It was the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, that said ‘knowledge is power, information is liberating.’
Whether the Ghanaian diplomat enjoyed a bet or not – he doesn’t look the type – remains to be seen, but he might just have hit upon the key to successful sports betting. Because without relevant information and data, it is very difficult to become a winning bettor in the long run.
But where do you seek this all-important knowledge? The good news is that there is no shortage of sites and resources that you can use to fill in the information gap – arming you with the weaponry to make winning bets on a consistent basis.
Team news matters – it doesn’t matter whether you are betting on the NFL, NBA, MLB, soccer, or anything else.
Some teams struggle to perform without their key players, and in football in particular you see how much a sportsbook favorite can struggle when their star quarterback is sidelined.
So your first port of call in your betting should be to check which players are injured or absent, and which teams have a clean bill of health – the information is vital to your handicapping process.
There’s no shortage of choice in researching team news. You can use a universal site like Crunchsports, which covers all the top sporting action in North America and beyond, or instead dial down into your preferred sports by seeking out official news from the teams themselves or the NFL website, as one example.
You can also set up custom alerts in Google and other search engines. Simply save the news topics you want, and they will ping you with information when a story is published that features your queries.
When you know who is playing – and, as crucially, who isn’t – you can make better-informed betting decisions and dispel the myth that the bookies always win.
Even the best sports teams go through peaks and troughs in form during their season.
It’s always interesting to dial down and try to work out why that might be – evidence can usually be found in the data, which we’ll explore in more detail shortly. But, for the most part, it pays to not wager on those teams that find themselves in a rut, no matter how classy they have otherwise been.
The league standings will show a longer-lens view on a team’s results, but we really want to be focusing on their most recent endeavors – their last two, four, and six games. Momentum in sport, be it positive or otherwise, is often an excellent predictor of what will follow.
Even the most basic of resource sites will display form lines, and so you should bookmark these pages, so you keep up-to-date with who is hot and who is not.
The Data Plays
Traditionalists will tell you that there’s only one set of numbers that matter – a team’s results.
But so often in sport, the final score does not tell the whole story and digging deeper into the advanced stats can reveal more about a team or an individual player.
There are some recommended sites that bettors should explore – this will seem like an ad, but we’re in no way affiliated with these resources. Football fans can use Pro Football Reference to access all manner of (free) stats, and likewise, basketball bettors can search Basketball-Reference.
For MLB lovers, one of the most interesting portals is Baseball Savant, while soccer bettors are recommended to consider the use of Expected Goals (xG) in their wagering – Infogol is a handy resource for this.
If you can incorporate these detailed analytics in your betting, you may just see your results improve based upon a greater understanding of what’s really going on in your favorite sports.