Betting on sporting activities is as old as time itself. The ancient Romans actually placed bets also called wagers on their favourite gladiator champions to win in the famed gladiator fights of ancient history, and while it is true that the losses can be quite devastating, the profits can be quite huge also.
But these days, it is not uncommon to come across people who speak negatively about sports betting; unfortunately, these people don’t have the full picture.
Betting on sporting activities can not only be a profitable pastime, done right, it can also be a great investment of your time and money.
Its driven by technology
Not too long ago, betting on sporting activities was more gambling than investing. This was because bettors mostly picked teams at random, hoping that their choice will win. This resulted into huge amount of losses that has turned a lot of people away from betting.
But these days, sports betting is data driven. In fact, the same way you analyse your stock options is the same way you analyse teams you want to bet on. You can properly analyse the team data, win-lose percentages, player abilities and odds to accurately predict how a game will turn out. Suffice it to say that there is very little difference between stocks and sports when it comes to technical analysis.
The industry is constantly growing
The sports betting industry is one industry that shows no signs of slowing down in growth. Accounting for billions of pounds yearly, and a huge driver of the British economy, it is obvious that betting on sports is not a trend that come and goes.
Even in the USA, where sports betting used to be illegal, recent changes in the law has seen dozens of states legalize sports betting, throwing open the country to huge opportunities in making money. Over at MaxFreeBets they give you some great offers that you could use for the next Hammers game.
The basic principle of bookmaking is straightforward and pretty obvious. A bookmaker takes money in whenever they lay a bet to a customer, and they pay money out every time one of their customers wins a bet. The idea is to take more money in than pay out. The art of bookmaking is in making sure this happens.
Bookmakers can’t control the outcome of sports events, but they can control how much they stand to win or lose on any particular result. They set the odds for all the wagers they lay, which ultimately enables them to ensure a profit.
Charging Vigorish / The Overround
The main technique bookmakers use to put the odds in their favor is the inclusion of vigorish. Vigorish, or vig, is also known as juice, margin, or the overround. It is built into the odds bookmakers set to help them make a profit. In essence, it’s a commission charged for laying bets. To best explain vig, we’ll use a simple example of a coin toss.
The toss of a coin has two possible outcomes and each is equally likely. There is a 50% chance of heads and a 50% chance of tails. If a bookmaker were offering true odds on the toss of a coin, they would offer even money. This is 2.00 in decimal odds, +100 in moneyline odds, and 1/1 in fractional odds. A successful $10 bet at even money returns $20, which is $10 profit plus the initial stake back.
It should now be clear why bookmakers have a mathematical advantage over their customers. They don’t always win money on every single market they price up, but this advantage does help to ensure they win money in the long run.
The advantage can be beaten, however. It’s not like casino games where the odds are always stacked against you no matter what you do. That being said, the mathematical advantage isn’t the only reason why bookmakers make money. Their success also comes down to the simple fact that most bettors place more bad than good bets.
To avoid being one of those bettors, you need to understand what actually makes for a good bet. Contrary to what many believe, a good bet isn’t simply betting on what you think might happen. Although this approach can be successful if you are accurate often enough in predicting the outcome of sports events, but the reality is that most people are not.
For the best chance of making money on sports betting, you need to be skilled in identifying betting opportunities that represent good value. This is the real key to consistent profits and something we explain more about in the next article.