Sports Betting Profiles: Which One Are You?

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Just as there so many sports to bet on, each with tens, if not hundreds of markets to bet on, there are several sports betting profiles.

Everyone has their reason for betting.

But even so, it’s important to know your sports betting profile.

Read on to find out which one fits you best.

Type A: The Odds Setter

The first sports betting profile is The Odds Setter.

It’s the classic general perception of a sports bettor.

The Odds Setter tries to do what the bookmakers do but better.

They attempt to use any relevant information they can get their hands on to calculate the probability of an outcome.

In essence, they hope their probabilities are more accurate than the “competition” (ie the bookmakers).

The Odds Setter doesn’t have to check out what the bookmakers are doing.

Instead, they use their own tried and tested models to ensure it is worth the investment.

The result is a set of odds which can then be compared to those set by the bookmakers.

When the implied probability of the self-made odds is higher compared to those of the bookmakers, then the sports bettor has an edge.

Now, this approach takes a great deal of skill to pull off.

It also requires a lot of patience to achieve long-term success – even across multiple sports and markets.

That said, many Odds Setters specialize in specific sports or markets as it’s very difficult.

As markets have evolved, traditional “handicapping” is no longer as common.

Data-driven strategy creation is now vital to modern sports betting.

Type B: The Near Misser

This next sports betting profile, the Near Misser covers a lot more people than you may realize.

They tend to think they are more of an Odds Setter rather than a Near Misser.


You do not want to be a Near Misser in sports betting.

Here’s why.

The Near Misser thinks they’re doing the right things but just get unlucky when they lose.

In the same breath, they don’t realize they get lucky when they actually win.

The Near Misser

Now, like the Odds Setter, the Near Misser uses data to create a perceived edge.

They may even design a model to predict the likelihood or all different outcomes

But here’s where the Near Misser fails.

In fact, there are three major reasons:

  1. They don’t use as much information as they should
  2. They use the wrong data
  3. They don’t invest enough time to test their theories

It could be either one of these reasons or a combination of them all.

But at the end of the day, the Near Misser will never become the successful sports better they wish to be.

From just using team average goals to calculate the Over/Under to following historic trends, the Near Misser undertakes, at most, basic level analysis before betting.

In the words of Edward Deming:

Edward Deming talking about the importance of analysis

Here’s the deal:

Bookmakers spend a lot of money to ensure they are on the right side of the line.

There are also other skilled and experienced sports bettors out there using vast data sets and advanced models.

Both aren’t going to be beaten by someone that spends little time and energy into sports betting.

If this sounds like you, then you do not understand sports betting properly.

Type C: The Engineer

You don’t need to be an expert of a certain sport to be profitable from sports betting.

Some people can rely on just the markets alone for their information.

These people fall under this next sports betting profile: the Engineer.

The Engineer assumes that the markets are efficient and will work backwards. The Engineer also avoids competing with bookmakers' probabilities in popular markets.

They understand how much bookmakers invest in time and resources, while all the bets that come in help to refine the betting lines to best suit them.

So, with this in mind, the Engineer looks at the betting lines set by an efficient bookmaker and uses tools to find inefficiencies in the lines set by other bookmakers for the same market.

Alternatively, the Engineer looks at derivative markets (those that are related to efficient markets) at the same bookmaker but the probabilities don’t quite add up.

For example, the Engineer may use the probabilities of an NFL Over/Under market to bet on the second-half total.

This type of betting does not require any knowledge of the players, injuries, referees, etc.

The only information needed is efficient Total betting line and additional data from the markets to determine if the fourth quarter odds correlate correctly.

If they don’t, the Engineer would make a confident value bet.

Type D: The Fun Player

Many people use sports betting to make money.

That is not the case for the Fun Player.

This sports betting profile is not bothered about maximizing potential winnings.

The Fun Player still enjoys the same thrill from a win and the pain of a loss, but these emotions are very important for why they’re betting.

They just want to feel part of the game.

The Fun Player understands they don’t expect to win.

Sure, they may know a thing or two about probabilities, but the financial gain isn’t their primary concern.

The Fun Player likes to bet on the result straight up, create an accumulator or bet on other props like how a particular player will contribute to the game.

The Fun Player isn’t defined by the amount they bet.

Even if it’s $0.50 or $5,000, at the end of the day, it just depends on their disposable income.

Finally, the Fun Player won’t shop around for the best line.

They may use the same one over and over because they like their interface, they enjoy the customer service or a host of other reasons.

The Bottom Line

Thinking you fit into a certain sports betting profile when you are another is dangerous.

For example, if you a more like the Near Misser but you think you’re an Odds Checker, you’re never going to improve your results over the long run.

Several biases could also be in play.

Now, it’s foolish to think every single sports bettor on Earth fits perfectly into these sports betting profiles.

It’s more likely that you’ll be more aligned with one of them, while perhaps dipping into the others from time to time.

The key is to understand your reasons for betting.

Also, no matter which profile fits you best, bankroll management is just as important for a professional sports investor as it should be to anyone betting for fun.

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