There are countless people all across the globe who participate in sports betting. Many of these people do so for fun – it can add an element of entertainment to the process of following your favourite team, and it can also be an enjoyable activity to share among a group of friends. Others participate in sports betting because they want to earn a living from the endeavour; these people dedicate a large chunk of their time to research as they search for exploitable edges and keep up to date with important factors such as form and injuries.
The favourite-longshot bias has a major effect on sports betting, but we tend to view the phenomenon through the prism of the bettor, rather than the bookmaker. This article serves as an attempt to readdress that balance and provide a fresh perspective on something every bettor should be aware of.
The favourite-long shot bias refers to when bettors tend to overvalue longshot selections and undervalue favourites. In simple terms, this is a form of bettor irrationality – and bookmakers, as they always do, react to it. In this case, they shorten their odds as a response to this common behaviour. And that, of course, is bad news for those looking to maximise their returns.
Betting on sports is a complicated discipline. Even the most studious bettors must rely on significant portions of good fortune to be successful. The reason sport is so popular is because of the randomness at the heart of it, and that makes it difficult to make money from your predictions. There are, however, several things you can do to boost your chances of making a profit – and one of those is by employing data.
There are countless people on the planet that make a living from real estate. You may know someone who works in that field, and if you do not you have probably seen television programmes about them. These individuals earn income by “flipping a house”, a concept which has similarities to sports betting.
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Neuroscientists have long sought new ways to explain how and why human beings make certain decisions. The merging of neuroscience and economics has brought about some particularly interesting conclusions, including the fact that the brain reacts in the same way when an individual makes money as it does in chemically-induced highs. On the other hand, the brain interprets any financial losses as a massive low to be avoided.
On the face of it, mathematics and football do not seem to have much in common. However, the reality is that the two disciplines share many similarities, as described by David Sumpter in his book Soccermatics. Sumpter reveals the various numerical patterns present in the world’s most popular sport, using mathematical modelling to uncover some truths about the “beautiful game”.
Those who bet regularly will know that a mathematical approach can pay dividends, as well as altering your thinking on the sport. A bettor who does not make use of maths is unlikely to be successful, but how can modelling be applied to football?
For many people, betting is nothing more than a fun and enjoyable pastime which they take part in on a casual basis. Others, though, involve themselves because they want to make money from the endeavour, yet numerous members of this group do not fully appreciate how difficult betting can be.
What is betting?
While it is of course helpful to have knowledge about the sport you are betting on, this is by no means enough to be successful. Indeed, it is common for individuals to know huge amounts about, for example, rugby without being able to earn money when betting on it. You could follow your chosen sport for multiple hours every day, yet that alone does not mean you will win more bets than you lose.