Sports betting is known for many things. It’s known for being a simple way to make money off the outcome of a sporting event. It’s known for being one of the oldest forms of betting on the planet. It’s known for having just become legal in dozens of American states after being illegal for decades. It’s known for being fairly accessible to causal bettors and is a firm favorite of serious, seasoned bettors. Most of all, though, it’s known for being one of the rare forms of gambling where luck is only a small part of how it works.
To do well at sports betting, what you actually need more than anything, and a lot more than pure luck, is knowledge. You need to know the sport you’re betting on. You need to know the teams, the individual players, and their strengths and weaknesses. And it’s not just about knowing them in general, but having an in-depth knowledge of their past performances over an extended period of time. You have to understand how the players interact with one another and whether their past performance will be likely to be repeated in the latest game or match.
It’s also crucial to understand how the actual betting works, what the various odds mean and how to read them and the difference between the various kinds of bets available. This should be your first port of call and only then can you really move onto making smart, strategic bets based on your knowledge of the sports, the teams and the players.
Once you know all that, this is where sports betting databases come in.
What These Databases Are
A sports betting database is, very simply, a collection of all the stats and information you could possibly need about all the players and teams involved in a particular sport and what their past performance suggests about how they will do going forward. Some of these are offered free of charge, though more extensive ones will come with a monthly or once-off cost. Many bookmakers actually include links to one or more sports databases on their sites so you don’t even have to search too hard to find one.
Either way, they’re invaluable resources that will tell you everything from the individual performance of a goalie against certain teams to presenting a list of the scores of every game that took place in the previous season. They’re always entirely searchable, including very advanced searches that break things down by year, game, sport, team, player, and the better ones actually lay out such categories in simple to navigate menus.
These databases usually include info on a variety of sports and the professional sports teams and players that compete in them, and are a must-use for any halfway serious sports bettor.
While sports betting databases are an invaluable resource, that’s all they are: resources. To really be a successful sports bettor, you need a few knowledge sets if you are to make these resources work for you – and there are a couple of things that are beyond their scope.
First, though it’s generally a much better idea to use stats and carefully considered information to make your betting decisions, there are times when intuition is king. If you feel in your gut an unwavering certainty that despite what the databases and odds say about the outcome of a particular sports match, say between two NBA teams, you believe it will go the other way, you probably should listen to your gut in that case. Just so long as you understand that you’re playing against the odds and that you don’t place an inordinate amount of money on it.
Second, and most importantly, the information to be found within a sports betting database can more accurately be called data. Charts, facts, figures, odds, scores… these are mere facts, it’s the way that you interpret them that turns them into useful information.
As such, you need to have existing knowledge about how to read these facts, how to interpret them and how to know which facts are more prudent than others in making your decision. This is a real skill that many, if not most, people won’t possess. To do this, you need to have a solid understanding of statistics and it also helps to also have an understanding of the teams and players that might stretch beyond what the numbers suggest.
And it’s this that separates the best sports bettors from everyone else.