Analytical Sports Betting

Learn some basics ideas and principles about using the numbers, statistics and algorithms in sports betting

Analytical sports betting is using statistical analysis and algorithms to identify value bets and profiting more when betting on sports. This includes collecting, measuring, and analyzing relevant information that helps us see meaningful data that we might not otherwise detect.

This data-driven strategy of betting helps professional sports bettors making more accurate betting predictions than a regular gambler, who place wagers based on gut feeling.

Table of contents

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Chance and likehood in gambling

Despite all the ‘game of skill’ claims floating around, you can’t argue that in gambling, the odds depend on chance. You can never control the outcome, and quite frankly, there is no way to claim an absolute outcome as well. The only reason people have a taste for gambling activities and sports betting is that they are aware of the reasonable odds and chances that they might cash out the biggest prizes, and the smallest tickets could win them thousands of dollars in winnings. While many people enter the conventional and/or online gambling industry with different financial goals, only a few manage to achieve them.

The main restriction is their lack of knowledge about important concepts that give the term “gambling” its meaning. These are probabilities, odds, and chances that we will discuss below, so you know how they affect your activities in gambling and betting.

Probability Vs. Chances Vs. Odds

If you take a look around some of the most popular and renowned dictionaries by the most prestigious institutes in the world, you will find that their definition of gambling isn’t consistent. In fact, there are a lot of computational errors and inconsistencies that create variations in the way odds define probability which leads to the prediction of chances. Here’s what likelihood and chance in gambling mean in terms of all three terms discussed earlier.

What are Probability and Chance?

It is the possibility of a certain event taking place. You may see probabilities in the form of integers such as “the probability of a particular card coming out in the next hand you will play is 0.65”. This defines chances since now you can see that there is a 65% percent of a certain outcome actually taking place in real life. This way, you can rest easy, play the hand carefully, and hope for the best. After all, there is no way to know what’s going to happen next.

Therefore, people take chances on the outcome that favors their motives. In gambling, your goal is to maximize your earnings. Hence, you will take chances on the outcomes that can win you big.

What are the Odds?

Odds are a comprehensible manner of describing the probability and chances of an outcome. For example, if the racehorse you are betting on has a winning probability of 0.2, it means that the chances are 20%. For that reason, you may define the odds this way.

Your horse may win on a 20 percent chance. As a result, the winning odds will be:

  • Fractional odds: 0.2/0.8 = ¼= 1 to 4,
  • Decimal odds: 1/0.2 = 5.00

Thereafter, the odds of winning the bet are only 1 to 4. However, when you take the other perspective, which is that the horse won’t win, here’s how the odds will appear.

  • 0.8/0.2 = 4/1 = 4 to 1.
  • 1/(1-0.2) = 1/0.8 = 1.25


Now that you are aware of the statistical background of gambling and how most experts perceive it rationally, you can accommodate it in your gambling activities for better outcomes. Remember, there is no way to control the outcome. You can only take risks of certain chances and probabilities of outcomes to benefit financially. Besides, if gambling doesn’t win you huge amounts of money, what will?

Regression analysis in sports betting

Did you recently consider betting online in different games or your favorite sports? You should know that you are among millions of other people who have been and are still betting on sports and the outcome of different games. However, the real question isn’t about sports betting or gaming but rather how you can make it profitable.

Overview of Betting Systems and Need of Analysis

You must already know that there is no way of knowing the outcome of a certain sport or game. Before making a decision, you must make a prediction based on statistical analysis.

Before, people saw them as futile practices since betting was entirely human-focused. However, the surge of sports betting has led to an increase and diversification in the methods that people use to make betting predictions. Besides, could you place bets if you didn’t believe that a certain outcome was possible? Here’s an important analysis method and technique that most bettors use today. 

What is Regression Analysis?

When betting on sports or any other legal activity that involving outcomes to win a prize, you have to make certain assumptions and judgments beforehand. For that, various statistical methods exist. One of the most popular methods is regression analysis. It’s a widely used practice in the gaming and sports betting industry, regardless of the region or participants.

This method records various assumptions and inputs in the form of independent variables. Independent variables are numerical values that can influence the outcome you denote as a dependant variable. This statistical method uses different techniques and employs several calculations to evaluate the relationship between independent and dependent variables to know what the potential outcome might be.

Also, there are various sorts of regression analyses, including linear, non-linear, and multiple linear. Although the most commonly used are multiple linear and linear, non-linear regression analysis is used for intricate data sets.

Why is Regression Analysis Important for Betting?

As experts suggest, you can use regression analysis to establish important details and information regarding the relationship between the variables and factors that affect the outcome of an event. While you may not know what will happen at the end of a sports match, you can perform the necessary calculations to judge the outcome from your end. After all, you cannot keep making bets with the hope of good luck forever.

Regression analysis lets you insert the necessary elements and variables. Using the results of regression analysis, you can make better bets by knowing what decisions to make. Although there are other methods of analyzing a bet statistically, regression analysis is a well-established model of assessment and evaluation.


Even with the most widely used statistical methods for sports betting, you cannot make accurate predictions or establish causational links. Therefore, it remains one of the biggest arguments in the betting industry and participant history that using statistical methods and techniques still does not yield the required answer. However, that is what betting is all about. If you were to know what the outcome would be, the chances are that everyone would know it as well. As a consequence, everyone would bet on sports and games to generate rewards. 

Distributions in betting

On the surface, betting on sports and games looks pretty easy. But even so, not knowing the outcome is what makes it difficult in nature. You can only use the available information and guide your decision to make the most valid and potentially profitable bet. Therefore, knowing how you can understand and manipulate data to win sports bets is important. You can do so in many ways. Some experts use a combination of different statistical methods and probability theories.

Although betting involves extreme uncertainties and unpredictability, that shouldn’t stop you from improving your ability to make better predictions. You should try following the statistics and data calculation approaches that even the biggest bettors use. 

Brief Overview of Poisson Distribution

Poisson distribution is one of the most popular probability theories with applications in the sports betting field, finance, and asset markets. Its main use is to predict the possible outcomes of any sports event or game. Moreover, it also assesses the chances of the same event taking place multiple times in a given period. 

You can use this fairly simple method of calculation to predict the possible outcomes of a sports game. What’s great is that it’s effective even if you don’t have an extensive background in mathematics and statistics. 

Brief Overview of Binomial Distribution

In case you’re unaware of the concepts of a probability distribution, there is nothing to worry about. Learning some simple concepts and gaining valuable insights from the right sources can set your betting activities right. Binomial distribution has a link to Poisson distribution and is a probability distribution method. It calculates the possibility of getting one outcome out of two pre-defined outcomes. 

Bear in mind that all calculations and assessments take place under the right assumptions and parameters. The main assumption and derivative of this technique are that an outcome will take only one value, and thus there will be no other consequences in a single trial. Similarly, this distribution technique also states that every trial will have equal chances of success while every trial under assumption will be independent of each other yet mutually exclusive.

Importance of Probability Distribution in Betting

If you can think of something more likely to take place in comparison to what the bookie states through their odds, you have found the value. This value is necessary to make sure that you are dealing with the right odds and have an idea of what the possible outcome of a sports event or game could be. 

When it comes to football and relevant games, Poisson distribution is the approach to use. This is a game where an incremental scale is always active because goal scores drive the results. For both types of distribution and statistical analysis, you will have the main benefit: you will understand how the bookies set the odds. Notably, you can make your own calculations and compare them with what you think your bookie did. 


If you think that sports betting and gaming are based on chance more than they are on the skill, you are right. That’s because there is no way to know what will happen at the end of a horse race or a football match. But if you think that for the same reason, performing calculations isn’t necessary, you are wrong. Probability distributions and statistical analysis are chief aspects of a bettor’s activities. All you need is the right predictive model so you can use the positive values to acknowledge those bets that are worth your time and money.


If you think that betting is difficult, you should know that there are many ways to increase your chances of winning big. However, keep in mind that the increase in your chances of winning big will be completely hypothetical since there is no legitimate way to influence the outcome of a sports event or game. However, when we talk about calculations and making sure that you are using the right predictive models to assess bets, we have to consider the p-value as a priority.

This is something that most expert and professional bettors use as a staple in their betting activities. Therefore, you must learn how it can help and how it’s usable.

Understanding P-Value

Whether you have been betting on sports for a long time or just entered this field of earning rewards, you should always stick to statistics. Placing a bet without looking at the statistics is equivalent to choosing your rewards blindly. While the overall sense of betting sounds similar to that, there are various ways to ensure your betting decisions offer high potential. Using the p-value, you can make sure that it’s possible.

P-value is part of statistics and represents your probability of getting a certain result. What results are those? These results are ones assuming that the null hypothesis of an equation or calculation is correct. Using p-values is a game of hypothesis. The p-value will indicate the probability of getting test results that are, at the very least, as extreme as the actual results, assuming that the null hypothesis is true. In addition, if you receive a smaller p-value, there is clear evidence that an alternative hypothesis is more favorable.

P-Value Calculations

Through statistical software, spreadsheets, or tables of p-values, you can calculate p-values. The statistical analysis or probability distribution that you use will be the basis of your calculations when trying to determine the p-value of a results-based hypothesis against an alternative hypothesis.

The main tool in the calculation of p-values for sports betting is integral calculus. Now, you probably have an idea how bookies place the odds and calculate which events to support and not. You will receive your p-value once you see a deviation in the reference value that you choose and the observed value that is part of the calculation. If the deviation, i.e., difference, is higher, you will note a lower p-value. 


Sports betting is all about predictions and making sure that you can make the most of your small investments. Bets are small pieces of investment that you put forward with the hope of earning something big. How do you do that? You perform the necessary calculations, use your brainpower, place the bet, and wait for the sports game or event to end.

P-Value is a major component of the betting activities that you undertake. To make sure that you are using the right predictive models and achieving the required results, include the p-value in your calculations.