1. #1
    matthewmsturgeon
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    Line grinding vs Pinnacle

    Hi guys,

    I'm new to all of this and trying to learn, so forgive my ignorance. Also, this isn't really about handicapping, but I didn't know where else to put it.

    I have been using Pinnacle as reference for sharp lines and comparing the offerings from the books that I have accounts on to try and find positive EV bets. This works pretty well when betting the moneyline or when the spreads match up. However, as I can't be a member on Pinnacle I don't seem to be able to view their alternate lines to see what they offer other spreads at.

    I don't currently have any push charts. I know that I can use the half point calculator from this site which is cool, but I am trying to incorporate some calculations into my own spreadsheet. There is a formula in the book Sharper which is supposed to let you take the odds on alternate lines from somewhere such as Pinnacle and determine what they are using for their current push frequencies for the given spread. This is what I was trying to do, so that I could use their push frequencies and apply them to my other books offerings.

    Question 1: Is there a way to see Pinnacle's alternate lines without an account?
    Question 2: Does this even seem like a valid way to proceed or is there a better way to get push chart values into my spreadsheet without having to use an online calculator for each scenario?

    Thank you and again please forgive the ignorance.
    Matt

  2. #2
    KVB
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    You are correct. There is a way to calculate the push rate a given book is using based on the alternative lines offered.

    I think I gave a formula for such in an earlier think tank post, not sure about the book Sharper. Most of us have been creative with the math and do it ourselves.

    But push rates are fluid and every pro does things differently. The database used can vary by so many factors including which relevant stats are used and which time frames as well. Things like rule changes can affect your decision on what data to use. This is a source of debate among the best of them.

    Creating your own push chart is a good idea, that way you know what data went into the chart, but calculating the book's current push rate, when you can, can be a good shortcut.

    Access to information is important, but Pinnacle isn't the end all. You can gain a lot by sampling other big books as well. There is math involved when the books create those lines, and you can learn from them.

    Don't get so hung up on Pinnacle, it's a mistake of over rating their importance in a broad marketplace that will often emulate what Pinny shows. Try sampling a few sources, then determining what push rates those books are using.

    Good Luck.


  3. #3
    turbobets
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    try fairlay.com and oddsportal.com

  4. #4
    matthewmsturgeon
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    @kvb Thank you for all of your thoughts and information. Like you say, building my own push chart into Excel would probably be the best way to go. I guess I have just been a little skeptical of my own data mining skills. I will definitely try to start incorporating other sources into my analysis as I grow more comfortable with what I am doing. I'm trying to push myself along the learning curve, but it is definitely a curve.

    @turbobets Thank you for the other sites. I will be sure to check them out today.

  5. #5
    dlowilly
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    You are beginning a never ending journey into sports betting data analysis, and it seems from your post you are pretty young so here is some advice. If you do formulate a winning strategy, and that's a big if, it will either have a razor thin edge or you will encounter books limiting you and/or banning you. The money you make will rival a part time job stocking shelves at Wal Mart and searching for loose change in the parking lot on the way back to your car after work.

    Use all the time you are about to waste to start your own business or build a harem instead.

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  6. #6
    matthewmsturgeon
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    @dlowilly Haha, thanks for the very sound advice. I am very new to sports betting (at least from a serious perspective rather than a casual betting on my favorite team strategy). I am, however, what most folks would probably call middle-aged. I am definitely old enough to have had enough drama with women to know that I don't want a harem. At this point it is much more of a hobby than looking for a new career. Your advice is solid and appreciated.

  7. #7
    turbobets
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlowilly View Post
    You are beginning a never ending journey into sports betting data analysis
    lol so true

  8. #8
    turbobets
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    matt you should check out winpicks or sports insights it will save you a lot of time.

  9. #9
    LVHerbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthewmsturgeon View Post
    Question 1: Is there a way to see Pinnacle's alternate lines without an account?
    If all you want is their numbers get a vpn and setup a dummy account.

    Heritage and 5dimes also offer deep pull down menus.
    Last edited by LVHerbie; 09-09-17 at 12:33 AM.

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  10. #10
    Bsims
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    I started wagering on football 50 years ago this fall. I started computer analysis with NFL box score data shortly thereafter, using as large IBM mainframe at a university. I wanted to know what statistics could be used to predict a team's score. I used a mathematical technique called multiple linear regression in an attempt to determine a formula. Unfortunately the biggest factor in a team's score was the number of their opponent's turnovers. This was followed by their turnovers. About a decade later there was an article published in Sports Illustrated that used the same technique and drew the same conclusions.

    If you think about it, predicting turnovers is the most difficult thing to do. Actually the message should have been, what you're trying to do is probably impossible. But in spite of this I've continued to try throughout the decades over sports ranging from horse racing to baseball. I can honestly say that in spite of the thousands of hours of effort, I've only found one technique that I'm willing to stake a fair amount of money on year after year. While this one does win in the long run, there have been entire seasons where it was a loser.

    I've reached the twilight of my years, but I still continue to look at new approaches, gather lots of data, write programs, and generate spread sheets. Do I expect to find the "Lost Dutchmsn Mine" of sports wagering? No more. But. here is the key. I really enjoy the work. It is my hobby.

    So if you pursue it as a hobby and have low expectations, you are in for a lifetime of entertainment.
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  11. #11
    matthewmsturgeon
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    @turbobets Thanks for the additional site to check out, I will look at them as soon as I get back home from a trip I am on.

    @LVHerbie That is probably a good way to do it. I guess I should broaden my horizons and start pulling, mining, and generating my data from various sources anyway.

    @Bsims That was a very interesting and informative post. Thank you for your insight. I guess the truth is that I am a dork and actually enjoy trying to crunch numbers. So for me, this has been pretty enjoyable just tring to begin learining the factors that go into sports. It kind of adds a new level of engagement in the sport. I have no illusions of grandeur, but like they say "money won is twice as sweet as money earned". So each tiny win has its own thrill. I may get bored with it at some point, but so far I am having fun. Thanks.

  12. #12
    turbobets
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    I wouldn't get caught up chasing alt lines if you are value betting. I found I spent too much time going thru all the different pointspreads on a single game and then missed bets on games that started at the same time and were staring right at me.

  13. #13
    matthewmsturgeon
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    That is a good point. I definitely need to find the most efficient way to do it. I have alreay had several instances where I would find a game that I wanted to play at a good price and then by the time I compared lines everywhere I lost the original good price.

  14. #14
    cyberbabble
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    The first publication for Sharper was an electronic free(or cheap) version. The Excel code shown for the formula you are talking about had a typo or something and was incorrect. Pokerjoe posted the corrected formula on another forum and later editions were corrected.
    I'm not sure which forum and would probably be banned if I mention another forum.
    If you have the paper edition or a later electronic edition you are probably OK.
    Probably find this info with Google.

  15. #15
    satana
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    Forgive my ignorance but what's a push rate/frequency?

  16. #16
    matthewmsturgeon
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    @cyberbabble Thanks for the info on Sharper. I have the book and went with that formula. Technically, I didn't use his Excel formula, I used his explanation of how the calculation works to write my own VBA function in Excel. Comparing the numbers from his examples seemed to produce the same results that he was expecting, so I am hoping that I got it right.

    @satana So the push rates are where you would generate a lookup table for spreads. These could be very simple, like saying that for NCAA Football in general, every time there is a spread of 7 points, how often does the score end up winning by exactly 7. It could be much more in depth, like saying every time that Alabama has a 7 point spread and the expected game total is 40, how often does the score end up be exactly a 7 point game. Basically, you are data mining trying to figure out what percentage chance does that spread have of hitting exactly, thus generating a push.

    This would then let you determine if buying off of, onto, or across the 7, will be profitable for you given the break even percentage that you already had betting the 7. It is a much more complicated mathematical decision than that, but hopefully that outlines that purpose of it.

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