Inside the (betting) line: Most people are wagering LSU wins the SEC Championship Game

2 months ago The Advocate 0

If you’re about to place a wager on LSU winning the SEC Championship Game, you’re certainly not alone.

A significant majority of bettors like the No. 2 Tigers, which are favored by seven points against No. 4 Georgia. According to the Action Network, 70% of bets are being placed on LSU to cover that line.

When compared to other games, that percentage is substantial.

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It’s usually more even.

In the Pac-12 Championship Game, 55% of bets are being placed on Utah to beat Oregon by at least 6½ points; in the Big 12 Championship Game, 62% are betting Oklahoma doesn’t beat Baylor by its wide nine-point line.

So if such a large portion of people are betting on LSU, why don’t sportsbooks adjust and widen the betting line to cover the potential liability and the multiple payouts they’d have to hand out?

“It would make sense that if an overwhelming amount of bets and dollars was bet on LSU, the line could trend higher than minus-7,” said Michael Riordan, a business partner at Right Angle Sports, a handicapping service. “However all bettors are not treated the same by the bookmaker.”

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Essentially, 70% of bets may be on LSU, but the percentage is just based on the total amounts of bets. It doesn’t factor the money that’s being wagered within each bet. 

And standard, casual bets are typically ignored by bookmakers, Riordan said. They’ve labeled sharp bettors, professionals, as the “smart money,” and wherever that money is placed, the sports book may adjust its betting lines to compensate.

“The smartest money and biggest bettors wait until later in the week to place their bets,” Riordan said, “when the market is most liquid and they can get the largest possible wagers down.”

That’s why the closing line is most accurate. LSU opened the week as a 4-point favorite, and the line swelled the Tigers to a 7-point favorite by Friday.

So, you might say, the smart money is on LSU. 

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