You have decided to enter the world of sports betting. Congrats! You have chosen the right way to make money while having fun. Now, let us explore the best ways to determine the odds of winning or losing at sport betting in general and which sports are the most profitable to enter. Keep reading for more information.
The Basics of Calculating Odds
Before you begin your journey to riches, it is important to understand the basic concept of calculating odds. Simply put, odds are the measure of how likely it is that you will win or lose when you predict the outcome of a given event. For example, if you predict that the Boston Red Sox will defeat the Chicago Cubs in the 2017 World Series, the odds of this happening will be given by bookmakers based on a number of factors, including the size of the two sports franchises, the historical records of the two teams, and so on. An important factor to keep in mind is that the probability of an event does not necessarily mean that you will win or lose as a bettor. For example, let us say that you have wagered $100 on the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series. Even if the bookmaker has given the Cubs an incredibly low odds of winning (1:100), it does not necessarily mean that you will lose your $100. It is always possible for the Cubs to win the World Series and oddsmakers to give them very low odds, but due to some random event (e.g., a tornado wiping out Chicago, or an asteroid striking the Earth and causing it to cool down considerably), the Cubs may still lose the series. In this case, you would win your $100 because even though the odds you had to beat were very high, someone above you on the food chain helped you out in the end. This, however, does not mean that you should play with low odds–it just means that you have a greater chance of winning due to external factors. In general, you should avoid entering any wagers with odds that are shorter than 1:1, especially if you are new to sports betting. This is because in the long term 1:1 odds favor the house (bookmaker). Furthermore, the more events that happen in a row (i.e., in succession) that you predict will occur, the more likely it is that you will be on the winning end of the wager. For example, if you are 70% sure that the Boston Red Sox will win the World Series, but you also predict that the Cleveland Indians will win the AL pennant, you may gain some skill-based points with the bookmaker as they recognize your accuracy in seeing multiple events as happening in sequence.
The Appeal Of Predicting Futures
One of the main reasons why people like to bet on sports is because you can make money from odds that are not heavily influenced by random chance. For example, say that you are an avid Boston Celtics fan and have wagered $100 on them to win the NBA title this year. If you had placed that same wager last year, you would have lost your $100 due to random chance alone since the Celtics did not win the title last year. This is the risk of wagering on sports in general. However, on the whole, bookmakers will lean towards giving an edge to those who bet on sports compared to those who bet on traditional casino games (such as blackjack or roulette) simply because there is more historical data to work with when you are analyzing sports data. In other words, say that you were 70% sure that the Boston Red Sox would defeat the Cleveland Indians in the 2017 World Series, but since you are not an expert on baseball and have never bet on sports before, you looked up the historical records of the two teams and noticed that in the past, the Red Sox were always victorious in World Series against the Indians. Based on this, you may be reasonably sure that the Red Sox will beat the Cleveland Indians this year as well. Using this data, you can predict with a high degree of accuracy that the Red Sox will win the World Series this year as well and make a fortune (or at least break-even) from your bet on the Celtics.
The Appeal Of Playing Intra-Sports Fortunes
For those who enjoy risking money on multiple sports and seeking an advantage over the houses, intra-sports betting is the answer. Simply put, intra-sports betting involves betting on one sport while another one is taking place. This is different from traditional betting in that you are not placing bets on the outcome of individual games or series, but you are placing bets on the progress of an overall game or series. For example, let us say that you are a fan of the Baltimore Ravens and have wagered $100 on them to win the Super Bowl this year. If the New England Patriots win the divisional championship, the bet will be winnable since the Patriots will be playing in the Super Bowl as well, but even if they do not, it is still winnable since the Ravens will be playing in the game as well and it is far more likely that they will beat the New York Jets than it is for the Patriots to beat the Ravens. Intra-sports betting gives the advantage to the person who follows the game most intently since you can make money from multiple sources of data, including box scores, standings, and so on. Furthermore, playing intra-sports allows you to take advantage of unexpected events that might occur during a game (such as injuries or weather interruptions that force the postponement of a game). As it turns out, however, intra-sports betting is not all sunshine and rainbows as there are numerous factors that you need to keep in mind before entering any such wager. First, make sure your chosen sports are within your skill set. For example, if you are a novice at sports betting, it is best to stick to baseball (especially American) since there is much more data available for this sport compared to, say, esports or tennis where randomness tends to interfere with the outcome more than anything else. Second, when playing inter-sports or intra-sports, you have to keep in mind the possibility of random chance otherwise known as “The Gambler’s Fallacy”. Simply put, the Gambler’s Fallacy occurs when a person believes that they will always win because they believe that all casino games are random and thus will not happen the same way twice. While it is true that most casino games are based on luck, certain games (such as blackjack and roulette) are based on a strict skill set combined with quick thinking and proper strategy, which eliminates most of the randomness that is present in other games (e.g., poker or slots). Thus, if you want to play it safe and eliminate all the risk, you should probably avoid playing any intra-sports wagers since they are highly susceptible to random chance and might cost you a fortune, especially if you are a beginner. On the other hand, if you are a seasoned sports handicapper who understands the intricacies of probability and knows how to play it safe while benefiting from the oddsmakers’ mistakes when necessary, then inter-sports and intra-sports betting can be a lucrative venture for you especially since you get to combine winning streaks with the knowledge that you gained from past experience.
The Bottom Line
To help newbies get started, I have prepared a short guide that will teach you how to calculate the odds in betting. Simply follow the steps outlined below:
- Look up the historical record of the chosen teams
- Determine how likely it is that each event will happen
- Use the collected data to create and follow a betting strategy
The more you know and the more you practice, the better you will become. Good luck out there and happy betting!