It’s unlikely any of us will get lucky and stumble across an all-seeing crystal ball, unfortunately. Thankfully, there is an alternative that, while not foolproof, is as close as we’re likely to get. Analytics and data can take information, results, betting input, and more to create a comprehensive look at upcoming events and help you with your betting strategy.
There are weekly and daily options for those who want to get in deep, as well as both free and paid options. How heavy you want to get involved is up to you.
If you’re looking to get started on sports betting analytics and prediction tools, or you want to just learn more about the betting trend, then read on as we break down how it works and how it can fit into your betting strategy.
What are data analytics in sports betting?
Oddsmakers have the kind of job that either you love or you’re definitely going to hate. They must wade through mountains of information and data, historical records, current trends, and more before they sit down and create the lines for the sportsbooks we’ve all come to use.
Thankfully, technology has made their lives a bit easier than in the good ol’ days of paper and pencil. Algorithms help them sort through all of that information, identify key pieces of data and then finalize the lines.
What’s awesome about that technology is it is available to the regular bettor, too. By using such systems, sports bettors in Massachusetts (if the state eventually legalizes sports betting) could use sports analytics to their benefit, running the same data and potentially finding where some sportsbooks may be miscalculating. That kind of edge is invaluable.
Main focus of sports analytical data
Three categories come up the most frequently when discussing data and analytics: team and player stats, betting data, and team and player performance.
- Team and player stats: Sports and stats go hand-in-hand. By using the right information during your handicapping process, you can get a picture of how players have been trending, where teams are strongest and weakest, and more.
- Team and player performance: This category uses information such as straight-up and against the spread performances for both the entire team and for individual players. These are often broken down into a variety of smaller categories.
- Betting data: Experienced bettors use betting data to track public money, betting trends, projected win probabilities, and more. By being able to keep tabs on this data, bettors can sometimes see shifts in lines before they happen, and take advantage of books that haven’t kept pace with the public wagering.
Other key data points
The amount of information available for any sports matchup is staggering when you think about it. Statistics keep track of nearly everything, and you can find accurate historical and trend data for every level of competition, ranging from collegiate to professional to international.
You’re going to want to do your research into which analytical tools offer you the information you most want to use, but the good news is that there are varying levels for you to choose from. While each tool is going to offer its own take on valuable analytical information, there are a few features that you will likely find with most services.
- Best bets: These are matchup grades that help you determine which games are going to be the most valuable for your wagering.
- Predicted performance: You see this a lot with fantasy sports, but it applies to sports betting, as well. These are analyses of how a player or a team might perform based on the matchup, weather, injuries, and other factors.
- Line analysis: Not all sportsbooks are going to have perfect sports betting lines. It’s rare to find one that is completely out of whack, but line analyzing services help you find opportunities that might be advantageous to your wagering.
- Odds tracking: Odds shift. There are a couple of reasons for that, typically, like public wagering and new information, but you don’t have to worry about keeping tabs on all of the movement if the analytics service you choose offers odds tracking.
- Public money: This helps you determine where bettors are placing their money, and also how heavy the action is on each side of a wager.
- Pro bettor reports: This helps track where the professional bettors are putting their money, which way it is flowing, and a deeper in-depth look at how sharps are wagering.
Why would I want to use sports analytics?
The simplest answer is that sports analytics for betting save you time, reduce the chances of human error and help you double-check your numbers, even if you choose to do most of the homework yourself.
You have to ask yourself how valuable your time is. If you have the ability to put the necessary time in to do the research for your bets on your own, then perhaps a sports betting analytics tool isn’t going to be something that interests you.
However, if you’re the kind of bettor who doesn’t have that kind of time, the use of an analytics service can help you keep your focus on your wagers without needing to do all of the work by yourself.
The idea behind such services is to help you reach your goals of higher profits, fatter bankrolls, and more winning bets. Obviously, there are multiple factors that play into such success, but having all the data you need sure helps when it comes to how much time you spend researching versus breaking down the pertinent information.
Using sports betting data apps
Just like the modern sportsbook is available directly on your mobile device or computer, sports analytics offer apps for your use. These betting data tools are available no matter where you are as long as you have the ability to connect to the internet.
Keep in mind that while you can get analytics apps, they are different from the actual sportsbooks. You won’t be able to make wagers directly from the service you’ve chosen to go with; you still need a sportsbook for that.
There are multiple sports data analytics options out there, but make sure you do a little research and find the ones that are the most popular with your fellow sports bettors. Like any service available today, there are some that aim to just take your money while providing very little value.
The best options will be willing to make their successes and failures public, which helps you and other bettors see how transparent they are, and how much value there could be from the data they provide.
Which sports have the best analytics?
When it comes to betting in North America, one sport stands out above the rest in terms of coverage, analysis, available data, and the volume of betting at legal sportsbooks. If you guessed NFL betting, you’re right.
The NFL is the top dog in sports betting in the United States. That means the media, sportsbooks, and analytics are focused on professional football more than any other sport.
However, you can also find analytical data and services for pretty much anything that you’re able to make wagers on. From college football to basketball to hockey, soccer, tennis, and more, there is always available information if you’re willing to take the time to find the services that offer it.
When it comes to valuable information, you are going to be able to find more sources for the most popular options like NFL odds, college football odds, the NBA, MLB odds, college basketball, and the NHL than any others. Wagering by both the public as well as professionals and sharps drives the popularity of analytics for those options.
While the NFL and college football gives you a full week to really dive into all of the available information, daily sports such as the NBA, MLB, or the NHL are more difficult to stay on top of if you’re trying to do it yourself. Less-popular sports & markets, such as MLS soccer betting, have fewer sources for the data you want, which is where a service can come in handy.
Most of the information is really easy to browse, with most apps and sites providing sorted data on each sport. You can visit the dedicated sections or even have your preferred sports information sent directly to you when it becomes available.
By using all of the information, you may find yourself making better wagers because you’re much more informed and have all the data you need to bet more confidently.
Types of bets and sports analytics tools
If you’re wondering which types of bets you can apply sports analytics to, you can use such information to help you make informed decisions for any of them.
The three main types — moneylines, point spreads, and over/unders — get the majority of attention from analytics services. However, you can also tailor your information to help you with parlays, futures, prop bets and even live (in play) betting.
For wagers like prop bets, analytics can help you break down all of the most recent trends and create predictive projections. Such data analysis is also useful for futures wagers thanks to information about player performances, team trends, and more.
If you choose to use sports betting analytics tools, you’ll discover they are quite robust in their offerings for every bet. If you’re more interested in one type of wager over the others, you can research to find which services offer the best resources specifically for your needs.
Free sports betting picks vs. analytics tools
As with almost anything on the internet, the information you would get by paying a service to provide you with sports betting analytics is likely available for free if you’re willing to go out and look for it. In fact, there are even free sports betting picks sites available to bettors.
Is there a difference between the free stuff and the most reputable paid services? In most cases, yes.
Many of the top analytics operators are going to have experts who break down the data in much the same way that professional oddsmakers do. Some even employ professional bettors who have made a name for themselves with their success and handicapping (or “scamdicapping”) capabilities. These services provide you with all of the information you’re looking for in one handy spot, sometimes even offering customized content directly to your email or mobile device.
As we mentioned above, much of this information will also be available for free. To gather up all of this data, however, takes quite a bit of time and effort, especially for beginners who may be trying to develop their research skills.
Time is valuable, and the amount of time you might be able to save by using an analytics service could be significant. It all comes down to how much you value your time, your money, and if you have the knowledge and determination to track down all of the data.
Can I win using data analytics for sports betting?
Any source of information can provide you with valuable data for making an informed wager. Having a service like sports betting data analytics available to you not only cuts down the time you need for research but can also help you create more profitability.
However, you need to keep in mind that nothing is foolproof, and there are no guarantees. Sports are often unpredictable, which is one of the reasons the world is so enamored of athletic contests. In most situations, you cannot be certain who is going to win.
So, even though you’re paying for a service, you might end up with picks that are on the losing side. Be patient and trust that a reputable service might still help long term. Being a profitable sports bettor is not easy, but by taking advantage of any edge you come across, you could find yourself winning more tickets than losing.