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Weighing the Odds in Sports Betting Paperback – July 25, 2007

3.2 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

King Yao: I have analyzed and bet on sports for a long time, but it was after finishing writing Weighing the Odds in Hold em Poker that I turned my main focus on sports betting. There are many different ways to approach sports betting, and the more I delved into it, the more interesting and challenging I found it. You can approach it from a handicapper's point of view and try to make a better line than the line makers and the market. Or you can approach it from a relative-value player's point of view and make distributional, correlated and derivative bets. Or you can approach it from the point of view of a scalper or middler. There are numerous ways to attack the sports betting market and find positive Expected Value.

I did enjoy the process of writing Weighing the Odds in Hold em Poker and decided to write about some of the things I learned about sports betting. In February, 2006, I submitted my first article to the Two Plus Two Internet Magazine. I enjoyed writing the article as it forced me to focus on a specific topic and explore it in-depth and from different angles. After a few months of writing articles, I started writing this book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Pi Yee Press (July 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0935926305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0935926309
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #436,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This book is clearly written for math-oriented people who have never bet on sports, or gamblers who know about sports but do not have a mastery of the fundamentals to win long-term. This is NOT geared towards professional sports bettors (who will already know most of what is in there).

The first 99 pages are directed towards the technical fundamentals of winning at sports betting. While the mathematics are easy (requiring Algebra at a minimum), it is a component of nearly every analysis. Mastery of this material will teach you how to think like a winning sports bettor. The topics are diverse, including everything from EV (expected value) to evaluation of half-points in a sport. There is an in-depth analysis of hedging (which beginning sports bettors seem to misuse constantly). The quantitative analysis and methodology might make you feel like you are studying a book on stock investing (and in fact, there are a lot of similarities in stocks and sports betting).

The remainder of the book is intermediate material, which uses the principles taught in the first section. How do you determine a fair first-half line in NFL if you know the game spread? How do you determine the fair price on a prop like "Will the shortest TD in a football game be less than 1.5 yards?" There are many exercises that pose a gambling problem, presents research, and shows an analysis of the research to analyze a problem. The reader isn't likely to show an immediate profit from this material, but it WILL show you the thought process used by a winning gambler. If a person understands what they read, they can identify and analyze their own problems, which is the first step to profiting in sports betting.

The author does not give away any "secrets" that will cost him money.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the reading is full of good math tips for converting percentage into money lines and vise verse. The EV discussion is pretty basic and many advanced gamblers will be bored by this but really for me it was a nice re review of addressing basic probability theory into your bets and if you cannot mathematically define your advantage in a bet assume it is negative EV and don't bother. Later in the book King has tables and graphs of NFL games from 1989 to 2006 (great sample size IMHO) and the advantage of half points and other tip bids are addressed (so even the advanced gambler will at least get utility out of this book.) Since basketball and other sports are out of season now I did not read those sections yet. The reality is that there are few great books on sports betting due to the fact that the computer teams see huge negative EV in writing about their 'edge.' The fact that King even bothers makes this book a steal for $13. Anyone that puts this book down, I would be very dubious of that review due to the price point of this book being pretty low.
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Format: Paperback
This book is easily worth the 14 dollar investment. I gave this book 4 stars as I was primarily looking for handicapping ideas or methods whereas the book excels in providing "betting" advice which he has learned through the use of his extensive databases.

The book is essential reading if one is new to sports gambling and has not read Stanford Wong's "Sharp Sports Betting". It is especially nice that King Yao provides the reader with information such as fair betting lines for firts half (4.5 innings) baseball lines, as well as fair first half NFL lines corresponding to a full game line.

Overall, very good book and easily worth the money
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A good book about sports betting if you are into such a thing... I bought this and several others a while ago as reference material for an IT project I was working on pertaining to sports wagering. Provided good info on odds making and the sports betting game. By no means a definitive treatise on the subject and quite a thin book, but it was informative to a complete novice like me.
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It's a decent general overview of how sports betting works. The problem is that I read it in parallel with Feustel's "Conquering Risk." Feustel's book nearly makes Yao's book obsolete, as it contains most of the same material (though more concise) and then adds a ton of detailed strategy advice, which Yao's book lacks. In short, I would have recommended this book to the beginning handicapper were there nothing better available. As it stands now, I don't think there is a ton of unique value here.
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Format: Paperback
This is a book for someone new to sports betting - most of the book introduces the reader to basic betting terminology and the concept of betting value. The content feels disjointed, jumping between topics without any sense of an ordered progression - it's a quick brain dump from the author rather than a considered discussion of sports betting. The author was a financial trader and this background is reflected in the emphasis on trading (maximising an edge on a game by placing a series of bets around it) and almost no discussion of handicapping (how to find the edge). There are data tables provided for selected sports/types of bets but these may have no value by the time you possess the book. I read Sharp Sports Betting after this book and this book borrows heavily from it. Also, having subsequently read Conquering Risk, I concur with another reviewer that that book makes this book redundant. The author gives away nothing of real value.
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