# Bookmaking sports betting Strategies

Sports betting started off as a leisure activity for people who are simply betting on the games to make then more exciting or to support their favourite team. As betting became more and more popular over the decades, sports betting has been part of a hobby and also a profession. Making sizable money through sports betting is tough but many players tend to apply strategies which eventually lead them to win more than loose.

Betting strategies are applied by punters in an attempt to reduce the house edge through a structured approach on gambling. These approached involve a lot of statistical approach, historical analysis, shrewd judgment and a bit of luck at the end. There are basic strategies which novice punter put into play and these are mostly risk minimizing strategies rather than winning strategies.

- Bankroll Management – Know what you can afford to loose
- Bet Sober and don’t let your emotions get the best of you
- Don’t try to win back your losses
- Don’t bet for the sake of it, bet because you know what you’re getting into
- Do your homework – easier said than done

We now get towards more mathematical strategies which are effective not only in a subjective way but also in a practical sense. There are other strategies which can easily turn you bets into sports investments.

## Risk

Any placement of money in a hope that it will grow in the future is Risk. Especially in a field of grass where you place money on players you’ve never met, risk takes a whole new level. However, there are always ways to minimize risk and this can be done by understanding how much risk you are taking. You never know what or how much you’re getting into if you don’t calculate it and get an approximate figure.

Calculating risk is basically a mathematical judgment of whether the return is worth the opportunity cost on the money you wager. The reason to calculate risk is not to eliminate risk but to minimize it in such a way that you get the maximum return in that scenario.

## Maximising expected return

When a punter has multiple possible outcomes, it is important to choose which outcome will give the maximum expected return. For example, outright winner of a football season, the bettor has a series of names, any of which could be the highest goal scorer for the season.

Expected return = (Odds X Probability) – 1

Where the odds are given by the bookie and the probability is determined by the player making an educated estimate (could be based on past history and performance). The player with the highest positive expected return would be the best bet in this case.

Teams | Bookmaker odds | Probability | Expected Return |

Manchester City | 1.61 | 40.00 | 35.60% |

Chelsea | 4.33 | 35.00 | 51.55 |

Arsenal | 6.00 | 20.00 | 20.00% |

Liverpool | 13.00 | 5.00 | -35% |

Manchester United | 126.00 | 0 | -100 |

Tottenham | 126.00 | 0 | -100 |

Everton | 201.00 | 0 | -100 |

## Taking risk into account

If equal bets would be placed on each team, the total expected return would be the average of individual returns (35.60+51.5520.00-35-100-100-100)/7 = -42.72%. Maximising excepted return would mean to bet only on either Chelsea or Arsenal. Now to put risk into the equation we need to calculate standard deviation.

Let us assume we place all bets on Chelsea

Odds | Probability | Weighting | M Calc | Std | Expected Return | |

Manchester City |
1.61 |
40% |
0% |
0 |
0.4 |
-35.60% |

Chelsea |
4.33 |
35% |
100% |
1.5155 |
1.152344 |
51.55% |

Arsenal |
6 |
20% |
0% |
0 |
0.2 |
20.00% |

Liverpool |
13 |
5% |
0% |
0 |
0.05 |
-35.00% |

Man Utd |
126 |
0% |
0% |
0 |
0 |
-100.00% |

Tottehnam |
126 |
0% |
0% |
0 |
0 |
-100.00% |

Everton |
201 |
0% |
0% |
0 |
0 |
-100.00% |

100% |
100% |
1.802344 |
-42.72% |
|||

Expected return |
0.25775 |
|||||

Standard deviation |
1.3425139 |
|||||

Return/RIsk ratio |
0.1919906 |

Where m = probability X odds X weighting

Standard deviation for each team = probability X (odds X weighting -1 –m)^2

So if we place all the money on Chelsea, the standard deviation which is the measure of risk is 134.25%.

The reward/risk ratio on this scenario is 0.19 (0.25775/1.3425) but players may be able to achieve higher reward/risk ratio by betting on more than one team.

Now let’s assume we put equal bets on Chelsea and Arsenal

Odds | Probability | Weighting | M Calc | Std | Expected Return | |

Manchester City |
1.61 |
40% |
0% |
0 |
0.4 |
-35.60% |

Chelsea |
4.33 |
35% |
50% |
0.75775 |
0.058048 |
51.55% |

Arsenal |
6 |
20% |
50% |
0.6 |
0.392 |
20.00% |

Liverpool |
13 |
5% |
0% |
0 |
0.05 |
-35.00% |

Man Utd |
126 |
0% |
0% |
0 |
0 |
-100.00% |

Tottehnam |
126 |
0% |
0% |
0 |
0 |
-100.00% |

Everton |
201 |
0% |
0% |
0 |
0 |
-100.00% |

100% |
100% |
0.900048 |
-42.72% |
|||

Expected return |
0.35775 |
|||||

Standard deviation |
0.9487088 |
|||||

Return/RIsk ratio |
0.3770915 |

Now, the standard deviation has decreased to 94.87 %.

Now the return/risk ratio is 0.377 (0.35775/0.9487).

**Now to calculate the optimum point where the risk or Standard Deviation is minimum and the risk/return ratio is maximum we use the Solver method in excel (required Add-ins)**

So, 63% of the total bet amount placed in Chelsea and 37% of the bet amount placed in Arsenal would give you the least risk and the highest Risk/Return ratio.

Please note that we only put weights in those teams which have a positive expected return.