Exploring the Maths Behind Different Betting Strategies

Betting strategies commonly appear in sports betting. Some strategies like the Martingale system are more famous than others. Are betting strategies all cut out to what people expect them to be, however? 

Should you, as a punter, be relying heavily on a betting strategy to formulate your betting approach? Here we take a look at the maths of betting strategies, because yes, it’s all about the numbers. 

When you prepare to make a bet and study, for instance, football betting stats, or visit any of the best bookmakers and look through the odds, you are taking a pretty deep dive into maths. So maybe using it to unlock the door to successful bets is the answer. 

Maths And Sports Betting 

Sports betting is mathematics. The odds that you see in a sports book are based on the probability of outcomes that traders have come up with. It’s only an implied probability and more complicated still, is not a true reflection of probability. 

Bookmakers adjust the odds to work in a profit margin for themselves. That’s why on a 50/50 two-way market on something completely arbitrary like a coin toss, you’ll see odds of 10/11 instead of 1/1 which would be a true reflection of probability.  

Why Use Betting Strategies 

Whenever you see a betting strategy, it has been formulated from some form of mathematics. That could be the analysis of statistical research, the value of odds, or some kind of combination of both. Others set out a mathematical plan, a step-by-step guide to follow. 

Betting strategies can help in betting. The main thing that they do is allow punters to have a game plan, a set approach to what they are doing with their bankroll. It also allows for the collection of data-driven results and from there, needing to adjust a betting strategy if required. 

Are Betting Strategies the Be-All and End-All? 

Betting strategies are not going to guarantee you win every single bet every time. That’s not realistic or possible. The purpose of a betting strategy is to try and extract as much value from a long-term betting plan as possible by using a consistent, set formula. 

Betting strategies are fallible as well though. They are still based on results going your way at some point. One of the biggest pitfalls of betting strategies is that some can suck a bankroll dry pretty quickly when losing streaks happen.  

An example is a simple formula when you double the next unit of stake after a losing bet. If you are on a losing streak, keep doubling the stake to try and recover all the previous losses, just assume that you have a bottomless wallet. 

Value Bets 

Use an online betting calculator to convert the odds on a selection to its implied probability for clarity to use the strategy of value bets. If you see a football betting option that is priced at 3/1 then that is a 25% implied probability of the outcome happening.  

But through your research, you would have assumed that you should be looking at a 33% implied probability option at 2/1 instead. Remember there’s no right or wrong here. The outcome of the bet is still in the balance until the final whistle goes. So it’s more about your prediction perception based on your research. 

But if you firmly expected a selection to be at that 2/1 odds, it’s worth snapping up the longer price that the bookmaker’s offering on that pick, just in case they are the ones that have underestimated an outcome. 

Arbitrage Betting 

This is one of the biggest strategies around. With arbitrage betting, the goal is to create a situation where you have bet on each of the outcomes of a sports fixture, so no matter what the outcome is, you will collect a profit. The profit should be roughly the same from any of the settled outcomes.  

An arbitrage bet can only be created by using different bookmakers. You bet a Home Win at one bookmaker and perhaps an Away/Draw Double Chance at another on the same match. Arbitrage betting can be time-involved and it relies on a sizable differentiation of market odds between bookmakers. 

Matched Betting  

Another good maths-based betting system is matched betting, but like arbitrage betting, opportunities don’t always present themselves. Matched betting is using promotional offers from a bookmaker, commonly a welcome bonus, to form a hedge betting opportunity on the same game.  

You would use real cash to bet on the winner of say a tennis match, and then use a promotion (for example, money back special as a free bet if the wager loses) to stake on the other outcome, knowing that you’ll get the stake covered there if it loses. Alternatively, a free bet token could be used to stake the second, coverage bet. 

In Summary 

The foundation of sports betting is mathematics. It is a good idea to get a deeper understanding of just what the odds within a sportsbook represent to you. Getting to grips with the odds can help you build your betting strategies.