Understanding Odds: How to Build a Betting Strategy

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The purpose of this guide is to provide an explanation of how we present game odds, including juices, PKs, and EVENs. First thing first: At BigDataBall, our odds are always based on the American system.

Let’s get things rolling with a couple of examples NBA odds!

JUICE aka VIG EXPLAINED
Sportsbooks utilize “juice” or “vig”, you can think it is like a fee or tax that you have to pay to the sportsbook. Bookies usually make money from juices no matter the outcome and sometimes they offer “even” bets where you can double your money.

“-4.0 EVEN”
  –  Describes a situation where the juice is zero
  –  You win the exact same amount of money you wagered
  –  American odds equivalent: -100 or +100

“PK”
  –  PK is an abbreviation that can stand for “pick’em”, “pk’em”, or “pick”
– This refers to a situation in which the oddsmakers have determined that both teams are of equal strength and that there is no obvious favorite
  –  Spread is 0 (zero)

“13.5 -05”
  –  Identical to “13.5 -105”
– The “-05” represents the juice that is applied to underdog bets
– But, in order to win $100, you have to wager $105
– In most cases, you need to wager $110 in order to win $100
 
“220u15”
  –  Identical to “220 under 115”. 
  –  You are betting on the under while the O/U is set to “220”
  –  But, in order to win $100, you have to wager $115
  –  In most cases, you need to wager $110 in order to win $100

Get started with educated betting
The overall objective of using data to build a winning betting strategy is to guide your decisions with the insights gained by collecting and evaluating relevant data. If you stick to this plan and tweak it over time, you can increase your odds of winning and increase the amount you carry home.

A. GET PREPARED, USE DATASETS INCLUDING PAST GAMES
All it takes is a little bit of preparation because there is going to be a great deal of competition where every bettor, including you, has the opportunity to gain an advantage by doing as much research as they desire. With data, uncover trends, patterns, and other factors that may affect the outcome of your bets. Whether it may include analyzing player or team performance, opponent strength, and other aspects, you must involve data in your daily routine.

It is a good idea to make use of sports data when betting on the point spread bets, or O/U. You can use BigDataBall datasets for NFL, NBA, WNBA, NHL, and MLB to go beyond simply placing bets. Figure out how large of a margin of victory can be realistically and compare it to what bookmakers set in order to make an educated bet. You always need to put serious effort into your research and get some experience to have a combination of knowledge of becoming proficient at betting. Over the course of time, you will become aware of what works for you and what constitutes a successful sports betting strategy. When it comes to making an educated bet, you have to perform data analysis:

B. BUILD A BETTING STRATEGY

B1. Every sport is different! It’s that simple: Bet on the sports that you are most familiar with. Because every sport has its own set of unique statistics and power rankings, the more information you take in, the more educated bets you’ll be able to do. The key evaluation statistics vary significantly from one sport to the next. Choose the one that is relevant to each sport:
-IE, in football points per yard, success in the red zone, yards per play, and turnover differential.
-IE, in basketball, opponent three-point shooting percentage, successful rebounding, turnover rates, pace (tempo), and efficiency rating for offense and defense.

B2. SET YOUR LIMITS, MANAGE YOUR BANKROLL
After gathering all the required data, you must analyze it to design a betting plan based on your research of facts and patterns. Setting betting limits, determining the types of bets you want to make, and managing your bankroll can help you succeed. Monitor your performance and alter your approach as you place bets. Depending on your experience and outcomes, you may need to change your betting limits or your strategy to analyzing data and patterns.

Successful betting needs research, analysis, and disciplined decision-making. By following these steps and adjusting your approach, you can optimize your winnings.

C. ODDS MOVEMENTS
In order to get an advantage over other gamblers: watch out for the odds movements! Bettors are able to begin placing wagers as soon as a sportsbook has published the betting lines for any given matchup. Bear in mind that not all sportsbooks will publish their initial odds at the same time, so keep that in mind. Some publish their odds very early on in the process, whereas others won’t do so until much later after the early odds have been wagered on and have somewhat stabilized themselves. If you see a weak line, you have time to get out of the way before it moves. Always keep in mind that you need to have accounts at different sportsbooks in order to jump on the lines and find the best possible opportunities.

In addition, if you get down early, you may position yourself to take advantage of a later opportunity to hedge your bet and/or play the middle of a game in the event that there is a significant shift in the line.

D. INJURIES
There is always the possibility that the status of a key player would be good material. The lines will shift in response to any breaking news on the key players. Find yourself a good resource and try to get alerted once a key player is absent.

E. HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
You should always take into consideration the most recent form of both teams. A team could be tired on a road trip or on a roll of winning games during a home stand. Always consider looking at the home-field advantage; however, there will be some teams that will benefit more than others from playing on the road. Oddsmakers automatically account for the team depending on whether or not they play at home.

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