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Is sports betting ever +ev?
 

  3-Sep-12, 02:28   #1
Sports betting +/- ev 0 
awood88 
Joined: Feb '08
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 28 (M)
Posts: 1881
I know this is primarily a poker forum but here's a thread to see what we know about sports betting.

It is a common misconception that if you are good at picking winners you can make money from sports betting. Actually the odds are carefully calculated so that betting on sports is for most purposes akin to betting on roulette, only the chances and outcomes are more flexible and harder to calculate. Still bookmakers are well-skilled at calculating the odds and as with any casino game there is a house edge, due to what is called the vigorish.

So if sports betting, just like casino betting is tipped in favour of the house and of course it is, otherwise these companies would go bust, can it still be possible to make money in the long term from sports betting? What I'm really asking is (And it's interesting to see the response on a poker site rather than a sports-betting site) is sports betting ever +ev?

     
  3-Sep-12, 03:54   #2
  0 
zeroster 

Joined: May '11
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 51 (M)
Posts: 1372
With absolutely no research, experience, or data to back up my conclusion I'm saying no in the long term you will always lose.

     
  3-Sep-12, 04:31   #3
  0 
jessthehuman 

Joined: Apr '09
Location: Australia
Age: 32 (M)
Posts: 6441
I wish I could find the news article I was reading recently.. But it was about a group that used sophisticated algorithms to place sports bets over a lot of different bookies / sports-bets sites. They made millions and millions from it, started as a fairly small enterprise and grew and grew.

Anyway, the article I read wasn't about how good they were, it was about the fact they were getting investigated for tax evasion.

Regardless - my point being with a complex enough system it *can* be +EV - but it's not very likely and the edge you'll gain is so small you need to be placing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bets to beat the variance and make it worth while.

------------
Oh and of course if you include illegal means (insider information, doping, ringers, etc) then yes, of course sports betting can be beat.

     
  3-Sep-12, 07:05   #4
  0 
Macubaas 
Joined: Apr '11
Location: Romania
Age: 27 (M)
Posts: 6668
I have friends that make really nice profits but again they are very passionate and analyze all the games(soccer).

ALso they tend to concentrate on a single championship were they basically specialize on and they only bet there.

     
  3-Sep-12, 08:02   #5
  0 
Redvulture61 
Joined: Jan '12
Location: Australia
Age: 23 (M)
Posts: 155
It can be if you know the the sport and study the games you want to bet on marticolously. However in the longrun most people will lose from sports betting. I have made quiet a bit of money from making bets on football games in the champions league, EPL and Spanish la liga.

Edited by Redvulture61 (Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 08:19 GMT)


     
  3-Sep-12, 08:07   #6
  0 
shokaku 

Joined: May '08
Location: Germany
Age: 51 (M)
Posts: 6228
There are usually some bonuses or free bets, when you open a new account at a online bookmaker. If you choose wisely there is surely some money to be made here. In the long run it will be difficult to beat the bookmakers, tho.

     
  3-Sep-12, 08:24   #7
  0 
Sorin888 
Joined: Apr '11
Location: Romania
Age: 51 (M)
Posts: 2375
Betting is a job that require a lot of skills(Money management,Match analysis,Value analysis,Spread betting,discipline,pacience,..)Hard work every day and you can beat the system

     
  3-Sep-12, 10:08   #8
  0 
cermis 
Joined: Sep '12
Location: Czech Republic
Age: 24 (M)
Posts: 3
Posted by Sorin888:
Betting is a job that require a lot of skills(Money management,Match analysis,Value analysis,Spread betting,discipline,pacience,..)Hard work every day and you can beat the system

true, true Smile

     
  3-Sep-12, 12:16   #9
  0 
marqis 

Joined: Sep '10
Location: Netherlands
Age: 48 (M)
Posts: 1631
I'm not hindered by any knowledge on the subject, but if I were a bookmaker I would ensure my bets with a bookmaker in another town/country.

What I mean, is that if people accept worse odds for betting on their home team, you could hedge those against bets made in the opponent's town, so both bookmakers will win whatever the results may be. If you factor in the amount of bets per team, in the calculation of the odds, a bookmaker can not ever lose...

Like I said, I don't know if this is what they do, or even if I'm the only one that doesn't know that they do, but I imagine the bookmaker doesn't take any risks.

This would also imply that they would not care if someone wins in the long run, since the bookmaker is also making money from it (just like a poker site doesn't care who wins, as long as the rake keeps coming in), so +EV may well be possible...

     
  3-Sep-12, 12:54   #10
  0 
noonlion 

Joined: Mar '12
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 32 (M)
Posts: 1277
Yes of course it can be +EV

There are people who do it and win and make a living from it.

But they are the select few - and they put work into it.

Like if football was my specialty, I'd watch every single football match relating to my teams that I'm betting on.

I think if you are a casual punter you will only ever lose in the long rung unless you get very lucky at some point.

Bookies make their money on people who don't know what they are doing.

And as for horse racing, I swear that is rigged to a degree. I have some people I know in the UK racing scene.

     
  3-Sep-12, 13:01   #11
  0 
awood88 
Joined: Feb '08
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 28 (M)
Posts: 1881
Posted by Macubaas:
I have friends that make really nice profits but again they are very passionate and analyze all the games(soccer).


I can guarantee you cannot analyze football (soccer) better than the bookmakers themselves. No matter how good you are at predicting sport, without doping or match-fixing as mentioned above, you cannot guarantee any win. Even on the nearly certain bets there is a small chance you will lose and the bookmakers don't offer you very good odds on these games so in the long run you don't win by match analysis. The bookmakers are experts at this and will rarely offer you better odds than what the statistics, pundits, match-facts and analysis tell you.

I do not doubt that you can make money in the long term from sports betting but I'm sure it's not through any superior knowledge or passion of the sport.

------------
Posted by noonlion:
Like if football was my specialty, I'd watch every single football match relating to my teams that I'm betting on.


Actually, from what I've learned in the little research I did for this thread, is that professional gamblers never bet on football. I'm guessing it's because everyone bets on football and the bookmakers put a lot of effort into football analysis. Apparently, the best sports to bet on if you want to make money are hockey and baseball. If anyone wants to tell me why, cos I don't really know?

Edited by awood88 (Monday, September 03, 2012 @ 13:12 GMT)


     
  3-Sep-12, 13:39   #12
  0 
Redvulture61 
Joined: Jan '12
Location: Australia
Age: 23 (M)
Posts: 155
I think its because the spreads are really hard to get right with baseball.

     
  3-Sep-12, 15:38   #13
  0 
thefly131 
Joined: Jun '10
Location: Belgium
Age: 43 (M)
Posts: 1343
I don t think betting on footbal is profitable on the long run or you have to be in a group that fixes matches.

I would prefer betting on tennis or snooker or any other individual sports. In team sports the results depends on several players (more parameters)

So if you bet on individual sports you d better chose matches between 2 players like tennis , snooker and not like athletics (versus several sporters)

So the info you have to follw up get s less --> a tennismatch , 2 players, injuries, form ( % won matches in last 50)




     
  3-Sep-12, 17:10   #14
  0 
HsH80 
Joined: Apr '09
Location: Germany
Age: 35 (M)
Posts: 129
I would say that it's definitely +EV if you are following paid tipsters (who are specialised in UK Horse Racing) who have proven that they are really good...but the best thing is that you can build up an betting bankroll whitout any risk through bonus bagging.

BTW I must admit that I have recently fallen in love with UK Horse Racing!

     
  3-Sep-12, 17:44   #15
  0 
B1gfoot 

Joined: Mar '08
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 37 (M)
Posts: 6714
The only people making money from sports bets are those who pay off the judges etc.

     
  3-Sep-12, 18:34   #16
  0 
pochui 

Joined: May '08
Location: Lithuania
Age: 32 (M)
Posts: 8623
well since question was raised this way: "Is sports betting ever +ev?" i must say yes- the word "ever" makes the difference here- i.e. you can bet on sports with sure +ev situation when you are betting with sign up bonus, you have +ev situation when you arb bookies, or use any special bets- i.e. money back when 0-0 score or anything similar...

     
  4-Sep-12, 12:49   #17
  0 
Mober 
Joined: Mar '09
Location: Greece
Age: 39 (F)
Posts: 10011
My answer to this is yes. You can make money in the long term too.
I know im on the plus side from betting for more than a year now.
At first i was only participating in team bets, but now im placing my own too.

If you dont go over your head and try to win big money in a couple of times you can do
it. Plus you can always put some minimum amount on a crazy bet and expect to get lucky Smile

Big team bets with system is a good way, not much money invested and the profit
once you hit is good.

     
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