PromoGuy: How I Pick First Touchdown Insurance Bets at BetMGM & The Math Behind It

PromoGuy: How I Pick First Touchdown Insurance Bets at BetMGM & The Math Behind It article feature image

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Leonard Fournette (left), Tom Brady (right).

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Earlier this NFL season, I wrote up my explanation for how I choose first touchdown insurance bets at BetMGM for Bucs-Ravens on Thursday Night Football. We've slightly repurposed this article to serve as an example for future weeks.

Unfortunately, this promo is not available for bettors in New York, so I can't play it myself or track it against my record.

How the promo works: Bet up to $25 on a first touchdown scorer for Thursday Night Football at BetMGM, and get that $25 back in free bets if the player doesn't score. Be sure to opt-in on their promotions page.

The pick for Week 8: Bucs RB Leonard Fournette +800

Fair line: First, we must determine the true odds of this event happening to get the expected value. There aren't great ways to remove the vig from first TD markets, since they're almost always one-sided — you can bet every player to score the first TD, but you can't bet them to not score the first TD at most books.

So I will look to other lines and put them in the context of a two-way market out there.

One of the main reasons I went with Fournette is because of his price at BetMGM relative to the rest of the market:

So we are getting a nice bump to other books, and a nice line relative to a book showing a two-way market.

MGM tends to have the best pricing for first TD props (though they have among the worst prices for anytime TDs).

Given MGM's own line of +800, you have to add some vig, so I will be conservative here and call the fair line +1000 for the purpose of this exercise.

Vig: Using +1000, the vig of our $25 bet is $4.55:

$25 x 825 x 10 = 50 x 1/11 = $4.55 of vig.

EV of insurance: There's a 90.9% chance we lose the bet (given the fair odds) and thus gain the $25 of insurance 90.9% of the time. Assuming about 70% free bet conversion — the cash we can expect to get back from the free bets — we get to:

.909 x  .7 x 25 = $15.91 EV of insurance.

Net EV of the pick: $15.91 – $4.55 = $11.36 on our $25 bet.

To put this in percentage terms, it would be 11.36/25 = 45.44% EV for this strong promo. So for every $1 risked on this promo, we can expect to profit 45.44 cents over a large sample size.

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