Vegas isn't always right, but they're willing to bet they are!

Dec 3, 2013 3:00 AM

Twitter offers significant value to a sports bettor. Not that long ago, creating a customized stream of information from your hand-picked sources was a fantasy. Now, it’s a click away on your computer, tablet, and phone – 100% free.

As the operator of a content website, Twitter offers me the added value of instant feedback concerning what type of content the public is interested in (and what they are not). The most effective way for a business to grow is by providing value.

Often times I’ve tweeted content I found enthralling, only to be greeted by an underwhelming response. Other times, I’m pleasantly surprised by a flood of re-tweets.

If you start a content site, odds are you have strong feelings about content. I certainly do. Learning that the marketplace often has very different ideas than mine was an important business lesson I’ve begrudgingly accepted.

On Sunday night, one of my tweets generated the most RTs ever for my @RJinVegas account. “BCS haters and SEC lovers: Vegas consensus opinion is Ohio State would be favored by 2½ over Auburn.”

In three hours over 1,100 accounts re-tweeted that info! Obviously, many have strong – mostly negative – feelings about the BCS. And, as any college football fan knows, many worship at the altar of the SEC – while a comparable number are sick of all the fuss.

LVH’s Jay Kornegay told me his personal number for that matchup would be OSU -1½, while Wynn’s Johnny Avello told me he’d hang -3. The SEC lovers were nothing short of indignant, while the SEC haters were thrilled with the wisdom delivered from Vegas.

As a graduate of Ohio State University, I must admit to smiling more than once during these exchanges.

The Golden Nugget posted Florida State favored by 9½ over Ohio State – taking impressive $3,000 limit bets on the most likely BCS matchup.

Nothing takes more guts than posting a world opener – it’s bookmakers’ naked opinion against every professional sports bettor in the world. At a time when many Vegas sports books go to great lengths to avoid taking any chances, GN’s Tony Miller and Aaron Kessler deserve recognition.

Though now a long shot to win their third straight title, Alabama would still be favored over any other team in the country, including Florida State.

It’s important to remember that one game changes very little – especially when it could have gone either way.

Would Alabama be a materially better team if they had made that long field goal attempt at the end of the game? Overreacting to extreme results is no way to win.

Strong bias – for or against – a conference or team is another common handicapping mistake. Remember, to win at sports betting, you must think differently than the masses and also be correct about your differences. The only way to accomplish that is with clear eyes and a cool head.

Many on Twitter are often adamant that Vegas is wrong and they are right. My answer is always the same: Vegas isn’t always right, but they are always willing to bet you that they are!

What number would you open: Ohio State vs. Auburn? Or Alabama vs. Florida State?

RJ Bell is the founder of - and co-host of FIRST PREVIEW, heard Monday through Friday at 10 am on ESPN 1100/98.9 FM. Follow on twitter: @RJinVegas. Discussion of this article continues at Contact RJ at [email protected]

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