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Bettor beware: the risk of public steam and insider trading in sports betting

Seeing everyone’s betting slips on Paolo Banchero 16/1 to become #1 overall and want to get in on the action?

Sure! Everyone has heard of punters beating the books and proving ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski wrong last week.

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Kevin Hennessy

Dark markets have been where savvy bettors and inside traders make money through speculation.

But not so fast. The public steamer may be ready to get off its rocker after a few wins against the punters.

Just check out this wild line move in just 30 minutes at FanDuel during the 2022 NBA Draft.

Anyone who got to its apps fast enough clearly won big. But is it strong enough to rely on in the future? Unlikely.

There is something about these betting markets that makes bettors think they are betting with an advantage. The reality is that this is not always the case and bettors should approach these situations with great caution in the future.

Below, we examine the recent victories, but also the inevitable losses and dangers associated with this practice.

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Public wins: Top picks in the NFL Draft

2021: The NFL and NBA drafts are clearly a time when bettors with in-depth knowledge are looking to pounce. Besides this year’s NBA Draft, there is also the 2021 NFL Draft. The San Francisco 49ers were in the middle of a smokescreen game whose quarterback they would take at No. 3 overall.

On draft day, Mac Jones was at -200 and Trey Lance at +175 to move up to third.

The ratings of Paolo Banchero
Paolo Banchero drafted number one overall by the Orlando Magic
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Then came Pat McAfee on his podcast saying, “Sources tell me… Mac Jones won’t go three.” The public gobbled up this information and spit it out directly at the bookmakers. Betting Lance to go three from +175 to favorite status.

He would go on to be drafted by the 49ers and is expected to be the starting quarterback this season.

2022: As far as reporting goes, the consensus No. 1 pick went back and forth between Kayvon Thibodeaux and Aidan Hutchinson. No one expected a third pass thrower, Georgia’s Travon Walker, to enter the conversation.

Indeed, he did. According to Fox Sports, Walker was +3000 on Sunday (even more than Banchero!) to become No. 1 overall in this Thursday’s draft. Its numbers dipped to -162 on Tuesday and lower.

Trey Lance
Trey Lance
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Trying to get in on the action, the audience is defeated

On Monday, Kyrie Irving and the Nets were in the midst of a public battle over a new contract.

With some speculation that Irving could take a $30 million salary out of spite and go to the Lakers, bettors flocked to their sportsbook apps to bet on a (potential) new Big 3 from LeBron James, Irving and Anthony Davis. to the.

On Tuesday morning, BetMGM Sportsbook bumped the Lakers’ NBA Finals odds from +2200 to +1400, citing 11.2% tickets and 12.8% handful from a team that missed the playoffs outright in 2021 .

In some states – usually only New Jersey, Colorado and Illinois – you are allowed to bet on arbitrary markets like “The next team (player X) will play for”.

With Irving’s future in limbo until he opts into his contract on Monday, bets have sprung up on Deandrew Ayton to be a net. The odds move was pretty wild as it even went down to +225 for Ayton to play in Brooklyn.

Punters undoubtedly have no idea what Irving thinks or intends to do with his career, but that hasn’t stopped them. A lot of money was likely lost here when Irving predictably took the most money with a return to the Nets, with Ayton back in search of a new team.

Roma wins Best Director at the 91st Academy Awards
Roma director wins best director award at 91st Academy Awards
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Let’s also not forget that bettors can bet on Hollywood awards.

In New Jersey in 2018, bettors slammed bets on Oscar winners and “The Favorite” director Yorgos Lanthimos. Based purely on rumours, the 45:1 longshot was pushed up to +500 before the odds were removed from the table.

Sean Zerillo of The Action Network warned against betting on rumors:

PointsBet, for example, both tweeted that they had taken strong action against Lanthimos, before later warning about the dangers of going with the flow.

The winner of the Best Director award would become the first big favorite, “Roma” director Alfonso Cuarón.

There have been a few wins, but that doesn’t mean the next situation is where you dump your bankroll in hopes of making some easy money.


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In sports betting, you can learn from anything. But bettor beware, these cases are the exception, not the rule. Proceed with caution.


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