# What Does Correlated Mean in Betting?

Ever since the start of betting, there has been a distinction made between what is meant by “up” vs. “down” bets. In general, an “up” bet means you are placing your money on the winner of the event (e.g., the horse, dog, or other animal you are betting on wins); a “down” bet means you are placing your money on the loser (e.g., the horse, dog, or other animal you are betting on loses).

However, this general rule does not always apply. Sometimes, the correlation between two or more variables makes it difficult to determine which way the outcome will go. For example, what does a correlation between the money wagered and the number of goals in a game mean? Or, how about a correlation between the number of goals scored and the final score?

In these cases, it is sometimes difficult to decide whether you should be placing your money on the side with the highest probability of winning (i.e., the “up” bet) or on the side with the highest probability of losing (i.e., the “down” bet). Let’s examine each situation and learn what the odds makers mean when they say “correlated.”

## Wagering On Goals In A Game

Wagering on goals in a game is fairly straightforward when there is a clear, objective measure of how the game is going. For instance, if you are watching a soccer game and one team scores a goal, you can immediately see that the other team must do better in order to win the game. This sort of situation allows for simple up- or down- betting because you can either choose to bet on the winner (up) or the loser (down) of the game. Of course, there is also the option of laying the bet on the game itself, in which case you would not be able to determine the outcome of the game.

Let’s say that you are watching a game and the score is 0-0. You have two choices: you can either bet on the (up) winner (Soccer) or you can bet on the (down) loser (Boston Celtics) in the next game. In this case, there is no clear correlation between the two teams because you do not know whether they will face each other again or whether they will play a different game. It could very well be that in the next game the teams will face each other and the score will be 2-0. In this case, you would have to lay the (Soccer – 1) and (Boston Celtics + 1) in order to win the bet. (In general, when there is a correlation coefficient of 0, the two events are independent. When the coefficient is 1, the two events are perfectly correlated.)

Goaltending is a nuisance in soccer because it is not always easy to determine who is at fault when there is a goal scored when the goalie was not actually trying to prevent it. For this reason, in most places betting on soccer games with goaltending is prohibited. However, in some countries, such as Argentina and Uruguay, people are accustomed to placing wagers on games with goaltending because the correlation between the two events (i.e., goal and penalty shots) is so high that it is almost always advantageous to bet on the penalty shot winner. This is known as the Tandil bet (named after the Argentinean city where it was pioneered) and it is legal in those countries.

## Scoring Goals In A Game

When there is no clear way to determine the winning team or to know what correlation coefficient to use, it is usually best to just pick one side or the other. This is usually the default option when people are placing bets on sports because it is more difficult to determine if a team or an individual will win a game than it is to simply pick a side and wait for the results. Additionally, in many sports (particularly those played in the United States), the odds makers assume that the over/under betting will be evened out, so they give the winning side additional credit to make up for the fact that they are more likely to lose than to win. (If you are unfamiliar, “over/under betting” entails placing a bet on whether a particular score will be achieved or not.)

For example, say that we are discussing the American Football (A.F.) game between the New England Patriots and the Detroit Red Wings. In this case, it is fairly easy to determine the outcome of the game: the Patriots will beat the Red Wings by a score of 23-20. (Of course, this is strictly based on American football parlance and may not apply to other sports or leagues.)

What we do not know is who will score the first touchdown in the game. In other words, we do not know whether the Patriots or the Red Wings will score the first touchdown in the game. There are several ways to handle this kind of situation. One option is to place a bet on each team scoring a touchdown; another option is to lay a bet on which team will score the first touchdown and then take the other side for the other team. (If the score is 0-0 at the beginning of the game and you have picked the Patriots to score the first touchdown, you would lay the (Red Wings – 1) and (Patriots + 1) in order to win the bet.)

## Final Score Of A Game

Another situation where it is difficult to determine if there is any correlation between two events and then place a bet accordingly is when the games end in a draw. In some cases, this can be solved by choosing a side and then simply proceeding with the game as if it were a normal game of betting (i.e., you would place a bet on the side you have chosen and then wait for the results). However, in some cases, the final score of a game will be a draw (e.g., the 2014 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals) and in these situations, it is often advantageous to just bet on the total number of wins (or losses). For example, if the Royals beat the Red Sox in game 7 by a score of 5-2, you would lay the (Red Sox – 2) and (Royals + 2) in order to win the bet. This is because in a four-game series, where each game is worth two wins, the Royals are 4-2 and will win the series.

In other words, in many cases, it is more convenient to just bet on a whole series of games because there is no need to keep track of which games were won by which side. (Again, this is American football specifically and may not apply to other sports or leagues.) Additionally, for many sports, there is often an extra benefit to be gained by simply betting on a whole series of games: additional credit will be given to the team that wins the majority of the games in a series.