We all hate doing homework, but when it comes to investing money, none of us backs down. Betting on sports is all about investment activity, which requires a lot of “homework”. After all – you can’t invest your money blindly. You would never buy a house without seeing it or a car without checking its specs. It’s the same with sports betting. You need to be sure of your decisions – to win regularly, it’s necessary to make a proper analysis. But how to do this? One of the main tools for analyzing upcoming sports games is statistics. It is the data on how an event participant – whether a team or an athlete – has played recently that becomes the basis for accurate predictions.
Most newcomers mistakenly believe that studying statistics is important only for pre-match betting and forget that many of the same principles and rules can be applied to live sports betting. Which is to say, stats should be combined with the progression of match events – decisions based on intuition and reactions don’t work for in-play bets.
When doing “homework”, first and foremost, it is necessary to gather bulk information – the more statistical data you study before you make a bet, the more accurately you can determine the outcome. Experienced handicappers try to “squeeze” the maximum out of the open data, studying trends and patterns, which greatly increases their winning chances. The point is not to look at the latest info but to go through all the available details. Let’s take football statistics for betting as an example. A soccer team scored only one goal in its last three matches, and it seems unlikely that it is able to win the next game against a similar opponent. However, a closer study shows that players were in possession of the ball and shot at the goal a lot of times – the team was just unlucky and didn’t manage to convert chances. Or there is another situation: the club won the last match with a high score. However, statistics indicate that the early penalty decided the outcome of the game – the opponent had no chance to regain the edge. In both cases, the results do not show the real situation and the current form of the participants, which can mislead a bettor.
Not all statistics are equally important across disciplines. Say, considering players’ profiles, their health and mental conditions, or weather activities, event venues is crucial in tennis. And when it comes to football or basketball, it’s worth taking into account lineups, the current state of the club, etc.
So, let’s point out the main data you need to pay attention to when gambling on most sports.
- Attitude and motivation
The importance of the event and the motivation of the participants significantly affect the outcomes. Competitors can play a friendly game, rematch, or a cup duel, compete in a meaningless match or, on the contrary, face off in a decisive battle. What does the upcoming competition mean to each opponent? Are they ready to give it their all, or are they going to spare their strengths for a more important battle, intending to play for a show? You need to find answers to all these questions before getting down to betting.
Motivation is the first factor that overrides the form of the athletes, the position in the standings, and all other aspects! So, determine the psychology of each confrontation. If contestants are fighting for survival, there is no pressure, so they demonstrate a strong game even against the leaders.
As a simple refresher, West Bromwich lost in many rounds, but in the end, tried to make it into the top division. The club showed a number of sensational results, but when the footballers realized that they would not be able to achieve the main goal, they lost motivation and suffered a complete defeat.
- Tournament standings
Generally, table position is a good indication of participants’ level of play. Of course, it is useless to look at the table after three rounds, but the results of 10-20 ones can speak volumes.
- Face-to-face encounters
Some teams and players perform differently depending on certain opponents, this should be taken into consideration.
Here, you need to dig deep into the contexts of previous encounters to get an idea of whether those games can be in correlation with the upcoming one. You should compare then-and-now motivations, lineups, coaches, and forms. Are they the same? Are there consistent long-term trends in these matchups? If this is the case, take advantage of it!
- Competition form of athletes
Lots of inexperienced bettors try to determine the form by looking at the current standings. A strong player/team, due to some circumstances, can be near the bottom of a tournament table, while a mid-tier one can reach the top. Thus, evaluating the strength and form of participants based on table results is quite irrational. Injuries, psychological state, substitutions, transfers often affect the outcome of the game, so these things should be thoroughly tracked.
- Competition schedule
Teams and athletes that have several intense games in a row or just a lot of matches in a short period of time, are naturally tired. Because of this, players may warm the bench or perform poorly. Moreover, if there is an important matchup ahead, they can easily sacrifice a current one for the sake of future success.
- Home and away stats
In soccer, hockey, and other team sports, players perform better at their home stadiums, but there are also exceptions – make sure to find them out!
- Additional stats
When it comes to outdoor sports, the weather should always be taken into account. Bad weather is frequently in the underdog’s favor – it is easier for him to defend than for the favorite to create chances.
Consider long flights and travels – they take away sportsmen’s energy even before the start of the match.
And don’t forget to find out some info on incentives – sometimes players are promised to receive generous bonuses for winning a match, which also adds some motivation!
So, when analyzing events, prepare your “homework” well, apply common sense, and you will always be on the winning side!