Guide to Lacrosse Betting Part Two

Editor’s Note: This new recurring piece was written by Billy Costigan.

Welcome back sports fans and bettors! My name is Billy (@bCostigan84). Thanks for checking out this second half of my Guide to Lacrosse & Sports betting. 

This guide is for those new to lacrosse or sports betting. It will even serve as a reference for those new to or looking to brush up on lacrosse or sports betting.

Missed Part 1 of my Guide to Lacrosse & Sports Betting? Check it out here.

Let’s go over sports betting basics, take a look at last week’s games, and leave you with a few more thoughts on how to approach sports betting.

Next week, we will be strictly picks and recaps.

More About Sports Betting

If you’re unfamiliar with sports betting or did not read Part 1 of this Guide, I highly recommend you go back and look that over first.

Part 1 explained the three main types of bets, also known as “straight bets”: spreads, totals, and moneylines. These three you’ll see in most games. Other types of bets available that you’ll want to understand as well include: futures, propositions or prop bets, and parlays.

Unlike “straight bets” which are decided by a single game in the next couple days or weeks, a future is any bet that’ll be decided at a much later date (often the end of a regular season or playoffs). One common future is betting a team to win a league, conference, or division.

Sometimes futures are an over / under bet on the total number of a certain statistic for a player (goals or points scored in a season). Another popular future is player awards (MVP, offensive/defensive player of the year, rookie of the year).

Prop bets are bets on anything not determined by the actual score of a game. This includes game props (who will score first or if a game will go to overtime) and player props (over / under goals or assists a player will score). Other props include things such as which head coach will be fired first or which team a player will sign with. Lastly there are props on non sporting events (elections, award shows, ect).

As with any aspect of sports betting, types of props allowed vary state-by-state and which props are actually offered is up to each sportsbook.

Parlays are when you combine multiple wagers into one bet. In order for a parlay ticket to cash, all the wagers listed on it must win. If even one loses the whole parlay loses. For example a bettor might parlay together Yale, Duke, and Georgetown moneylines. All three teams win, then the bettor wins their parlay, usually at a higher payout price than any of those 3 moneylines individually.

Bettors can often parlay straight bets, prop bets, and some futures. Oftentimes though you cannot parlay different types of bets. Sportsbooks will have different policies on which types of bets they allow to be parlayed.

Parlays are often promoted by sportsbooks on social media with stories of small wagers on parlays with many legs for massive payouts. However, bettors should be aware of the risks of parlays. Sportsbooks wouldn’t promote a bet that pays out such a higher rate if it wasn’t profitable. Parlays are generally very profitable for sportsbooks, cashing much less often than straight single bets. Every time you add another wager to your parlay it decreases your chances of winning, since you need an additional outcome to happen in order to win.

Large payouts can be enticing, however you should generally avoid parlays. An occasional small fun parlay is understandable. Sometimes it does makes sense to parlay two or three favorites, for a better payout. But try to avoid making parlays a regular thing, especially ones with more than 2 or 3 legs.

Remember 5 of 6 winning wagers on a parlay, you still lose the whole parlay. Whereas if 5 of your 6 straight individual wagers win, you’ll most likely be profitable depending on the prices of the bets.

They say those fancy sportsbooks in Vegas are built off parlays and for a good reason.

Any professional bettor will tell you it’s hard enough to win one bet at a time, let alone multiple tied together.

Last Week in Lacrosse Betting 

Did you place real wagers or just practice wagers this weekend? If so, that is awesome, keep it up! Now let’s take a look at last week’s betting results.

I’ve added a chart for NCAA lacrosse games that were available to bet last week, including the bets (with their prices) that were available and the actual results of each game.

I’ve highlighted every bet that won or “cashed” in green and the bets that lost in red. You can compare which bets are in green or red to the results to help understand reading the betting lines / odds. Also try to start to notice / take account of how teams or different types of bets did.

If you see 2 prices listed (-105 to -115) that indicates the odds / price changed at some point between when it was first posted and when the game actually started. We’ll get more into how these changes work in later pieces.

Week 8 against the spread bets saw 11 favorite wins and 7 underdog wins (opposed to 6 favorite wins and 10 dog wins in week 7). Totals in week 8 split 9 overs and 9 unders, versus week 7’s 6 overs and 10 unders. Week 8 favorites had a commanding 16 wins to just 2 underdog moneyline wins (week 7 moneylines split 8 and 8 wins each).

There can be high variance week to week in how favorites / underdogs and overs / unders perform. It’ll be more useful once we have season long numbers. Season long statistics for how types of bets and teams are doing, are coming very soon (next week’s piece hopefully). Once ready these will be a regular part of how we look at the betting board.

How’d you do in week 8 though? Maybe you had an easy winner with Duke -1.5 on the spread or -140 on the moneyline in their 15 - 6 win. Perhaps you cashed the only true underdog moneyline, +385 with Richmond’s 17 - 13 win (this also could have been how a parlay lost if you had UVA). Some bettors cashed an easy over in the Maryland / Michigan game (posted total 26.5, actual total 32).

Others lost an over by a half point in the Brown / Princeton game (posted total 26.5, actual total 26). A game that went way under was Rutgers / Johns Hopkins (posted total 25, actual total 19). Also the Denver / Georgetown game missed the under by just a half point (posted total 25.5, actual total 26).

Earlier, I said 2 underdogs won on the moneyline, but called Richmond the only true moneyline underdog at +385. This is because Yale was the other team mentioned and they had line movement (a change in prices / odds). Yale was a +1.5 underdog and Penn a -1.5 favorite which stayed that way. However the moneyline opened Penn -125 and Yale -105, indicating Yale was still the underdog, but changed to Penn -115 and Yale -115.

When both teams have the same odds it’s known as a “pick em” (an evenly matched game). Yale was technically still the underdog, but went off as a pick ‘em. Hence why I included them as one of two underdog moneyline wins, but wanted to note the difference about the line movement to -115 on both sides. Which made Richmond +385 the only “plus money” underdog to win outright.

Lastly in week 8 favorites had 16 moneyline wins but only 11 wins against the spread. Meaning in 5 games the favorite won outright, but didn’t win by enough goals to cover the spread. In those cases, moneyline favorite bettors and underdog bettors against the spread both won.

This Week in Lacrosse Betting 

Below are the posted odds/lines from Draftkings for this weekend's games.

Look through and see if anything sticks out. You can definitely use information you may already have from following a team.

If you’re new to lacrosse there’s lots of good statistics on the NCAA website as well Lacrosse Reference.

For now, just start looking through the sites and familiarizing yourself.

The team stats on the NCAA website are pretty self explanatory.

Lacrosse Reference does a good job explaining their advanced or unique statistics.

In the future, we’ll go more into how these statistics work and can help you pick winners.

Watching as many games as possible, even replays, will go a long way as well in helping you formulate opinions.

Don’t forget too, you can always practice bet!

Betting Tips and Conclusion

Hopefully, you’re feeling more confident after reading part 1 & 2 of this guide!

Last week, I left you with thoughts on important physical things to do to succeed at sports betting: bankroll management / flat betting, tracking your bets, and the idea of practice betting.

This week, I’ll leave you with a few closing thoughts on the mental side of sports betting. A good mindset is as important as a good strategy!

Sports betting is hard. Generally sportsbooks win more than they lose. Anyone with an idea that betting is easy and they will get rich quick, is probably very wrong. This doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to lose though. It’s possible to succeed at sports betting and enjoy doing so! All it takes are the right strategies and attitude.

Realistic expectations are important for your sports betting. You’re probably not going to get rich overnight or win an extremely high percent of your bets, especially in the beginning. People are all over the internet boasting 90% win rates, which often aren’t entirely true or are short sample sizes. Anyone can go 9 and 1 over two weeks, but what’s their win rate over a whole season or their entire career?

Remember some of the greatest gamblers of all time only won about 55 to 60% of bets over the course of their career. If you’re winning over 50% and turning any profit (the number to be profitable will depend on the price of your bets but must be at least over 50%) then pat yourself on the back.

Remember there are no “locks” in sports betting, nothing is ever a 100% guarantee. Especially when you think of human elements including randomness and luck. 

Over time though, through learning enough strategies and tools (which I will continue to introduce and develop each week) you can have a very positive experience and a lot of fun!

We’ll go over more resources in the future but I encourage you to check out the ones I already mentioned. Also to get on Twitter! Twitter is maybe the single best resource for news in sports. Remember oddsmakers are also digging for edges and if they see news before you do, they may change the odds before you get a chance to bet. They say “speed kills” in sports and the same is often true in betting.

Lastly, Twitter is great for creating a useful gambling community. Through tweets and DM’s you can find bettors interested in similar areas as you and try to help each other out.

If you try to learn as much as possible and stick with it, I promise you will enjoy sports betting. There’s not many feelings quite like winning a bet after you invested so much time researching and watching a game.

Like anything in life sports betting is a process and the more you put into it, the more you get out.

As always, my DM’s are open with any questions you may have about lacrosse or sports betting @bCostigan84 on Twitter. 

Best of luck and let’s cash some bets!

Back to blog