There is no such thing as a guarantee in sports. In fact, the overall randomness of sport is the biggest reason why betting on sports has been so popular over such a long period of time. The illusion of control leads to billions of dollars being wagered on sports every single year but the reality is that the for the most part sports is random, uncontrollable and unpredictable. The smartest thing a bettor can do is understand the randomness behind sports. That will help avoid falling into the trap of thinking that a certain amount of knowledge can lead to making large amounts of money.
Here is a look at how randomness impacts sports betting.
Blame Yourself For Wins, Blame Others For Losses
The bottom line for the majority of casual sports bettors is that they largely attribute winning to personal skill while blaming losing on external attributes. While they might argue that they won based on their knowledge and skill when it comes to forecasting sports they are just as likely to blame bad luck for a series of losses. The reality is that if the potential outcomes of the games weren’t so random then the best sportsbooks wouldn’t be hauling in such a large amount of money every year. The most important first step for anybody that wants to make money betting on sports is to understand the inherit randomness of the entire process to begin with.
Use A Variability Table
One way to break down how randomness impacts sports betting is through the use of a variability table that breaks down all of the potential outcomes. By plotting a time series of hypothetical returns using fair odds on different scales we can see how much the outcomes can vary overall.
The bottom line for randomness shows that these potential outcomes can be used as a strong indicator of how things will play out in reality. The fact that the underdogs in every single sport will win a certain amount of time every year means that those willing to accept the randomness of sport can exploit the numbers in their own favor.
Don’t Only Bet Favorites
The randomness of sport should influence players to stay away from betting only favorites because it could result in losing more money than you will make. For example, if you bet $100 on 10 favorites that were listed at -200 odds and six of those wagers won while four of them lost, you would end up losing $200. However, if you bet $100 on 10 underdogs that were listed at +200 odds and six of those wagers won while four of them lost then you would end up winning $800.
That is a difference of $1000 on just 10 wagers and it’s the perfect illustration of why it makes a lot more sense to bet underdogs rather than favorites assuming that the results are completely random overall.
The fact that we know a certain amount of underdogs will win means that we can make substantial profits by putting betting units on them more consistently. There are a lot of factors that go in to the outcome of every single game and the overall randomness allows us to profit betting on underdogs since they always pay out plus-money.
While the public tends to bet heavily on favorites, the sharp betting minds understand the nuance here. They know that even though they are better at forecasting sports outcomes than others most of what happens is still mostly a matter of chance.