What is a Layoff and Why do Sportsbooks Make These Types of Bets?

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The concept might be confusing at first, but once you read this article I think you will have a much better understanding of exactly what it means for a sportsbook to layoff a bet. The gambling use of the word “layoff” is referred to the time sportsbooks place a bet at another sportsbook to reduce their reliability on a specific bet taking place.

Why A Sportsbook Would Layoff a Bet

This happens when Sportsbooks receive a huge amount of action on one team and are afraid of that bet coming through, which results in taking a huge hit financially. For example, say everyone was sure that the Steelers were going to win the Super Bowl and, because of this, nearly every person betting on the game placed a bet on the Steelers to win. A certain sportsbook could become scared that if the Steelers do actually win they would lose a great deal of money. So, to make sure they don’t take a huge hit, they would go to another sportsbook and place a big bet on the Steelers to try and even out the money just in case the public was right on their pick.

What Sportsbooks can do besides making a Layoff Bet

Sometimes, it’s the players on a given team that makes the public think they are unbeatable and sometimes it’s just the competition that looks as though they have no chance of winning. For instance, it would have been hard to get the public gambler to place a bet on the Detroit Lions to win a game outright last season, as they just didn’t have the talent to make them look like a team worth putting your money on. As many of you know, Sportsbooks usually put very unfavorable odds for teams that are pretty much a lock to win. In order to win money, you have to place a huge amount of money down, which creates a big risk for many people and can scare of bettors from making that play. Also, sportsbooks put out spreads on games giving a team a certain advantage or disadvantage on a game, which tends to even the betting field. However, sometimes bettors still sway one way or another no matter how many points the team has to give up. To deal with this, sportsbooks can move the line in one direction or the other to try and persuade the gambler to go in the other direction, which can help ensure that there is a near split on the action.

Why Sportsbooks Don’t Layoff Bets

If you don’t already know the answer to this question, just take some time to look at how the public is betting on a certain game or event, and see how many times the public is right. As you might have guessed by now, the public isn’t right as much as you might have thought. So, it can end up being a waste of time and money for a sportsbook to place a layoff bet because a layoff bet takes possible from the sportsbooks. There are going to be times when the Sportsbooks take big hits by the public cashing in on a bet, but think of how much money they get every time the public is wrong.

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