What Does Syndicate Mean In Sports Betting?
by Doc's Sports - 10/10/2014
At the most basic level, a syndicate is merely a group of sports bettors working together to improve their chances of making a profit. Typically a syndicate would include sharp bettors with a great deal of skill and knowledge. They likely have an edge individually, but by combining forces they feel that they can increase that edge. Sharps, or wise guys, typically have well-developed and carefully-refined methods of handicapping games. By combining those methods, and bringing together people with different viewpoints and areas of specialization, they can increase their chances of beating the sportsbooks over the long term.
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Syndicates can also have another significant advantage. When combining forces they have a big bankroll to play with, and are able to bet large amounts on single games. That means that they have the ability to move lines significantly, creating the opportunities that they would like to be able to bet. For example, if a line is too high for their taste they could bet the other side aggressively in order to lower it, then bet even more on the team they actually like at the price they were looking for. The large bankroll also means that when they find a line that is vulnerable they are able to take full advantage of it to maximize their value. Syndicate members understand that what matters isn’t being right as many times as possible, but rather handling the situations when you have a good chance of being right as well as you possibly can.
There is a potential dark side to syndicates, too. With that much money and knowledge combined in one unit the pressure for profits is high. Syndicates could look to maximize their chance through match fixing or other ways of applying illegal pressure.
That being said, the mythology of syndicates typically exceeds the reality. Syndicates certainly exist, and are powerful and successful. They typically aren’t the huge, merciless, shady superpowers that they are portrayed to be by clueless squares and governments, though. They are just pros looking for ways to be better at what they do for a living. That has positive and negative implications for the sports betting industry in general, and some syndicates are more positive than others, but it is easy to overreact when you hear talk of syndicates.
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