Sports Betting 101

To BetSmart on Betfair, a strategy is a must. Here is some foundation tips for starting out and developing a winning sports betting strategy of your own.

Managing Your Investment – Bankroll, Staking & Recording

Without an edge in the market it can be very difficult to make money. Time and effort needs to be put into defining your edge as well managing the money you invest. If you poorly manage your funds, you may find yourself unable to execute your betting strategies.

Your bankroll is the entire amount of money you set aside for investment over a certain period. Determining this amount is dependent on how aggressive or conservative you choose your betting strategies to be.

Once you have this amount determined it’s crucial to then decide how you will best stake against your bankroll to optimise your strategy. There are a range of staking plans that can be applied to wagering. There is no right or wrong method so it’s important to have a detailed understanding of the varying methods that are available.

Percentage staking method applies a consistent percentage of your bankroll on each bet. The method attempts to protect the wagerer from losing their entire bankroll. It assumes equal value of each bet, this could mean that you may be investing the same amount on a $1.50 (66.7% probability) as an investment which is $6.70 (14.92% probability). This method doesn’t consider value.

Proportional staking involves betting a share of your bankroll in proportion to your advantage within the market or in relation to the market price. There are a range of methods that can be implemented into your plan.

Dutching method of staking involves dividing your stake over a number of selections in a market so that a consistent amount is won regardless of which selection wins. This method utilises the market price and your proposed return amount to determine your stake.

Recognising Value & Having an Edge

Value is when the odds available represent a probability that is less than the actual or perceived probability of an event. Another way of saying this is that the odds available are larger than your perception of what the odds should be.

Take, for example, the toss of a coin. There are only two possible outcomes and they both have an equal chance of occurring. Therefore, the true odds of the coin landing on a head or a tail is $2.00 regardless of how many times you toss it. If five heads have landed in a row, it makes no difference. The odds are always the same – 50-50, or in betting terms $2.00 or ‘even money’.

As a punter, it’s your task to identify the event where the odds available represent value. Still using the above example, this could mean finding the odds of $2.20 for heads or tails.

To determine a value proposition in a market the investor first needs to be able to determine a perceived value.

Punters differ in their methods to determine their perceived value of an event. Some may utilise a mathematical approach based on historical data and others may use other information such as form, weather, opinion etc. Regardless of the approach to determine the probability of an event, punters need to be able to determine an edge between their perceived value and market value within their betting strategies.

The key to any strategy whereby a punter has used historical data and analysis, is to rigorously test and refine their strategy before investing with real money. Further to this, if you have thoroughly tested and believe that your model/strategy works, you must trust your work. If the first week or two don’t yield your expected returns, be patient and remember that it is a long-term strategy, not a smash and grab job.

Form and Mathematics

There are a plethora or racings analysts, tipsters and professionals in racing and sport that can provide there insight into the results of an event. When it comes to form analysis, punters can follow their preferred analyst or work the form themselves to determine the outcome. Sometimes a combination of the two can be the approach in sports betting strategies.

Determining the outcome of an event can also be determined by utilising mathematics to model and predict the outcome. This can range from basic to complex statistical testing on past performance to determine an edge.

If you read other tipsters or analyst’s thoughts, they might just give you a factor that you hadn’t even thought of to include in your model or strategy. Even though your model might yield positive results, there is nothing saying it could be even more efficient and yield even better results.

And lastly, sport is forever changing. Just because your betting strategies are working for you during a specific period, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for the next. Don’t get complacent. Be stringent and always make sure you track your results and revise if and when it’s needed.

BetSmart with the Betfair Hub

Our team of experts and analysts are reviewing markets and events every week to determine value opportunities on the Exchange. Get their insights, analysis and recommended betting strategies at the Betting News section of The Hub.

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