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Pro-Line Tips and Facts

Sep 4, 2014

Pro-Line Tips and Facts

Let me first start by saying that if you live outside Canada, this article doesn't apply to you. Pro-Line is a government sponsored sports betting system implemented in Canada, offering people an alternative to online sport books. You're probably thinking, "wow, that sounds pretty cool--Canada has legalized gambling!" On the surface it appears pretty good, but like many government-sponsored things: looks can be deceiving.

While it is true that Pro-Line offers the sports better an opportunity to get in on the action, what's also true is how much the odds are stacked against the players. One question I've been asked a lot is, “Do you play any Pro-Line tickets and if so, is there any value”? My answer is always the same: I have one Pro-Line betting tip for you: STOP playing Pro-Line and here’s why: First, there is no single game betting option, so you must bet on at least a two game parlay, which obviously decreases your odds. Pro-Line also has this little thing called the "tie", which means if a game is decided by a certain number of points it is considered a tie, so even if the team you picked to win is successful, you get credited for a loss. A football tie is a game decided by 3 points or less, basketball is 5 points or less, and a baseball tie is a 1 run margin of victory. This essentially boils down to having three possible outcomes for each game, instead of the standard two, which seriously decreases your chances of winning. If you play ties, or add in a tie, the potential win amount increases but the odds of winning decrease by an incredible 35% on a 3-team parlay and that number gets worse with the more games you play.  

Pro-Line does offer the more commonly accepted methods of sports betting (point-spread) as well as the above method and again, you have to parlay at least two games together on a ticket. You're probably thinking that's not so bad--until you see the actual odds that are offered. The standard price for a game at a respected sport book is -105 to -110 or if you were to convert to a decimal format, around 1.91 to 1. Pro-Line spreads and totals, however, typically fall in the 1.65 - 1.75 per game range--a substantial drop in potential winnings. Think of this way: betting $25 on a two game spread/total parlay Pro-Line ticket pays about $75. If you bet the exact same thing at a sport book, it would pay about $91--that's over $15 difference on a puny $25 bet, so you can imagine how much of a difference this would make if you are betting larger amounts or over your lifetime.

Pro-line also employs deceitful tactics when posting the payouts. For instance, on their website or back of tickets, it says a winning 3-team parlay pays out 5-1. That’s not true at all. A $100 bet will pay out $500 for a profit of $400.00. That $500 payout includes your initial $100 layout but they fail to mention that. Truth is, that parlay pays 4-1. At a traditional sportsbook, a 3-team parlay pays 6-1 or $600 PROFIT on a $100 bet, a huge difference of $200.00 and it gets worse with the more games you add.

A $100, 4-team parlay with Pro-line pays $1000 with the original $100 included so you win $900. Online you bet it at $100 and you win $1228 plus your $100 back, a difference of $328 dollars. That is not chump change that you’re giving up for no reason at all. If you’re playing on a smaller scale, say for $10, it does not matter because over 10 winning tickets, you still lose $328.00. 

In the NHL and baseball, when you play the money line, you will often see odds of 1.60 on one side and 1.80 on the other side. In other words, both teams are favored, as both are paying under even money. You will NEVER be able to overcome the juice or vigor that pro-line charges. It’s virtually impossible.

The next position is point-spreads on Pro-line that are off from the “real number” that you see posted online at traditional sportsbooks. For instance, Green Bay may be a -4 favorite against Chicago but Pro-line will have the game listed at -6. Yeah, that’s an edge, but it’s just one game so you’ll have to find two more. It is possible you will find three games with their lines off by 2 or three points on all three games, but again, the payout of 4-1 does not compensate enough to make it worthwhile. We also want you to consider that a 1½, 2, 2½ or even three-point line difference is very good on a single game but when you string all three together, like you’re forced to on Pro-line, the chances of that small point-spread edge making the difference in all three games is approximately 4600-1. In other words, it may happen once every seven years. Every single bet you make on Pro-line is a complete rip-off no matter how you break it down. Furthermore, Pro-Line does not adjust their lines and odds throughout the day. As we all know, a line could move multiple points throughout the course of a day due to any number of factors so flexibility is a must. Unfortunately for Pro-Line players, there is no flexibility. If a line moves too much, you can expect Pro-Line to remove the game from the board entirely, thus removing the only possible edge that you may have had. In college football, they do not list every game and therefore you are forced to play the games they put up and you can expect two or three games a week to be removed because of big line movements in the real world.

On-line sportsbooks allow you to play teasers, whereas you can add anywhere from +4 to +10 points on three games or more. In other words, if the line is +4 you can play it at +14 and you can apply it to the favorite or underdog. For instance, a favorite of -3 now turns into a dog of +7 when you apply the +10 teaser. You are required to play 4 teams or more for 10-point teasers and you are required to play 3 games or more for 6-point teasers. The payouts are obviously smaller but it’s just an example of how difficult it is to string together three or four games where even a 6 or 10 point edge in the point-spread is offered. These are known as exotic bets and the sportsbooks would not offer them if they were to the players advantage. That small edge on one game is good but it virtually means nothing when you have to put three games together.

If you want to have fun with a $2 or $5 PRO-LINE pool ticket with the potential for big money, sure go ahead and invest it for an enjoyable Sunday of NFL football. NEVER play PRO-LINE’S money line or point spread tickets, as they are a HUGE rip-off and that cannot be overstated enough. Honestly, the OLG puts out these scumbag lines because they know there are people that play it. DON’T BE ONE OF THEM. If there was a Gambling Commission Board that overlooked odds, the OLG would be sued every day but since it is the government it is not regulated and they will continue to rip everyone off as long as people are playing.

When the government is the house you have NO CHANCE of winning over time and we wouldn't steer you wrong. 

If you're looking to find a reputable sportsbook to play, click on one of the links below, and if you have any questions regarding any of them, please email us @ info@sportswagers.ca

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