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“The #1 thing for us is to make a line for each game that creates good two-way action.
. If an oddsmaker comes up with a preliminary line of USC -7, then an adjustment up to -7.5 or -8 would be made in response to the public’s expected USC bias. For example, if the pointspread on a game is 7 and most of the money is coming in on the underdog (taking the +7), sportsbooks will then move the number down to 6 ½ to try and attract money on the favorite.
The last step in the line-making process for each oddsmaker is taking one final look to determine whether or not the line “feels right.” This is where common sense and past experience with how games are bet enters into the picture. People think it’s much more complicated, but it’s not.”
A round-table discussion among the 4-5 oddsmakers involved in making the line for each sport is then conducted and a consensus line is decided upon by the Odds Director before it is released to the sportsbooks. Obviously, if the line comes out a week ahead of the event (which is the case in football), there is much that could happen during the week leading up to the event that could affect the line.
How the Opening Line Is Made
Experts working for the individual books having a strong opinion on the game
Individual books having players who consistently bet with certain tendencies (such as an extreme bias toward favorites or toward a certain popular team like USC)
There is a common misconception that point spreads represent the oddsmakers’ prediction of how many points the favorite will win by.
Since the oddsmaker’s ultimate goal is equally dividing the betting action, public perception and betting patterns must be taken into account.
“You either have a passion for it or you don’t,” Seba said.
Oddsmakers can also change the line depending on various event-related factors such as player injuries or weather. Each of these oddsmakers bring unique opinions, strengths and weaknesses to the process.
What Is the Line Trying to Accomplish?
Why the Line Changes
Oddsmakers at LVSC are professional sports junkies who love what they do and would probably do it for nothing if you asked them, but they do get paid for it. Stated another way, they want to create a line that half the people find appealing to bet one way while the other half find it appealing to bet the other way (known as ‘dividing the action’).
Once betting begins, sportsbooks can adjust the line at any time.
The opening line is the first line created by the oddsmakers, which is then sent out to sportsbooks.
Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC) is the world’s premier oddsmaking company and the most respected authority on making the lines. This usually includes having up-to-date power ratings on each team.
Power ratings are the oddsmaker’s value of each team and are used as a guide to calculate a “preliminary” pointspread on an upcoming game. By necessity their approach is very research-oriented and concise, since with millions of dollars at risk there is little margin for error.
Divided action means the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit on the game because of the fee charged to the bettor (called juice or vig – typically $11 bet to win $10). Mike Seba is a Senior Oddsmaker at LVSC and has been making lines for the last six years. Of course there is an entire method to the madness on how the opening line is created.
Once a game’s power rating based pointspread is determined, the oddsmaker will make adjustments to that line after considering each team’s most recent games played and previous games played against that opponent.
“The main objective is that our clients get equal action on both sides,” Seba said. We do this by drawing from past experiences and applying them to current situations. Oddsmakers have to determine if any changes are necessary and send out an “adjusted line.”
Moving the line is the oddsmaker’s effort to balance betting action, and often times such moves can have a major impact on a bettor’s decision. That is not the case at all – their intent is NOT to evenly split the ATS result between the teams; rather, their goal is to attract equal betting action on both sides. In doing so they attempt to make more attractive the team that is getting less action. In our extended interview, Seba explained that there are 4-5 oddsmakers assigned to make lines for each of the major sports (pro & college football and basketball; MLB, NHL, boxing, golf). By moving the line, sportsbooks can influence how the public bets on a particular game. Also, adjustments are made after reading each team’s local newspapers to get a sense of what the coaches & players are thinking going into the game. “We’re not trying to pick the team that covers the spread, we’re trying to make it a coin flip, a tough decision (for the bettor). Examples of non-game factors that would require an adjustment to a team’s power rating are key player injuries and player trades. Of the 4-5 oddsmakers, generally the 2 most respected opinions are weighed more heavily by the Odds Director before he decides on the final line. The power ratings are adjusted after each game a team plays.
The purpose of these adjustments, like all line adjustments, is to more equally divide the betting action. If we’ve done that, we’ve done our job.”
Once the opening line is released by LVSC, the individual sportsbooks decide if they want to make any adjustments before offering it to the public. Seba explained that it all starts with each oddsmaker creating a line on each game based upon their own personal approach
Selling prices are all over the board, from as low $50 in some cases, to over $900 in others. We toss him a ball, and low and behold, he signs it. They witness every ball signed. There are literally thousands of sites that have this.
We do some more searching and click on to Steiner Sports. Two of the most important factors are condition of the item and authenticity. We now own Derek Jeter autograph baseball. Although who’s going to believe me if I want to sell it. It’s our lucky day! We happened to be in the right place at the right time.
What’s it worth?
On to ebay. Everybody wants to know how much money they can get for their sports memorabilia. Well, it was a new ball before the game, but after Jeter signed it, he threw it back to me and I dropped it and it got a little dirty. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple to determine.
The short answer is, and the answer that many sports memorabilia dealers tell their customers, is that your sports memorabilia is worth what someone is willing to pay you for it! Although this answer is simple enough, there is a way to determine the value of an item. Does that mean my ball worth $500?
So how does my ball compare with these. Other companies, such as Mounted Memories, Tri-Star, and UDA are reputable as well and their authenticity is not questioned in the industry. You can’t beat that unless you see the player sign the item yourself, which is impractical in most cases. If you pay less, you usually get less. It’s worth what someone is willing to pay for it!
When we get home from the game, the first thing we do is check the internet to see if we can find a value for our new prized possession. Plus my friend got some mustard from his hot dog on it. Reputation and integrity of the company or individual standing behind the product is more important than the product itself. Some have COA’s from Steiner, some from PSA/DNA, some from Joe’s Baseball Card Emporium, and some that have no COA’s at all.
The answer. But I still want to know what’s it worth?
When you pay top dollar from a company like Steiner Sports for an autograph baseball, you get a brand new, snow white baseball, with a strong, smudge free Derek Jeter penned signature on the sweet spot. Memory Lane specializes in the sale of autographs, sports cards, and licensed products. We don’t even know if half of these are real.
At this point we are totally confused. Now Steiner is one of the largest memorabilia companies around, are based in New York, and do exclusive signings with Derek Jeter. In fact, this company is a Steiner authorized distributor, the ball is authenticated by Steiner, and is the exact same item that Steiner sells for more. We are at Yankee Stadium and Jeter is signing autographs on the rail before the game. That is why some people will pay top dollar for their items, because they know that it’s real.
Next stop, a sports memorabilia store that sell Jeter autographed baseballs for $399. How much is it worth?” We hear this question all the time. Oh yea, Jeter signed it on the side panel with a sharpie, but I did witness it. How can there be such a price difference for the same Derek Jeter autographed baseball? Well the answer my friends, is that they are not all the same! There are many factors that determine the value of similar items. We go to our favorite search engine, type in “Derek Jeter autograph baseball” and, needless to say, we get the phone book. Because of their reputation, a Derek Jeter autograph with a Steiner Sports COA is the best you can do. A Derek Jeter autographed baseball signed on a dirty or soiled ball, or one that is signed on a side panel, or one where the autograph is fading, is certainly going to be worth much less.. Larry has been in the sports memorabilia for over twenty years, has appraised numerous collections, and was an expert witness in the OJ Simpson civil trial.
“I have a Derek Jeter autographed baseball. So is my ball worth $399?
Larry Levine is the owner of Memory Lane Sports Memorabilia, a full service sports memorabilia retail store located in Manhattan Beach California. If you are not sure that the ball has actually been hand signed by that player, it is worthless. They sell Derek Jeter autographed baseballs for $500 each. It is a top condition ball. It may not be what we can sell the item for, but we certainly can find out what similar items have sold for.
Let’s take the Derek Jeter autograph baseball as an example. Here we find a very wide range of Derek Jeter autographed baseballs from many different types of sellers. The same is true about authenticity