Sports Gambling Helpful hints – Getting cash Right from Betting

I am the Sports Editor for a sports news and gambling website. I have a long time 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 ready to hand out information of the 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 offer you details about bookmakers, odds and gambling for you to use (or forget) as you see fit.

The first thing to mention is that the great majority of individuals who participate in gambling is going to be net losers over time This is the very reason you can find so many bookmakers making so much money through the world.

While bookmakers can sometimes take big hits, for instance if a favourite wins the Grand National, they spread their risk so widely and they put up markets that incorporate a margin, so they’ll always make a gain over the medium to long term, if not the short term. That’s, so long as they got their sums right.

When setting their odds for a particular event, bookmakers must first gauge the probability of that event occurring. To achieve this they us various statistical models based on data collated over years, sometime decades, about the sport and team/competitor in question. Of course, if sport was 100% predictable, it’d soon lose its appeal, and whilst the bookies tend to be spot up with their assessments of the probability of an event, they are sometimes way off the mark, simply because a fit or contest goes against conventional wisdom and statistical likelihood.

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

The big bookmakers spend lots of time and money ensuring they have the best odds that ensure they consider the perceived probability of the function, and you can add that extra tiny bit that gives them the profit margin. So if an event has a probability of, say, 1/3, the odds that reflect that probability could be 2/1. That’s, two to at least 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 have built in the margin that ensures, over time, they’ll benefit from people betting with this selection. It’s exactly the 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 of the ways is to obtain great at mathematical modelling and put up a style that takes into consideration as most of the variables that affect the outcome of an event as possible. The situation with this specific tactic is that however complex the model, and however all-encompassing this indicates, it can never account fully for the minutiae of variables associated with 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 as much down for their concentration as to the weather or day of the week. Also, the maths may start getting pretty darn complicated.

Alternatively you can find yourself a sporting niche. Bookmakers will concentrate their resources on the events which make them the absolute most money, generally found to be football (soccer), American football and horse racing. So wanting to beat the bookies while betting on a Manchester United v Chelsea match is going to be tough. Unless you benefit one of many clubs, or are married to one of many players or managers, it’s totally possible the bookmaker setting the odds could have more information than you.

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

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

Value betting is where you back a selection at odds which are higher than the specific probability of an event occurring. So for instance, if you gauge the probability of a particular 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 price bet on your hands. The reason being, odds of 3/1 (excluding the margin built in by the bookie) suggest a probability of 1/4 or 25%. The bookie, in your now learned opinion, has underrated Grimsby’s chances, so you have effectively built in an 8% margin for yourself.

Of course Grimsby (as is 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 will make a profit. If you don’t, over time, you will lose. Simple.

Leave a Reply