Anyone who’s dead serious about building an effective sports betting model capable of beating any professional offline bookmaker or online casino, should come to terms with the fact that it can be an extremely difficult task. There’s nothing to lie about here. If you’re keen on developing such a model, you may need to spend endless hours on your workstation, tediously entering large amounts of data, sorting out spreadsheets, building various databases, testing, then retesting, followed by more retesting.
What’s even heart wrenching is that there’s no promise that all those efforts will yield results.
Are you surprised? Were you expecting anything different? After all, professional bookmakers like Bet365 have teams of sharpest brains in the business working dedicatedly for them round-the-clock throughout the year, using every bit of new technology at their disposal, creating new age betting algorithms, and setting odds that hundreds of thousands of punters throughout the world try to beat on a daily basis.
Do you think you have it in you to develop a better sports betting model than Bet365 or a similar entity, good enough to beat one that has been created with such consolidated effort, just by few hours of analysis and couple of afternoons work?! Get real! It’s never going to happen! Building a working and effective sports betting model requires tremendous amount of persistence, sharpness and dedication. But on the other hand, half the thrill lies in the chase!
Eventually, the end product completely justifies the amount of time and effort you put into it. Even if it all is towards learning several lessons along the way, theoretical as well as practical.
There is a great multitude of successful sports bettors who have created all sorts of statistical sports betting models over the years. Carry out some research and you’ll come across everything ranging from a basketball betting model, a hockey betting model, a baseball betting model, a soccer betting model, a cricket betting model and much more. Name a sport that has a credible audience around the globe and you’ll find a betting model around it. And you should also be aware that although no sports betting model was ever created with less amount of work, the very first sports betting model you build will always be the hardest.
So, any idea where to begin?
Let’s take you over some fundamental aspects you must keep in mind before getting started with the construction of a sports betting model. While going through these fundamentals, we’ll try to impart some critical lessons that we’ve picked up along the way during our journey in the world of sports betting. We hope that this info saves you a great deal of frustration and time.
Comprehensively understand the task at hand
Despite the fact that it’s pretty elementary, you’d be amazed to see the number of people who completely miss the point and have no clear idea about what a sports betting model should actually aspire to achieve.
What do you think is that actually?!
Every working and successful sports betting model that has been developed in the past attempts assessing the present potential of a player or a team, and then compares it with its opposition, in order to predict the most probable outcome of a sports event.
What is essentially attempted here in very basic terms is creation of an independent and objective point of reference which can help ascertain the chances of all probable outcomes in any given sports event.
Ideally, whenever you start developing a sports betting model, you’d like it to have the ability of recognising value in any sports betting market. Put another way, you’d like this model to provide a better representation of a team’s actual form or potential, compared to how it’s done by a professional bookmaker or an online casino.
And once you’ve managed to develop such a model, regardless of the league or sport you’re looking to place bets on, you’ll be amazed to see how frequently it can locate betting values in the marketplace for you. So, can you say that it’ll always be 100% right? Obviously not! However, a fully and comprehensively built statistical sports betting model will reveal opportunities that may never be noticed by the general betting populace.
Gain a good hold over the probability theory
Agreed that it sounds a lot like homework! Perhaps boring too, but you’ll never be able to understand and work on any such sports betting model unless you gain a good hold over the fundamentals of the probability theory. And we aren’t just talking about understanding and grasping the theory alone, although that is critical too. It is equally important to get inspired enough to continue on that path. The more you study and understand the probability theory, the more your imagination will run wild and enable you to experiment efficiently and imaginatively with the sports betting models. As a result, you’ll be able to come up with all kinds of creative and interesting insights into sports betting. You’ll unearth angles and numbers that may have never been looked at before.
You surely can get by a rather predictive model founded upon basic maths concepts, but can’t expect it to have that cunning bookmaker killing ability that you always wanted at your disposal.
Learn different ways of manipulating a spreadsheet
A highly accomplished sports bettor once said about his first sports betting model that he created using a graph paper – yes, you read that right – a graph paper! He revealed that it was pretty clumsy and inefficient. However, it’s all that he knew. Thereafter, he came across spreadsheets, and then databases. That was followed by learning some PHP programming basics. No, we’re not asking you to turn into a programming wiz to develop your sports betting model. In fact, a large majority of successful sports bettors don’t have any idea about programming. However, the more familiarity you gain with spreadsheet manipulation, the better and more powerful your analytical and testing abilities will become. And most of all, you’ll be able to use your time and money far more efficiently than before.
Hence, at the very least you should be aware of different ways of throwing spreadsheets around, and how you can make data dance inside them. Once you get there, you can easily find your way through data queries and database creation. Believe us you’d be truly glad and happy that you put in all this effort!
Gain a good understanding of the sport and its corresponding betting markets
If it’s your first attempt at developing a sports betting system or model, it is highly recommended that you start with not just a sport that you’re well aware of, but also a league that you regularly keep track of. And when we say that you should know it well, we mean that know it like a subject matter expert. Unless you comprehensively understand the basics of a league or a sport, you’d find it very difficult to come to a starting point in your analysis. Furthermore, it’d also be very difficult for you to successfully assess the performance of a player or a team in the concerned sports event. Understanding the basics also means that you should have a clear understanding of the different betting markets surrounding that sport. Markets which you are going to target will actually form the core and basis of your sports betting model. So, figure out if that market will be handicap betting, line betting, head to head betting or something else.
Putting it another way, your method of assessing a team or a player’s performance will be determined by the specific betting market you intend to locate value in. Hence, you should understand and master the corresponding sport’s betting markets as comprehensively as you understand the sport itself.
It’s also important to keep in mind the market liquidity and the bookmaker limits too. Before you start putting in endless hours on building your first sports betting model, you should know about the maximum money you can put down on a certain bet type or a particular sport/league with an offline bookmaker or an online casino (that doubles as a bookmaker). Agreed that you have it in you to develop a killer betting model for something like the Italian Second Division Football league, but will you be able to place bets on it to the extent that it would all make the time spent on it worthwhile?
In general, you’d be better off steering clear of all obscure leagues, especially when you are building your first sports betting model. Why? Firstly because the mainstream bookmakers such as Bet365 etc. are slightly more sensitive when it comes to betting on such sports leagues. They’ll spend no time in restricting your betting activity if they get even the slightest hint that you’ve got an edge in that league. In fact, they’d readily admit not knowing about that league as well as you do. In addition, the betting limits on such leagues start at a pretty low level. Even if you successfully move your action on to a betting exchange such as Betfair, you’ll have a hard time getting a match for your money in the lower sports leagues.
Hence, aim high and target big-time returns. Big-time leagues are where the big money actually is. And those leagues are challenging too. Therefore, develop a sports betting model that will give you workable options in those leagues and will work for you in the long term too.
Focus only on data, data and data
Please keep in mind that your sports betting model is going to require data. Plenty of it actually! This data is going to be the final scores at the very least, but in most cases would be meaty in-depth statistics which you can successfully break down, incorporate and make work in an efficient algorithm. Most importantly, you’ll also require the historical odds which you can test your sports betting model on.
Now you may ask - Where can you access all such data in the format you desire? Can it be readily accessed in a spreadsheet format?
Well, these are tough questions and this is indeed one of the toughest parts. You can tap into multiple resources on the Internet and gain access to statistical data on a good number of sports leagues. While some may be free, others may charge you a certain basic amount. However, it’s worth spending on such data as it will save you endless hours of net research. In fact, you’ll often discover the best data sources at some of the most unexpected places, tucked away far from the reaches of anyone on the Internet!
However, please note you won’t always get exactly what you’re looking for, more so if you wish to create a sports betting model for slightly obscure leagues or sports. You can always do the data entry on your own, even if it is for augmenting a third party data source, but to be honest, data entry sucks! It’s highly recommended that you acquaint yourself with some efficient data scraping software that allows you to import data directly into a spreadsheet format. Trust us it’ll save you several hours of hard work related to data collection.
But if you’re hell bent on going down the manual data entry part, and wish to build your own data source, right from scratch, keep in mind the following mantra: “Do it only once. Do it only once!” It’ll help. Last but not the least, never don’t forget to save your file when you’re done!