betting, you need to create a past performance. In other words, apply your planned selection methods on last year’s actual spread results. Make a series of wagers on paper to see how well your bet selection methods would have performed. Spend the necessary prep time to work through the numbers and practice your bet selection process.

Regardless of your betting experience, plan on a good deal of “pre-season” preparation effort, well before the actual season gets started. Fully prepare yourself before you start placing real money on the various spread lines, money-lines, or live betting action.

Analyzing Data and Assessing Probability

Before we discuss the basic techniques of spread betting, various moneyline tips and the opportunities for live betting, we must review the basics of assessing betting odds. A basic understanding of probability theory can provide a good starting point for analyzing the betting lines offered by the various New Jersey sportsbooks.

An estimate of the probable outcome times the payout is the expected bet value. We can use the simple example of a coin flip to get an understanding of probability as it relates to a typical point spread line.

Let us assume the sportsbook puts up a line on the flip of a coin. Note, there is an actual prop bet for the NFL Super Bowl coin flip. As we know, with two possible outcomes, the probability of heads winning the flip is 50%, one outcome (heads) out of two possibilities (heads or tails).

The sportsbook spread for this “even odds” event is -110 and would be listed as follows:

Teams    Odds
Heads -110
Tails -110

The odds listed as -110 show a payout ratio where a bet of 11 returns 10, plus your bet amount.

For example, on an even-odds bet, a wager amount of $110 pays a total of $210. An even-odds bet with a sportsbook does not pay even money since the sportsbook must collect its commission (aka the ‘vig’).

This is a betting opportunity where we would take a pass, given the 110 odds/payout structure. It is clear you are not getting even payout for an even-odds bet. However, we can support this intuitive knowledge with some numbers. An odds payout of -110, has implied odds of 52.4%. Implied odds are calculated by dividing the bet amount by the payout, or 110/210 = .524.

The implied odds, infer that if we were to bet on this line 100 times, we need to win 52.4 coin flips out of 100, just to break even. Since the expected odds of win =50% are less than the implied odds of 52.4%, it is a definite pass.

This simple odds/payout example introduces the process of finding value in the betting lines through the concept of implied odds analysis. The challenge of determining the win probability of an actual sports event far exceeds the coin flip example. There is no need to do the math when analyzing odds, but a successful sports season does require a strong sense of the probable outcome relative to the odds/payout offered. The next sections of this article look a bit deeper into basic betting techniques.

Basic Betting Techniques

With an understanding of implied odds and the basic analysis technique above, we’ll next look at a moneyline example.  Let’s assume the NY Giants are the favorite over their local rivalry the NY Jets with the following money line listed below. This example would be played in the New Jersey Meadowlands and you would be able to place a mobile bet as you head into the stadium!

Teams  Odds
Giants -220
Jets +180

Moneyline 

Let’s assume our detailed analysis of recent and past performance data indicates an underdog bet of this type has a likely chance to win that is better than one-third of the time (33%) but less than half the time under 50 %. We’ll put our odds of winning at 40%, and we’ll bet $100 to win $180. We’ll continue with the Implied odds concept by dividing the bet amount by the payout or 100/280 = .357 or 36%. Since our expected win probability exceeds the implied odds, we take this bet.

This is an example of the underlying odds/payout analysis. The real analysis requires looking at the current matchup determining the 40% in the first place. If we are confident in the process that determined a 40% likely outcome, we would stick with our methodology for similar matchups over time. While we would lose more games than would win, the payout would give us a profit over time. This is a tough concept for beginners to grasp since there is profit potential on a series of underdog bets while taking more losses than wins. This example also illustrates the long-run, odds/payout results of money line betting.

Point Spread 

Point Spread line betting is very common in with NFL and NBA wagers. The payout/odds are generally listed as minus 110, or an “even money” type payout, but incudes the point spread “balancer” to even out the betting action. Balanced betting, or “two-way” action is a critical business need for the sportsbook to minimize risk to their commission revenue. The sportsbook’s goal to balance the action is an important factor in your bet selection process that will discuss in more detail in later.

Let’s continue with the NY Giants as the favorite with the spread line listed below. This is a typical example of point spread line that you can bet on at several New Jersey Sportsbook locations, and on-line betting apps. In this example, a bet on the NY Jets gives us a 6.5-point advantage. The favorite needs to win by 7 or more points for a spread point win. The odds analysis here is the expected outcome value given the 6.5-point spread.

The matchup analysis looks at the probability that the Jets can stay within 6.5 points of the favored Giants.

Teams Spread Odds
Giants -6.5   -110
Jets    +6.5       -110

With point spread betting and payout/odds of minus 110, you need to win at more than 52.4% of your bets over time to generate a profit. As we discussed in the simple coin toss example, your matchup analysis or minimum edge has to be 52.4% or more on even payout bids to cover the vig.

Bet Selection

The process to analyze the payout/odds offered by the many New Jersey Sports requires a focus on betting fundamentals.

Focus possible bet selections on a shortlist of teams, conferences and event matchups, where you have done an objective look at the underlying numbers. Start with online available power rankings and use the stats data you have “artfully” selected to adjust the rankings to determine a probable outcome. A matchup analysis is a solid comparison of performance against common opponents. 

Make a comparison of scoring ability, defensive stats, and importantly, the recent history of turnovers, errors, and penalties that can impact game day outcomes. If you have not done any serious analysis, avoid making any serious money bets.

Tips for Beginners

The sure tip for beginners is to review the basic concepts discussed above and start slow. Get started with a list of teams, and test your selection process on the prior year’s results. Adjust the betting methods as needed by running through a full season of games on paper. Make sure your process includes the stats that support an objective case, based on the analysis. When you have a good selection methodology, stick with it and avoid the “I feel lucky today” approach.

New Jersey sportsbooks put up betting lines on every major professional sports event, and most college games. However, as a bettor, you can be selective and focus your analysis to a few of the lines, and look for odds/payout value.

Betting Tip:

Be wary of “public favorites!" Betting lines for teams that receive lots of national exposure, with a past winning tradition, often are overvalued, since the sportsbooks need to balance the action by increasing the points given to the underdog. The analysis and selection of overlooked underdogs should be the first technique you try to develop.

Money management is an important area for beginners.  Take a long-term approach and set a budget for the season and carefully track your bankroll. Cash management tips are covered in more detail below, but a fixed single bet amount in the range of 2% of your total season bankroll is a good rule of thumb when getting started.

Strategies for Each Sport

Sports specific strategies address the necessary modifications to find odds/payout value in the different sports betting categories. The analysis techniques will vary; however, a disciplined and selective approach applies to all betting categories.

New Jersey sportsbooks will offer betting options on all major professional athletic events including the National Football League, (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL). There are betting lines for practically every collegiate level football and basketball game.

Note, there some exceptions for college betting. If you’re looking to bet on the Rutgers vs. Syracuse football game or the big Seton Hall vs Connecticut basketball matchup, you need to know that wagering on New Jersey-based college teams are prohibited at all New Jersey sportsbook locations.

The following strategy section will focus wagering variations for the NFL, NBA and MLB games, along with some tips on college football and basketball. These sports cover the variations in betting strategy and also the represent highest betting volume.

NFL

The NFL is the largest sports betting category and draws in a huge volume of bets. This is a major opportunity/risk situation for the sportsbooks and a lot of serious analysis effort goes into their betting lines. The betting strategy for the NFL is to take a highly selective approach. Use the time during the week between games to take a deep look at comparative power rankings.

NFL point spreads lines tend to be very closely correlated to actual game results. A weak line in the NFL is practically non-existent.

You need to look hard at comparative stats in all team performance categories and stay away from over-valued “public” favorites. Start by looking for value in underdogs, where you’re getting points value or see moneyline payout value.

It is important to stay on top of current information with NFL selection analysis. Check daily for updates on injuries, likely weather conditions, player suspensions, other factors that can sway game day outcome.

NBA and MLB

The NBA and MLB sports categories offer good odds/payout opportunities since there is a large volume of daily games with these sports. Given the steady game volume, a huge level of statistical data is available. A weekly feed of game stats in this category can help identify valid team performance trends.

Baseball stats would include pitcher performance, ERA, innings pitched and team stats, for runs scored and fielding errors. The volume of stats leads to valid comparative rankings that are needed to make objective selections.

NBA player stats include scoring, rebounds, and team stats for home and away results.

These sports are stats heavy and allow you to make selections on objective number analysis. Selection analysis requires a regular stats feed and some daily time set aside for analysis. To gain an edge in these numbers-driven categories, serious bettors need to be prepared to dig into the statistics quickly, since there are daily opportunities during the MLB and NBA seasons.

College Sports

College basketball and college football, offer good odds/payout value. The New Jersey sportsbooks offer betting lines on just about every major and minor college conference.

This volume of over 150+ college games each weekend means there is a lot of information to review, but you can focus on one or two conferences and stay on top of trend information. The uneven competition level among the many non-professional teams and conferences can generate some wide-ranging point outcomes and some real odd/value opportunities.

College basketball statistics are similar to the NBA and can provide important trend information.

College football requires more current situation analysis, along with a good set of comparative rankings.

With both of these college sports categories, inter-conference competition levels make comparative analysis a challenge. However, with a narrowed focus and solid information, you can turn this challenge into a profit edge.

There are opportunities for good odds/payout value with the many college football bowl games offered. Take a hard look at the in the minor bowl games, since the well-known, favored teams are often point spread losers in these lower rung bowl games. The NCAA March tournament will experience a lot of “over-betting” on the big college team favorites.

With college sports, it pays to do your “homework”. Good research and a consistent approach will more often result in favorable odds/payout value as compared to the ”tighter” spread lines in tee professional sports.

Advanced Strategy

An advanced strategy is one that has demonstrated a consistent methodology over time by carefully tracking trends and making minor adjustments to a long-range approach. The advanced strategy discussed here will include bankroll management tips and cover “Live-Betting” as an advanced methodology.

Bankroll Management

Cash management is a critical component of your overall sports betting plan. When your analysis points to a good odds/payout opportunity, there must be resources available. 

An advanced strategy includes the risk possibility of a string of losses, along with the expected wins.

A sound cash plan incorporates a long-run perspective that systematically adjusts bets in line with odds value.

A proportional bet system has been proven to provide the most favorable cash management results. Proportional betting simply means, if you have looked at the implied odds and see a 4% edge, then bet 4% of your bankroll. This bet aligned, the proportional method is a better way to increase your bankroll as the expected wins roll in and more importantly, minimize the impact of a string of losses. You need to plan for wins and have the funds to take advantage of every opportunity over the betting season.

Live-Betting

Live betting is a recent addition to the wagering opportunities offered by the New Jersey sportsbooks, that is made possible through the amazing betting apps currently available. As in-game situations change, so do the betting odds. This can generate some real value opportunities to either hedge a bet or possibly “middle” a bet, just jump on a great opportunity. If the odds change significantly, you may want to take the opposite side of your well-studied bet to save some cash. This is would be a hedge situation to sell some of your bet position that no longer looks like a winner.

 A middle possibility is set up anytime the point spread moves a few points. If you took a bet laying 3.5 points and now the line jumps to 6 points, you may want to take the other side and cash both. Live betting or in-game requires being ready and in a position to take advantage of an opportunity that can quickly change again. Live betting requires game situation experience and the best app interface possible, with great batteries, so you can find to make fast and certain betting moves as game conditions change.

 Live betting can really add excitement to your sports gaming experience!

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20 November 2019

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