The world of sports betting is one that is always changing, and this has resulted in people having to adjust their betting strategies and habits to stay afloat in a world of constant fluctuations.
Although the basic concept of betting on sports has remained largely the same for hundreds of years, the methods of placing bets and the interpretation of statistics have evolved with time.
Just like any other part of life, sports betting also has it’s peculiarities and quirks that one needs to get used to. In this article, we will discuss three such peculiarities and how you can make the right interpretation of these numbers to maximize your chances of winning.
The Start And The Finish
Many people have gotten used to starting their betting session around the 20th minute or so of the game, in order to get the best odds available. This is because the bookmakers have traditionally adjusted their odds in response to the kickoff of the game. This adaptation has made it much easier for people to place winning bets, as the chances of them ending up as a loser are greatly reduced.
What this effectively means is that if you’re betting on the Super Bowl, you’ll want to bet on the game starting around the 20th minute mark, since this is when the odds are generally at their best, and therefore your chances of winning as a bettor are at their peak.
On the other hand, if you’re betting on an IndyCar race, you may want to bet on the game starting earlier, since this is when the action is usually more exciting and therefore better for your entertainment value.
Points Vs Winning Margin
The first two numbers you’ll usually come across when trying to interpret a sports betting scenario are usually points and winning margins. These two numbers will either be in the form of a spread, which is when the bettor is betting on the over or under number of points that will be scored by one team, or as a parlay, which is when you’re betting on multiple teams, the net margin of which will be decided by the final score.
If you see points and winning margins listed as separate entities in the scenario bet, it usually means that the bettor is selecting the option called “straight up”, where they’re wagering on the winner of the event without any regard for the amount of points scored.
On the other hand, if you see one number in the form of a point-winning margin combined, this usually means that the bettor is opting for a combination bet, where they’re assuming that the scoring margin will be indicative of how the game will turn out, and that therefore the game will be within a certain number of points. For example, if you see “Boston Celtics +3.5”, this would signify that the bettor is assuming that the Boston Celtics will beat the Philadelphia 76ers by three and a half points, and is therefore laying three and a half points with the over/under option.
There are however exceptions to this rule. Sometimes you’ll see “Boston Celtics +3.5” with no points listed next to it, which means that the three and a half point spread has been applied to both teams, or when you see “Boston Celtics -3.5” with no points listed next to it, this would mean that the Boston Celtics are losing by three and a half points, and therefore there is no spread in play.
Active And Inactive Players
Many bookmakers have started separating their odds, depending on whether the player they’re dealing with is ‘active’ or ‘inactive’ at the time of bet placement. This is done to encourage the ‘active’ players to continue placing bets, as the odds are generally better for these people. This system of labeling active and inactive players can get quite complicated, however, and it’s best to use common sense, rather than the odds, when judging the status of a sports bettor.
If you see a lot of activity, but are unable to place a bet due to system errors or the volume of traffic at the bookmaker’s website, it may be best to log off and try again shortly. If the problem persists, it may be a good idea to contact customer support and ask them to look into your situation.
Watching Or Participating In The Game
If you’re simply watching the game and have no intention of participating, you might not need to take into account the time at which your particular sport starts, as the early minutes of the game are frequently meaningless, resulting in wildly fluctuating odds, which could drive you crazy, as we’ve already discussed.
On the other hand, if you’re watching the game and taking active part in the action, starting at the appropriate time is crucial in order to get the best possible odds available. This is because if you start watching the game at the wrong time, you may well find yourself in a position where all the action has already happened and the teams have already been picked, meaning that it’s already too late to choose your own team, and you’ll have to settle for what the bookmaker has to offer.
If you see a sports match depicted in real-time, with action happening as the minutes pass, especially if you’re participating in the game yourself, it may be a good idea to log off and try again later, when there’s more time left in the game, or when there’s a break in the action. This is because as the game goes on, the excitement and tension naturally increases, which could lead to serious mistakes being made by all involved, including you the layperson observer of the game. The last thing you want to do is bet on a winner before the race even starts.
Keep all of this in mind as you make your picks, and you’ll be well on your way to having a profitable gambling experience.