Pro Punters is a series of interviews with professional sports punters based in London. We’ve asked them a set of questions to learn more about their lives and betting behaviour, so read on to learn how they make informed betting decisions to increase their profits. For anonymity reasons, their names are not used.
This week, our interview is with a 31-year-old punter based in London. He is a Data Scientist, which enables him to decipher the betting market’s complexity.
What do you think about online sports betting?
For some people, it’s entertainment, for other addiction. For some people, it’s how they make money. For me it’s something between entertainment and a way to make money. I don’t plan to live out of it. I just started doing it, so my bet stakes are really low at the moment. I’m really interested to learn how to do it professionally and rely on data.
Are you tracking your bets historically?
Yes, I’m using an excel sheet, but I don’t use any advanced tools. Luckily, I work with excel every day, so I know a trick or two.
Tell us what’s good about your current approach and what isn’t?
The good part is that it helps me to easily do the analysis I need to perform. The bad side is that I have to manually update it. The best thing would be if it could automatically update and I didn’t need to do it. It’s time consuming to go and update input results etc. So I’m looking forward to seeing what Bettingmetrics can do for me.
Please tell us a bit more about how your analysis improves your betting?
Well, you probably know this, but in the betting world, the odds are the market. They move up and down all the time depending on various factors, e.g. if people are betting heavily for the favourite, the odds will drop. So, I perform a lot of statistical analysis on the odds and bets I’ve placed to look for trends or similar patterns. Regression analysis helps me discover relationship between my bets, the odds and the variables I’ve taken into consideration when placing my bets. So, hopefully by doing that in the long run, my betting will improve.
Can you please give us a more specific example?
Yes, sure. For example, I found out that all my away bets in England priced at more than 2.50, provided the bet was for the underdog, had a good hit rate of 40%. Yes, you might think that my accuracy is not so high, but let’s look at the numbers. If I place 100 bets with £10 each at odds 2.50 and accuracy 40%, I break even. If I manage to get higher odds, say 2.70, I will make a profit of £80. On a typical Saturday in England, the underdogs are priced above those marks. So, to be good at betting, you need to look for value bets and of course timing – to know when to place the bet and when to go out for a beer.
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