“We are seeing bigger bets on the Eagles being matched by a larger number of smaller bets on the Patriots, which is an interesting indicator of who the ‘sharps’ and ‘squares’ are betting on, respectively,” he wrote in an e-mail.
O’Malia said he, too, sees more and more people from the stock market moving into online sports betting.
“They are literally the futures traders of old,” he said. “ … It’s the same mentality and the probabilities change the same way. A guy who knows how to trade stocks knows how to trade sports.”
While the systematic approach of economics and arbitrage theory may be helpful, other gamblers say they rely on instincts developed over years of careful observation.
Mark Royal, 31, an examiner with the Missouri Department of Insurance, said he made $40,000 last year “shopping around different online companies and spotting bad numbers.”
“Some books don’t do a good job of staying on top of the product,” said Royal, who spoke with MSNBC.com on the condition he be identified by a pseudonym. “They don’t notice injuries and don’t notice teams that are hot. At the beginning of the NBA season I got the (Phoenix) Suns at 15-1 to win the Pacific Division and I got the Sonics at 20-1 to win their division.
Royal, who funnels much of his action through the BetWWTS.com site in Antigua, said he will probably have $10,000 riding on the Super Bowl, much of it on proposition bets. He particularly likes several propositions …