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Predicting the outcome of sports events: tools and strategies

Author: americangambler | Last Updated: September 28, 2023
Predicting the outcome of sporting events (from football, tennis, basketball, hockey to horse racing, boxing, water polo and wrestling) is a delicate art of knowledge, strategy and skill. The premise of being a winning sports bettor would seem to be easy. Basically, you only need to be correct a little more than half the time to earn a real wage betting on sports. But grinding out a profit is something that most of the betting public still can't do.

Sportsbooks and betting apps charge a fee to handle the processing of bets so gamblers need to win at more than a 50 percent clip. However, the large number of betting options can make the job of a serious handicapper much easier. Would-be bettors can choose from a vast array of information and statistics to research not only money lines, point spreads and game totals, but also team and player scoring and head-to-head propositions. 

Know your team

Sports gamblers should try to familiarize themselves with team, league and sport in which they are going to bet on. And the more information the bettor is armed with the better, so to speak. Knowing the ranking of teams, scoring averages, injuries, trends and motivation are all necessary in determining a successful handicap of a sporting event. Check the best and free score and stats apps.

Many times, the betting line will be a near-exact perception of the bookmaker's opinion combined with their bottom line.
While many statistical models claim to find weaknesses in betting lines, usually a successful handicap is based on team rest/health, motivation, power ranking and analysis of trends when certain teams or players match up, especially frequently. Learn to identify the value bet in horse racing and in value bets in college football betting.

Handicappers can suffer frustration during a losing streak, especially if they are betting games infrequently. If a bettor truly believes they have an inherent advantage, they shouldn't hesitate in betting on a particular game or proposition. Read how to stop losing money and win back again in sports betting.

Be honest in your assessment

Gamblers should also be honest in their assessment of a given result – win or lose. Did they have the right side despite losing the bet? And on the contrary, did they get lucky despite what amounted to a bad handicap (bet)? Check our advice on the best sports betting strategy

With bookmakers offering so many products for bettors to use to try and win, there are literally hundreds of opportunities daily to wager on particular sports even with just a little bit of research and knowledge.

Gamblers also may employ their own team of experts or subscribe to sports services or touts in order to find handicappers that may be more successful than they are at sports betting.

While there are plenty of experts that will tell you to shy away from products such as teasers, parlays or huge money lines, bettors should know that as long as the straddle (the vigorish) is fair, there could be implied or inherent value on either side of a betting line.

It should also be noted that while bookmakers try to balance their books between the amount of money taken and their own comfortability in moving the line against other established bookies, opening themselves to one-sided action, operators also occasionally must hold the line and take an avalanche of public money in order to prevent larger bettors and syndicates from coming in on the other side following an over-adjustment.

Public Betting

It's these public favorite scenarios that many experts will warn against playing yet the teams often produce profits for backers because they continue to retain value because the bookmaker refuses to move the line. This is more frequent in higher-profile games with larger limits.

While some handicappers will pour over statistics, trends, rankings and matchups in order to make their bets, there are plenty of other groups of market bettors that watch an odds screen all day, using line moves, public betting percentages and reverse line movement in order to determine what orders they will place.