How to Evaluate the Advisability of Sports Betting


A sportsbook is a betting platform that accepts wagers on a variety of sporting events and outcomes. Whether you want to place a single bet, or multiple bets (doubles, trebles, and accumulators), a Sportsbook will provide you with the best odds and maximum payouts. A good Sportsbook will also keep detailed records of all your bets, and can help you get your money back if you’re winning.

While many bettors use a sportsbook to increase their chances of winning, there are certain strategies that can improve your odds of success. Keeping track of your bets, staying informed about the latest news, and studying stats can all help you find better value on sportsbooks’ lines. In addition, it’s important to be patient. Some sportsbooks are slow to adjust their lines, especially on props, after new information about players and coaches.

To evaluate the advisability of wagering on any given match, the bettor must first estimate the quantiles of the relevant outcome variable, e.g., the margin of victory, and compare them to the sportsbook’s proposed spread or point total. Since the advisability of a bet depends on the relative error rates of the two estimated quantiles, it is critical to determine which side of the spread offers a more desirable expected profit.

To answer this question, we measured the empirically observed CDF of the margin of victory across a series of stratified samples, and computed its expected value for each offset of 1, 2, and 3 points from the true median. This value is the bettor’s required sportsbook error in units of points to permit a positive expected profit (see Materials and Methods for details).