Toutville: As the climate changes, players need to sharpen up | UVA

The “silver” moon is over.

Oh, residents of Toutville, we used to have it so good. We knew it. Not only did legal gambling enter our borders last year, but corporations arrived with extravagant giveaways.

Huge sign-up bonuses. Free bets galore. Friendly lines. These “no hassle” offers where you win as long as the team you support doesn’t lose 755 points.

The apps weren’t doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. Virginia law allowed them to deduct certain promotional expenses from their pretax income, including free bets used for player recruitment and retention.

The new state budget that went into effect on July 1 closed that loophole. Now companies have 12 months from market launch to deduct promotional incentives, and then they must report and pay taxes on all income.

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Virginia’s four largest betting companies – FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Caesars – have all been online for over a year. They no longer get their tax deductions, but they still want their juicy profits.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you’ve bet on baseball this summer, you’ve seen it before. Not only have many of the best bonuses and free bet offers dried up, but many books are also making their lines more advantageous for the house.

A so-called “10 cent line” in baseball, where the favored Yankees are -110 and the underdog Red Sox are +100, has become a 20 cent or worse line in most places.

It is important. A lot. A bettor needs to win 52.4% of -110 bets to break even, while -120 odds require a 54.6% win rate to break even. It may not seem like much, but it doesn’t take long for players to feel the effects.

We will also miss bonuses and free bets. With so much easy money in our accounts last year, each of us could be forgiven if we overestimated our handicapping prowess.

Huge sign up bonuses remain for new players. But for those of us who have been playing since last year, the mandate is clear: we will have to be much more precise in 2022.

Toutville is here to help. During football season, we will continue to have a weekly column breaking down ACC betting trends and angles. We will also continue to scour the national roster for exciting opportunities.

But as always, the player decides his own fate with good money management. Here are three tips to help you navigate the post-moneymoon phase we are now entering:

  • Be ultra-selective. If you played five games in a typical weekend last year, consider reducing that number to three. If you play 10 games a week, consider doing five or six. The less hostile odds you can be exposed to, the smaller the hill you have to climb to make money.
  • Bet on the small money line losers. The greater the perceived difference between the two teams, the greater the house hold will be. For example, at the time of this writing, the Caesars point spread for the August 27 North Texas-UTEP game is -1 for North Texas, or -120 on the moneyline versus +100 for UTEP. This 20-cent line changes to 70 cents during the Nevada-New Mexico State game on the same day. Nevada (-9.5) is at -350 to win, while New Mexico State is at +280 to upset.

There are times when you have to aim for the big score, but picking the smaller upsets will tend to keep you competitive longer.

  • Compare the prices. Sponsor the books that best meet your needs. WynnBet, for example, doesn’t have many of the wacky paraphernalia of some of the other apps, but it still offers 10-cent baseball lines. That’s huge for a guy like me, especially in the long run.

Toutville is still holding up and intends to prosper, even in this new climate. Good luck to all and see you in September.