Book Review — Smart Money by Michael Konik (Feb 2007)

SportsInsights is pleased to review this newly-released book on sports betting, appropriately-named, Smart Money,” by Michael Konik.  Over time, SportsInsights will review other books that are useful to sports investors.  SIs will also create a library of recommended books for our Members.  We’ll include books on sports investing, sports, financial markets, and other topics of interest.

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Smart Money is a “fast read” and has some interesting “war stories” related to sports betting.  The author had the opportunity to work with a sports syndicate for a period of time.  We don’t want to give the book away — but suffice it to say: Konik got a good look at some of the inside workings of a syndicate.  He tells an interesting story and does a great job of weaving in the thinking, problems, and issues that serious sports investors and syndicates need to consider.

Sports Betting Tidbits

Many books do not offer many new ideas or real value.  Smart Money is different.  The book includes some real insight and ideas that will help most sports investors in their quest to improve results.  Some of these tidbits will be familiar to SportsInsights members.  Other ideas will get your mind working and thinking about ways of improving.  Here are some highlights:

  • Computer-based program: The head of the syndicate used a computer program to set the syndicate’s own lines and to obtain value versus the sportsbooks.
  • Value: the book often discusses value and how the syndicate would only take a bet at a price they wanted.  Moral?  Shop for the best line!
  • The book would also often find value by “fading the public.”
  • The syndicate would sometimes view games differently, depending on whether the game was a “large public game” (nationally televised) or a smaller regional game.
  • Types of cappers and thinking: The syndicate employed a variety of handicappers and analysts — focusing on issues ranging from: (a) late-breaking news and injuries — to (b) matchups and motivational factors — to (c) traditional capping.  This will get most serious investors thinking about how they can most improve their handicapping and results.
  • Getting money down.  Many of the book’s colorful stories are based around the syndicate’s problem of getting large amounts of money down on a game.  Who wants to take a bet from a long-term winner, right?  This is a problem that most of us would love to have…  In actuality, there are “levels” to this problem.  Once you become a successful and winning sports investor, books will shift you to sharper lines or lower your betting limits.  Some will even discourage you from betting at their book.  This is one of the reasons why SIs recommends sports exchanges. Betting Exchanges

Take a look at “Smart Money” by Michael Konik.  It will be one of your better investments!

Visit the “SI Library” for reviews on other books

We do not guarantee that the trends and biases we’ve found will continue to exist. It is impossible to predict the future. Any serious academic research in the field of “market efficiencies” recognizes that inefficiencies may disappear over time. Once inefficiencies are discovered, it is only a matter of time before the market corrects itself.