The Betting Lab – Creating and Developing Sports Betting Systems and Strategies
Many websites dedicated to gambling, ours included, cover the basics of sports betting. Beginners can learn how to place a bet, how to pick a bookmaker, what value betting is, and other important lessons that will help them enjoy betting on sports and give them a solid foundation for being successful.
Some sites take thing a step further, too. At GamblingSites.com, for example, we cover many of the more advanced concepts that sports bettors need to know if they are serious about trying to make money with their wagers.
Our goal is, and always has been, to provide all the information you need to become a profitable sports bettor. There’s a lot to learn, and it takes time to read everything we have to offer, but it’s totally worth it. With the help of our expertise, you can definitely make money if you’re prepared to put in the effort yourself.
That last point is something we always try to highlight. We provide a lot of useful information, yes, but it’s still up to you to use it in the best possible way. And that takes no small amount of commitment on your part. Even with our guidance, profitable sports betting is still a challenge.
The purpose of the GamblingSites.com Betting Lab is to help make the challenges you’ll face a little bit easier. This is where you’ll learn how to take a simple idea and turn into a complete betting strategy with the potential to bring you regular profits.
Essentially, we show you how to build unique betting strategies and systems.
Note the word “show.” This section of our sports betting guide is not just about telling you what you need to know. Here, we provide practical demonstrations of how to go about building your own strategies and systems. We develop our own and track their progress so that you can see exactly what needs to be done and why.
You’ll find more information on our Betting Lab below, including the process we use for developing our betting strategies and details of current ones we’re working on. To start with, let’s look at the importance of using strategies and systems when betting on sports.
Why You Should Use Sports Betting Strategies and Systems
If you bet on sports with the goal of making long-term profits, you ultimately have to approach sports betting as a business. You must commit a significant amount of time and effort and make sure you’re properly organized and have a clear plan for being successful.
You can’t simply throw down money on wagers every now and then, hoping to win. That’s fine if you’re just betting for fun, and you’ll probably win a few dollars on occasion. It’s not the recipe for long-term success, though.
Now, there’s no magic formula that is guaranteed to always work. Sports betting is not that easy, unfortunately. There’s an element of unpredictability in all sports, and no strategy or system can be expected to accurately forecast outcomes all the time.
The good news is that you don’t need to make accurate predictions 100% of the time to be successful. You “just” need to be able to identify opportunities where an outcome is more likely than the odds suggest. This is the whole concept of value betting and is what any system or strategy should be based on.
You MUST make sure you understand the concept of betting for value if you have any ambition of being a profitable sports bettor. It is the very foundation of successful sports betting.
It’s important to note that, whatever systems and strategies you choose to use, it’s essential to fully understand the basics of sports betting and ensure that they are implemented in your chosen approach. It’s equally important, however, to know that the basics are not enough by themselves.
You can be a perfectly competent bettor just by knowing the fundamentals of sports betting, doing some fairly straightforward research and analysis, and learning how to identify value in the odds. Even if you truly master all that, though, you’ll still barely have the edge you need to make long-term profits.
It must be said that there is no single way to succeed here. There are many different approaches that can work if utilized effectively. However, it’s our opinion that the approach with the highest chance of success is to develop your own models for making your selections.
Creating a set of rules and conditions for what to bet on and when has some significant advantages. For one thing, it helps to simplify the process. You’ll have a systematic approach for deciding what wagers to make, and this can help you save time that can then be dedicated to other aspects of your betting.
The other main benefit is that, in theory at least, you’ll be taking an approach that no one else is taking. Providing your rules and conditions are well-thought-out, this should give you a better chance of long-term profits than following strategies that are implemented by lots of other bettors.
Generally speaking, the more people that are using the same strategy, the less effective that strategy becomes. That’s why most of the best sports bettors are very private and share their secrets to success with no one.
There are SOME widely-used broad strategies that can still be profitable, but even then, the best way to implement them is to give them your own unique twist.
This is again where sports betting can be likened to running a business. If you start up a business providing a product or service that’s exactly the same as something that’s already out there, your chances of success are ultimately going to be limited.
If, however, you find a way to IMPROVE that product or service, then you’ll increase those chances. And if you create a truly unique product or service, those chances will likely improve even further.
Apply this principle to sports betting, but replace “product or service” with “system and strategy,” and it still rings true. If you do what everyone is else doing, you probably won’t find much success. If you do what they’re all doing, but better, you probably will. If you put the time and effort into creating profitable systems and strategies that no one else is using, then your chances of success increase exponentially.
Actually creating systems and strategies that can be profitable is the difficult bit, of course. Let’s take a look at how to do that.
How to Develop Sports Betting Systems and Strategies
We just talked about how you can take existing betting strategies and make adjustments to them in an attempt to make them (more) profitable. That’s a valid approach, but it’s not the one we’re going to focus on here.
The Betting Lab is all about teaching you how to build viable and potentially successful betting strategies entirely from scratch. That’s exactly what we’ll be doing as part of this project, and we’ll keep you updated every step of the way for each new strategy we implement.
As with most aspects of sports betting, there’s no definitively correct way to go about things here. There are a few different ways you can go about creating and developing the systems and strategies you want to use. Here’s the process we recommend, though.
Come up with an initial idea
Add additional factors to refine the basic concept
Finalize the precise rules to follow
These are the stages we’ll be going through for all of the systems and strategies we develop in our Betting Lab. Let’s now take a look at exactly what each one entails.
1The Initial Idea
Bettors who are paying the right attention will often spot potential trends in the sports that they follow and bet on.
For example, they might notice the underdogs in their favorite league win more often than they are expected to in certain specific situations.
A lot of bettors don’t act as they should when they spot such trends. They just keep the idea in the back of their minds and use it to influence their individual betting decisions to some extent when appropriate.
Some bettors, however, will act more proactively. They’ll start looking at some past results and trying to determine whether the trend has any kind of real foundation. If it does, then they’ll explore things further and potentially start to specifically make wagers based on the trend.
This is effectively the start of them developing their own strategy, even if they don’t actually realize that.
Identifying trends is one of the best ways to formulate ideas for betting strategies and systems. It’s not the only way, though. You might simply come up with an idea for a strategy that you want to work on, based on nothing other than instinct. For example, you might have a feeling that road favorites in the NFL don’t tend to cover the spread as often as they technically should.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter HOW you come up with your initial idea. It can be based on spotting a vague trend, some in-depth analysis of relevant data, a moment of pure inspiration, or anything at all, really.
It doesn’t really matter WHAT the idea is, either. A solid betting strategy can potentially be formulated from the simplest of ideas or even ones that might seem a little crazy.
What DOES matter is how you act upon the ideas that you have. You shouldn’t just assume that you’re onto something and dive straight into making wagers. You need to work through the idea, trying to turn it into a working model for a betting system.
This is the moment you should sit down and try to make things clear. Spend some time to broadly identify the circumstances and specific set of conditions that potentially make the difference.
This is how every single strategy in our Betting Lab will kick off. And then we move on to stage two.
Once you have your initial concept, it’s time to refine it. This is where you need to use both your general betting knowledge and your knowledge of the relevant sport to add other factors that might further improve the basic concept.
For example, let’s go back to the idea of betting against road favorites to cover the spread in the NFL. Would you want to bet against ALL road favorites covering each week, or would there be some additional criteria to factor in?
You don’t NEED to factor in additional criteria, and you certainly shouldn’t do so for the sake of it. But as a general rule, the more precise a strategy or system is, the better its chances of success. That is, of course, based on the assumption that the criteria being applied actually has some merit in the first instance.
Once we’ve polished the selection criteria for our Betting Lab strategies, we progress to stage three.
3Finalize the Rules
A betting system needs rules to work. There has to be a clearly defined process for making selections, or it’s not really a system at all. It’s just a vague notion on which you make your betting decisions.
These rules should cover more than just selecting your bets, though. There are, in fact, three primary things to consider here.
Criteria for selecting bets
Bankroll management/stake sizing
Where to place wagers
We’ve already talked about setting the criteria for selecting bets. We’re going to expand a little here, though, because this really is a vital part of any betting system or strategy.
You must make sure that you define what you are looking for in a measurable way. For example, if your strategy involves backing underdogs in certain conditions, you’ll need to set a price point that determines what constitutes an underdog.
A price of 2.50 on a team or player winning suggests that the bookmakers evaluate the chances of that happening as 40%. Is that enough of an underdog? If not, you could go for a price point of 3.00 that suggest a probability of 33% or even for 5.00 that equals 20%.
There’s no right or wrong here. It’s about deciding what you think best fits the strategy. The important thing is that you have a clear and quantitative way to define every single rule you add. You must rely on facts and figures, not on assumptions and guessing.
We talk about the importance of bankroll management and staking plans regularly on this website. That’s because it’s one of the fundamental things you need to get right if you’re going to be a successful sports bettor. We won’t get into the detail of exactly what bankroll management entails right now, but we should mention its relevance when developing a betting strategy.
Simply put, a betting strategy should include clear bankroll management rules that define how much should be staked on each wager. Each of the systems we add in the Betting Lab will do exactly that, and the rules will be fully explained at the outset.
In terms of where to place wagers, the key here is usually to use a selection of bookmakers and betting sites. This brings a number of benefits, the most important of which is that you can shop around for the best prices for each wager you place.
The difference in prices between bookmakers and betting sites is usually quite small, but a lot of small differences over time can have a significant impact overall.
In the case of the Betting Lab, we are in a bit of a tough spot when it comes to selecting where to place the wagers for our strategies. We have users from all over the globe, and not all betting sites are available to bettors in all countries.
This is why we decided to divide the bookmakers we will use for each strategy into two groups. One group will include US-friendly betting sites, as a big percentage of our userbase is from America, and US bettors have fairly limited options for trustworthy and reputable gambling sites compared to many other parts of the world.
The other group will be for sites that are broadly available across most of the rest of the world.
That’s pretty much it in terms of setting the rules for developing a strategy. It’s basically how we’ll be doing things within the Betting Lab, although we may occasionally add in some additional rules.
For example, we might want to add some extra conditions for our wagers such as utilizing ongoing promotions from betting sites that may add extra value to our strategies and systems. Those additional rules will be detailed as part of each individual strategy.
And that’s basically everything in terms of the initial stages of developing sports betting strategies and systems. You now know the basics of the steps we’ll be following here in our Betting Lab and how to develop your own strategies from scratch.
Next, we’re going to talk about testing and analyzing strategies once they’ve been implemented.
Testing, Analysis, and Fine-Tuning
There is no way to know if a strategy actually works in generating profits until you put it to the test. What seems like a sure-fire way of making money will often fail at this point.
That’s nothing to be concerned about. Building a successful sports betting strategy is not easy, and you shouldn’t expect every single idea of yours to work. We certainly don’t expect every idea we implement in the Betting Lab to succeed. In fact, we expect that the majority will fail.
We’re fine with that. We know that we’ll develop a few winning strategies over time, as we’ve done so in the past. So we can handle a few failures along the way. And remember, the main goal here is to teach you about the processes involved in developing these strategies.
Failures can teach us just as much as successes, and even more in some cases.
There are basically two ways to test a strategy. The first, and often the most advisable, is to run paper tests. This means identifying wagers to place by following a strategy’s rules but not actually placing those wagers. Instead, you make a note of them and record whether they would have won or lost.
This is obviously the safe way to go, which is why it’s the best option in most cases. It means you can find out whether a strategy works or not without actually risking any money.
The second option is to just jump straight in and start placing the wagers. This is a riskier approach, as you’ll lose money if the strategy is not as viable as hoped. The flip-side, of course, is that you start making money right away if it works.
We’re using the second option here in the Betting Lab. We want to back our judgement and ability to develop winning strategies, so we’re prepared to take risks even though we know we’ll have several failures. It gives the whole project more validity for us, too.
Once testing is underway, it’s all about accurately recording the results. We track the results of everything we do here on the Betting Lab, so you’ll learn how to do this. The goal is to get to a point where there’s enough data to determine whether or not a strategy is genuinely viable.
Sample size is a VERY important consideration here.
As you might imagine, 10 or even 50 bets are not statistically significant, so we aim at bigger numbers. It depends on the strategy, really, but you HAVE to collect enough data before reaching conclusions.
We keep all of our records fully transparent, so each wager of every strategy is displayed along with the overall results. This will help you to check how we are doing as well as giving us what we need.
Once we have the data we need to reach meaningful conclusions, we then dig into the details and analyze things. Some strategies will be written off completely at this stage, while others may be instant successes. Most will be somewhere in between, though.
With any betting strategy, it’s important to be flexible and look for adjustments. You shouldn’t always give up on a strategy just because it doesn’t work right away, as a few tweaks can make all the difference. It’s a good idea to look for additional criteria you can include or some criteria that could be changed for a positive impact.
The key here is to be patient. Making changes all the time is far from optimal, as you don’t get the chance to see what difference they make in the long run. Adjustments need to be gradual with a view on fine-tuning the system over time.
Explaining exactly how to analyze results and tweak strategies is very hard to do. That was one of the main motivations for introducing the Betting Lab. By talking you through you the analysis as we do it and explaining what changes we make to strategies and why, you’ll far better understand the process you need to go through when developing your own strategies.
Our Betting Lab Strategies
It’s time to talk about the strategies we are testing in the Betting Lab. But before we get there, we feel that it’s important to clarify something once more.
We obviously try to develop successful betting systems here, but that is really NOT the main goal. We’re not aiming to give you strategies that you can just copy and use yourself. We’re aiming to give you real insight into how to create your own winning strategies.
Basically, we are following the old saying that teaching a man to fish is much better than giving him a fish.
This is why you shouldn’t expect all of our strategies to work and show profit. Some of them might. Others will fail in spectacular fashion. That is not the point. The point is to learn how to succeed on your own. It’s not easy, but it can truly make a huge difference to your sports betting career in the long run.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we will simply throw any stupid ideas into the mix here. We only introduce strategies that we genuinely believe have the potential to lead to long-term profits. But of course, only time will tell.
As of now, we’re only focusing on a few sports in the Betting Lab. The common theme among these sports is that they’re all very popular. As a result, many of our readers will have the basic knowledge required to understand our ideas for relevant strategies. Also, pretty much all the bookmakers and betting sites cover these sports extensively.
Football is obviously one of the most popular sports in the US, and it’s been gaining global attention in recent years, too. Plenty of people are excited about the NFL, so we will certainly be looking to work on some NFL betting strategies in our lab.
If you want to learn more about football betting before these are launched, take a look at the following guide.
The NBA is the best basketball league bar none, and millions of people from all over the globe are watching it. This will be the main focus of our basketball betting strategies in the Betting Lab.
While it’s still struggling to find widespread support in the USA, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. It’s only natural for us to include it here. Our main focus points are the top European leagues such as the English Premier League, but we might look at other competitions in the future, too.
Tennis is another sport beloved by many, but there are other reasons to include it. There are a ton of tournaments, and you can find plenty of bets on tennis throughout the year.Hitting a successful strategy here would be easy to scale, so we decided that the Betting Lab should include it as well.
Suggesting Your Own Ideas for the Betting Lab
We are excited to work on new ideas and develop strategies from scratch, as we believe this is the way to become a winner at sports betting. We certainly hope our efforts will help you understand that and find your own path to success.
If you want to share your feedback on some of the strategies, we would love to hear it. Also, feel free to suggest your own ideas that we could develop in the future. We can’t promise that we will accept them, but we will take a deeper look, try to evaluate them, and bring them to the table if we feel it is worth it.
Please contact us here if you’d like to offer feedback or share your ideas.
Also, if you feel that you are behind in your general knowledge about sports betting, the following guide can definitely help. It’s a great resource for anyone who wants to make money from betting on sports.