How to Do Sports Analytics for Betting: Tips for the Newbie

The world of data analysis and big data is huge and becoming more prominent in the sports world every day. It wouldn’t be surprising if we see more and more people getting involved in sports analytics. However, despite the advantages that come with having more information, it can still be difficult for someone who is new to the field to know where to start.

Fortunately, we’re here to help. In this article, we will discuss how to do sports analytics for betting. We’ll cover everything from getting started to analyzing NBA, NFL, and MLB games. By the end of it, you’ll know exactly what you need to start your sports analytics career successfully.

How to Get Started

One of the first things you’ll need to do is decide what type of work environment you want to create. There are two popular choices:

  • The first is a traditional office setting where you’ll analyze data independently. While this may be suitable for mid-sized companies, if you’re just getting started you’ll want to consider other options.
  • The other option is to set up your own business where you work remotely as a freelancer. With this model, you’ll be collecting clients and analyzing data remotely as a self-employed person. This is known as freelancing or micro-working and can be a great way to get your feet wet in the world of sports analytics. You’ll often need to register with professional organizations such as the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) or the National Sports Data Institute (NSDI) to gain credibility as a freelancer.


You’ll need a formal education to become a proficient sports data analyst, so make sure that you have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field. There are a variety of sports management concentrations that can get you started in the right direction, such as business administration, economics, and even statistics. Once you have the education, you can look for jobs online or even at local universities to get actual hands-on experience.


Like many other organizations, the NBA requires its employees to work various hours, which vary by season. However, the league offers an alternative schedule for those who volunteer. The NBA’s Research & Development Department created the Alternative Employment Schedule (AES) in 1996, with the aim of allowing employees to pursue personal interests outside of work. AES allows employees to take time off when they want to work on games or projects in which they’re involved, as long as they provide prior notice to their employer. The schedule varies by season and can be used to its fullest potential. It’s worth noting that, although the schedule sounds ideal, it’s still considered unpaid leave by the IRS.


The average salary for a National Basketball Association (NBA) statistics assistant is around $55,000 per year. While this may not seem like a lot, keep in mind that this is only the average. The starting wage at sports organizations can vary a lot and depends on several factors, such as experience, education, and even whether or not you meet the basic requirements for the position. For example, someone with a bachelor’s degree in economics may not get paid as much as someone with a degree in business administration.


Regardless of your chosen field, getting a foot in the door is always the first step to establishing a successful career. One of the best ways to do this is by networking. Sports organizations are connected across the country, so make sure that you are actively participating in as many aspects of this community as possible. This could mean attending NBA games and participating in tournaments, or volunteering at a sports-related event to gain experience. There are also a variety of sports organizations that will let you know directly if there’s any job opportunities within the field.

The Importance of Documentation

A well-written resume can get you far in your job search, but nothing will provide you with a better opportunity to get an interview than quality documentation. There are a few important things that you need to include in your documentation:

  • A cover letter that specifically mentions your interest in the position, along with a link to your resume
  • A project or case study that provides evidence of your research and expertise
  • A summary of your education and training, including any relevant certifications
  • An example of your work, with full credit given to the source
  • A self-assessment of your weaknesses and strengths
  • Evidence of your proficiency in using statistical software (e.g., SPSS, Minitab, or Excel)
  • Your involvement in professional organizations, both locally and nationally
  • If you’re applying for a job in education, training, or business, a reference from an education or business manager

To get started, simply create a Google account and then log in. From there, you can set up a profile photo, cover letter, and resume. While it’s not required, it’s a good idea to put a summary of your education and experience on your public profile. This will make it easier for potential employers to learn more about you.

The Tools You’ll Need

In addition to a Bachelor’s degree, you’ll also need a steady hand and the ability to use basic tools. A statistics program will greatly enhance your employability, so make sure that you’re keeping up with the latest versions of SPSS, Minitab, or Excel. If you’re looking for a more traditional office setting, then having analytical software installed on your laptop is essential. This will help you quickly produce professional-looking reports, presentations, and spreadsheets. The most popular and widely used software packages in the world of sports analytics are:

  • SPSS for social science research (e.g., statistics, marketing, or sociology)
  • Minitab for business research (e.g., economics, finance, marketing, or organizational behavior)
  • Excel for business research and analysis (e.g., finance, marketing, or economics)

Where To Look

You’ll need to go through multiple stages of a job search to find the right fit. First, try going through your local public libraries to see if they have any books that can help you get started. Alternatively, you can visit your local university’s career services office for workshops and seminars that can assist you in setting up a research agenda. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, as libraries and career services are often aware of what positions are currently available and can put you in touch with employers directly. Finally, don’t forget about your social media networks. Many sports organizations and publications have formal websites, but much of their content is published on various social media platforms. If you’re on Twitter, make sure that you’re using the #NASCARstats, #MLBstats, or #nflstats when tweeting about relevant news articles or data. This will help you find other users in your network who are also interested in sports analytics!

To find the best job opportunities in sports analytics, visit the websites of national professional sports organizations (e.g., the NBA, the NFL, and the MLB) or smaller leagues that often collaborate with major sports bodies to share data and research. Keep an eye out for jobs that offer competitive pay, benefits, and interesting projects. With a formal education and some relevant internships under your belt, you’ll be able to find a job in no time and start contributing to the world of sports analytics. With the right credentials and a few solid recommendations, you’ll be able to secure a high-paying job in no time.