If you’ve read a lot of pieces on this site, you’ll know that we’re always mentioning how important it is to do research before placing bets. The best bettors are the ones that spend plenty of time investigating the wagers that they’re placing, whilst the worst ones are the people that simple decide what it is that they’re going to bet on based on nothing but a whim or a ‘feeling’.
If you have been the latter for a long time but would like to become the former, you might well be wondering how, exactly, to do the research that we’re talking about.
There are plenty of options open to people that wish to do research. Depending on the sport that you’re looking to bet on, there are usually a wealth of different resources that you can look to take advantage of. Certainly the more popular sports, such as football, horse racing and tennis, will have plenty of websites dedicated to the stats and facts surrounding them.
Finding such sites can be the difference between your bet having a small chance of winning and it being destined to be a loser before it’s even been placed.
Bet On What You Know
One of the best things that you can do as a bettor is to place your wagers on the sports and events that you already know. If you are a big football fan, for example, then you’re going to be much better placed by placing wagers on football matches than you are getting involved in some random sport that you don’t know much about simply because you stumbled across the market whilst logged into your betting account. If you like something, the likelihood is that you’ll tend to read and listen to plenty of information about it.
Football fans are likely to read the BBC Sport page about football, say, or to buy Four-Four-Two magazine, as well as listen to podcasts that discuss football in detail. This means that you’ll be naturally soaking up plenty of information about the sport, which you’re not going to have done about a different sport like rugby.
You will effectively be doing research every day as part of your natural behaviour, so it will be easy enough to adapt your thinking and concentrate on certain factors that will be useful when it comes to figuring out which bets to place.
Where To Find The Facts
Each sport will have its own websites and forums dedicated to the sort of information that you’ll need in order to be able to make a more sensible bet than you would place if you’re going into a topic blindly. We won’t start listing things out here, but the sort of things that you’ll want to look out for are the likes of statistical websites and general news sites.
Being up-to-date on which players are injured or the ones that are back in training will be good for football fans, for example, whilst knowing whether tennis players are doing well in training will help betting on tennis matches.
Each sport will have its own quirks and curiosities, such as horse racing being most obviously affected by weather. There are websites dedicated to how well or badly a horse tends to do in each Going type, so they are well worth taking a look at and knowing how they work. That way, if there is a horse that you want to bet on running in an event then you can head onto the site and look at information such as how it does in certain Going, how its run at the specific course in the past and whether it works well with a given jockey.
The Odds Themselves
In a basic sense, the odds on an event themselves can give you plenty of information about something that you’re thinking about betting on. Bookmakers and odds compilers are essentially guessing when they first come up with odds.
They look at things like previous performances and other such information to ensure that it is an informed guess, but it is still a guess. As a result, the movement of the odds on a market tell you what the public thinks about the guess that they have made and whether they approve.
If no one is placing bets at the odds offered by the bookies, they will change the odds to make them look more appealing and bring in more bettors, to help them balance their books. If everyone is placing bets on them or the whales are putting large bets on something, the bookmakers will know that they’ve priced something too high and will adjust the odds accordingly.
The odds offered by bookies are also known as implied odds. This is different from the true odds, or real world probabilities. Taking all possible outcomes true odds always add up to 100% but implied odds from bookies add up to more than 100%, the extra is their profit margin.
This is important to bear in mind as bookies alter their odds to ensure they make a profit as opposed to real world chances actually changing. If everyone is backing a certain outcome odds will shorten but that doesn’t necessarily mean the real world chances have changed. Finding when implied odds are better than true odds is a strategy used by many so called ‘professional’ gamblers but, again, this requires a lot of research as you can never know the true odds with any certainty.
This is all information that you can learn from, teaching you that something that you were thinking of betting on is either a good or a bad idea depending on how the odds have moved over time.
Things That Bookies Don’t Consider
Whilst one of the biggest sports stars in the world getting divorced from their partner might make the headlines, most of the time the bookmakers don’t consider the personal lives of the people involved in sports or other events. This means that there are some things that the bookies don’t put too much weight into that you can use to your advantage.
Following players on social media might well teach you that their daughter got married at the weekend, say, and therefore they’re unlikely to be fully focussed for their big Monday night game.
Perhaps you know from gossip that someone is having marital problems, so you might want to consider this before placing a bet on them to win the tennis match that they’re involved in. It is all the sort of stuff that the bookmakers won’t really think about when compiling their odds but can be catnip to you as a bettor.
At the very least, it you gives you something else to consider when you’re thinking of the bets that you want to place, which is no bad thing when you consider that you’ll always be on the back foot against bookies that are setup to take your money.