Handicapping the Open Division

by | October 21, 2011, 11:17am 0

An old college opponent of mine loves two things: ultimate and gambling. After seeing Ben Wiggins’ Place Your Bets yesterday, he emailed me with some odds of his own. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Matt “What’s a Matterdaddy?” Baccary’s odds on next week’s Open competition:

Which pile of salt will a fly land on?  The one to the left and I’ll put 5 bucks on it.  Gambling can make the least exciting things extremely entertain to watch, even blowouts can be a pleasure to watch.  However, gambling is only fun if you know what you’re doing – or at least can pretend to know what something like “Tanasi is 1-1 ATS so I’ll take them at +3.5” means.  So below I’ll lay out Gambling 101 so you can enjoy a weekend of gambling and ultimate all tied into one.


  • Push- A push is a term used for a void or null bet.  In a push no money exchanges hands and no bettor is paid out.  The money bet may or may not be placed on a future bet depending on the rules established before the bet.
  • Straight Up line (SU)- You select a team to win regardless of the score – These bets are done on a Money Line with Odds displayed in reference to $100.  For example, if I selected Revolver to win the game against Bravo Straight Up, a Money line would be -175.  Meaning, if I were to wager $175 I would win $100 if Revolver won.  Alternatively the same game would also have a money line for Bravo at +155.  Meaning if I were to wager $100 I would win $155 if Bravo won.  Straight Up bets can also be shown in Odds.  Odds are shown in reference to $1 bets.  For example Revolver to win it all at 3-1 would mean a correct bet would win $3 if $1 was wagered.  If the odds were 1-3 a correct $3 bet would only win $1.
  • Under/Over line (U/O)- An over/under bet is for a statistic where a wager is placed on the actual number being higher or lower than a previously set number.  For example, if the under/over for total points score in the Madison vs Oakland game is 25.5 a bet placed on the over would be any combined total score 26 and over, an under bet would be all score 25 and under.  Usually the set number is a half point but can be a whole number as well.  If the O/U is 25 and the total points score are 25 then the bet is a Push
  • Point Spread line (PS)- A point spread utilizes concepts from U/O and SU.  In a point spread I select a winner based on a handicapped number of points allocated to a winner/loser, this creates a market for both sides of the bet/opponent.  For example, taking Oakland to beat Chain SU wouldn’t be a smart bet, however if I can take Oakland +9.5 (Oakland is within 9.5 points of Chain at the end of the game), I would probably take that bet.  These bets can be listed as Favorites and Dogs,  a Favorite would be Chain -9.5 and a Dog would be Oakland +9.5.
  • Line Movement- Once a line is set, it is not fixed until the sports book/ says it is fixed.  HOWEVER once you place a bet at a particular line, it will be set at that line.  For example, let’s say that prior to the Club Championships the forecast is for sunny 80 degree weather and Revolver is known for it’s great weather playing ability resulting in a 3-1 pay out if they win it all.  Then storm clouds roll in and their opponent, GOAT, is actually really good in terrible rainy and windy conditions.  The betting population starts to bet lots of money on GOAT which moves the GOAT “win it all” line from 25-1 to 5-1 and the Revolver line from 3-1 to 5-1.  You, being the genius you are, placed a dollar on GOAT to win it all, now instead of being paid $5 for a correct GOAT championship win you will still be paid $25 because of your awesome foresight and weather predicting abilities.

Other Important Gambling notes
1. Pay your debts.
2. A handshake seals the deal.
3. Find a bet you know you can win.

Below are the current lines (Thanks to Wiggins for inspiring me). The lines will move based on discussion below so if you have some insider information you can either a) spill the beans and watch the line move or b) place your bet and revel in the glory of a smart bet when the public finds out too late.  Discuss!

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