It might come as a surprise to most to hear that some of the best sports
handicappers on the planet rely on a particular “betting system” more so
than their knowledge of the sport or sports they bet on. Don’t get me
wrong, these handicappers are very smart people, but their consistent
success is due to the fact they’ve been able to develop “betting systems”
throughout their years in the industry that they trust and rely on 100
percent of the time. These systems are complex and thorough and with the
right tweak of data every now and then, the systems continuously churn out
updated information for future betting situations.
What is a Betting System?
When you hear someone talking about a certain “betting system” they are
referring to a system that is in place that uses a specific set of rules or
criteria to avoid making a subjective decision when thinking about a
particular wager. Such betting systems are the product of extensive data
mining in which numbers, statistics and trends are dug up to help a bettor
find the most logical way to wager on future games with similar traits. To
simplify, a handicapper would look for situations where X happened, and Y
immediately followed. Going forward, if X were to happen again, a play on Y
would be in order. There are “betting systems” for things like blackjack,
roulette, baccarat and horse betting. However, for the purpose of this
article, I will stick to “betting systems” within sports betting.
How Do Betting Systems Work?
There are countless types of “betting systems” a handicapper can utilize
when looking to gain an edge over the sportsbooks. Some are self developed
while others have been around for several years. For example, some
handicappers prefer to look for statistical reoccurrences, while some think
studying a team’s schedule could help them find situations in which a team
is expected to play better or worse. There are also some handicappers who
look for surprising line movement and then make their play on or against
it. Whatever your system is, once the specific criteria is in place, you
can quickly sort through a high volume of available games and identify the
ones that fit the system. However, once you have circled the few games that
fit the system, you must dig deeper to find out if there is value to be had
and if it’s worth wagering on.
How to Create a Betting System?
When most people think hear the term “betting system” they instantly think
it’s beyond their paygrade and so sophisticated in stature. Sure, some
sports betting system are created by math geniuses looking for value. And
while these may be complex and fly directly over the head of an average
bettor, these are generally the exception.
If you wanted to create your own betting system, the first step would be to
identify what you want to target and then come up with an idea of how you
are going to collect the data. The best sports betting systems all start
with a single trend or statistic, and then it snowballs from there. To keep
the system relevant, you must constantly build on it, tweak it and adjust
it as time passes to keep from going stale and to continue turning a
In the year 2019, we have more information available to us than we have
ever had before, and the availability of real-time data and statistics
allow us to instantly plug in the information and see how it fits. There is
no waiting required as the excel sheets and the amount of computer power we
possess have the ability to instantly crunch the numbers and spit out a
conclusion that can then be turned into profit. Use the information
available to you and do something positive with it. The information is
available for everyone to consume, and building a betting system is a step
on the right path when it comes to understanding the sports betting
industry and helping you profit over time.
The Flaws of a Betting System
If sports betting was as easy as following trends and wagering on certain
situations, we would all be super rich. Unfortunately it isn’t, and each
“betting system” has its own flaw. Before I get to the flaws, I want to
touch on how the sportsbooks react to these “betting systems.” For
starters, sportsbooks are not dumb. They employ knowledgeable sports people
who are paid to track these sorts of things. If a sportsbook feels
vulnerable to a specific trend, they will adjust the line or price and try
to take the edge away from the bettor. This means that finding a true
“betting system” that provides a long-term edge for bettors is much tougher
than most handicappers like to believe.
Over many years of handicapping, I have come to find that the biggest
problem with “betting systems” is sample size. For example, if you flip a
coin 1,000 times the split between heads and tails should be pretty close
to even – 500 per side. However, if you were to shrink the sample size to
just 10 flips, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect a more severe split –
say 7/3 in favor of heads, or 8/2 in favor of tails. Because of this severe
split, handicappers are quick to assume that seven or eight out of 10 is a
reasonable expectation over the long term. Positive results like this lead
to greed and cutting corners, not to mention false expectations. If you
value your bankroll like most successful handicappers, you need to avoid
putting any stock in betting systems that aren’t proven over an extender
period of time.
Betting System and Algorithm Success Addendum from Doc’s Sports’ Arun
Shiva (formerly Indian Cowboy)
Check Shiva’s handicapping info page here
. It’s not every day a Sports Handicapper has a Masters in Biostatistics,
but that is something that has helped myself and my team over the years.
When one speaks of algorithms, people have a tendency to get scared or
intimidated. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In a world filled with
Metrics and Analytics, I think people can get a bit scared as the
traditional way of how we look at sports gets taken away. People become
uncomfortable with the idea that numbers are driving draft picks, the way
we watch the game, or how we handicap a contest. I am a firm believer in
both. It is like your Right Eye and your Left Eye. You need them both.
I believe Numbers and Algorithms are important in tracking what you are
looking for. For us, it is bounce-backs for a team or pitcher, regressions
of a team or pitcher, let downs, revenge, offensive efficiency, defensive
efficiency, the all-important turnover/assist ratio, field goal percentage
up tick or regression, and the list goes on. So, when you do algorithms,
you have to base your algorithms on what YOU are looking for. Don’t let the
numbers tell you what to dictate. Find out what you want from the numbers.
How well a team does after a win, a loss, a terrible turnover performance,
a poor assist performance, or a terrible offensive or defensive
performance. Have numbers be your Right Eye.
But, have gut instinct be your left eye. There is nothing better than gut
instinct and knowing when a team just does not match up well against
another team. Or, a team no matter what their record is for that year,
always gets up for certain teams. So, Numbers + Gut Instinct is the best
possible combination you can have. We hope this explains our obsession with
Numbers and Gut Instinct.
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