Financial services veterans started Betfair and developed the world’s biggest online betting exchange. It’s like the eBay of sports betting. Instead of a bookmaker setting a “line” (or initial odds) and taking bets, you can bet against other bettors. Betfair’s exchange hosts wagers on dozens of different sports. There’s American football, cricket, darts, e-sports, greyhounds, and horses. Politics, too. There were around 200 million British pounds in matched bets on the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Head-to-Head. In these bets, bettor predicts competitors results against each other and not on the overall result of the event. One example are Formula One races, where you bet on two or three drivers and their placement among the others. Sometimes you can also bet a “tie”, in which one or both drivers either have the same time, drop out, or get disqualified.
"Rays pitcher Sergio Romo struck out the side against the Angels on Saturday, then struck out three more batters in 1 1/3 innings the following afternoon. It was an unusual pairing of performances for one small reason: Romo had never struck out three batters on consecutive days before. And it was an unusual pairing of performances for one massive, potentially paradigm-shifting reason: Romo served as the modern era’s first designated “opener.”
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.
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**This is pretty long and covers your question and betting sports as a full-time endeavor. I bet year-round but don’t know if I would term myself a professional sports bettor and don’t have the bankroll to ever be a “shark” but I know the industry and the sports inside and out and put in considerable amounts towards each season. If you want to see what work goes into this and not just a numbers explanation (means nothing to someone who isn’t betting full-time and isn’t useful for someone who is because they already know) read it and let me know if you have any questions.**
The biggest issue for the actual betting decision selection is the absence of shopping for a better line. There are over a dozen different point spread lines in Nevada. Entity groups and their investors get access to only one line from CG Technology managed sports books. This restriction is the main problem of trying to find an edge when placing a bet.
Here is what a professional baseball bettor might do in his head. After looking over statistics from MLB (kept religiously by all sorts of bloggers, data archives, and magazines) between the years 2000-2010, he notices a particular statistic pop out. For example: when the home team starts a left-handed pitcher the day after a loss, that team wins 59% of the time. Good sports bettors can do this sort of math in their head or very quickly on paper. From that bit of information comes a new betting theory—look for game situations that mirror the above example and bet on them. That means he’ll only bet games where the home team starts a left-handed pitcher the day after a loss. Does he just jump in and start betting based on this back of the napkin math? No way. More statistical analysis is required—he may find that this was a fluke for that particular decade and isn’t a trustworthy statistics, or he may find an even more advantageous bet based on his original theory.
Sports betting is the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. The frequency of sports bet upon varies by culture, with the vast majority of bets being placed on association football, American football, basketball, baseball, hockey, track cycling, auto racing, mixed martial arts, and boxing at both the amateur and professional levels. Sports betting can also extend to non-athletic events, such as reality show contests and political elections, and non-human contests such as horse racing, greyhound racing, and illegal, underground dog fighting.
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 two rules listed and explained above govern the sports bettors who will win or have the best chance to win money over time. You must win 52.38% of your bets at -110 odds to break even. So winning 53% of your bets is great because you didn’t lose anything and won something which if you bet year-round, that will build over the years and you have then done what very few people on earth can do and beat the books. A 55% winning percentage will yield a very nice profit for a season. My best college football season ended with a 62.4% winning percentage which left me with a very nice profit. But that’s with the work put in and the risk of losing a lot of money (you can lose even with all the work, data analysis and belief in the world so when you lose, it shouldn’t bother you as this is just the reality of betting sports).
In 2012, despite federal law preventions, the state legislature of New Jersey and Governor Chris Christie signed a law that would allow sports betting to take place in New Jersey race tracks and Atlantic City casinos. In August 2012, Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind conducted a study on the issue. Voters were asked whether New Jersey should allow sports betting even if federal law prevents it from doing so, or wait to allow sports betting until federal law permits it. Results showed that nearly half (45%) of voters wanted to allow sports betting, while (38%) decided to wait and allow sports betting once Congress allows it. Krista Jenkins, director of the poll, commented, "Although support is not overwhelming, these numbers suggest the public is cautiously behind the goal of moving forward with legalized sports betting."
Just because you have an edge does not mean you want to double down your entire stack. An easy way to look at it is like this. Let’s say you have a random number generator that is equally likely to select any number from 1-100. If the number is between 1-55 you win, if it’s 56-100 then you lose. How much would you be willing to risk in this situation?
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