How To Use Statistics In Sports Betting

Sports betting’s very nature is based on statistical principles. This is true for the odds that a sportsbook calculates and offers to you. It’s also true if you use a calculator or some form of software to estimate potential winnings.

Content Navigation
  1. Sports Stats – Principles
  2. Useful Statistics
  3. Calculate Stats for Betting
  4. Risk of Relying on Strategies

Principles Of Statistics In Betting

Sports Stats

Statistics are everywhere in sports betting. Each bookie has its own set of statistics to operate with. You’re presented with various markets for all sports, and this is where statistics will come in handy.

You aren’t guaranteed to “cheat” or beat the sportsbook unless you are majorly blessed in the statistics department. However, you might as well try to better your understanding regardless of the outcome.


What Statistics Are Useful?

Statistics for calculating various aspects of sports betting are beneficial in understanding your bets. But this isn’t where statistics end; past event’s statistics are used as well.

You can use match records for sports like football to estimate your betting strategy or next wager. You can calculate how likely a team is to win, statistically what the goals or points scored will be and so on.

Record Keeping

A common mistake that many punters make is not keeping a good record of all bets placed. You need to keep a precise track of wagers that you win as well as those you lose. If you don’t track winnings or lack thereof, you won’t have an idea of how well your strategy is working.

If you’re aware of how a selected strategy works and what to expect, then you can compare this with your actual results. This will enable you to sustain winning streaks better and apply your strategy successfully to future bets.

Odds Calculation

Odds are offered in various formats, as you’ve likely seen across sportsbooks. If you understand the odds being offered, then you can judge if the bet is being provided at its real value. You can read about the three types of odds below.

You’ll see American odds, also called money line odd across American sportsbooks and casinos. You’ll notice that there are UK betting sites that use British and decimal odds formats alongside this as well.

Either a +/- sign represents American odds. The ‘+’ sign indicates an event with lower probability but a bigger payout. The British odds are fractional, like 5/1 or in a ratio.

Lastly, decimal odds represent what you stand to gain for every 1 currency unit you wager. Your example could be odds for an event of 4.00, that’s a £/€/$400 payout for every £/€/$100 you bet. You have the option to switch between formats at a bookie, if you’d like.

Odds Conversions

You can use the following formulas to calculate your way through odds formats yourself.

  • Fractional → Decimal: Solve the fraction and +1
  • Fractional → American: If your answer is >=1 then x100(your answer) | If your answer is <1 then -100/(your number)
  • Decimal → Fractional: -1 and convert to a fraction
  • Decimal → American: If the decimal is odd and >2 then 100x(decimal odd -1) | If the decimal odd is <2 then -100/(decimal odd -1)
  • American → Decimal: If the American odd is >0 then (American odd/100) +1 | If the American odd is <0 then (-100/American odd)+1
  • American → Fractional: If the American odd is >0 then American odd/100 | If the American odd is <0 then -100/American odd

The designation of these betting formats represents probabilities. You should know that the best bookies by odds will also use these. You can convert between the formats on most sites.

You can then calculate the implied probability for the betting odds. This is an informed way to consider whether you should place a bet or not.


How to Calculate Statistics For Betting

Stats calculatations

You can easily calculate an implied probability of an outcome with the following formula:

Implied Probability = Stake/Total Payout

Then you simply put the numbers into the formula, and it’ll give you a percentage. Remember though, it’s designed that the house will always win. A profit margin exists so that you won’t receive exactly what you expect in winnings.

Multiple regression analyses are conventional statistical calculations that bookies make use of, but we won’t go that deeply into how they work.

Next, you can read how odds are calculated with probability. In simplified terms, the probability is a scale from zero to one. The occurrence of a particular outcome occurring falls somewhere along that scale.

You can then choose your outcome, let’s say by rolling a die. You want to land on three, which is a single number; this is your favourable outcome. How many sides (six) are on a die will be all possible outcomes.

Next, you just divide the two, so 1/6, which gives you odds of 0.16. To convert this back to probability as a percentage, only x100. You can even use statistics to calculate your expected payout for a successful bet.

Payout is quite easy to calculate as you multiply your stake by the odds offered. If you place a bet for say, £/€/$10 on 3.00 decimal odds, the expected payout is £/€/$30.

Basing Strategies On Statistics

Understanding and applying these statistics to your sports betting is a crucial step to becoming a better bettor. You can even start to model your strategy based on the statistics and odds available.


Disadvantages Of Relying On Statistics

Before you go on calculating sports stats, heed our words of warning. You’ll likely have a better chance at succeeding with sports bets if you take statistics into account when you bet. However, you must be aware that statistics are only one side to betting, and you can’t solely rely on them. You must be aware that there are other factors to be considered in sports betting alongside statistics.

You should note as well that statistics don’t factor in any outside factors. This means that you won’t always be placing statistics in the right context.

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