Here we go again, onto another article and this time to try and bring up the discussion regarding statistics for the world of sports betting.
WHAT ARE STATISTICS?
Obviously, my “area of expertise” is football, but I will also approach the importance of statistics in other sports because I believe it has a big impact in all of them. I’ll give a general approach and I’ll get deeper here and there regarding statistics in sports betting.
Nothing better than starting off by understanding what statistics are and I’ll explain it with my own words, to be as clear as possible.
Statistics is working with a high amount of data, be it quantitative or qualitative. Normally, statistics are used to understand some things or correlations between several aspects. Statistics are also good to calculate approximations or something that makes us see a certain trend or consequence.
But keep in mind that you will always have to have something in mind: despite statistics saying that something is a consequence from another aspect, we always have to see why.
You didn’t understand? I’ll give you a simple example that we usually see on television very often.
“That turn already caused 100 injuries, the entity responsible for the roads in the country should do something about it” – Now let’s check the data: from the 100 injuries, 52 of them were from a bus that had an accident there. Therefore, the correlation is wrong and out of “context”. Get it?
In football, for example, this idea always has to be on your mind when you’re studying statistics to place your bets. You have to make a true statistical analysis and understand why those numbers are like that and then reach a reliable and coherent conclusion for our analysis to be true.
Now that we know what statistics are, and how we should approach them, we will advance, once again, and as it is already usual, get a bit deeper on this subject.
STATISTICS TO BET ON FOOTBALL
With football being a “low-scoring game” it makes us doubt statistics can help us out, with football being one of the most difficult sports to bet on, having the help of statistics can be advantageous on an early analysis, or not.
In football, the correlation or the recent historical record between two teams or the number of times the team won, scored or conceded goals can be seen anywhere, even on a simple website of Live Scores.
Statistics in football are very commonly utilized so we can look at the theoretical “power” of the teams, and of course understand in what sense or how do these teams come into the match we are analysing.
Having statistical data to understand the conditions of the teams or knowing what normally happens when they face off is purely speculative data, because as many football managers say, every match is different.
That’s true, because we can look at a H2H between two teams and this is without a doubt the most dangerous statistical data to look at these days, because it can be very deceiving. Why?
Simple, each match had a history, a different moment, a different season, and with a simple glance, we are automatically misguided. What was a “Over” match two seasons ago might not be the same today, even because this encounter can now be a title-deciding one for example.
Looking and understanding is key when resorting to statistics in the world of sports betting because they can be very enlightening but at the same time dangerous and lead you into drawing wrong conclusions about the data presented, nothing that I haven’t mentioned here already.
STATISTICS TO BET ON AMERICAN SPORTS
Here the matter is different. A lot of bettors who bet on these sports are very connected to statistics and for them it has a huge impact and it has a great importance on the decisions they make regarding the bets they place. Why?
It’s simple. The database is huge and the sport itself allows data to be very reliable on our analysis. With the American sports usually being called “high-scoring games”, with high points or goals’ patterns, the correlations or statistics are closer to their “true value”.
Remember that movie of the MLB coach that picked players only due to the statistical impact they had on the team and accomplished what he did? Moneyball, remember? You should check it out to better understand what I’m writing about here!
This is a beautiful example for you to understand how American sports are “truer” to statistics than football. As a comparison between the two sports, I’d say that American sports are a couple of steps ahead of football but, lately, football have also taken some steps forward.
It isn’t a coincidence that a lot is being said about XG’s (expected goals) and other data to better understand the correlation or I’d say how the two teams “match” to of course be able to reach a conclusion and then place our bet.
On this area several big-name companies appeared, treating the statistical data of the teams and players, and they “measure everything”, with that “comparison” data being very trendy. But nowadays you know that data are just that, data, not absolute truth.
Companies like OPTA and some others are heavily dedicated to the statistical analysis of the teams, players and the comprehension of what might happen in the match, which is for example if goals are expected to be scored or not.
These programs are very, very expensive and they aren’t accessible for everyone, with some football teams using them as a support to analyse the opponents they will be facing.
Technical staff dedicated solely to this aspect to analyse, understand and then present the “data” or conclusions to the manager, so that they have the most information about the other team.
It seems we are stepping away from the betting universe, but that’s not the case. A lot of professional bettors resort to these tools, even investing great amounts of money to be able to utilize them.
Nothing bettor than also having this properly analysed and handled data to be able to know what to expect from matches and of course make “safer” bets if we can say or write this.
The fact is that these programs are appearing everywhere be it for football teams or for the sports betting aspect, and of course very expensive for the common bettor.
STATISTICS FOR SPORTS BETTING: ARE THEY WORTH IT?
As a conclusion and answering to the question that was the origin for this topic, I’d say that not everything is positive. It is always worth it, because it allows us to have a general view of things, that can sometimes be distorted, but that most of the times is clearer regarding certain occurrences.
And on the previous paragraph I’ve already set the tone. It really depends on how we look at things. The truth might not be that one, since the numbers can be misleading.
That’s the idea: having an idea or a vision that we cannot say is 100% real or reliable from those indicators.
If I had to say yes or no, I’d say yes, it’s worth looking at statistics. The opinion that I have is that if they’re becoming more and more complex and professional, since they’re now studied by companies in football, they will really have to be taken into consideration.
The thing is people have to put the “right amount” of focus into them in football, and I believe that in the future statistics for sports betting will be even more impactful on the decisions. In fact, we are walking towards the era of “betting bots” or AI – Artificial
Intelligence – and that leads me into believing that what is now expensive will become cheaper in the future, although quality will still be costly.
Therefore, the power of statistics will change, it will get closer to reality or to what’s most expectable that we can imagine. I think we should keep an eye on these and other changes that might help us on our sports betting career, but I’ll raise another question.
THE SPORT IS EVOLVING, WILL THE STATISTICS BE ABLE TO KEEP UP?
This is a good question because statistics are evolving very fast, due to the supercomputers, but the sport, because of them, is also evolving, which leads me into thinking that “perfection” might be hard to reach.
It’s getting close, or it might be the case already, because I still wasn’t able to access TOP quality programs to have a better opinion on the subject, but maybe one day I will be able to witness a software like this working “in loco”, to clear up all of my doubts.
One thing is certain, the reviews and the posts always leave us suspicious, but this is an interesting aspect and that data is work and it is important for us, bettors, and for the world of sports betting in general.
I’ll keep an eye out for them, just like every participant in football and sports is also looking at it as something important and that can be “useful” in sporting or even economical terms, for newspapers, companies, etc.
That’s it for today, good luck on your bets, with or without statistics to help you out!