As a sports bettor, you want to make money. You want to win. But if you’re not using the right tools, if you’re not analyzing data, if you’re not looking at the right information, it’s going to be hard for you to win consistently.
That’s why I love sports betting models. They help me make better decisions about my bets, and they help me make those decisions faster than ever before.
If you’re interested in learning more about how these models work and how they can help you win your bets, then keep reading!
Predictive models, algorithms, and machine learning have become established tools in the sports betting world. Bookmakers use them to set the odds and successful sports gamblers use them to exploit “inefficiencies” in the sports betting markets.
Table of contents
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Table of contents
Profitable betting opportunities are harder to find, but more and more people will bet when legalized sports betting will fully step in. New betting strategies and successful sports betting tools are replacing traditional watching games and will save you a lot of time. It’s almost not possible to take all relevant data and all the information from newspapers like New York Post Sports.
Predictive analytics and machine learning in the betting world is growing super fast and this has a huge impact on the market itself. Because of that, applying a profitable sports betting model with the combination of hard work is one of the most essential steps for every successful sports bettor. Such predictive analytics help sports gamblers excluding their emotions and making better betting decisions, that are based on numbers, facts, and algorithms.
For most people building a successful sports betting model is a very difficult task. It takes a lot of time, research, knowledge, testing, and even sleepless nights. But once you establish a successful betting model, it can give you the edge and show you opportunities that the general betting public would never consider.
If you have no idea how to start with predictive analytics, check my free training for betting purposes and download free sports betting model – click here.
What is a sports betting model?
The sports betting model is a method, that can estimate probabilities and the odds of possible outcomes in a certain game before you bet. It gives you a chance to project the probabilities of outcomes more accurately than a bookmaker/betting market, which is a crucial part of success in betting. This way of betting is based on betting algorithms and helps you to find the value bets that most other bettors wouldn’t find.
Do sports betting models work?
Yes! A good and well-defined probabilistic sports betting model does work because it will find profitable wagering opportunities, which would not otherwise be possible.
It is very important to understand that sports betting is a relative competition against other bettors (not only against bookmakers), where most people who bet on sports, don’t use any probabilistic betting method. A very small percentage of sports bettors put enough effort to build a sports betting model. because of that, they have a huge advantage against those who don’t use any numbers and just rely on guessing.
Many sports bettors make two big mistakes:
- They emotionally decide which sports and teams they will bet on
- They make betting decisions based on intuition and gut feelings (not based on numbers or +EV).
The intuition can not be measured, and without analyzing the data we don’t have a rational system for estimating betting odds. Without analytics, sports bettors make bets based on bold guessing and can not estimate what price they should pay in the betting market. Betting on a bad value on the betting market leads always to a loss.
This is why sports betting models and algorithms are crucial because they solve these problems.
Practical use of sports betting models
The main goal of sports betting models is to exploit profitable betting opportunities – value bets.
The odds are the prices, that sports bettors pay on the betting market, and successful betting is all about paying a “good price”, which means betting on the odds, where the estimated (true) odds are higher than bookmakers odds.
Needless to say, these value bets can not be exploited just by guessing, watching games, or reading sports news. Therefore sports betting models are so beneficial.
Not only that sports betting models are crucial, but they also save us a lot of time. It is impossible to analyze every single game from all different angles by watching TV, reading the news, and looking at every single statistic. Sports betting models can solve these problems usually in minutes or seconds.
Example of practical use of betting model:
We have a game between Giants and Dodgers and the bookmakers offer the odds:
Giants to win the game: 1.91 (US odds = -110)
Dodgers to win the game:1.91 (US odds = -110)
The bookmaker’s odds of 1.91 (-110) vs 1.91 (-110) show us, that they are giving both teams 50% of the chance.
The aim of a predictive sports model is now an estimation of the winning probabilities for both teams and then comparing with bookmakers’ odds above. In other words, bookmakers are offering the price, and the betting model will help us to exploit good or bad price
If our betting model predicts…
- Giants win probability = 60% – good value bet. The fair odds would be 1/0.60 = 1.67. That means, that if we risk $100, we would expect that someone (a bookmaker) should pay us at least $67 of profit. But because of the odds of 1.91, they are paying more ($91). So we get more than we would expect – this is a good value. If my betting model has the ability to predict “true probabilities” for this event, where one team should have a 60% chance of winning instead of 50%, then this can be a +EV bet on the odds of 1.91 (-110). In a simple explanation, on 100 bets and the betting record of 60 wins and 40 losses, the profit would be +14.6 units.
- Giants win probability = 40% – bad value bet. The fair odds would be 1/0.40 = 2.50. That means, that if we risk $100, we would expect that someone (a bookmaker) should pay us at least $150 of profit. But because of the odds of 1.91, they are paying less (only $91). So we get less than we would expect – this is a good value. If my betting model has the ability to predict “true probabilities” for this event, where one team should have a 60% chance of winning instead of 50%, then this can be a +EV bet on the odds of 1.91 (-110). In a simple explanation, on 100 bets and the betting record of 60 wins and 40 losses, the profit would be +14.6 units.
How to create a sports betting algorithm?
Creating an algorithm or any sports handicapping model that is based on algorithms and probabilistic methods is usually a hard task for most sports bettors. But with the right steps and the right focus, it can be done even with the simplest tools like excel or Google Sheets.
- Research the leagues or sports that you want to analyze. Remember that you are not choosing a sport to watch, but the market to invest.
- Specify what problem you want to solve
- Choose the tool or programming language based on your knowledge, where you will build a model. The simplest tool for an average bettor, where we still make amazing things are excel and google spreadsheets. Or you go with advanced like python.
- Accumulate significant data and analyze it
- Choose a statistical method
- Create a sports betting model in your tool or program (betting software)
- Test the betting model and track results
These steps are a good start to build a betting model, but creating a profitable model will take time and effort. A well-defined and valid betting model needs to be maintained and improved from time to time.
What skills do you need to build a betting model?
Building an accurate sports betting model combines knowledge of mathematics, statistics, probability, data modeling, and programming. This means that sports bettors who decide to build their own betting model need to have some level of skills mentioned above in order to build a useful model.
What is the simplest way to create a sports betting model?
We found that the simplest programming tool for predictive sports betting models, where you still get satisfying results, is Google Sheets. It is free, it is online, so you can use it anywhere and it doesn’t need complex coding skills. The odds can be calculated in the tables, similar to excel.
It’s not a secret, that most bettors bet because they love sport, not because of their love for numbers. This is one of the huge reasons, why so many people lose in sports betting. Value bets are always hidden in the numbers and because of that investing time, effort, and energy in building sports betting models pays off in the long run.
Start with the free betting course and learn how to build simple Sports Betting Models in Google Sheets.
Intro to My Sports Betting Models in Google Sheets
Below you’ll learn more about my private betting models created in Google Spreadsheets that I use for betting on sports.
Which programs can help you build a predictive betting model?
To build a profitable sports betting model we need a spreadsheet program or programming language, that can organize data and solve mathematical problems. Without a tool or software, organizing data, analytical betting, and calculating the odds wouldn’t be possible. Some of the most popular betting tools to build models are excel, Google Sheets, Python, or R.
I have created several sports betting models in Google Spreadsheets, that have the ability to project my own betting odds. This way my odds can be compared with the bookmakers’ numbers (my projected odds/lines vs bookmakers’ lines).
Why Google Spreadsheets is so useful for building betting models?
Google spreadsheets are the simplest tool to build sports betting models for every sports bettor. They are free, user-friendly, and easy to learn programming languages. Most sports bettors understand the importance of analytical betting, but like the majority of the population in the world, they don’t enjoy mathematics, programming, or statistics. Most programming languages and algorithms are too complex for an average sports bettor.
This is why Google Spreadsheet is so useful because it is the simplest one, but can bring good betting results.
My whole work is devoted to helping an average sports bettor to win at sports betting by using the numbers and building useful and profitable betting models.
It all started with the MLB betting model, which is my main market to bet. But later I also created different betting models to show that even an average bettor can understand the numbers and use simple predictive models in google sheets or excel.
Why betting model is so important?
Sports betting has changed over the years. The sports betting market is sharper, bookmakers are sharper and the numbers are more and more important. And the real difference between sports betting, which is a financial market and pure sports are numbers. Without numbers, there is no sports betting. This is where betting models step in…
The fundamental question: What is the key to winning at sports betting?
The key to winning in sports betting is betting on the value (+EV bets). So if the bookmaker’s odds are 1.91 (-110) vs 1.91 (-110) on a particular event, that means that they give both teams 50% of the chance.
The goal of every sports betting model is to calculate (independently) probabilities of these outcomes and then compare them with bookmakers’ odds.
If in this case, my betting model estimates true probabilities for this event, that one team will have 60% of chance instead of 50%, then this can be a +EV bet on the odds of 1.91 (-110). On 100 bets, the betting record would be 60 wins and 40 losses, profit: +14.6 units.
Sports Betting Algorithm
The heart of every betting model is the algorithm. The combination of the right statistical methods, formulas, functions, and statistics (usually advanced statistics) is the key.
All other things, like visual aspects of the model, the colors, copy/pasting, or scrapping the data from the internet are just the details that can be improved anytime and can make our betting life easier. But without a good algorithm, everything else just falls into the water.
List of My Private Sports Betting Models
It all started with the MLB betting model in Excel and later moved to Google Spreadsheets, which is my main market to bet. But later I also created different betting models to show that even the average bettor can understand the numbers and use simple betting models in google sheets or excel.
List of my sports betting models created in Google Sheets:
- MLB baseball betting model (My #1 model)
- Basketball betting model (the best simple model)
- CSGO esports betting model (the future of betting)
- NBA betting model
- NHL betting model
- NFL simple betting model
- CBB simle betting model
- Soccer betting model
The fact is that in the long run, only value bets will lead to a profit. And the value is simply the difference between bookmakers’ odds and true (projected) odds. Best betting models can exploit these differences and inefficiencies.
MLB Betting Model
MLB Baseball is my most successful sport to bet. I bet baseball for over 15 years and this site was built around the baseball bet model in google sheets. Later I started adding more betting models for different sports, either to challenge myself or to help other bettors to start using numbers in betting.
But the main sport for me to bet is MLB baseball. My baseball bankroll is the main bankroll and proportionally much bigger than for other sports.
Key info about the baseball betting model spreadsheet:
- My main sport to bet for over 15 years
- Ability to project your odds (US and Decimal) before bookmakers
- Data is scraped from the internet automatically (no copy/paste)
- Approx 15-20 minutes per day to get all projections for all game
- Every day I just check the correct lineups and before every season I prepare the sheet with updated links to stats and updated lineups
- Players lineup based (single players statistics are included – hitters, pitchers)
- The model calculates the value for the full game and also for 1st 5 innings
- The model projects the totals for the full game and also for 1st 5 innings
MLB Free Sports Picks based on my model
During the season I share daily MLB betting picks, projections, and analysis. They are always backed by numbers, never just by bold guessing. You can find some of my MLB picks here or check the youtube channel where I share comments about my MLB computer picks.
Basketball Betting Model
The idea of the basketball betting model and the spreadsheet was to attack international and even smaller basketball markets, where we project the lines based on available free stats and then look for the discrepancy between our projected lines/totals and bookmakers’ totals.
Quadrupled the profits
I quadrupled the profits with this simple model in different leagues. Later I reinvested the profits and the results regressed a little bit. But the use and simplicity of the model helped bettors that used this model to find value bets.
The basketball betting model did great, especially in smaller leagues and the lines moved quickly too. This is why it is so important to make your own bets and not follow sports picks on such leagues, where the odds drop quickly.
The model is very simple and was NOT built in the first place for US sports (NBA, WNBA, and CBB), but for international leagues and exotic leagues.
Handball, Basketball, Volleyball,… betting models, and spreadsheets
The basketball betting model was implemented in other smaller sports, like handball, volleyball, and rugby,.. and it was confirmed by our members in our membership area.
Key Features of basketball bet model in Google Spreadsheets:
- Ability to project your spreads and totals for any basketball league you want
- The idea and the simple algorithm were successfully implemented in other smaller sports and leagues like rugby, handball, and volleyball,…
- The focus is on free available stats and the stats can be used anywhere.
- Stats – copy/paste. It all depends on the leagues and available stats. For example, if you decide to bet Uruguayan basketball league, you can take the stats there. And with development, this can be scraped from the internet automatically too. But the main idea is a simple algorithm, everything else is just the details
- Team stats-based model
- I have created and tested on almost every single league with profitable overall results on more than 2000+ bets. The best leagues: SPA A, CHN, GER, ABA,…
- It usually takes 2 copy/paste or scrapping (or copy/pasting) results. Then just select the teams and the model will calculate the lines and totals. I usually spent 5-7 minutes per league. Then it depends on how many leagues you want to focus on.
Why betting on smaller basketball leagues and some other smaller sports is a good idea for rookie bettors?
If you bet on smaller leagues, you will face two problems. Liquidity and quick line movement. But most sports bettors start with small bankrolls anyway (less than $10,000 and units around $100 per bet). This is a great opportunity to build your bankroll and later move to bigger and sharper markets.
Unfortunately, most bettors who start betting, look at sports betting as a sport (not as an investment market) and they want to attack big markets like NFL, just because they love the game and think they “know” the league. But the reality is that we are not choosing a sport, but the market, and we are not competing (only) against bookmakers, but against other sports bettors.
Going against a big market means only that you are going against the sharpest minds in the industry. Attacking small markets is always a better idea for new and small bettors. Once you beat smaller markets, then you can go to big markets.
My simplest predictive sports model
The basketball betting model built with google spreadsheets is the simplest predictive model, that has profitable results. For anyone who starts using analytics for betting and is not familiar with coding and even with complex algorithms, this basketball betting model is a great way to start.
CSGO esports betting model
I look at sports betting as a market and try to find opportunities in these markets. Esports betting will be one of the biggest markets in betting in the future. That’s not even a question anymore.
In 2020 Covid happened and all other leagues were shut down, and this was a great chance for me to dig a little bit deeper into esports betting. There were 3 main options – Dota, League of Legends, and CSGO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive). I decided to bet on CSGO.
Esports betting can potentially become one of the biggest betting markets
I took 2020 just to learn and improve the model. I bet small amounts, and track bets (check my youtube channel for more info) and it is still a journey, but esports betting is a good option for many new and old sports bettors to move from sharp markets like NFL and have a bigger advantage.
CSGO betting model build in Google Sheets for the future
CSGO betting model is based on players’ lineups and their rankings and statistics. Every team has 5 players in the lineup and they go against each other. The model then predicts the winning probabilities for both teams.
These chances are turned into the odds and the model then qualifies bets based on adjusted kelly criterium.
- Ability to project your odds (US and Decimal) before bookmakers
- The model uses free CSGO statistics
- Lineup Based model
- I make 6 copy/paste once per week when the stats are updated usually at the end of events. it takes approx 1 minute to update
- All lineups are prepared, but then I just check the lineups on HLTV.org before I make the analysis.
- It usually takes 15 minutes to project all the lines for 10 CSGO games
NBA betting model
Combination of 3 different NBA model variations
The NBA betting model is based on advanced players statistics and projected daily NBA lineups. The goal is to predict the spreads and totals. Then I look for the discrepancy between my numbers and bookmakers’ numbers – 5 pts for NBA spread betting and 10 pts for NBA Over/Under betting.
Weighted stakes based on the discrepancy
I don’t use adjusted kelly criterium for any spread/total sports, but I use the idea of the discrepancy between my numbers and bookmakers’ numbers.
Over/Under NBA Betting (looking for 10 pts diff)
- qualified play = 0.5 units
- 5 pts spread diff = 1 unit
- 5.5 – 6 pts spread diff = 1.1 units
- 6.5 – 7 pts spread diff = 1.2 units
- 7.5 – 8pts spread diff = 1.3 units
- 8.5 – 9 pts spread diff = 1.4 units
- 9.5 – 10 pts spread diff or more = 1.5 units
- Ability to project your spreads and totals before bookmakers
- The model uses free available advanced stats
- Lineup Based Model
- The NBA spreads and totals are calculated from 3 variations of the model and used as a final number
- I make 3 copy/paste every day (1 min). Then I check injuries and players.
- Daily projected spreads and totals are usually finished in 5-10 minutes
NHL betting model
Ice Hockey betting was successful in the past, but in the last few years, I am in the process of building a profitable NHL betting model.
A sports bettor doesn’t need to bet on every single sport and with the market getting sharper and sharper it is almost not possible to be successful in every single league.
Advanced Statistics, Goalies, Score Effects, Possession
The model is lineup-based, where I focus on score effects. That means, that when teams are leading, they play more defensively and this has to be taken into account.
Lineup based model
Before the season I prepare the lineups and then on a daily basis I check if some players are missing, questionable, or will play. The projected odds are dependent on the lineups and how these players perform based on different situations with a focus on score effects.
Goalies play a big role in NHL and this is maybe the trickiest thing because the goalies are not announced earlier like in baseball, but the information usually comes out later. Sometimes just before the games start. I use different sites for starting goalies and then after I select the teams, I also select the goalie who will play the game. The probabilities and projected odds are dependent on the started goalie too.
xGF and predicted win%
Expected NHL goals (MyxGF) are then projected versus opponents’ goalie and opponent defense. Estimated winning percentages are then turned into the odds and the model qualifies bets based on the kelly criterium.
- An option to project your odds (US and Decimal) before bookmakers
- The model uses free available advanced stats
- Adjusted Kelly criterium to select qualified bets
- Lineup based model
- Goalie-based model (select the starting goalie before every game)
- Fully automated model. No need to copy/paste anything.
- Before the season I prepare the lineups and correct stats that will be pulled from the net (ca 30-60 minutes of work once before the season)
- It usually takes 15 minutes to project NHL lines. Most time is spent on lineups checking and checking the starting goalies
NFL betting model
In 2018 I have created an NFL betting model, mostly because I wanted to help our members with some simple betting model, that can be used as part of their analysis.
I’ve bet very small in 2018 and 2019, but since then I am not betting real money on NFL.
NFL is considered one of the sharpest markets out there
NFL is considered one of the sharpest markets out there. NFL sports bettors go against the sharpest handicappers and sharpest lines. NFL is probably the worst sport to bet for an average sports bettor. Having the edge in the NFL market doesn’t mean beating bookmakers only, but beating all other sharp and professional NFL sports gamblers.
A masterpiece from Sportsbooks
But it is also a masterpiece from Sportsbooks how they have created and manipulated this market by attracting so many players. Gives wrong hope to NFL sports fans, who think they know NFL because they watch the games. NFL betting is not a sport, it is a market. And this is where big money is made from the Sportsbooks side.
It is an interesting market…, especially for experienced NFL sports bettors
American professional football betting is interesting because it is a sharp and big market sport. Building a sports betting model for NFL is very challenging because there is a very small amount of games, stats, and info in one season and even if you are a +EV NFL bettor it can happen that you win/lose because of pure luck.
Simple team statistics based NFL model in 2018 (+16.64 units)
In 2018 I have created the NFL betting model more as a challenge. The idea was based on a simple basketball betting model. It was not player-based, but it was based on advanced team statistics.
- NFL 2018/2019: 35-17, +16.64
Player-based NFL betting model in 2019 (-9.28 units)
In 2019 I wanted to improve the NFL betting model with players’ statistics, which could improve the problem of injuries and manually adjust the NFL spreads when QB or other important player is missing.
- NFL 2019/2020:24-29, -9.28
2021 back to a simple NFL model in google sheets
Part of the statistics I used from football-reference and they locked advanced players stats, and because the idea of my work is to help average sports bettors to create betting models based on free available stats, I went back to a simple team-based betting model.
NFL betting picks
A lot of sports gamblers look for NFL picks and tips and the market is huge for this. Following NFL picks is not recommended, especially if you are late, because sharp NFL bettors will usually take NFL value bets early and beat the closing line. An average NFL gambler is usually late.
I occasionally share my NFL google spreadsheet betting model on my youtube channel and you can find FREE NFL picks here, but I don’t bet much on NFL. The model can be useful for NFL sports bettors, but I think there are markets that offer much better options to make a profit, than NFL.
- The chance to project your NFL spreads and totals before bookmakers
- The model uses free available advanced stats
- The model idea is based on a simple basketball model, but with a combination of advanced statistics (passing, rushing vs defense)
- Once per week 6 copy/paste needs to be made (it is also possible to pull the data from the internet with little development) and it takes a 2 minutes
- Projecting the lines is very simple. Select the teams and the model will output spreads and totals for Over/Under betting
- Projections (estimated NFL spreads and totals) are made for all NFL Week games in less than 10 minutes
CBB Betting Model
In 2019 one of our A Journey Betting Masterclass members asked me if I can help them to build a simple betting model for CBB (NCAAB, College basketball)
So, I decided to create a simple predictive model in google spreadsheets with available free stats on the internet to get projected spreads and totals (Under/Over betting) for College Basketball betting.
I did betting projections and analysis with this model on more than 1000 bets.
The idea of a simple basketball betting model
The idea was based on a simple basketball model, where the model compares projected spreads with bookmakers’ spreads.
I was looking for
- 5 pts difference
- 6 pts difference
- 7 pts difference
- 8 pts difference
- 9 pts difference
- 10 pts difference
The results of my CBB model in gogle sheets based on 1008 analyzed games and different discrepancies:
Example CBB College Basketball Betting Model Spreadsheet:
- Calculation of your spreads and totals before bookmakers
- The model uses free available advanced stats
- It requires 1 copy/paste per day (10 seconds)
- Projections are easy. Just type the teams and the model will estimate the spreads and the totals (Under/Over NCAAF betting)
Soccer betting model
We will use the “soccer” word on this page, because of confusion with American football. Soccer (or football for most bettors) is one of the most popular sports in the World, but I was never really the biggest fan of soccer betting. Despite this can change too.
But I created a model to help our students/members who bet soccer.
I have created the “Bundesliga 2” sample model and based on this any other league can be created. I made a regression analysis based on different stats, estimated xGF (expected goals), and then estimated winning percentages.
There are hundreds of variants and I bet back then very small amount games and a very small amount of money on soccer.
Another very popular market is betting in international competitions. Especially in big tournaments, because there is a huge amount of so-called dumb or public money. Soccer fans all around the World bet on these games and the limits can be pretty big, plus we can get very good odds too.
I used a variation rating-based betting model in google spreadsheets for EURO 2021, which was very successful.
The same soccer betting system I used later for all kinds of international soccer competitions.
Emotions drive soccer bettors
Personally, soccer is not the most favorite sport to bet, although I played soccer (football) in the past and I still love to watch soccer, when I have time. But I think that many bettors make the same mistake as with NFL betting. They bet on soccer because of emotions and love for the game.
When I started betting, of course, I also made bets on soccer, but soon I realized, that sports have nothing to do with betting. Sport is a sport. The market is a market. And for me personally, baseball was a much better option. We will see if this stays the same in the future.
Soccer Betting Model Key Features:
- Project your odds and expected goals
- The model uses free available soccer stats
- Calculate the value based on kelly’s criterium
- The projections for one league are finished in approximately 10 minutes
The intention of this website was never to sell any betting picks (I don’t sell any sports picks). Even sharing and following free sports picks will not help anyone in the log-run.
The idea of this project is to help average bettors benefit from betting on sports in the long run. Give them tools and show them how they can start using numbers and be different from the majority of other gamblers who just try to pick winners with bold guessing. Plus giving them a framework to learn how to build their own profitable sports betting models.
I saw that 95% of all bettors don’t make any betting analysis, which is based on numbers and statistics.
The reasons are two:
- They don’t have the basic knowledge about math, or statistics and have no idea how to start
- They see betting models, they might see the tools and algorithms, but it is too complex for them. In reality, most bettors will never learn python for example
Showing different methods and ideas
I don’t bet on all these sports. It would be crazy to bet all these sports and a sports bettor needs only one/two bet types or leagues to bet, where he can have the edge and make profits.
The idea was to show sports bettors how they can bet and use different methods and ideas for their preferred sport or league. The combinations of betting models can be even used for a completely new betting model.
Dirty Job has done…it’s not just a theory
All the models were real-time tested against Pinnacle odds. I did projections every single day and during the season, I analyzed every single game against the real-time odds of the sharpest bookmakers.
But because of limited time, I can not show projected odds and all my bets for all these sports and the leagues. But an average sports bettor can learn how to build a profitable sports betting model in Google Spreadsheets.
My motto is: Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.