With that in mind, let's look at sports betting basics. You've walked into a sportsbook, you're staring at a wall of orange and green letters and numbers and it looks like hieroglyphics. You may find a patient clerk at the sportsbook counter who can explain some basics, but it's always better to go in with an idea how it works. Start by doing some research online, learning a bit of sports betting terminology and about types of wagers available at sportsbooks.
Here's a review of some basics. There are a few basic ways to bet on the result of a game. The most popular ways are to bet one team using the "point spread" or spread or to bet the outcome on the "money line" ML.
That means that Cleveland has to win by three and half or more points. If they only win by 3, then someone betting on the Cavaliers would lose their wager. So suppose the Cavs edge the Bucks Someone betting on Milwaukee would win there because the Bucks "covered" the spread -- by either winning outright or by losing by three or less. The person who bet on the Cavaliers the "favorite" would have lost here, while someone else backing the underdog Bucks or the "dog" would have won their wager, despite the Bucks losing the game.
That would be represented on the board or on the mobile app by , or odds. If you bet the Bucks ML and they lose the game by any margin, you lose your wager. Handicapping refers to a person's approach to predicting a game's outcome. Some people weigh certain factors differently than others. Do the Golden State Warriors play poorly on the second night of a back-to-back? Maybe you think that's just noise. I mean every game is different," Salerno says.
You should be up to date on those. Past statistics come into handicapping, and in some sports, past performances against that team. So, for example, in basketball, they play each other more often than they do in football, so you would use past performances for your handicap. Handicapping can be as simple or as complicated as you like. People who wager on sports professionally or try will devise their own rating systems and use them to help identify what a line should be. Ever notice someone only rooting for offense or defense, regardless of who has the ball?
It's a wager totally independent of the game's outcome spread or ML. So in that case, and regardless of who wins, they feel that there will be more than 45 points scored, so they would bet 'over' on that. And vice versa, if they felt less points would be scored, they would bet on that. These scenarios often come down to the final minute of the game. Let's say that the Packers lead late in the game and are trying to kill the clock on offense. Aaron Rodgers hits Davante Adams for a yard reception, Adams runs to the Patriots' yard line and then the Patriots lock down and force the Packers to kick a field goal on fourth down.
Those on the over hold their breath. It's good, the game ends Packers and the total skates past Keep in mind that in addition to a game total, most sportsbooks will offer a separate total for the first quarter, second quarter, first half, third quarter, fourth quarter and for the second half.
You may think the game will start very conservatively. In that case, you might wager "under" in the first quarter or half. Also keep in mind that there are other types of wagers called "props" that look at a variety of player-specific or team-specific events. A popular prop during the NCAA tournament is the first team to score 10, 15 or 20 points. It's just an exciting race to open things up. Now we're getting into "exotics," or types of wagers beyond the traditional kinds.
Teasers and parlays are the two most popular variations. To win your parlay, they would both have to cover those spreads. You can bet more than two teams in a parlay, too; the more teams you pick, the higher the possible payout. For example, a seven-team spread parlay pays out at about But remember -- to win your bet, you have to win all legs of the parlay. So if you nail six Sunday football games, but lose the Monday night game, you can kiss that ticket goodbye.
A teaser is similar to a parlay in that you must take two or more teams, and they both have to cover the spread. The difference here is you get to add points to, or tease, the spreads. In football, one teaser option is to add six points to a spread. Putting it another way, a teaser gives you some cushion, but again you have to be right on every team or "leg" you play. Teasers may seem appealing, but things often don't go the way we expect, so don't be easily seduced by the extra points.
Speaking of points, here's a good spot to mention how the "book" or the "house" takes a cut. Consider that you'll frequently see. That extra 10 refers to the "juice" or the "vig. After all, the sportsbook and its employees have to eat, too -- they are taking the risk with every wager placed. And that's basically why exists. Consequently, when you start to win often, bookmakers will start discriminating against you and restraint the amount of money you can bet. You have to dedicate a lot of time and effort to make many bets and withstand being flagged by bookmakers.
My conclusions are that developing ML models for sports betting is good only for practice and improvement of your data science skills. You can upload the code you make to GitHub and improve your portfolio. However, I do not think it is something that you could do as part of your lifestyle in the long term. Because at the end bookmakers never lose.
Ultimately I ended up not doing a single line of code in this project. I hope that my literature review helps illustrate others. Follow me on LinkenIn. Hands-on real-world examples, research, tutorials, and cutting-edge techniques delivered Monday to Thursday.
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