Our most popular footy codes are returning soon from their COVID-enforced breaks, so it’s a good time to dust off our sports betting hats and put them on for a refresher on a key issue… the importance of price!

Most serious punters are modelling scoring, so line bets are the favoured form of sports betting. While many punters may be interested in who’ll actually win, we know the more important question…

Will they cover they line?

#### Sports betting basics

Some quick basics for those unaware: line bets are a choice between two options in a match with both options approximately the same chance (ie, flip of the coin). The two most common types of line bets are the handicap and total points.

Rod’s High Low is a highly profitable, specialist service that suits a certain type of punter.

With an average bet size of less than \$50, you won't be breaking the bank.

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Handicap bets are where the favourite is given a handicap to overcome and the roughie is given a head start. For example, in an AFL match you may see the line expressed as such:

Sydney Swans -10.5: \$1.92

Western Bulldogs was +10.5: \$1.92

The price on each is \$1.92, reflecting that (in the opinion of the bookmaker) both were an even chance of occurring. Sydney Swans -10.5 means they have to win by 11 points or more for that bet to win. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, have to lose by 10 points or less (or win the game, of course!).

#### Sports betting PoT

Sports betting types usually discuss their line betting results in terms of strike rate. It’s a very fine line between a good and exceptional season. Break even is around 52-53% (depending on the bookie’s market percentage).

But what does that mean to someone who talks in terms of PoT (Profit on Turnover)?

The maths is rarely demonstrated. This is the simple formula to convert your strike rate into PoT on line bets:

PoT = (Strike Rate x Price) – 1

For example, if your strike rate over a season was 55%, and your average price was \$1.92, your PoT for that season was:

PoT = (Strike Rate x Price) – 1

PoT = (0.55 x 1.92) – 1

PoT = 5.6%

The following table summarises strike rates between 50 and 60% at a line price of \$1.92.  You can see why 60% is an exceptional season!

 Strike Rate Line Price PoT 50% \$1.92 -4.0% 51% \$1.92 -2.1% 52% \$1.92 -0.2% 53% \$1.92 1.8% 54% \$1.92 3.7% 55% \$1.92 5.6% 56% \$1.92 7.5% 57% \$1.92 9.4% 58% \$1.92 11.4% 59% \$1.92 13.3% 60% \$1.92 15.2%

#### Sports betting: the huge value of a few cents

Obviously the other part of the PoT equation is the price.  Whilst the \$1.92 used in the above example is a fairly standard line price, sometimes you may be able to obtain higher.

This simply means the bookie’s percentage (also known as margin, cut, vig, or juice) is lower, and winning punters get a higher margin. Of course in some cases that goes the other way, and you might see line prices of \$1.91, \$1.90, or even \$1.88.

Some bookmakers regularly run specials where line prices are as high as \$1.95, or even \$2! (see below…)

The following table shows the same PoT figures at \$1.95:

 Strike Rate Line Price PoT 50% \$1.95 -2.5% 51% \$1.95 -0.6% 52% \$1.95 1.4% 53% \$1.95 3.4% 54% \$1.95 5.3% 55% \$1.95 7.3% 56% \$1.95 9.2% 57% \$1.95 11.2% 58% \$1.95 13.1% 59% \$1.95 15.1% 60% \$1.95 17.0%

If you really want a great price on your line bet, then a TopSport account is essential. They offer \$2 lines (max. bet \$200) on all AFL and NRL matches! These go up once final teams are announced. They’re unheard-of odds that basically mean the make no cut on the market!

Check out the below table to see what a difference this makes (then go and get a TopSport account if you don’t have one!):

 Strike Rate Line Price PoT 50% \$2.00 0.0% 51% \$2.00 2.0% 52% \$2.00 4.0% 53% \$2.00 6.0% 54% \$2.00 8.0% 55% \$2.00 10.0% 56% \$2.00 12.0% 57% \$2.00 14.0% 58% \$2.00 16.0% 59% \$2.00 18.0% 60% \$2.00 20.0%

So while a few cents in a price may not seem like a lot, over time the difference is huge. As you can see, getting the best available price is absolutely crucial.

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