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Respect the Odd Play

by Matt Matros |  Published: Nov 28, 2012


When betting sports, the worst teams often have the best value. That’s partly because casual bettors underestimate bad teams, regarding them as worthless when in fact they pull upsets a reasonable percentage of the time. Bad teams make good bets simply because people don’t understand their value. It turns out this idea translates almost perfectly into a poker concept. To explain, I must first talk a little more about betting underdogs. (Don’t worry, I’ll get to the poker.) I’m no sports betting expert, but any gambler worth his salt knows that it’s rarely a good idea to back a favorite. There are, of course exceptions, but the value generally lies in betting on horrible teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Buffalo Bills, or the New York Jets (sadly, that last one is the team I root for). Any sportsbook wants to get decent chunks of money coming in on both ...

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