Sports Betting

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Above picture shows a Las Vegas casino’s SportsBook with big screens and seats.


BACKGROUND

First of all, sports betting is legal in the state of Nevada, various casinos in Las Vegas have sports book. Thus, you can place bet in person at the casino or bet online using the casino provided apps within the state of Nevada.

According to Wiki,  Oregon, Delaware, and Montana are 3 other states where sports betting are also legal. If this is correct, then residents in these states can place bets online via non-US sports book website. However, beware that Las Vegas sports book is more trustworthy than non-US sports book online betting. Think about this, Las Vegas casinos are physical places where you can go to in person to collect money. If non-US sports book is a scam, it’ll be difficult to collect your money.

WHY BETTING ON SPORTS?

Sports betting is a huge business around the world. Why is it a huge business?

It’s the same reason people watch sports, aka it’s an entertainment business. People watch sports for fun. Since they enjoy watching sports, they also would like to get involved and usually have their favorite teams and/or players. However, getting involved means participation and the only way for regular people to participate is to place bets. In this way, they would feel more involved.

QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS

Usually, people bet on their favorite team or players etc. Friends have asked me whether there is quantitative approach to betting. For example, they asked “Is there a way to gauge the ‘Over/Under’ bets?”

If you don’t know what “Over /Under” is, let me give you a couple examples. If you watch soccer, it would be “Number of goals in a soccer match over or under X” where X is a numerical number. If you watch NFL, an example would be “Number of receptions a wide receiver has in a game over or under X”.

Thus, when sports book give you the quote on this number “X”, how do you know whether it is attractive to bet Over or bet Under?

Instead of just guessing in which you have 50% being correct. We can try to do better than 50% through quantitative analysis.

Below I demonstrate an application I built for NFL player statistics. Please click on the image to zoom in to see.

The application is very simple to use : pick player, use the slide bar to pick the “X”, aka number of catch receptions in a game. Then the application will show the probability of “Over X and Under X”. In this example, the chance that R.Gronkowski of the New England Patriots have 5 or less receptions in a game is roughly 59%, meaning the probability that he will have 6 or more catches will be 41%.

Furthermore, the bar chart shows R.Gronkowski’s each game statistics, i.e. number of receptions, number of incompletions and number of interceptions.


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QUANTITATIVE APPLICATION

Above talks about a quantitative approach to sports betting. Of course, quantitative analysis is not only limited to sports betting. It could apply to non-sports betting analysis as well. For example, quantitative analysis can answer questions such as “What’s a NFL Running Back most effective running direction?”.

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