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Research Your Sports Bets

Research Your Sports Bets

Sadonna Price
Sadonna Price
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8 Min
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Using Traditional Stats
Setting Your Own Odds
Betting On Your Favorite Team

There is no right method for being successful at sports gambling. Like with most things in life, there are many different paths that can lead us to the same result.

When it comes to successful sports teams, some will focus on offense, some will specialize in defense, some teams prefer to target players with great speed, and others focus on size and strength.

Winning comes in all different shapes and sizes on the field and the same can be said for those who achieve success with sports betting.

Whether you prefer to bet favorites on the road, underdogs only at home, or something in between, you can be successful with a strategy that works for you.

The one underlying similarity between all successful sports gamblers is that they spend the time and effort to properly research a game before they bet it.

Knowledge Is Power

There are no shortcuts in gambling when researching your wager before a particular game. Information is king and is the ultimate tool to help you along the journey of making your final decision on which bet to make.

Traditional Stats

Traditional stats are the common statistics we associate with each major sport. In baseball, we are talking about batting average, home runs, RBI’s, and several others. In football, it’s passing yards, rushing yards, points for and against, just to name a few.

These stats are considered staples in each of their respective sports. They often provide a very good overview of how a team is playing and more importantly for bettors, they are very easy to find and understand.

There is a bit of a tendency to undervalue traditional stats, because as sports continue to evolve, so do sports analytics. However, these stats have been used for decades and are always a great place to begin your research.

Yes, there is new analytics and information available to consume, but just because there are many new stats doesn’t mean we should forget about the many old ones.

Advanced Analytics

Now that we have effectively explained to you the importance of traditional stats and reminded you not to neglect them, we also want to suggest that you embrace some of the new advanced analytics that is available for bettors of all skill sets.

For many of us who have been following sports passionately over a long period of time, some of the new analytics being talked about today are hard to understand and can be confusing as to what their actual value is.

All of us who watch baseball understand the batting average and how it is calculated. But how many of us are familiar with O-swing% or Z-contact%?

A quick google search for advanced analytics in baseball will give you a list of over 50 different new metrics being used to track success and failure in that sport. All of them are very cool, but very few of them are going to help you win a bet.

Spend the time to educate yourself on a couple of the more popular “new” stats being used in some of your favorite sports.

Baseball Advanced Analytics

In baseball, I will always look at a hitter’s batting average and on-base percentage, which gives a pretty good indication of how they are doing overall. However, I might also check out a hitters Exit Velocity or Barrells percentage of late, just to see how they are performing in the last 10 days.

If someone is 2 for their last 20 but has a bunch of really hard-hit balls (high Exit Velocity) then maybe you can determine that hitter was a little unlucky and hit a few line drives right at some defenders.

Maybe instead of being in a slump, that hitter is actually hitting balls very hard and feeling very confident at the plate.

Maybe that is the type of player I want to target in a home run prop bet because the odds are a reflection of their 2 for 20 average and not their Exit Velocity of late.

Setting Your Own Odds

One of the most effective tools a gambler can use to their advantage is the ability to create their own betting odds for games of interest and then compare those to the odds set out by sportsbooks.

Many advanced bettors won’t even look at the odds set by bookmakers until after they have made their own. By setting your own odds, you can learn a couple of key things.

The first thing a gambler can learn is: How good you are at handicapping sports. Although we are all trying to beat the sportsbooks, we must also acknowledge that they are very good at what they do.

Take the time to research five NFL games and then after your research, set a point spread and compare your spreads against the ones posted.

If your odds are significantly different than the odds being set by the ‘books, that means you still have some work to do on how to properly handicap games.

Game Previews Intel

Read up on opinions and game previews to see what information you didn’t include in your research or maybe you were over-valuing or under-valuing specific information about a game.

A common occurrence for a lot of us is to overestimate the impact of an injury to one player on the final outcome of a game. Of course, key players will be missed, and odds will reflect that.

But in team sports where every athlete on both rosters is uber-talented, we more likely over-estimate the value of an injury as opposed to under-estimate it.

With regular effort and practice, your spreads and odds will start to reflect those being posted by the sportsbooks. Once you develop an ability to accurately handicap games, you can start to look at some specific games where you might have a slight edge.

By creating your own lines and comparing those regularly to the public betting lines, you will start to learn your strengths and weaknesses vs the professional oddsmakers.

When we say knowledge is power, this kind of knowledge can be very powerful.

The Eyes Have It

Stats, stats, and more stats are the only way to go. Today’s game is all about spreadsheets, data scientists, and extremely complicated analytics. Stats never lie.

None of that is actually true of course. Analytics were in fact created to help verify what our eyes are telling us. We can look at a box score and quickly form a conclusion of how a game played out.

  • Las Vegas Raiders 15
  • Kansas City Chiefs 31

At a quick glance, we can see that the Chiefs won by 16, and knowing what we know about Kansas City, we can quickly convince ourselves that Patrick Mahomes must have played well and that Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill also had good or great games.

Effectively we just recapped this game in our mind, based on a score and it took us less than 10 seconds. This is a very convenient way to handicap games, but unfortunately not very effective.

If you were watching the game and not just surfing boxscores, you might have noticed that the Raiders defense played very well and that Patrick Mahomes and company did enough to win the game, but didn’t look overly sharp.

Maybe turnovers were a big difference and the Chiefs were the benefit of some short fields. Maybe it was special teams or penalties or a third-string right tackle who was in over his head.

It’s very possible Mahomes and Kelce and Hill were good but not actually great and when the Chiefs are listed as -10 point favorites the following week, an -8 point spread is really more accurate.

The most effective way to accurately handicap a football team and their potential each week is to watch them play.

How To Bet On Your Favorite Teams

Many of our peers will tell you that successful gamblers should not bet on teams they prefer to cheer for. Others will suggest that if you aren’t prepared to bet against a team, then you probably shouldn’t bet for them.

At we are here to encourage you to throw away all of that advice and if betting on your favorite team is something you want to do – then our advice is to bet away.

There are a lot of things to consider when you are betting on your favorite teams. If your main goal as a gambler is to maximize profits and show the highest possible ROI from all your bets, then you should be aware that sometimes we all have a bias towards the things we love and care for, including our favorite teams.

To Be Truly Profitable

To be truly profitable, you will have to do some self-analysis and try to determine if you are indeed a little biased towards your favorite club. You can research the opinions of media experts and even your own friend base to get their thoughts on your team and compare that to your own expectations.

Do other people share your sense of optimism about your squad, do others see the same potential in players who may not yet have produced, but who you believe is about to put it all together?

At the same time, if you love a specific club and follow them regularly, then maybe they are exactly the team you should be betting on.

If you live in Indiana and regularly watch the Pacers play, more than you watch the Lakers, Bulls, or Heat, it would seem logical that you are the most educated and most informed about the Pacers.

Maybe you have some insight the majority of the betting world (who live outside of Indiana) doesn’t have.

If being profitable is your main goal, when you are tracking and analyzing your betting history (you do track and analyze your betting results, right?) then you would expect to see an appropriate amount of bets made for and against your favorite team.

If you notice that you have an overwhelming amount of bets on your favorite team to win, then re-evaluate your strategy and whether betting on your most cherished squad is actually the right play.

Our biggest issue with those who suggest that one should never bet on their most favorite teams is because they are totally neglecting the fact that sports gambling is a very entertaining activity that can add additional levels of excitement and enjoyment to any event.

This is a fact regardless of how much time you choose to spend on researching a bet.

Sports gambling to the overwhelming majority of those who partake is a form of sports entertainment and is not a career. Sports fans come in all shapes, sizes and with varying levels of enthusiasm and knowledge of their team.

But they are all fans.

Some sports bettors follow every team and every game. Others passionately cheer on the home squad and often little else. Does this mean that those who only have the time and passion to cheer for a few local teams should be excluded from placing a wager?

Of course not.

When it comes to placing a wager on teams that you root for the most, it is important to understand your motives behind that bet.

If you treat sports gambling as a business and are trying to maximize profits, then you must take the time to analyze your betting history and make sure any biases, known or unknown aren’t sneaking in.

But if you are an enthusiastic fan of a specific team and you just want to add a little bit of excitement to a particular game, then we say you do you, and make sure you have a little fun along the way.

Thirsty For More Betting Knowledge? Check Our Sports Betting Guides Hub.


About the author

For almost two decades, Sadonna has remained at the forefront of the gambling industry in the US and abroad, covering the latest news and legal update...

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