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November 20, 2023

Sports Betting Guide - Making Informed Picks

Ethan Williams
Written byEthan WilliamsWriter
Researched byMatteo BianchiResearcher

Sports betting is simple and fun, but it takes more to win. It does not come as a surprise when you find some gamblers struggling to win. Sports betting is, by its very nature, a risk-ridden venture. However, if done prudently, it can be a fun and rewarding addition to enjoying sporting activities.

Sports Betting Guide - Making Informed Picks

Any online sports bettor should always be keen to make the most from their bets by placing value bets. Unfortunately, most online sports bettors do not understand the importance of value in sports betting.

What is Value?

In sports betting, it's important to understand what the term 'value' means. Essentially, value refers to a player's ability to find bets that offer a better payout than they normally would. This can be achieved through various means, such as selecting the right amount to wager, choosing the right markets, and betting at the right time. To fully understand the value of sports betting, it's important to comprehend both implied and actual probabilities.

Implied Probability

When an online sportsbook presents a money line, it indicates the likelihood of a specific outcome. Therefore, all players should convert betting odds into implied probability. Ideally, the implied probability is calculated by converting odds into percentages. Although there is usually some math involved, this knowledge is valuable for sports bettors when evaluating the potential value offered by certain markets. Calculating implied probability is a straightforward process, but it is unique to the type of odds provided. Here are some formulas used to make these calculations.

  • Decimal odds: Implied probability = (1/ decimal odds) 100%
  • Fraction odds: Implied probability = denominator / (denominator + numerator) 100%
  • Negative American odds: Implied probability = Negative American odds / (Negative American odds + 100) 100%
  • Positive American odds: Implied probability = 100 / (positive American odds + 100) 100%

Players who are able to place bets that offer the most value consistently are destined to be long-term winners. However, making value bets is about more than just betting on outright winners. It could also mean betting on teams that might not win.

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Determining Actual Probability

Determining the actual probability of a sports bet requires strategies. Different punters adopt different approaches. Some try to calculate the possible outcomes over a series of games. For instance, if two teams were to play five games and one was likely to win four of the five, the favorite was assumed to have a win probability of 80%.

Another approach involves creating a formula that considers key variables of the game. For example, a soccer-related formula might cover things such as squad value, current form, home advantage, injuries/suspension, and the quality of the coaching team. Each variable is given an objective value, and the actual probability is then determined.

As a general rule, when the implied value is lower than the actual probability, the respective bets are considered to have high value.

Top Sports Betting Tips

Sports betting can be both exciting and challenging. Here are some top tips to consider when engaging in sports betting:

✅ Understand the Basics: Before you start betting, it's important to understand the basics of sports betting, including the different types of bets (such as moneylines, point spreads, and over/unders), how odds work, and the concept of the house edge.

✅ Specialize in a Specific Area: Instead of betting on every sport or event, consider specializing in a specific sport or even a particular league. This allows you to gain more in-depth knowledge and make more informed bets.

✅ Bankroll Management: Set a budget for your betting and stick to it. It's crucial to only bet what you can afford to lose. A common strategy is to bet a small percentage of your bankroll on each wager to minimize the risk of significant losses.

✅ Shop for the Best Lines: Different sportsbooks often offer different odds for the same events. By having accounts at multiple sportsbooks, you can shop around for the best lines, which can increase your potential profits over time.

✅ Stay Informed: Keep up to date with the latest news, statistics, and trends in the sport you are betting on. Injuries, team form, weather conditions, and other factors can significantly impact the outcome of an event.

✅ Avoid Emotional Betting: Don't let your emotions guide your betting decisions. Betting on your favorite team or placing a bet to recover losses (chasing losses) can lead to poor decision-making.

✅ Use Betting Tools and Resources: Take advantage of available tools and resources. This can include statistical databases, sports betting forums, and analytical tools that can provide valuable insights.

✅ Record Keeping: Keep a record of all your bets, including wins, losses, and the reasoning behind each bet. This can help you analyze your betting strategy and make adjustments as necessary.

✅ Understand Value Betting: Value betting is about finding bets that are more likely to happen than what the odds suggest. It requires a good understanding of both the sport and the betting market.

✅ Stay Disciplined: Discipline is key in sports betting. Stick to your strategies, manage your bankroll wisely, and don't be swayed by short-term outcomes.

Remember, sports betting should be approached with caution and should not be seen as a guaranteed way to make money. It's important to bet responsibly and within your means.

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Factors to consider when making informed picks

When making informed picks, there are several key factors to consider. These factors can vary depending on the sport and the specific event, but some common considerations include:

  1. Form and recent performance: Assess a team's or player's recent performances and form. Look for consistency and consider any recent changes that may impact their performance.
  2. Injuries and suspensions: Take into account any injuries or suspensions that may affect a team or player's performance. Injuries to key players can significantly impact a team's chances of winning.
  3. Weather conditions: Weather conditions can have a significant impact on certain sports, such as outdoor events. Consider how weather conditions may affect the performance of teams and players.
  4. Motivation and stakes: Consider the motivation of teams and players in a particular game or event. Some teams may be playing for a championship, while others may be fighting to avoid relegation. Motivation can play a crucial role in determining the outcome.
  5. Head-to-head records: Analyze the head-to-head records between teams or players. Look for any patterns or trends that may indicate a particular team or player's advantage.

By considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can increase your chances of making informed picks and making profitable bets.

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About the author
Ethan Williams
Ethan Williams
About

Ethan Williams, a lively 24-year-old lad from the UK, brilliantly fuses his passion for online casinos with top-notch English localisation, creating bespoke casino guides for Britain's keen gaming lot.

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