Tuesday 29th December 2020

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Betting analysis.

Within our betting approach there’s 2 core areas we use for play selection. Without going into too much detail these are known internally as “context” and “market”.

In some sports we have a modelling element as well, and even a trend or match-up based element but for the purposes of this I’ll leave it with 2 areas.

Context – is everything that goes into a game to create a number. This number is usually pretty weak at the start (opening lines) and then pretty strong at the end (closing lines). As we only bet against closing lines, within the context section there’s no point in looking for obvious elements as those will already be baked into the line by far better models than we can create or want to create.

Instead we look at things that are really hard to calculate with a specific figure. Something that’s almost impossible to put into a model. For example; a coaching mismatch, a cluster injury etc. But those are pretty rare. Most of the day to day context looks at very simple concepts such as regression of players, teams, specific key stats etc.

Another key to context is analysing strength of schedule. Possibly the single most important element to a successful context analysis.

Regardless, context is tough to put a number on but we weight this internally on a 1-3 scale. Most games are passed (about 80%), about 10% of games get a 1 on the scale and then 1 in 10 will be 2 or 3. When a game is purely a 3, this trumps all other elements (market analysis, modelling etc). The reason for this is context is more important and hence has a higher win percentage than something like a number model or market play.

Market – Analysing the betting market is how we’ve had individual play selections for a long time. Although 2020 has made this a lot more difficult, the process is still similar. I’m not going to explain individual elements here but the core point of “market analysis within sports betting” is to see where sharp money is going (not through the BS “sharp money %” stats that some companies claim) but by looking at line moves, individual timing of signals and more.

Play Selection – 29th Jan:

Starting today I’m going to be outlining how we get to specific plays (not revealing any of the key indicators that we use obviously) but just talking about how specific plays are taken and why.

Today on the card we have;

  • 10 NBA games.
  • 19 NCAAB games.
  • 2 NCAAF games.

There’s no plays in any college Football plays today but some good looks in a few NCAAB games from context look.

  • Ole Miss +2.5
  • Eastern Mich -5.0
  • Wofford +2.5
  • South Florida +9.5 (favourite play)
  • Clemson -1.5
  • Miami +6.0
  • Texas A&M +8.0

Note not all of these will make the cut to official plays as this depends on market (aside from some of the stronger looks).

Based on these we then move to stage 2 (pre-market):

Pre Market basically involves looking at 2 other criteria that aren’t huge on their own but help to filter results that are weaker, so if we ignored everything else and just made the plays with the current sizing it would look something like the below. The half/full/1.5 refers to number of units, which hence should be % of Bankroll.

  • Miami +6.0 half
  • Clemson -1.5 full
  • Texas A&M +8 half
  • USF +9.5 1.5u
  • Wofford +2.5 full / Maybe 1.5u
  • Eastern Michigan -5.0 half
  • Ole Miss +2.5 full

In stage 2 (pre-market) there’s a few elements we look at and down or upgrade things based on this, for example of the 7 games 3 have nothing either way (Miami, Clemson, Eastern Mich). 2 Have leans with (so upgrade a half) – these are USF & Woff and 2 have leans against (so downgrade a half) ole miss and Texas A&M. Which means after stage 2 analysis we have:

  • Miami +6.0 half
  • Clemson -1.5 full
  • USF +9.5 1.5u
  • Wofford +2.5 1.5u
  • Eastern Michigan -5.0 half
  • Ole Miss +2.5 half

Stage 3 – Market Analysis

Stage 3 needs to happen as close to an event as possible to watch the market as long as possible. This is why plays are sent late (as well as limits not being an issue on closing lines).

So after market analysis nothing was really impacted from the NCAAB, so the official plays turned out to be:

Miami Florida +6.5 -112 0.56u tp 0.5u
South Florida +9.5 -105 1.6u tp 1.5u
Wofford +2.5 -103 1.6u tp 1.5u
Eastern Michigan -4.5 -110 0.55u tp 0.5u
Ole Miss +2.0 -110 0.55u tp 0.5u
Purdue/Rutgers Under 136.0 -110 1.1u tp 1u (market & context)
Memphis/USF Under 137.0 -110 0.55u tp 0.5u (market & context)
Omaha +11 -110 0.55u tp 0.5u (market only play)
Clemson/FS Under 130.0 -110 0.55u tp 0.5u
Copied across from actual Google sheets.

On the day we ended up going +1.75u. With both 1.5u plays winning massively.

  • Wofford outright by 13 (15 ATS).
  • South Florida lost by 1 (8.5 ATS).
  • Ole Miss & Eastern Mich both lost massively so the downgrade on Ol Miss was important.
  • The unders were a bit weaker with a strange Rutgers/Purdue game.

All in all though anytime we can go +1u on a day through context looks it’s perfect.

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