Avoiding Pitfall Bets — 8/16/2021

Good Morning Sports Bettors,

The weekend ended on a lot of amusement with the Patrick Beverley trade: mainly all the memes circulating around about him challenging Steph Curry and how he will get to enjoy the next five years. Give it a look if you need some laughs on the trolling…and the comments section is just as enjoyable.

Today we are discussing:

  • Avoiding Pitfall Bets


  • Almost always, we try to discuss plays that are likely to be profitable, with some logical analysis to back up that claim.
  • In this case, I’d like to point out several plays that are clear traps, meaning that any bet on them is likely to lose almost 100% of your wager without much upside.
  • These types of plays aren’t that uncommon, and I’ve seen examples of extremely sketchy bets as well.
  • One in particular was from several years ago when an unnamed sportsbook had the Orioles as something like 500 to 1 underdogs to win the World Series late in the summer.
  • The problem is that by that point in the season, they were mathematically eliminated from even making the playoffs, so any bet on them was guaranteed to lose.
  • Of course, there are plenty of other traps in sports betting, primarily when 90% of the public money is on one side, but I’m talking about the more extreme variants.
  • Let’s start with some specific examples that I see currently in the futures markets:
  • TRAP #1: Kawhi Leonard to win NBA MVP +2500
  • The NBA season is supposed to start in mid-late October, and there is a good chance that Kawhi misses the entire 2021–22 season as he recovers from an ACL injury.
  • The true odds of him winning the MVP are so close to 0 that I don’t even want to guess at his “true” odds.
  • To put it this way, if you offer a friend $10000 to $1 odds that Kawhi won’t win MVP, you’re putting yourself in position to make a free, crisp dollar bill.
  • TRAP #2: Russell Westbrook to win NBA MVP +2500
  • Westbrook has a significantly larger chance of winning MVP than Kawhi does, simply because he’s likely to come into the season healthy.
  • However, he will be playing on a team with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, almost guaranteeing that he won’t be averaging the same types of numbers that he did on OKC or even with Washington.
  • He could very easily average something like 14 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds given the team he’s on and the stage in his career he’s at. Solid numbers, but not the ones that win MVP.
  • This bet is definitely not torching money the way the Kawhi bet is, but it’s still a massive trap

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