Sports Betting Math
Most people who wish to put bets on sports are fans to start with. It isn’t unheard of for a gambler to place some sports bets, especially during big games like the Super Bowl or the NCAA basketball Final Four, however for the most part, sports bettors are sports lovers seeking to utilize their knowledge of a sport or even of a game players to earn a little extra money. Being a fan of a particular game, a staff, a school or professional squad–all of these are precursors to putting sports wager. Sports betting can be a means for a fan to get in on the action of this sport, with some thing more than self-respect in stake.
All gambling is mathematics, even games of chance. If you understand the math behind the game, you understand the sport and will give yourself an edge. For many games, like penny stocks or badly positioned roulette bets, are so bad that smart bettors make their benefit by avoiding them altogether. In sports betting, the math is more complex. Based upon your favourite sport, you might need to consider matters like bye weeks, underdogs, quarterback ratings, and harms with the identical fervor other connoisseurs book for elaborate winces.
So how hard is sports gambling mathematics? The math behind putting a winning bet is rather complicated, but the best way to keep in front of the bookmaker is rather straightforward. If you accumulate on 52.4% of your bets, then you’ll break even. We will have more information on this number later, for example why it takes over 50 percent wins to break , but some general understanding about sports gambling and the figures behind it.
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Sports Betting Basics
The easiest way to show the mathematics behind a sports bet would be to make an illustration. Let us say you and your buddy walk into a casino, each with $200 burning a hole in your pocket. There’s a big game on tonight, the Cowboys and the Redskins, so you wander in the sportsbook to check up on the most recent news about the game. As you’re sitting there, you find the wagering board, with some funny numbers on it. It looks like this:
428 Cowboys +175
429 Redskins -4 -200 38
Some of this is simple enough to read. The Redskins -4 means the Redskins are favored to win and have to do this by at least 5 points for a wager on the’Skins to cover out. The following number (-200) is that the moneyline, in this case the Redskins really are a 2/1 favourite. The previous number (38) is that the total, the over/under of this expected variety of points scored in the game.
More on Placing Sports Bets
Look at that over/under amount, in this instance 38. In the event that you or your friend thinks this is going to be a particularly low or high scoring match, according to your knowledge of the group’s crimes and defenses, or information about a hurt player or poor playing conditions, you can set a wager on the total of points scored.
So just how is a guy supposed to know how to literally put down a sports bet? You Have to understand three things:
#1 — the Kind of wager you want to make #2 — the amount of the corresponding group You’ve chosen and
#3 — the amount you wish to wager Knowing all that beforehand provides the ticket writer the specifics he needs to write the ticket without having to bend over backward to process your bet.
Tipping and Sports Betting
We haven’t even gotten into the meat of this sports math yet, and we’re talking about tipping the team behind the window? Yep. Here’s why.
If you place two $100 bets, and you win, then you are going to amass $440. You should consider leaving a tip about five percent of your winnings. Yes, that’s a $22 tip, but you just made a huge win, and surely you can spring for a twenty-spot for the guy who helped you win it. Should you tip around the five percent mark regularly, when you win, then you’re way more likely to find free drinks, which is about all you’re going to receive comp-wise in the sportsbook.
Soback to the simple math of sports gambling. You and your buddy, after much deliberation, pick to every place a $100 wager on your favourite team. What now?
To bet on the Redskins using the point spread, your bet is called”placing the points” For your wager to pay off, the’Skins have to win five or even more to cover the spread. Remember, if the’Skins win by exactly four, the game is a push, and both sides recover their bet. Another alternate is called”taking the points” using the Cowboys. That means the Cowboys must lose by three or less for your bet to win, or when the Cowboys win outright. So you and your friend go up to put your $100 wager, and you determine that the conventional straight bet in any given bookie pays 11/10. This usually means you have to wager $110 if you would like to win $100. You and your friend pay the bookie $110 and sit down with drinks to watch your stakes arrive in.
These are simple stakes. Deceptively since they make it resemble the outcome of the football game is like the outcome of choosing marbles out of a bag. Place a black marble and two white marbles in a purse, pull out one at random, and there is your football game. In the end, the odds are exactly the same: 2/1 for white.
But we, as sports fans, know the math of a sporting occasion is a whole lot more complicated. Sports bettors deeply involved in their hobby will join to weather bulletins from major cities which take part in their own game, making huge wagering decisions based on a few mph of wind in 1 direction or another. Then there is the unknown–does a player get hurt in the first quarter? Does weather become a factor? Is a specific participant”in the zone?”
How Do Bookies Create a Profit?
Just as we end ruminating on the concept of the difficult mathematics at play in the background of important sporting events, we’re going to turn right back towards the simpler side of sports betting. Bookies make a gain because of vigorish. What’s vigorish?
Look at the above example . You and your friend each paid $10 to the bookie to place your bet. That is exactly what the standard 11/10 odds in sports betting are about. You wager that the Cowboys and your friend bet the Redskins, a total of 220 bet. The sportsbook has to pay $210 into the winner, leaving a good $10 profit regardless of what happens on the soccer field. That $10 built-in gain is called the vigorish, and it’s the last monkey wrench in the gears of sports gambling.
Obviously, sportsbooks will take more than two bets on any sport, but this instance is for simplicity’s sake. Taking a look at the total number of bets on various games over the span of a week and adjusting the moneyline and other numbers is just another manner in which the bookie makes a profit. Fixing the chances a very small percentage point in either way will affect the balance of beats and make the publication more likely to turn a profit no matter what.
Essentially, a bookie is someone who holds on to cash from bettors then pays them if they win and keeps their money if they don’t. That’s what the job will be boiled down to its essence.
When a bookie sets odds for matches, he will establish what bookies call an”over around” to his set of odds. Another slang term used for this particular formula is”the juice.” For the sake of simplicity, let’s look at a boxing match where the two contenders are equally talented, of equivalent stature, etc.. Since they both have an equal probability of winning, a casual bet might be even cash. You put $20 on a single man; your buddy puts $20 on another. Whichever fighter wins awards the bettor with the total of $40.
Bookies do not provide even cash like friends in a casual betting situation. In the above example, with just two equally matched fighters, a smart bookie will offer 5/6 chances for each. That way, a $10 winning bet would only return $8.30 and your bet. What does this do for the bookmaker? He can float an equal sum of money on both fighters, winning regardless of which fighter actually wins. If they choose $1,000 worth of stakes on a single fighter and $1,000 on another, the bookie would require in $1,000 but only need to pay out $830, for a guaranteed $170 gain whatever the outcome.
Bookies look at the burden of the books all of the time and fix odds and other variables to make certain their books balance. Even though it isn’t feasible to completely balance a publication, bookies which move too far out on a single side run the chance of losing money, and losing money in gambling is the quickest way to end up in a different business. All these variables are why bookies generally root for the underdog–too many favorites winning at a game with a brief season (like the NFL) may give rise to a bookmaker to lose money, while a bunch of upsets (like you normally see in college soccer ) is a guaranteed profit for the bookmaker.
The brief answer here is that bookies earning money has nothing whatsoever to do with your betting. It is practically unheard of for a single client to be allowed to put enough bets to sink one book on his own. High rollers in sport betting get special privileges concerning their maximum bet size, but those privileges often change with the bettor’s fortune –maximums get increased after the bettor sees big losses and diminished (sharply) as soon as the bettor starts to get blessed.
In short, a sportsbook’s profits aren’t necessarily affected right by how an individual bet is called. Unlike casino games or slot machines, where it’s you against the house, sports bettors gas that the bookmaker’s company and only rarely is an individual bettor betting from the bookie.
Sports Betting Odds
Remember at the beginning when we talked about the magic number necessary to guarantee a break-even week in sports gambling? If you read about sports gambling, you are going to hear this amount repeated frequently: 52.4%. If a bettor can win 52.4% of his bets, he’ll break even. Where does this number come from?
If betting the spread, you receive odds of -110. Sometimes, sportsbooks will provide a -105 lineup as a promotion or to welcome new enterprise. However, for the most part, if you’re betting the spread, you are getting -110.
We draw that 52.4% break even quantity right from the chances. -110 is equivalent to 11/10. That means in the event that you bet 21 games, then you would have to win eleven of these and lose ten of these to split completely even. At -105, you’d still need to acquire an astounding 51.2percent of the time just to break even.
If you do not trust the basic math behind this break-even principle, then look at another real-world example. Let’s say you get into sports gambling after your Cowboys lotion the Redskins and you go home with a nice fat wallet. You then bet on the next 10 Cowboys matches, winning six times and losing four times.
That 60% gambling record (with the likelihood of -110 that’s traditional for against the spread bets in soccer ) will give you a profit of $160. Consider it–your $600 gain from the 6 winning stakes minus the $440 you lost on losing bets leaves $160. It took you $1,100 to win $160, meaning you have to bet $6.87 to win $1 on average. So you see the tiny differences between a 52.4% winning rate plus a 60% winning rate–inside people 7.3 percentage points lies hundreds of dollars in profit.
Now imagine instead that you misplaced one of those six winning stakes, leaving you with a 50% betting record. You invested a total of $1,100, won $500, and dropped $550. That means overall your 50% listing drained your wallet by $50. That’s where the vigorish will get you. Not even winning half the time is good enough to break even in sports betting.
Professional Sports Bettors
Believe it or not, some people truly do bet on sports for a living. Perhaps they work part time at a sportsbook or at some other marginal job in the casino business, but there is a group of players who bet on sports for their life’s work. With all the mathematics swirling around in our heads following the last piece of the article, it is difficult to imagine anyone attempting to do this for a living.
If you know that a 52.4% record will mean that you break , the simplest way to turn sports gambling into a career would be to wager enough to ensure a 53% winning album will probably bring in the kind of money you would like to make.
Another example. After your successful Cowboys experiment, you decide to spend $10,000 in sports betting through the initial four months of the following football season. That $10,000 is set aside to acquire or shed sportsbooks.
You plan on betting on 160 games throughout your investment period. You dream of a 55% winning record as your win-loss with a 55% winning record will provide you an 88-72 record. That’s an expected profit of +8.8 units. How did we reach that number? To compute your units, subtract the total of your losses (multiplied by 1.1 to include the vig) out of your wins and you are going to get your unit profit.
Placing $460 bets on every one of these games, a number pulled from some quick and dirty math about how much you could afford to bet in one week’s NFL play without blowing your bankroll, would lead to a $4,048 profit if you keep this 55% winning record. Turning $10,000 into $14,048 in only four months is an investment return of 40.48%. I dare you to ask your lender for this sort of return in your savings accounts.
But that is all assuming you can pick the winner 55 percent of this time. Do your research, look into the records of professional sports bettors. 55%, while not impossible, would place you among the elite sports bettors from the nation, or even the world.
Professional sports bettors need to worry about variance more than every other type of gambler. Working against the forces of variance means handling your bankroll over the course of the season to avert the negative possibilities that may totally empty your wagering account. Professional sports bettors have enough resources and time necessary to calculate these variances, and there are even a few pieces of software out there that may help you figure out your ideal stake at the face of negative variance. But the bottom line is that professional sports bettors might dream of owning a 55% winning album, only because it guarantees you’re beating the home.
FURTHER INFO NOTE:
Professional bettors make their money on stakes that sportsbooks offer that give them the smallest gaming advantage. The key to becoming a lucrative sports bettor is having the ability to locate advantages, chances where the line a book is offering is exposed.
That is the reason why many long-term sports bettors are math freaks. Superior sports bettors understand statistics, particularly what are called inferential statistics, though any greater mathematics can help when it comes time to place a bet.
Here’s what a professional baseball bettor can do in his head. After looking over data from MLB (kept religiously by all kinds of writers, data archives, and magazines) involving the years 2000-2010, he finds out a particular statistic pop outside. For instance: when the home team begins a left-handed pitcher the day following a reduction, that team wins 59% of their time. Good sports bettors can do this sort of math in their mind or very quickly on paper. From this bit of information comes a new gaming concept –look for game situations that mirror the preceding case and wager on them. That means he will only bet games where the home team begins a left handed pitcher the day after a reduction. Can he just leap in and start betting predicated on this back of the napkin math? No way. More statistical analysis is needed –he may find that this is a fluke for that specific decade and is not a trustworthy statistics, or he may find an even more advantageous bet based upon his first concept.
Professional sports bettors also keep near-obsessive records of the stakes. Evidently, no advantage in sports betting lasts more than a single game. Taking appropriate records will also help you examine theories, like the preceding one about left-handed pitchers and losses. Without taking good documents, zero sports bettor’s bankroll will last quite long.
What’s a Good Record for Sports Bettors
So, at the end of the day, what would you call a”good” document for a sports bettor? Most casual gamblers searching into sports betting see a pro advertising his 1100-900 record and shake their head a little. How could this kind of abysmal record be something to be proud of? That’s a 55% winning percentage, and it indicates to those in the know that this bettor is in fact turning a profit putting bets on sportsbetting. A fantastic record for a sports bettor is any record equal to or larger than 52.4%, since that number or anything higher means you’re not losing money. A 53% winning album, although not impressive on paper, means you are really beating the sportsbook and putting money back in your pocket. Ask your friends that play the slots or play poker how frequently they end up putting money back in their pocket.
A -110 wager, standard for spread bets in the NFL, gives the home a built-in advantage of 10%. This means that even if you do win, and you line up to collect your $100, some sucker supporting you only spent $10 to hand the casino $100.
A fantastic listing for sport bettors is any record that ensures that they break-even. If you bet 16 games this NFL season and you also won 9 and lost 7, then you probably made money. And taking money away from a casino is obviously something to be proud of.
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