Professional bookmakers build betting models, do you know the story behind it?

Professional bookmakers build betting models, do you know the story behind it?

How To Build A Predictive Betting Model

Building a sports betting model can be difficult work. We won’t lie to you. It can mean long hours of tediously entering data, sorting spreadsheets, setting up databases, testing, re-testing and re-re-testing.

All this, with no promise that you will eventually ‘crack the code’.



Where do you start when building a sports betting model? What are the key elements to developing a profitable betting model? In this article we discuss the basic to consider when starting to develop a sports betting model.

If you want to build a sports betting model, this is what you need to learn:

  • Understand What You’re Attempting To Do

  • Learn Your Probability Theory

  • Know How To Manipulate A Spreadsheet

  • Know The Sport And Its Betting Markets

  • Data Data Data

Know what you want to do:

This is the most basic, but I was surprised to find that many people don’t really understand what the betting model can do.

The betting model is used to evaluate the strength of the team and then get the probability of a certain result. Essentially, what you do is to compare the probability calculated by your own model with the bookmaker's, so as to find games worthy of betting.

The betting model is not used to discover which team must win! Even a successful betting model often loses, but it is profitable on the whole. You must be psychologically prepared for this.

Learn probability theory:

Although this is the same as homework, it is boring. But if you want to build a betting model, probability theory is the foundation. Although you don't have to be proficient in anything, the more you understand will obviously increase your inspiration and imagination in actual data processing. Maybe you can use basic mathematics to build a betting model, but it is probably not enough to face a bookmaker, an opponent armed with probability theory.

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If you're starting to develop your first betting model or system, we would recommend you begin with not only a sport you know well, but a league you know well. And by knowing well, we mean like a ruthless expert. If you don 't understand the fundamentals of the sport or league, it's very difficult to know where to begin in your analysis and very difficult to know how to assess the performance of the sport's participants. And by understanding the fundamentals we also mean have a clear and comfortable understanding of the betting markets for that sport. The markets that you are going to attack is at the very core of your betting model's identity. Is that market head to head betting? Is it line betting or handicap?

In other words, the manner in which you decide to assess a team’s performance is going to be determined by the betting market you want to find value in. So know the sport’s betting markets as well as you know the sport itself.

You must also keep in mind bookmaker limits and market liquidity. The amount of money you can get down on a particular league or bet type is something to consider before spending hours building your betting model. Sure, you might make a killer model for Polish 2nd Division football. But are you going to be able to bet at a rate that makes the time spent on the model worthwhile?

Personally we would stay away from the more obscure leagues, at least in developing your first model. For one thing, mainstream bookmakers are far more sensitive to successful betting in these sorts of leagues. They will move quickly to restrict your betting if they feel you 've got an edge in a league that they would readily admit to not knowing as well as they should. Plus bet limits in these leagues usually begin pretty low anyway.

So aim high. Shoot for the big time. This is where the money is. And it’s where the challenge is too. Build a betting model that will give you options and one that will provide for you long-term.

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Data data data:

Your model must need data, at least the final score. But more ideal is of course more detailed data of the ball game, and then use the algorithm to select the data you want. Such as historical odds, possession time and number of shots and so on. These data can be searched for free from the Internet, and you need to search carefully. Remember: the best resources often appear on websites you can't imagine, try your best to find them.

Even if you don't use the program to automatically grab the data, in the testing phase, you can completely enter it manually, although it is very troublesome. You might as well comfort yourself: just type it once!

Remember to press and hold the save button to prevent data loss.