What is a sports betting model? Technicals explained here!

What is a sports betting model? That’s the point I’ll be addressing today, and by the time we are done, you’ll know exactly how to answer this question. Of course, beyond that point, you can use the information as you see fit. This could be to enhance your sports betting activities, perform different wagers, or anything else.

But bringing things back into focus, I’d assume that you may have heard the term ‘sports betting model’ at some point in the past. This is a term used by professional punters, mathematicians involved in this activity, and punters who fancy themselves as more than just an average sports bettor. Based on this, you can probably envision what the term indicates, yet it’s still important to understand the ins and outs.

sports betting model

On that note, the sections highlighted below will answer the question in the most comprehensive manner possible. So – ready to get started?

What is a sports betting model? The brief answer

If you look at the definition of a ‘sports betting model’, most sources describe such models as some form of system that can identify unbiased picks. And by ‘unbiased picks’, sports betting models are subsequently able to determine what the real probability is for various outcomes in any individual event. The goal of finding these real probabilities is to compare them against the odds offered by a bookmaker.

In short, if your sports betting model identifies markets where the real probability is more likely than what the bookmaker suggests, this is construed as an ‘undervalued market’. Of course, by identifying these markets, you can make wagers where you have some form of edge over the bookmaker that is supplying them. 

However, this is easier said than done, and sports betting models can be hugely complex in terms of the mathematics behind them, required equations, and variables that must be inserted. As for some of the more intricate details that serve to create the most comprehensive answer to ‘what is a sports betting model’, I’ve discussed these in the following section.

The in-depth answer – what is a sports betting model?

When it comes to using sports betting models, you’ve got two routes to go down. You can either use an existing model, assuming you can find one that is publicly available. Or you can create your own sports betting model, which is difficult to do, but may ultimately serve your intended goals better than existing models. 

Since my purpose today is to provide you with an in-depth answer, however, let’s work with the second route. This way, I can further explain the workings of sports betting models and what goes into them. On that note, let’s work through a typical model-building process, as each step explains what these models are and how they operate.

The goal of the model

As is the case with any mathematical model, there has to be some form of goal with any sports betting model. This could also be called the ‘focus’ of the model. So before you even look at anything to do with the model-building process, you should think about your objectives when using the model. 

Is it to make X per month? Is it to stick with live betting for select sports? Or is it something else completely?

The metrics

Here’s where things become tricky, so stick with me. Essentially, all sports betting models use some kind of metrics that serve as the foundation for the numbers that will ultimately be pumped out. The range of metrics that you can use are huge. But some examples include the positive expected value, historical spreads, and closing line value – among plenty of others.

Collect and input the data

Arguably, the most important part of any sports betting model relates to the variables that go into the model itself. This is also known as the ‘data’, and the reason that it’s so critical is that the data you input will determine the probabilities that you see at the end of the process. For example, if building a model for football, you might use data relating to injuries, average goals scored, weather conditions, head-to-head statistics, and more.

Build and test the chosen model

Although you now know about the goals of the models and what goes into them, you’ve still got to pick what kind of model you wish to follow. There are many kinds of models used in sports betting, and each has its own positives and negatives. As for your options, common examples include probability models, clustering, time series analysis, neural networks, Monte Carlo simulations, and others.

Analyze results and adapt accordingly

After you’ve created the model and tested it to see whether it creates outcomes that align with your original goal, it’s time to dive into the results. At this point, you can see whether the model could be improved in any way. And you must then make such adaptations to further improve the model and ultimately, create the most optimal calculations for your overall success.

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Gavin Davison

Gavin is a full-time copywriter based in the UK and has developed in-depth knowledge of the igaming world by working in the betting industry for over five years. During this time, he has written thousands of articles covering various topics, including bookmaker reviews, ‘how to’ guides, bonus comparisons and much more.