Sports Gambling Guidelines — Creating wealth Via Betting

I am the Sports Editor for a sports news and gambling website. I’ve several years connection with gambling, sports journalism and study of mathematics. Am I a gambling expert? Well, I guess you could say that.

You will find innumerable so-called gambling experts willing to hand out information of these systems to’beat the bookie’or to make a second income from gambling, for a cost of course. I won’t do that. I only will give you details about bookmakers, odds and gambling for you really to use (or forget) as you see fit.

The very first thing to say is that a large proportion of men and women who participate in gamblingĀ is likely to be net losers over timeĀ Here is the very reason there are so many bookmakers making so much money throughout the world.

While bookmakers can sometimes take big hits, as an example in case a favourite wins the Grand National, they spread their risk so widely and they setup markets that incorporate a margin, so they’ll always make a gain on the medium to long term, if not the short term. That is, so long as they got their sums right.

When setting their odds for a specific event, bookmakers must first measure the likelihood of that event occurring. To do this they us various statistical models predicated on data collated over years, sometime decades, about the game and team/competitor in question. Obviously, if sport was 100% predictable, it would soon lose its appeal, and while the bookies are often spot up with their assessments of the likelihood of an event, they’re sometimes way off the mark, mainly because a fit or contest goes against conventional wisdom and statistical likelihood.

Just look at any sport and you will see an occasion when the underdog triumphs against all of the odds, literally. Wimbledon beating the then mighty Liverpool in the FA Cup Final of 1988, as an example, or the USA beating the then mighty USSR at ice hockey in the 1980 Olympics are two examples of whenever you would have handsome odds on the underdog. And would have won a decent wedge.

The big bookmakers spend a lot of time and money ensuring they’ve the proper odds that ensure they take into account the perceived likelihood of the function, and you can add that extra tiny bit that gives them the profit margin. So if an event features a likelihood of, say, 1/3, the odds that reflect that probability will be 2/1. That is, two to one against that event occurring.

However, a bookie who set these odds would, over time, break even (assuming their stats are correct). So instead they would set the odds at, say, 6/4. In this manner they’ve integrated the margin that ensures, over time, they’ll make money from people betting with this selection. It’s the exact same concept as a casino roulette.

So how could you spot the occasions when bookmakers have it wrong? Well, it’s easier said than done, but not even close to impossible.

One way is to have great at mathematical modelling and setup a product that takes into consideration as most of the variables that affect the end result of an event as possible. The problem with this specific tactic is that however complex the model, and however all-encompassing this indicates, it can never account for the minutiae of variables relating to individual human states of mind. Whether a golfer manages to hole a major-winning five foot putt on the 18th at St Andrews it’s just as much down for their concentration regarding weather or day of the week. Also, the maths can start getting pretty darn complicated.

Alternatively you’ll find yourself a sporting niche. Bookmakers will concentrate their resources on the events that produce them the absolute most money, generally found to be football (soccer), American football and horse racing. So attempting to beat the bookies while betting on a Manchester United v Chelsea match is likely to be tough. If you don’t work for one of the clubs, or are married to one of the players or managers, it’s most likely the bookmaker setting the odds may have extra information than you.

However, if you should be betting on non-league football, or badminton, or crown green bowls, it’s possible, through work reading lots of stats, and general information gathering, you can start to gain an edge over bookies (if they even set odds for such things, which many do).

And what can you do if you have an edge in information terms? You follow the value.

Value betting is where you back a selection at odds that are greater than the particular likelihood of an event occurring. So as an example, in the event that you measure the likelihood of a specific non-league football team (Grimsby Town, say) winning their next football match as 1/3 or 33%, and you will find a bookmaker who has set the odds of 3/1, you have a benefit bet on your own hands. The main reason being, odds of 3/1 (excluding the margin integrated by the bookie) suggest a likelihood of 1/4 or 25%. The bookie, in your now learned opinion, has underrated Grimsby’s chances, so you have effectively integrated an 8% margin for yourself.

Obviously Grimsby (as is often the case) might fluff their lines and don’t win the match, and hence you could lose the bet. But when you continue steadily to seek out and bet on value bets, over time you could make a profit. If you do not, over time, you’ll lose. Simple.

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