How Do I Create a Sports Betting Algorithm or System?
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.
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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 profit.
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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