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Question of the Week Archive (10+ years)

Re(5): Fronton Mexico

Let's say it's the NFL, and the 'line' says A over B by 3-1/2 points. You have to bet $6 to win $5 (or 11/10, depending where you are).

If everyone starts betting A, the book could lose money if A won, so the 'line' is moved, say to 4-1/2 points. This brings in more bets on B. As long as the book keeps things relatively even, he can't lose, no matter the outcome. In any case, your winning payoff is based on the odds at the time you made the bet (right, Bada), unlike in pari-mutuel betting where everyone gets the same payoff.

NFL lines move very slowly due to the large amounts bet, but in a live match (e.g., bookie with slitted tennis ball tossed to patrons), it can change as the game progresses, especially if there are multiple bookies.

Many don't really understand this, instead believing the bookmakers are gods, capable of diving the score.


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