Tonight, Real Madrid host Schalke in their Champions League clash. PinnacleSports, one of the most reputable iGaming operators, has just tweeted the following message:
— Pinnacle (@Pinnacle) March 10, 2015
Not many online bookmakers reveal the betting volume that their betting lines attract. In this occasion, the iGaming company let us know that 16.6% of the money wagered on this Champions League game, are favoring Over 2.5.
Assuming the betting market is efficient, and punters lead the betting lines to true odds, that 16.6% percentage translates into the fair odds of 6.02. I checked the betting lines of several bookmakers, but I couldn’t find a betting line over 3.55. There goes my value bet.
But wait, how about betting on the Under 2.50?
Since we know 83.4% of Pinnacle customers are betting on it, the fair odds of Under 2.50 are 1.199. All of the sports betting companies have their line way above that. Betfair and MatchBook top them at 1.39!
The rational thing to do, given this information, is to bet that Real and Schalke won’t score more than two times in total tonight. Betting on Under 2.50 sounds like a value bet.
Is sports betting that easy?
I’m afraid, no.
Here are some questions you should be asking yourself before placing a bet like this:
- Is the betting market efficient?
- Since the money move the betting lines, why Pinnacle is still offering Under 2.50 at similar odds with the competition?
- Has the same percentage of punters bet on Under 2.50 goals at the other bookmakers?
- If so, why haven’t they moved their betting lines, either?
- What were the opening odds of the Over/Under bet?
- Are punters better than bookmakers in set win probabilities?
Yet, the most important question is: was Pinnacle referring to the Over/Under 2.50 specifically or Over/Under in general? Food for thought.