True Facts About Sports Betting
The sporting industry is based on fierce competition. This competitiveness has been passed on to millions of sports fans from all over the world, with each genre attracting loyal and passionate fans. The only way that sports can be even more exciting for spectators is for them to participate in a little sport of their own and this is why sports betting was created. This form of gambling has been taking place for thousands of years but has changed significantly since it was first introduced.
Sports betting options are now available for a wide variety of sporting events and fixtures that require bettors to have some knowledge about the sport and betting skill to win. This is a pleasant change for many players all over the world who would prefer to rely on their knowledge and skills as opposed to relying on luck, which is the case with many conventional casino games. To provide further clarity on what sports betting entails and how sportsbook operators conduct their business, we will be looking into the following:
Sports Betting and Luck
Naturally, sports betting attracts many sports fans but in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of bettors who are turning to sports betting despite having no loyalties to a specific sporting code or team. This is a result of the outcome of sports wagers relying heavily on research, knowledge and understanding of the odds, which has led many to believe that there is no element of chance associated with sports betting.
However, this is not necessarily true. Contrary to popular belief, chance does play a role in the outcome of a sports bet. In any sport, there can be a range of unforeseen circumstances that the odds don’t take into account that could make a huge impact on the outcome. This can be anything from a match official making a controversial decision, an injury or even bad weather.
The Relationship Between Results and Skill
The author of the Success Equation, Michael Maubossin, has conducted an in-depth investigation into the relationship between results and skills across a wide variety of sporting events.
As you can imagine, games such as roulette, slots and the lottery are based entirely on chance or luck. Considering that there is no strategy that can be employed to reduce the house or operator edge, these games are categorized as games of pure chance. The presence of this chance reduces gradually as we move from the left to the right of the diagram. This diagram is a useful resource for those who are considering placing a sports bet and serves as a reminder that while some games have less chance involved, luck is never completely absent from the equation.
The Effects of Luck on Sports Betting
One of the aspects of sports that makes watching, and playing, certain games so entertaining is the element of unpredictability. While this is not a great aspect for sports bettors, there are often times when a specific team dominates the match for more than 50% of the game, only to end up losing at the end. It might seem like luck or chance played a role in this unexpected outcome but we make use of a metric called the expected goals to better understand this scenario.
The expected goals metric analyses the chances at play in a match, with every attempted goal or point having a probability attached to its outcome. Below, we have shared a chart that depicts the finishing positions for the English Premier League season in 2019/20. On the left side of each team’s logo, we have shared the positions of each team based on their expected goals while the right shows the accurate outcomes.
Premier League Expectations and Results
The analysis of this metric has produced results that are similar to the eventual outcomes for the most part. Taking a look at the first four teams, some matches resulted in different teams winning but the positions of the teams have remained the same. However, the bottom of the table shows different results. This serves as proof that a good bet doesn’t always necessarily pay off and bettors should be cautious and mindful when placing their bets.
How Margin Affects Sports Bets
Depending on where you are in the world, the margin can be expressed by different terms, such as overround, vig, house edge or juice. These words are used to describe the edge that bookmakers include in the odds that they offer to players. While it would be great to double your profits, with a simple bet that has 50/50 odds, your profits will typically be less by 2-10% than this.
Many bettors might find betting against a margin unfair. However, this is a vital part of the business that sportsbook operators, and all other gambling service providers, conduct. If the margin were to be removed, sportsbook operators would not be able to make any long-term profits and would eventually be unable to remain afloat.
Accumulator Bets Explained
While single bets are a great place for novice betters to start, accumulator bets are extremely popular amongst more seasoned bettors. These wagers are composed of multiple selections for a single bet and could result in significant profits if the outcomes are predicted correctly, despite the size of the wager placed.
Despite the significant profits that bettors stand to make, bookmakers and sportsbook operators are keen to offer accumulator bets because of how it affects the margin or house edge. The margin increases and is compounded for each selection that the bettor places.
To better depict how the margin increases, we have created a scenario where a 3% margin has been added. Take a look at the table below:
|Total selections in accumulator||House edge faced by bettor (%)|
If you’re a fan of accumulator bets and you are betting only what you can afford to comfortably lose, there is no need to change your habits. However, you should be well aware that beating a margin of 26%, opposed to the 3% that’s seen with other bets, and making a decent profit is more challenging than it would be if you were betting on a single event.
Sports Betting Theory Reality Check
Now that we’ve covered the effects that margin and luck can have on outcomes and profits, we’ll take a look into some of the myths and theories that surround sports betting. Our CasinoTop experts explain more about these theories and provide facts that either prove the theories correct or debunk the myth.
The Theory Explained
Many seasoned sports bettors play solely based on their version of the true theory with regards to favourites and underdogs. Some believe that favourite teams are always better and that they are favoured for a reason so betting on the favourite for the match is best. On the other hand, some bettors focus on the unpredictability of sports and take an opposite approach to the first group.
From a factual perspective, there is merit to each side of this argument. However, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all rule that can be applied to sports betting to guarantee a win. While favourites to regularity win, this should never be considered a sun victory from a sports bettor’s perspective. Meanwhile, bettors who put their money on the underdogs will receive greater profits if the underdogs do win.
Our CasinoTop team can see where both of these theories come from, however, we believe it would be best and more responsible for bettors to take a look at every bet in isolation and consider the statistics and other metrics.
The Theory Explained
Many bettors believe that following the advice of tipsters will result in a way, particularly if the advice doled out for the last few matches was correct. These tipsters can usually be found on social media platforms, making their advice easily accessible and simple to consume.
From a bettors’ perspective, following the advice of a tipster blindly can be likened to following the advice of a former expert. Most tipsters are biased in some way and thrive on drawing bettors in with a win streak. However, this is not enough to guarantee that the advice is accurate.
There are other bits of accurate information that bettors should consider, such as return on investment, loss figures and profits, that can provide better and more accurate insight into what would be a safer bet. However, even when these aspects seem promising, bettors should remember that strong previous performances don’t guarantee that the following outcome will be the same.
The Theory Explained
If you’re a sports fan, you’ve probably heard the saying that class is permanent, and form is sometimes temporary. From a betting perspective, this means that ignoring temporary dips in performance can result in profits.
Many bettors have the misplaced belief that if an outcome occurs less often than it would in previous matches, it is somehow less likely to happen in the coming matches. This is called the Gambler’s fallacy and can be applied to many different situations. For example, rolling a dice and receiving sixes more than once does not make the same outcome less, or more, likely to happen in the future from a mathematical point of view.
However, we understand that some bettors find it very exciting to predict a players’ sudden improvement in form and performance when faced with specific circumstances.
The Theory Explained
Most tips that bettors have access to are provided by former players, coaches or referees of specific sports. In some cases, sports journalists and other individuals who have contributed to the sport in some significant way will also offer up advice. From a players perspective, some lightly research the favourites for specific matches while other bettors go through team and player statistics rigorously before placing their wagers.
There has been no research conducted to prove the former players, or sports personalities, are able to provide more accurate advice than those who watch the game neutrally. While many bettors prefer to take the advice of a former player, these individuals can have biases that affect the way they view the potential outcome of the event.
With that being said, bettors should watch sporting events, regardless of whether they choose to take a former professional’s advice, from a neutral perspective to place a smart wager.
The Theory Explained
Since sports betting has become such a popular betting niche, the number of sportsbook operators and bookmakers has increased significantly. This has led to the competition for customers becoming more and more fierce over time. As a way to attract new customers to their sportsbooks, operators offer promotions and bonuses.
The common theory is that taking advantage of these offers will be financially beneficial and profitable over time.
Taking the purpose of these promotions into account, the promotions on offer at sportsbooks are the same as land-based shops showcasing their best products and offers through a window. The point of this advertising technique is to attract customers into the store to spend their money on the products that they advertised but also, if possible, a few products that are not on sale.
With this above example in mind, players should be taking a thorough look at the sports betting promotions before opting in. If you have experience with terms, conditions and requirements and are not easily swayed to bet money you had no intention to, promotions can be beneficial to you. However, we caution all of our bettors to be realistic and not opt into deals that appear to be too good. A large free bet might seem like a way to preserve your bankroll at first but there could be rollover requirements attached.
Regardless of whether you’re new to sports betting or have been placing wagers for years, keeping track of your habits will ensure that your favourite pastime will remain fun and enjoyable for a long time. Below, our CasinoTop experts have shared some tips on how to effectively monitor your sports betting activities and remain in control.
Don’t Have Targets
While sports betting is a competitive pastime, it is important to never set targets for yourself. Even the most experienced bettors could run into trouble by setting targets since most sporting codes are played in seasons. Naturally, there will be times when none of the sports you watch or know much about are in season. Bettors who don’t set targets don’t feel compelled to take unnecessary risks by placing bets on sports that they don’t fully understand, whereas bettors with targets find themselves in these situations often.
In addition, setting a target compels bettors to chase their losses more than those without targets. As with all forms of betting, chasing a loss is a dangerous situation that usually escalates rapidly. To avoid these unsettling and problematic scenarios, we recommend that you never set a target and look at each wager in isolation.
Consider Past Performance and Bets
One of the reasons why many bettors feel the need to follow advice from tipsters is because they don’t keep track of their bets or previous performances. However, documenting these aspects allows for bettors to analyze their previous bets, losses and profits which is vital to avoiding unhealthy habits. Some sportsbook services will document this information for you and can be accessed by viewing your betting profile. Take a look at the following:
The markets, sports and bets that you prefer to interact with. In addition, you can see which bets on specific sports have yielded more positive results for you.
Your betting frequency and style will tell you when you are most comfortable or likely to make a bet. This can be great to show you when you are making impulsive bets that you’ve later regretted.
The sportsbook will also document your betting stakes to show you the amounts that you bet. This will indicate whether your successful wagers are based purely on confidence or whether they took previous results into consideration.
While some bettors might find this process tedious, it is the first step that you should take to ensure that you’re betting smart and effectively. This ensures that the activity remains fun and controlled.
Make Use of Tools for Responsible Gambling
Some regions of the world require sportsbook operators to provide their bettors with gambling tools and resources, while others provide this information out of concern for their bettors. Regardless of the motivations behind these additions to the service, the responsible gambling tools available should be put to good use. Here are some of the tools we’ve found at online sportsbooks:
Reality checks notify bettors when they have been playing for longer than a specified amount of time. This is a great tool for those who become immersed in the activity and don’t adhere to the time limits they set for themselves.
Similar to reality checks, the deposit limitation allows for bettors to indicate what their limit is for deposits on a daily or monthly basis.
Self-exclusion is a tool that can be used to prevent bettors from accessing their betting accounts for a set amount of time, with many operators allowing a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of five years.
Cool Off Period
The cool off period is similar to self-exclusion but is more short term. In this case, bettors can prevent themselves from accessing their accounts for a minimum of a day and a maximum of a month.
FAQs for Sports Betting
Do sportsbook providers offer welcome bonuses and promotions?
Yes, sportsbook providers do offer bonuses and promotions as a means to attract new bettors and welcome them. In most cases, new players will receive a free bet. This means that the operator will give bettors a “free bet” to a certain value of promotional credit. However, players should keep in mind that these promotions come with terms and conditions that should be read through and understood before opting in.
What sports can I bet on?
The world of sports betting has drastically expanded, and bettors can place wagers on almost all international, local and conventional sports. This ranges from classics like football, tennis and horse racing to cricket, eSports and even international sporting events like the FIFA World Cup.
Is sports betting fair?
Despite the confusing events and suspicions of the past, sports betting is not rigged. Many bettors assumed that it was when considering the odds without factoring in the bookmaker’s house edge or margin. However, as more people begin to understand sports betting, these suspicions have disappeared, and sports betting can confidently be deemed fair.
Can you consistently make money from sports betting?
While it is possible to earn money from sports bets, there is no way to consistently win. The relationship between the number of bets placed and profits is inversely proportional after a certain number of bets. This is because the house will always win, especially in the long-term.
Is sports betting a game of skill?
Sports betting can be viewed as a game of both skill and chance since both aspects are present. It is not impossible to pick a bet at random and win simply based on a hunch, this is where luck comes in. However, regular sports bettors tend to leverage their knowledge, skills and understanding of teams and markets to place bets that have a greater chance of success.
What is the margin?
The margin can be seen as the house edge that sportsbook operators and bookmakers add to the odds that they create. This is a percentage of every profit or loss that sportsbook operators’ pocket to make a profit from providing their services and is a necessary part of staying afloat.
Are accumulator bets profitable?
Accumulator bets are more profitable for bettors if they correctly predict the outcomes. However, the margin is increased exponentially for each leg of the bet so there is a greater house edge on these bets.