Introduction to Sports Stats
Statistics play a big part in sports betting. There’s hardly any surprise here. Pro gamblers are aware of this fact as well. So, if you want to become a successful punter who earns an income betting, then you can’t afford to dismiss stats. Experienced punters can identify variables that can influence the outcome of a sporting event or contest and can use these to calculate their odds. After all, this is how these successful bettors find bets that offer actual value and increase their chances of winning.
You don’t need to be a math genius or statistical wizard to be able to do the same thing. Even novice bettors can put in the time and effort it takes to find and use statistics to improve their odds of winning a wager. That said, no one can make 100% accurate predictions, no matter how good they are. Keep your expectations realistic.
The big question is: how do you apply statistics to sports betting? There are a few things you can do, ranging from beginner tips to advanced strategies. Remember, it’s okay to be a beginner, and there are a few things that might be tricky to understand in this article. Just take the time to learn and you’ll be learning advanced tips in no time!
Research Tips to Get Accurate Statistics
If you’re going to use stats to improve your sports betting strategies, then you’re going to have to take a few key factors into account. Here are our top research tips if you want to get accurate statistics that you can use to improve your betting results.
Pick a Focus Before You Research
If you’re a beginner or a hobby-punter, then this is something you should pay attention to. It can be tempting to research as many different sports and betting markets as possible on the popular bookmakers out there, but that’s probably one of the worst approaches to take if you’re just starting out. Instead, pick something to focus on.
Focusing on a niche, especially when you’re starting out, can help you to stay focused. It also makes everything a little less confusing. If you keep your focus on one type of bet or sport, then you don’t have to spread your research across multiple markets, types and stats.
Validate Your Stats
Before you start basing calculations and strategies on the basis of any stats you found, you’ll need to make sure that your research is accurate. Don’t take any info at face value. Instead, try to find other articles or stats that corroborate the info you already have, or put the stats to the test yourself.
If you base your strategy on incorrect information, then you’re going to end up with an ineffective sports betting strategy. You need to subject everything to a ‘sniff test’. Does it make sense? Does it fit the information you already have? Having a general knowledge of the sport you’re researching can help you a lot when it comes to testing the accuracy of information.
Opinion vs Fact
You’re going to encounter several articles and pieces that centre around opinions, not facts. Watch out for these. It’s all good and well to read about what someone thinks is going to happen, but don’t consider these articles as facts. Trust the numbers. Everything else is just someone’s opinion.
Be Prepared to Do the Work
Using statistics in sports betting isn’t as easy as looking up a few recent bits of information and running with it. If you want to turn your data into profitable predictions and finally stop losing sport bets, then you’re going to have to put in quite a bit of work. You’ll need to put in the hours and pour through pages and pages of information to find stats that you can use.
The amount of time you put in also depends on your existing knowledge of the sport, as well as which sport you’re going to be betting on. If you’re serious about making consistent profits from punting, you’ll need to put in as much time as it takes to become an expert.
When you’re researching stats and information for different teams, matches, or players, you need to make sure that you stay organised. It can be easy to get confused and start mixing up stats and information when switching from one topic to another. Make sure that you keep detailed notes, and always double-check your stats. Using the wrong information can ruin your entire strategy.
Good Statistics and Bad Statistics
Since we’re talking about statistics, and how they can improve your sports betting strategies, it’s only appropriate that we cover good and bad statistics. There’s so much information out there, and not all of it is going to give you the results you’re looking for. If you want to use statistics effectively, then you’re going to have to understand the difference.
Let’s use a football example to make our point, and then break it down from there. Let’s say Barcelona is facing off against Real Madrid on rainy Saturday. In the 2018/19 season, Barcelona’s star striker, Lionel Messi, scored 12 goals over ten matches. Real Madrid, however, hasn’t lost a game on a rainy Saturday in two years. That’s not a real statistic, but let’s pretend it is.
The first is the good statistic, whereas the second isn’t. Messi’s performance, which has been very consistent over his years with Barcelona, gives us a real indication of what can happen in the game. The second, however, is just a coincidence. If you wanted to make an accurate prediction, you’d consider Real Madrid winning 91 of their matches against Barcelona’s 88, or how Barcelona has been beating Real Madrid more consistently in recent years.
If you want to make accurate predictions using statistics, then you need to understand the difference between cool-sounding coincidences and hard facts. Basing your bets off superstitions or bad statistics can throw off your entire betting strategy and defeats the point of using statistics.
Applying Statistics to Sports Betting Strategies
After you’ve taken the time to compile your information and statistics, you now have to start using them. How do you apply your new statistical information to your sports betting strategies? Here are a few basic steps to get started:
Step 1: Structure Your Data
You can have massive amounts of data, but if you don’t turn it into useful statistics and information, then you might as well have a jumble of useless facts. You need to structure your data in a way that makes sense.
For example, let’s say you want to place a wager on a football match over the weekend. How did the two competitors perform in the previous games? How about previous matchups between these teams? If you’ve kept your data organised, then you’ll be able to find out all of the relevant information quickly.
Step 2: Analyse the Information
Here comes the tricky part. There are a few basic types of stats analysis that punters can do to predict a likely outcome to a sports event. However, some of these analyses can get really involved and difficult to understand. Some of these statistical models don’t apply to all kinds of analyses, either, which just makes it that bit more complicated.
In the end, you’ll need to find a model that both works for you and that’s easy to understand. This will involve a lot of time and research. If you’re serious about punting, however, you can’t go wrong by improving your skills. Some bettors even develop their own analytical systems, although you might want to hold off on that if you’re a novice.
Step 3: Calculate Your Results and Place Your Wager
Once you’ve analysed your information, using one of the many different analytical methods, then you can start using it. For example, many punters prefer to calculate their own odds and then go hunting for value bets. This is one strategy that you can use when analysing your information.
You can now make an informed wager, depending on the results of your tests.
Step 4: Check Your Results
It’s important to understand that you might not win, even though you’ve done all that work. Sports betting will always be a game of chance, and there’s no way to predict any outcome with 100% accuracy.
That said, if your system fails occasionally, it doesn’t mean that it’s wrong or broken. You’re going to have a few hits and misses. However, if you end up losing more than you win, then you might need to go back and re-evaluate your information or your statistical model. This is just good practice, and it helps you to improve your strategies and betting skills.
There are many different types of analytical models that you can use to make sense of your data. We’ve listed an overview of only two of the most common methods down below. These aren’t the only ones, however, and many players often develop their own systems to make sense of their data.
When people think about using statistics for sports betting, regression analysis is the most common method that comes up. Regression analyses are used to determine the relationships, or correlations, between dependent and independent variables.
The dependent variable, for example, would be winning a match. The independent variables are different statistics recorded, but not all of them are useful. The idea is to find the variables that have a strong correlation to a team winning a match. It’s important to remember the ‘good and bad stats’ we mentioned previously.
There are different types of regression analysis, including:
- Multiple Regression Analysis
- Logistic Regression Analysis
Poisson Distribution is an excellent predictive method to use for sports where scoring is relatively rare, and points are awarded one at a time. This makes it well suited for sports like European football or ice hockey. Bettors can use this method to convert averages into different probabilities and use those to predict the outcome of a football match.
For example, Messi’s stats were 12 goals over ten matches for the 2018/19 season. That means that he scored an average of 1.2 goals per match. Now, let’s say that a bookie is offering an over/under wager that sets Messi’s goals at 1.5. If you want to bet on the over, you’ll need Messi to score at least twice. Using Poisson Distribution, this is how your calculations might look:
- Mean Average: 1.2 per game
- Number of occurrences: Two
The chances of Messi scoring two goals is about 21.7%, but only 12.1% for scoring more than two. However, the chances of him scoring less than two goals are 87.9%. The chances of Messi scoring at least one goal is 66.3%.
In other words, it would be better to bet on the under, in this case, rather than the over.
Statistics is just one part of building a successful betting strategy. That said, it’s probably one of the most critical elements, and it plays a significant role in predicting outcomes and calculating odds. As much as sports punting is a game of chance, it’s also one of skill and math. By using statistical analyses, bettors can develop and expand on their existing strategies, making them more useful.
Hopefully, the information in this article has helped give you some insight into how different types of statistics and analyses can help you. You can improve your sports betting strategies by putting in a little time, effort and dedication, most punters should be able to use statistics effectively.