Understanding how to read Vegas lines, props, etc. is very important for DFS success in any sport. However, reading and interpreting Vegas properly and accurately is very hard to do. We can use simple things like point totals and spreads to interpret game flow figure out what teams to target. Here is a sample betting line from Bovada for a game from last season.
This game had an over/under of 57, meaning Vegas projects there to be 57 total points scored in this game. Louisiana Tech was a 7 point favorite, so Vegas thought they would win the game by, you guessed it, 7 points. The projected score of this game would be 32-25.
We can take away quite a few things just from this little box:
Stack Teams With High Team Totals
32 points might seem like a lot, but as I stated in an earlier lesson, 32 points is a very average total for any given week in college football. Look to target teams with projections closer to 40+. Using Vegas over/unders, we can figure out which teams make for the best stacks. If you want to be contrarian for tournament purposes, look to target the teams in the “second tier” of point totals. The obvious stacks come from the highest projected teams and often times the teams projected for fewer points, but that still have nice totals, get overlooked and make great tournament options.
Target QB/WR for Underdog Teams
Take this with a grain of salt because it doesn’t always work out, but teams that are a close underdog generally make for a nice QB/WR combo. Vegas lines are very accurate most of the time and will usually give us a good idea of how game flow should play out. Teams that are minor underdogs (4-10 points) are a good bet to be forced to throw for a majority of the game as they will be playing from behind. This is an ideal situation to pair a quarterback and wide receiver together.
On the other side of this game, we have a team that is favored slightly and should look to run the ball a majority of the second half to burn the clock. This is an ideal place to take a running back that would normally rush the ball 15 or so times as he should theoretically see 20+ carries if the game script plays out as predicted. Of course, anything can happen on any given Saturday, so this strategy won’t work 100% of the time, but it is a good, general process to follow when constructing lineups.
Another valuable piece of information Vegas gives us on a weekly basis is player props. The props usually come out sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning. These pieces of information can be vital when it comes to roster construction as Vegas might project a player much higher than you do; always remember: when in doubt, trust Vegas. They will give props for whether a player will score a touchdown, how many touchdowns a quarterback will throw, how many catches a receiver will grab, and how many rushing yards a running back will get. This is a great way to make decisions or even just to break a tie.
Basically, the whole point of this article is to say this: If you want to be good at daily fantasy sports, learn how to accurately interpret Vegas and incorporate it in to your lineups.
Continue Reading CFB Training Camp
CFB Hall of Fame – Lesson 01 – Using Vegas to Predict Performance
NEXT LESSON – CFB Hall of Fame – Lesson 02 – Knowing When to Punt a Position
CFB Hall of Fame – Lesson 03 – Blowout Factor
CFB Hall of Fame – Lesson 04 – Research Tools