Building A Betting Model



Building a sports betting model usually entails long hours of tedious data entry, sorting spreadsheets, setting up databases, testing, and retesting, with no guarantees of cracking the code. Oddsmakers do exactly this, but on a much more intense scale, with hundreds of people contributing to their model. Although no model is easy, building your first is often the hardest, and in this article, we’ll walk you through on how to build a betting model.

Understand What You’re Trying To Do

A point of having a sports betting model is to assess the current potential of a team, where this information is then used in comparison to the opposing team in an attempt to gauge the most likely outcome of the contest. Essentially, you’re trying to create an independent point of reference from which you can assess the probability of all possible outcomes in a given game. Ideally, your sports betting model should be able to identify and exploit value bets. While your sports betting model will not always get the notion of value correct, you just need your model to identify these opportunities and get them right more often than not. With a proper sports betting model, you’ll be able to identify and take advantage of opportunities that other sports bettors would not have noticed.

Understand Probability

When it comes to building a sports betting model, you must have some understanding of probability theory. The more you read about and understand different probability theories, the more creative you’ll get with your betting models, not to mention taking advantage of different variables you would not have otherwise considered. While you will be able to develop sports betting models with basic maths, chances are, your model will not be killing bookmakers like you would have hoped for.

Understand How To Work With Spreadsheets

While you don’t have to be a programming wizard to build proper sports betting models, it’ll certainly help if you have experience working with spreadsheets. The more you work with spreadsheets and the more initiate your working relationship is with spreadsheets, the more powerful your testing and analysis will be. While Excel is usually a good place to start, especially if you’re competent with VBA programming, other tools such as R or Python will allow you to manipulate much larger set of data and essentially, make your data “dance”. With the proliferation of machine learning, being able to incorporate some aspects of this will definitely improve your sports betting model.

Understand The Sport(s) And The Betting Market(s)

If you’re going to start developing your first sports betting model, you’d better have some sort of understanding of the sport(s) that you’re developing your model for along with the relevant betting market(s). Obviously, it’d be ideal if you were an expert in the sport as this will help immensely in building a very accurate sports betting model. If you don’t even understand the fundamentals of how your chosen sport(s) or league(s) work, how will you ever develop a proper model? Additionally, the amount of money that you’re able to bet on in a particular market should also be considered when building your model. While you may be able to build a killer model for some random Division II European league, will you be able to bet at a rate that makes the time spent on developing your model worthwhile?