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How to use data to help your basketball betting

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.

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How does hindsight bias impact betting on sports?

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.

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How to apply mathematical models to football

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?

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Do you really understand the complexity of betting?

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.

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Analysing the favourite-longshot bias: Why it exists and how you should respond to it

There are many things that are common knowledge in the world of sports betting, but few can match the tendency to overvalue outside bets and undervalue favourites. This phenomenon is called the favourite-longshot bias, and in this article, we will provide some recommendations for how you can use it to your benefit and keep your winnings intact. When all is said and done, bookmakers are businesses. It is for that very reason that each bookmaker will add a margin to all provided odds so that he can turn a profit. This is done by decreasing the odds relative to the fair expectation associated with each outcome. Let us take a two-player match as an example. In the following equation, the odds of player A being victorious are ‘a’ and the odds of player B emerging triumphant are ‘b’: Margin = [(1/a) + (1/b)] x 100 per cent. However, the figure of 100 per cent – reflecting as it does the sum of probabilities of all possible outcomes – will only be such in a fair book. A profit-seeking bookmaker will look to alter the equation to his advantage, choosing a figure higher than 100 per cent. This creates an excess, which is known in the industry as an overround, vig or juice. This is all intuitive, but it is not quite as obvious how the bookmaker loads his margins – he can do so all on player A, all on player B or spread evenly between the two.

How margin is added to the odds

In normal circumstances, the wisest choice would seem to be spreading the margin evenly between the two players. This would mean that if both were of a similar calibre, their fair odds would be 2.00. Read More

Betting: The impact of luck and skill

It is the question at the root of all betting: why do some people have more success at generating profits than others? Is it easy to learn the required skills, or is luck more important in determining how successful a bettor is?

Paradox of Skill

It is important to bear in mind that bettors do not want to hear that much of what they do is down to fortune. Of course, some games – roulette for example – Read More

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