It’s not luck that people succeed at betting on sports for long periods of time. They learn handicapping and are very skilled at it. 

At its most basic, handicapping is researching the sport event and coming up your own odds. To decide what you want to wager on, you can contrast those odds with the ones at your local betting site. Professional handicappers are those who do this professionally. Although it is a simple term , it is a complicated task . Even veteran handicappers can make mistakes. There is no single way to handicap. It’s important to find what works for you sports handicapper

New players often have questions. 

  • What information do you need? 
  • How can I convert that information into useful data. 
  • Where can I find the information that I need? 

While some handicappers may use sophisticated algorithms that they have developed over many years, it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can start once you have a basic understanding of the language and concepts. 

This guide will cover the basics of language and concepts. Next, we will show you how to apply these concepts to some examples. You’ll be able to develop your own handicapping system in no time. Understanding the benefits of handicapping is key. Your chances of winning at betting can be dramatically increased by handicapping. 

What are the advantages of handicapping? 

Many bettors will place their money on the favorite teams or athletes because they feel a special connection. Although this can be a great way to enjoy the sport, it is not the best way to actually get paid for your wagers. 

Others may simply follow their gut instincts or hear a tip. This can result in sportsbooks keeping more of your money than usual. You’ll win some if you play these strategies enough. Even a stopped clock can be right twice daily. 

These are bad plans if you have any other goals than to bet on sports. It is not a good idea to lose your hard-earned cash on a random tip, or to have an emotional connection with a team. You must handicap the events that you wish to win. Throwing your money away is what it means. 

The sportsbooks will have handicapped all events they market. They have set the odds to win more than lose. You must do the same to be competitive. Although the odds are still against you, you can reduce them if you choose to be selective with your wagers. 

How to handicap sporting events 

We’ll begin with a real moneyline to demonstrate how handicapping works. However, the same principles can be applied to all types of wagers. 

Here is a market for a Nashville Predators match from the early part of the 2019-20 season. This particular contest was won by Nashville. 

As you can see there is a large disparity between the odds for both sides in this market. This means that the sportsbook was confident Nashville would win. When handicapping this game you need to ask yourself: Is Anaheim likely to win? How do I know if there’s a chance of it happening? 

You will need some information to help you estimate the possibility. This information is readily available and free . 

What information is required to handicap? 

The important information for most team sports, such as hockey, is fairly standard. You can be confident in your assessment of the situation if you have a good understanding of the five questions. The Sports Reference site provides a wealth information about how athletes and teams perform. This information is reliable and regularly updated sports handicapper picks

What are their recent forms? This refers to how well the teams have played in the past. This includes stats and the win-loss record. Important information is also included about injury news. 

Do matchup advantages exist for one team? In keeping with the Predators example: Does the data show that Nashville has difficulty defending against a particular type of formation? If so, is the Ducks proficient with that set? 

Does playing at home provide a significant advantage to the home team? You would simply compare how the teams do at home and on the road. It is also useful to see how the visiting team has performed in this particular venue historically. 

Which team objectively is better? Sportsbooks often give preference to teams that are on hot streaks or who play at home. It can be helpful to objectively assess which team is superior in terms of performance, even if the data has not been updated. Comparing how the teams did against their common opponents is a great way to do this. 

Are you better off being early than fortunate? In many sportsbooks, the earliest odds for team sports are the best. As you do, the oddsmakers adjust as the game approaches. They also become more confident about their lines as new information becomes available. You can shop around at different sportsbooks to get a second opinion. 

How to draw useful conclusions out of your handicapping 

Some handicappers assign numerical values to the data that they collect. They might assign a value of -5 to each team that has lost a home game during the season preceding the game. These handicappers will create formulas with all variables. To do this, they most often use a spreadsheet. 

If both teams have equal chances of winning the game, then a number that you choose as your baseline can serve as a good starting point. You can then use the information you have gathered to assign a numerical value to reduce or increase your chances of winning. 

It is up to you how deep you go. Because it removes your biases, emotions, and makes the situation more understandable, breaking down the information into a mathematical equation is a solid strategy. After you have completed your formula, you can then compare your results to the markets at sportsbooks. You might be able to take advantage of an opportunity if your results are significantly different from the market at the betting site. 

Let’s return to the hockey example. Let’s say your numbers-crunching proves that Nashville has a better chance. You would be better off betting on the Predators with shorter odds. While this might be your conclusion, it should not be the only one. Anaheim won’t win this game because you did your research. 

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