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The answer to this question actually depends to some extent on what part of the world we’re talking about. There are certain sports that are popular in some regions, but not so popular in others. However, there are a few sports that are popular with bettors all around the world. In terms of the total number of people who bet on them, the following sports definitely rank the highest.
The easiest way to demonstrate the math behind a sports bet is to make up an example. Let’s say you and your buddy walk into a casino, each with $200 burning a hole in your pocket. There’s a big game on tonight, the Cowboys and the Redskins, so you wander into the sportsbook to check up on the latest news about the game. While you’re sitting there, you see the wagering board, with some funny numbers on it. It looks like this:
Firstly, see the below table (sourced from Statista ) showing the amount of money people loose through gambling. In the US, the loss accounts around 0.6% of the whole nation’s GNP. Whatever American Gambling Association say or justify, it’s a huge amount. No wonder people perceive gambling as a loser’s game and never even think about chances to make a living from it;
So a look at the second important sports betting rule. Preparation! This includes studying your sport, its teams, players, coaching staffs, schedules, past trends, past results on the field and against the spread betting results, season predictions, matchups, possibilities and various other parts and pieces that really dictate who has the best chance to win a matchup. I mean do I really get in-depth with an Alabama vs the Citadel matchup? No. (I don’t bet Bama anyway as they are my team and can’t have my heart dictating money placement) But if I did, this would only dictate a look into the Citadel offense, injuries and possible matchups because I would just be trying to determine if the Citadel could cover the spread. Trying to predict how much a big team will beat a small school by is a very difficult task due to the amount of variables such as motivation of the big team and its players, who sits out due to a nagging injury due to a certainty of winning, will the big school try different things to see what may work, will they just run and eat up clock (ball control offense) after getting a decent lead, does a coach want to score a lot to have an impressive win margin for playoff consideration or the opposite and have no concern just a win is okay,and when will backups come in. These are very difficult to predict so there is no amount of certainty to what will happen which is a no-go for a seasoned bettor. But you can determine the smaller list above and get some idea of how much the smaller school could score and compare this against an average of scores the big school has put up against average competition over the last 3, 5 or how many ever years you see as an equal to the team this year. If I come up with a good estimation that the Citadel can score 13 on Bama, and Bama has scored an average of 42 points on lower level opponents over Saban’s tenure minus year 1, I can see a spread of 29 points would be my prediction (42–13). The sports books have this game with Bama as a favorite to win but by 21 points (-21 which means Citadel would be +21 point underdogs meaning you win your bet on them if the do anything except lose by more than 21 points, at 21 is a push and will pay back your wager). Should you bet this? No. Because you a prediction that they can or should lose by 29 points. So if the spread was +42 for the Citadel, you should feel safe about taking this spread. This would be the base view of a bet. A big part of preparation and study is to have a predictive index and way to rate teams and matchup types which should not only help to see what teams are best to bet on when comparing your weekly predictions but also which matchups are instant throw aways. The predictive formulas are highly important and vary bettor to bettor based on what each sees as important and what factors they believe contribute most to team wins and their chance to win a bet. I spend some 30–50 hours of data compilation (most intensive and time consuming), advanced statistics and analytics analysis (different from standard data from my perspective), data entry, analyzing the compiled data calculated from my predictive indexes, and finally matchups, lines and spreads from the sports books (near the end right before placing wagers). This is compared against any predictions from odds sites or from message boards on betting sites. That is just a test of how my ideas align with other bettors, and basically another little tiny bit of help. But I would have the teams I see as the best to bet against certain level of opponent in my predictive calcs (so maybe I see Bama, Ohio state and Clemson as tier 1; LSU, Michigan, and USC as tier 2; Kansas State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech as tier 3; down to the final tier of Charolette, Kansas and Rice) the teams all get a +/- score against each tier. This allows me to combine the scores of the two teams in a matchup and see over all the possible matchups at a sports book which are the highest on your index meaning the best chance of winning for a team or their chances against the spread. This will usually show me maybe 20 up to 30 matchups which make sense based on my set +/- combined matchup score. From these matchups, I can usually cut down to 12 or less matchups due to the given spreads and odds and seeing the ones that don’t make sense for me or just simply aren’t matchups I have enough knowledge of or belief in. The final matchups are then fully analyzed with a few pages of notes on the matchup. I will pull any and every bit of data I can gather. I have subscriptions to every sports site that offers paid content or any magazines in the area also. It does get expensive but remember it’s a job and you should put all work and money on necessary or your business will fail. These sheets will end in my full matchup analysis based on positional groups, coaching staffs, s&p rankings, and overall player comparison. You can see who will have advantages in specific areas and which of these will be most important to the outcome. If WVU was seen to be better than Tennessee based on their run blocking against Tennessee’s interior defensive line unit, what does that mean to me? Honestly, not much. At best a higher chance of converting on 3rd and short runs to extend drives and time of possession. I know based on my analysis (and just from watching Dana Holgorsen and his offensive philipsophy developed as offensive coordinator at Texas Tech, they will pass early and often) that WVU will live and die by the passing game. So which matchups do I want to focus on? WVU receivers against Tennessee defensive backfield, WVU offensive tackles (and whole line) vs Tennessee pass rush, Tennessee mid-level defense (5–15 yards past line of scrimmage or dependent on linebacker and possibly up safety depth) against underneath passing game of WVU, WVU 3rd down passing offense (1–3 yds, 4–7 yds and 8+ yds) against Tennessee 3rd down defensive unit. I will want to see WVU have a huge advantage in each of these matchups. From my work this year, WVU has a gigantic advantage in WR unit vs the Tennessee backfield, a large advantage against the Tennessee pass rush on the outside and a small advantage against interior pressure, WVU should see success in the underneath passing game and the 3rd down passing offense should see average to slightly below average conversion percentage. I see the biggest advantage and most glaring in this contest to be the WVU receivers against Tennessee backfield (and Will Grier will be a huge catalyst and positive against Tennessee) which is a troubling fact for Tennessee as WVU throws at an above average amount every game. They have a deep-threat and seemingly uncoverable WR from inside to slightly outside the red zone in David Sills V, a sure-handed Gary Jennings who excels at the short to mid-level range, Reggie Roberson who will possibly take the 3rd WR slot and get some underneath work with deep-play speed and finally TJ Simmons (who transfered from Alabama last year and can finally play this season) who has exceptional top-line speed and good strength and power for a WR. This will be one of if not the top WR unit in the country. It will be up against a make-shift Tennessee defensive backfield that lost a few players and are trying out freshman and returning players with little experience for positions. They will use a new defensive scheme under new coach Jeremy Pruitt who lives by the 3–4 base defense. But he will also put a 4th down lineman at times if the rush is constantly succeeding. Tennessee has been running a 4–3 base defense so they will be learning an entirely new defensive concept which requires forgetting prior assignments to learn new ones which will most likely show especially early in the season when guys forget or blow assignments or simply don’t have field awareness yet. This will be helped with another guy in pass-protection (may be just an extra pass-rusher also) with the 3–4, but this will be a player who is covering an area that he has never been tasked with. Even the best cornerback on the team (CB1 who usually covers the other teams best WR so WR1) may not be very good at covering WR3 or the slot receiver bacause you must have quick lateral movement, instincts of when jump routes, quick decision-making and sure tackling abilities to play CB3 (could be designated a DB or other various term such as star). Those traits are not as important or needed on the outside. So back to the matchup, WVU could eat up the short to mid yardage passes which will pull the defense up and then strike with a deep shot. They could eat up Tennessee with deep passes calling for a need to drop another defender into coverage allowing WVU to establish the run or eat up yardage underneath the coverage. Basically, they can do what they want and Tennessee will have problems. Tennessee has a barren pass rush after losing their leading pass-rushers who combined for 8.5 sacks last year as return 4 sacks from last years line. So with little change and an experienced WVU offensive line with solid returning numbers, the outlook is an issue getting pressure and low concern about allowing sacks. Will Grier does most work from the pocket and gets a bit shaky on mechanics outside of the pocket or on the run (but still better than most) so this hurts to not be able to take advantage of this. So with this and the fact that the Tenn offense will struggle due to lack of talent, middling qb play, suspect run game and no established offensive philosophy (they will try a lot in this game and keep at what works maybe even move players around); I have come to a prediction that WVU should win. And with a margin that I feel has the highest chance of falling in the 9–14 point range. This could very well be a 14–24 point win though. I was able to get this bet placed taking WVU with a spread of -6 at -110 odds. With my heavy belief in this outcome and from my analysis saying it makes sense, I bet $5000 on this matchup. This would produce a $9,545.45 payout ($4,545.45 profit) and my belief is that I am getting more than 3:1 on my money (75% chance of winning) so everything makes sense and this bet is the kind I want to find. Note: -6 isn’t a spread offered anymore, I got this quite a while back. It’s now at -9 to 10.5.
The NCAA has already had to modify its own rules as states have started to offer sports betting within their borders. The statement notes that the NCAA Board of Governors suspended the current championship policy in May, which previously had not allowed championship events to be located in states that offered sports wagering. That policy, among others, may see a more permanent update in the future.
The National Football League (NFL) remains the only sports league to maintain public opposition to sports betting, however critics have noted that with the move of the Oakland Raiders relocation to Las Vegas in 2019, the NFL has positioned itself for legalization, while simultaneously contradicting its long-held position that sports betting in NFL markets would lead to potential match-fixing. Commissioner Roger Goodell agreed with Manfred in a July 2017 seminar that betting on in-game events, as opposed to the outcome of games, was a more palatable form of sports betting.
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A handicapper gets information from numerous sources and assigns weights and values to the wagering data. They will make their own power ranking and predict what the point spread should be without looking at the official line. They compare their predictions to the line to look for discrepancies. A large amount of data is available via the internet and other sources that the handicapper will read through to find the gems. The use of computer programs can help when searching through the data.
The sports books line is flawed if it does not attract the same action amount on both sides. From a smart handicapper’s point of view, the line is flawed when it does not compute to his predicted outcome of the game. A weaker team can actually become the favorite if public sentiment is with that team. When this happens the underdog presents a huge overlay for the seasoned handicapper tilting the odds in his favor. This is the contrarian principle and why many smart handicappers go against the general betting public.
Of course, there is a lot more to look for other than good odds and a lot of wagering opportunities when choosing the best sports to bet on. These days, it might be important to be able to place bets using mobile devices and SMS. Maybe you want to easily watch the live action and bet in-play on your favourite sport. Punters want choose a sports that helps them to maximize their earnings and mitigate their losses by receiving valuable bonuses and ongoing promotions. In other words, punters want everything that the best sportsbooks have to offer.
Betting $50 on one game and $500 on another is a sure way to find yourself separated from your cash in the long run, just as betting 50-percent of your bankroll on one game will ultimately lead to disaster. A sports bettor may win a few games when betting more than they should, but eventually, the loss, or losses, will come and the bettors end up in trouble.
Touts often claim to be able to hit 60% or higher, but as I explain in my essay on Bayesian Probability, anyone who tells you that their long term expected winning percentage is higher than 60% is deluding themselves. Ten or more years ago a sharp handicapper could win about 60% long term but those days are over, as odds makers have become more savvy in the past decade or so. For a bettor to claim a greater than 60% long term expected win percentage, that would be mean that Vegas would have to consistently release lines with egregious errors, and that simply just does not happen often enough nowadays for claims of a greater than 60% long term expected win percentage. Any short term win rates of around 60% or higher are simply due to blind, short-term luck. For instance, last year (2016) in the first season using a new NFL play-by-play model, Dr. Bob Sports’ NFL Best Bet sides were an incredible 66-26 (71.7%), but that record was enhanced by winning a very large percentage of close games (31-12 on Best Bets decided by 7 points or less) rather than splitting the close ones. It still would have been a great season on NFL Best Bet sides (62%) if the close games had been 50% but I still can’t expect the new model to win 60%-plus on sides based on that one season – although the play-by-play model back-tested at a very profitable 56% winners.
When you are betting on sports you should always set aside a certain amount of money, which we refer to as your “bankroll”, in which you can afford to lose. Like with any type of gambling, you never want to bet betting on sports with money you cannot afford to lose. Set aside a certain amount of money that you can use for your bankroll for the week, the month, or the season. A general sports betting strategy for money management is to only make bets with 1%-5% of your bankroll. For example, if your bankroll for the NFL season was $1,000 you would be making $10-$50 bets on each NFL game you wanted to bet on. It is also very important that you do not chase your loses with bigger bets. It is common for some sports bettors to be down money and feel in order to win it back they need to increase the size of their bets. This is putting yourself in the wrong mindset and will often lead to you losing even more money. Work with the size of your bankroll, and look to slowly increase it over the length of the season.
Milan have been in top form since the return of Kevin-Prince Boateng and Robinho, and the defending champs are calculated to have value at these odds. In value situations involving Milan away from the San Siro, AccuScore is 3-2 and paid out 2 to 1 overall. Also, Roma’s matches at the Olimpico that AccuScore calculated to have value have yielded profits of 4 to 1. Getting the champs at 2.67 is a good pick even if it doesn’t pay.