When it comes to sports betting in the UK, it seems as though there’s a gap between perception and reality when it comes to gauging profitability.
More specifically, male punters who watch and bets on sports are 22% more likely than women to believe that they’re profitable, while a staggering 58.5% of those aged between 18 and 24 feel as though they’re making money without any corroborating evidence to support this.
While it is possible to profit from sports betting, it’s important to track your history and are realistic about precisely how much money you generate through your wagers. At the same time, you also need to studiously analyse sports bets and make the right selections, and we’ll explain how you can achieve this in the article below.
Before we delve deeper into analytics and the best techniques for evaluating potential sporting outcomes, it’s important to understand the key principles of effective analysis.
Typically, these principles help to develop a focused and effective sports betting strategy, and one that reflects your knowledge base, attention to detail and the amount of time that you can commit to placing wagers. Here are some examples:
Set a Working Order and Concentrate on Targeted Leagues
If you’re like the vast majority of bettors, the chances are that you wager on single matches without any semblance of advanced planning or strategic thinking.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, those of you with a desire to place profitable bets should adopt a more detailed approach that encompasses a number of targeted wagers.
This enables you to set a working order and deploy your bankroll more effectively, while creating a range of selections that suit your underlying knowledge and appetite for risk.
To hone your efforts even further, we’d recommend concentrating on one or two leagues or events that allow you to leverage your expertise. After all, few of us are knowledgeable on every single sport or competition, so it’s important to minimise your risk from the onset by operating within the boundaries of your knowledge.
This certainly makes it easier to analyse individual games on matchday, while it lends itself to a better appreciation of value and more informed betting selections.
There’s an argument that focusing on specific leagues will also allow you to build further knowledge over time, increasingly your accuracy and potential returns in the process.
Choose the Number of Matches that you’ll Bet On Each Week
The next consideration is the precise number of matches that you’ll bet on, as this will also have a key bearing on your analysis and the accuracy of your selections.
In general terms, bettors often look to wager on around 20 matches across their chosen leagues each weekend, in the belief that this provides broad coverage and in some instances makes it easy to achieve true value for money.
If you look at the actions of the world’s most successful bettors, however, you’ll see that these individuals tend to place between 15 and 30 times each month on average. This represents a far lower output, while it seems to underline the fact that the most profitable punters tend to prioritise quality over quantity when it comes to their selections.
Ultimately, sports betting is not a race or a competition to see who can place the most bets, while it’s important to remember that a high volume of wagers does not necessarily translate into a more significant profit.
In fact, trying to bet on a larger pool of games arguably makes it harder to achieve a return, not least because it compromises the quality of your analysis and any attempts to leverage the value that exists in your chosen market.
It’s also apparent that successful bettors don’t commit to a fixed number of wagers each month, as they allow their selections to be informed solely by value and key analytical indicators.
This reflects the fact that there are weekends and matchdays during which it’s very hard to find valuable odds, and in this instance you should minimise the number of wagers that you place.
Conversely, you can increase your betting output in instances where there’s a larger number of high-value odds on offer, enabling you to boost profits as and when the opportunity presents itself.
By following these important analytical principles, you can create a sports betting strategy that affords you the best possible chance of success.
It’s within this strategy that you’ll analyse and select specific sports bets, with a view to deploying your bankroll wisely and pursuing viable returns.
At this stage, you’ll also need to understand the importance of regression analysis and how this helps you to determine the value of specific wagers. This term essentially refers to a set of processes that are used to determine the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables.
But what does this mean from the perspective of sports betting? In simple terms, the dependent variable is winning, while the independent variables include any statistic that’s relevant to the match in question, such as form, goals scored per game and the head-to-head record between two competitors.
Ultimately, your best bet is to identify numerous factors that boast a strong correlation to winning, as this enables you to perform in-depth statistical analysis that increases your chances of winning and affords you a competitive advantage over the general betting public.
Below, we’ll discuss the key types of statistics that can inform your selections, while asking why they’re important in the sports betting market:
Review the Regular Statistics
Your analysis of a sports bet should start with relatively basic statistics, as these are readily accessible and offer a clear insight into the most likely outcome.
In the case of football betting, for example, you should look to check out the latest form of two competing sides. Statistical engines Soccerstats.com allow you to review form over the course of the last six and 10 games, for example, including the amount of goals and conceded during this time.
This site also offers access to a home and away table, enabling you to contrast the difference between how team fare on the road and in front of their home fans.
This type of data can prove to be invaluable, both in terms of calculating the rough probability of each outcome and measuring the value of published odds.
While on the subject of fundamental statistics, you should also drill-down into individual player profiles. More specifically, you should identify the players that are most likely to determine the outcome of individual matches, before appraising their form, output and statistical performance over the course of a season.
The Transfermarkt.co.uk platform is a tremendous source of player data, across all of Europe’s big five leagues and even smaller competitions throughout Europe. This includes the number of minutes per goal for each player and the number of goal contributions they’ve made in different competitions.
Entertain More Intricate Data Sets and Statistics
These fundamental statistics can certainly help to inform your betting selections, particularly when it comes to choosing the most likely outcomes and those that offer the best potential returns.
However, as the range of traditional and in-play betting markets has increased in recent times, we’ve also seen a wider range of statistics published by sites like Opta Sports and similar entities.
These offer you an opportunity to seek out a broader range of data and insight, which can place basic statistics in context and help you to make more informed choices.
Not only this, but such data allows you to target niche markets and implement specific types of bet that improve the value of the odds on offer.
Let’s say that you want to back Manchester City to beat Burnley in the FA Cup 4th round this weekend, based on your basic statistical analysis of the game. However, Pep Guardiola’s side are 1/10 to win at the Etihad Stadium, with these prohibitive odds offering minimal value and scant returns on a £5 bet.
However, a quick glance at City’s team statistics reveals that they’ve plundered 103 goals in just 36 matches this season, at a rate of 2.86 goals per game. In contrast, the Clarets have averaged just 1.03 goals per game this season, scoring 32 in 31 overall.
With this in mind, bettors may decide to back City to win with a handicap wager of -1.5., which will improve the odds on offer without compromising on the likely outcome of a home win. Sure, Pep’s team would need to win by two clear goals for the wager to come in, but the statistics suggest that this is a likely outcome given City’s immense firepower.
As this example shows, you can clearly use more detailed statistical analysis to refine your betting choices and turn the odds incrementally in your favour.
It’s also obvious that the combination of basic and detailed statistical analysis can shape successful sports bets, all within the framework of the initial strategy that you’ve chosen to lay out.