Increase your success at sports betting

// Published March 28, 2013 by isport

There is only one way to increase your success at sports betting, and that is to get better at predicting the outcome of games and events than the bookmaker.

There are two approaches to this, one informal and the other formal.

Historically the informal method has been the one that has been widely adopted, but with new insights into Bayesian statistics, formal models are proving to be good at making accurate predictions regarding the relative performance of teams, for instance in predicting goal differences in future games.

However both of these approaches share many similarities. They are both based on finding out as much information as possible about the relative forms of the players and teams, the various strategies the teams adopt and the levels of offensive and defensive play, any changes such as key player injuries, the predicted weather conditions, any perceived referee or umpire bias.

These are assessed in terms of their predicted effect on the outcome of a game. Informally this can be done just by making a list and assigning as a best guess the importance to each variable and totting up the differences. Formally these are put into a mathematical model and what are called prior and posterior probabilities.

The bottom line is that they work and work very well. Sport betting is quite different from betting on the kind of games that you find at an online casino. The vast majority of casino games, for instance slots, roulette, and blackjack are based on chance. The casino always has an advantage, which is why it stays in business. The exception is poker, which is a game based at least in part on skill.

With sports betting you play with the element of chance, which creates variance, but by understanding and studying the effect of the variables, in the long run the effects of chance can be eliminated; successful professional sports betters lead a comfortable life, but then so do bookmakers.