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  1. #1
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    Reverse Middle Scalps: Putting the House Percentage in Your Favor.

    Contrary to the opinion of some, people who practice sports arbitrage (scalping) are not second class citizens in the gambling world. In an arsenal of strategies designed to achieve bankroll growth and work over the long haul, it is imperative to put the house percentage in your favor, however slight that may be.

    The reverse middle scalp can be one of the most profitable, and for those of us who love the thrill of gambling, one of the most exciting strategies employed. All while making sure that you achieve a profit year in and year out.

    An example of a reverse middle scalp would be the Tampa Bay/Philadelphia game. I bought the over 10 at +140 and the under 9.5 at -115, thus leaving me 25 cents to put in my pocket any way I desire.

    Here's basically how it works using some sample dollar amounts: I choose to split my profits down the middle, thus insuring a profit no matter if over or under gets there.

    In this scenario, we will use multiples of $500 roughly and one can adjust up or down from that based on your own bankroll:

    I bet over 10 +140 which made it:
    $500 to win $700

    I bet under 9.5 -115 per $500 bet which made it:
    $644 to win $560

    If over got there I would have won $56 per $500 bet.
    If under got there (it did)
    it means I won $60.

    What's the catch? If EXACTLY 10 gets there you lose $644 on the under bet and push (tie) on the over bet, a scenario which almost happened as it was 5-3 with a man on 2nd and a home run would have cost me a bunch.

    Now here is the theory behind any reverse middle scalp in putting the house percentage in your favor which ensures profitability OVER THE LONG HAUL.

    Professionals will tell you to way to figure out whether anything in sports is worth wagering is to do a statistical analysis on occurrences over a five-year, ten-year or longer sampling.

    So let's say after your hard work you come up with a figure (for ease's sake) that the number 10 occurs 10% of the time (not the real number, it's closer to 7%) in Interleague Play during the total numbers of years since Interleague Play commenced.

    Using this model that the number 10 falls 10% of the time, that means that in 1 in 10 events (baseball games), there will be a total combined score of 10. This means from a mathematical standpoint that you must receive MORE than 10 cents each time to turn a profit. If your research is correct and there aren't major variables (such as a juiced up ball and a Mark McGuire), which may make your research inaccurate, then you will turn a profit day in and day out if you practice this strategy.

    Personally, because I have a very low tolerance for gambling, and because the opportunities present themselves, I never cut it that close. I make sure that I split not 20 cents, but at least 25 cents and more likely 30 cents, although 30 cent situations and above are harder to find.

    There can be many variances on this strategy, you can weight the profit going with the steam (a good idea since steam was so hot last year) or against the steam. You can weight the profit on the dog or the favorite. I choose to split it down the middle, meaning if I don't have my number landed on exactly, I show a pretty decent profit.

    Any strategy that puts the house percentage in YOUR favor is a strategy that day in and day out will make you money. Always practice this strategy within your bankroll and use a predetermined amount because varying your wager brings a very strong element of luck involved and may kill you even over the long haul.

    If you win a bunch of $200 scalps and then increase your wagers and a $5,000 reverse middle lands, you'll spend alot of time trying to make up that 5 dimes. Not only that, you'll may get discouraged and quit. But if you set a pretermined amount and stick with it and keep track of your progress at the end of the season, I think you'll find that you made quite a bundle by the end of baseball season.

    Statistical probabilities and something called the "law of large numbers" ensure that eventually you will make profits, even if you take some hits early on.

  2. #2
    AussieVamp2 Guest
    Thanks Boomer - you are talking about 5 and 10 year samples - however, that is relevant to the number of events

    i.e. 5 years of AFL games is only close to 1000 games, whereas it is between 5 and 10,000 baseball games or thereabouts - so what sort of sample sizes do you like to look at?

    Obviously I know how to analyse that from a statistical point of view, but don't think too many average punters interested in Central Limit Theorems, confidence intervals, or whatever...... Some may be.

  3. #3
    AussieVamp2 Guest
    think you might really mean

    "the law of long run proportion" actually
    i.e. over an incredibly large number of tosses of a fair coin, the number of times heads comes up will be half the time, or if the true proportion of baseball total runs being 10 is 10%, then it will be 1 in 10 for that particular event, etc.

    a lot of people state something as the law of averages, which, mathematically, does not exist, and in no way applies to anything short-term, and has losts lots of people lots and lots and lots of money

  4. #4
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    I like to look at a sample size that I feel is relevant to the playing out of today's games. For example, I don't feel that statistics from the 1960's would be relevant so I would never go back that far.

    That of course, is the trick. What should the sample size be and indeed, will the past equal the future. In baseball, we are fortunate that we have a whole lot of games in just five years to record and analyze. My personal opinion is that the last five years is sufficient and relevant enough to record statistics and get enough of a sampling, however I would defer to Reno on this as he is a whole lot more knowledgeable about the statistical research aspect than I am.

    Reno, how about some comments on this. What do you consider to be the optimum time necessary for creating occurrence numbers?

    And I promise, there's no "agenda" here.

  5. #5
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    1 brownie point for Boomer

  6. #6
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    Reverse middle/scalps are often available because some BMs are reluctant to move off numbers and others aren't. I don't go after them often or for much money because I don't like the stress associated with the possibility of getting middled.

    Years ago, before most BMs started moving totals on the moneyline instead of to the next number, there used to be lots of middle opportunities and few scalping ones. Now it is just the reverse, with more scalping opportunities and less middling ones. Old school BMs, like CRIS and Caribi, prefer to move to the next number instead of moving totals on the moneyline. Not a bad idea if you know what numbers are worth, but unfortunately, those guys don't have a clue.

  7. #7
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    Because there are so many baseball games in a season, a couple of seasons should easily provide enough data for this type of research.

  8. #8
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    Reno,

    The fact that some bookmakers "hold the number" like Pelican and Del Mar, and others like Olympic and WWTS "move the number" is exactly what creates all of these reverse middle scalp opportunities.

    You can't bring back the past and I, too would rather pay and go FOR middles (again within certain criteria) and I certainly do that during basketball season.

    However, this style of conflicting total adjustments, may just create more opportunity for profit than in seasons past. I'm going to be keeping records this year on exactly how I do with this strategy and I'm eager to see when all is said and done, how profitable it really is. There certainly is an element of luck involved, but that's the fun part. Pure scalping is hard work and can be VERY boring.

  9. #9
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    Boomer,

    My statement was that some bookmakers treat scalpers as 2nd class citizens(not me).

    Anyway, I have been playing reverse hockey middles since the inception of o.t. regular season. I use certain guidelines and parameters and found it fairly profitable. Tie games side me. Baseball totals are generally playable this way only even #s.

    But let me stress that all these theories and stats work fine on paper. PLAY confortable MONEY for all parties involved and enjoy life--Ron

  10. #10
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    Scalping is boring because of the Poker Players. If they're not around, you can take leads and watch games keep moving till post time, and then get the other side. If you take leads now and they come the other way, you can get whiplashed so bad you'll need a chiropractor.

    Forget the past. Scalping is better than middling.

  11. #11
    AussieVamp2 Guest
    Boomer,

    As reno suggests, numbers more important than time.

    Baseball has this going for it in a big way - as it is the sports league in the world with the most games in one season. So no league to league or country to country variance like soccer and hockey. You can, of course, bet totals, too, with a reasonable value line......

    2 seasons worth of baseball games is most definitely a statistically significant sample.

  12. #12
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    I agree with Reno in that I tend to avoid situations where I can get middled, even if the theoretical odds are in my favor. Murphy's Law is always lurking in a dark corner looking for an opportunity to ruin my day.

    I tend to scalp totals strictly on the money line as I do on sides. That's not to say that I wouldn't take an even money split with a half run middle if the opportunity presents itself. (Example: play under 10 at -110 and over 9.5 at +110). If it lands on 10, well, then that's a lot of Haagen Daaz, eh Reno? These opportunities are fewer and farther between than the reverse middle scalps that Boomer describes, but they do occur on occasion and are worth taking if the money line scalp on the same number is less than 10 cents. Given the choice, however, I still prefer the "guaranteed" smaller payout of 10 cents if I can get under 10 at -110 and over 10 at +120 when the steam drives the total down.

    From my standpoint, why leave anything to chance?

    [This message has been edited by Bette Midler (edited 06-07-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by Bette Midler (edited 06-07-2000).]

  13. #13
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    Bette Midler,

    When dont you agree with Reno? Are you his agent or did he write "The Rose". Smile--Ron

  14. #14
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    Aussievamp,

    I have a real interest in Australia. My brother lives there and although I've never been there, I've toyed with the idea of moving there. Do they let American citizens move there and are there many scalping opportunities in soccer and it it real hard to learn to a green American?

  15. #15
    AussieVamp2 Guest
    Boomer,

    My wife being an American I have some experience with the Australia-America thing, both ways, in fact.

    You can do the usual move here by marriage thing, or other family, or for work if someone like a really talented athlete. Then there is the have lots of money migration (business deal) which you may well come under given the numbers you have been throwing around. Factors include occupation, age, that sort of thing. If interested, you can drop me an email if you want and I can send you the relevant links to legislation/info all that sort of thing.

    richard@iqcorporation.com

  16. #16
    AussieVamp2 Guest
    Yes, there are scalping opportunities in soccer. Hard to learn? Nope. Easy enough to swap lessons if you want.

  17. #17
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    Ronbets...

    I was not born to be anyone's "yes man", but for the period of time that I've been in this forum, Reno's words and tales of his experiences resonate well with me. His insights frequently remind me of my own similar experiences, which is why I can relate to much of what he has to say.

    I didn't begin scalping lines until late last year, although I had been thinking about doing this for a number of years. My biggest regret is that I didn't drop everything sooner and move to Vegas before everything changed.

    So, maybe subconsciously, I admire guys like you and Reno for having the guts and courage to pursue your dreams, despite the personal conflicts that one encounters in that pursuit (e.g. - explaining to family & friends what you do for a living, etc.).

    Now that I've chosen this path for myself, I come into this forum to share my thoughts and gain insights from the experiences of others.


    P.S. - My other mentor is Homer Simpson

    [This message has been edited by Bette Midler (edited 06-07-2000).]

  18. #18
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    BTW Ron....


    I do disagree with Reno on a few things:

    1) I almost NEVER put myself in a position to be heavy on one side of a game, and

    2) Ben & Jerrys is still my favorite ice cream. (Sorry Reno )

  19. #19
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    Bette Midler,

    Your well on your way.

    As far as personal conflicts?? This game we play is not conducive to married life. You have to go to Rosewell,New Mexico to find the yielding woman.

  20. #20
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    Boomer:

    Is the percentage of all games that have landed on (to use your example) 10 runs really whatís relevant here? What if 7% of all games have landed on 10, but some much larger percentage, say 15%, of games with a run line of (approximately) 10 have landed on 10? Presumably comparatively few games projected to be unusually high scoring or unusually low scoring land exactly on 10, but are those games relevant? The way youíre analyzing things seems to me to underestimate your risk of being middled, as you are including past performances of dubious similarity.

  21. #21
    AussieVamp2 Guest
    zippy,

    so how often is a total exactly correct??????

  22. #22
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    I donít know, AussieVamp2. Iím just speculating that it seems mathematically suspect to count all past games equally in estimating the chances that a specific upcoming game will land right on a certain number. Boomerís case was a game where the projected total runs was in the 9.5-10 range. He reasoned that since 7% of baseball games played in recent years have ended up at exactly 10 runs, he needed to make sure that his expected payoff was high enough to offset a 7% chance of his being middled on this game. Iím just saying that if one were to look instead only at baseball games played in recent years where the projected total runs was in that same 9.5-10 range, very likely the number that ended up landing exactly on 10 would be quite a bit higher than that 7%. Just an educated guess. I havenít done all the number crunching that would be necessary to test such a hypothesis. But Iím curious to hear from those who have, or from those who see a logical error Iím making that would render such an investigation pointless.

  23. #23
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    It is the chance that a game with a 10 total will actually end on 10 that matters, not the chance that any given game will end on ten.
    Yet also, the sample sizes needn't be as large as people might think. This isn't football, where different totals, because of the nature of the scoring, result disproportionately.
    In baseball totals, it's important to do a chart of "exact scores by total size." That is, how often exactly 12 runs are scored when the total is 12. After that you need to find the AVERAGE likelihood of this for all the different values. This is why you don't need such a large sample (though the larger the better, certainly). Your results from games with totals of 10 are relevant, that is they have predictive value, for games with totals of 9 or 11. Use the average likelihood, not the #-specific actual results. For example, and just pulling #s out of the air here, if 9's hit at 8% and 11's hit at 8% but 10's hit at 11%, unless you have a reason to believe 10's are a specifically more likely total (which they aren't in baseball) you should expect your average likelihood to be 9%. The difference between your 9 and 11-total results relative to your 10-total result is just random distribution.
    What you'll find is that the smaller the total, the slightly greater the chance of landing right on it, so you may want to actually use a little calculus here, though you can rough it out and be close enough. This is to be expected, a 1-run variance from a Qualcomm 8 being a greater number than the same variance off a Coors field 14. Yet, after accounting for the scoring increase in the past decade, there's no reason to ignore data from any recent era.

    I did some research into all this once, but unfortunately I can't remember the exact numbers. What I do remember is deciding that my EV is still much higher playing poker than sitting in front of the computer all day scalping. But if I WAS going to scalp, I'd learn it. In my talks with bettors, for example, I've yet to meet one who knows how to calculate the money line value of a 1/2 run, which is all we're really talking about. Ask most bettors which is better, if you're betting the over: 10,+100 or 9.5,-115?
    It's sad, but good for the BM's I suppose, that so few can answer it. Or just as bad, ask most bettors how to compare a run line to a money line. They can't do it, yet they make decisions between run line betting and money line betting all the time. On what? On air.
    Good luck, all.

  24. #24
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    Boomer, Skybook had the total of Phil/TB 10u65 the last few minutes. Every 5cents helps.

  25. #25
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    Thank you for an informative post, pay2play. I was just using common sense; youíve clearly thought it through and done the necessary number crunching.

    Iím more of a football bettor, so Iíve mostly thought about this issue in terms of football. As important as people realize the number 3 to be in football, I suspect many bettors still calculate its precise importance incorrectly. Typically they note that roughly 14% [that might not be the right figureóI donít feel like looking it up to check my memory] of games end up decided by a 3 point margin, and so for a game with a 3 point spread they conclude that there is about a 14% chance of a push.

    This seems to me to be wrong on two counts. First, youíre really only concerned with the case where the favorite wins by 3 points, not all cases where the game ends at a 3 point margin. In that sense, people overrate the chances of the game falling right on the number. But second, as I brought up in this thread, presumably one should be looking only at past games with approximately a 3 point spread, not all past games. In that sense, people underestimate the chances of the game falling right on the number.

    This type of calculation is relevant for non-straight bets as well. If youíre considering betting a teaser with a team favored by 9 or 10 points or so, and youíre trying to decide what size teaser to get based on the chances of the game falling exactly on 3 or 4 or some specific number, then youíll want to look at a different subset of past games (namely those with about a 10 point spread).

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