How To Use Sports Betting Analytics Tools

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The future is now. Well, kind of. In the world of sports betting, there has arrived a tool to assist bettors in making better-informed decisions through analytics.

Sports betting analytics tools are as close as the industry has ever come to predicting the outcome of games and events. While nothing is foolproof and nothing can ever be guaranteed in sports, the use of computers and mathematical algorithms has enabled the sports analytics industry to move to the forefront of predictive modeling.

The sheer amount of data available through statistics and historical records allow programs — even artificial intelligence — to create algorithm-generated predictions. These tools are often available for oddsmakers to use while setting lines but also for sports bettors to harness as a part of their betting strategy to give them the best possible advantages for their wagers. In today’s technologically creative world, programs have been designed to “learn” from past results to help create a more accurate picture of potential outcomes. These smart networks can learn from their own mistakes, too, and become more and more efficient at modeling predictions as more and more data is fed into the algorithm.

With the computing power and the statistics and historical records, among other pieces of data, these programs can identify trends and factor in variables in a short amount of time. Human counterparts trying to establish predictions using the same information would require much more time and have a higher degree of user error in the process. In Iowa, sports betting data analytics tools prove to be an advantage for sports bettors as they place their wagers at traditional, online and mobile sportsbooks. These tools could do the same for you if you find value in them.

To help you make that determination, we’ve assembled this short guide to data analytics available for sports bettors, what they offer you and how they work.

What are Sports Betting Data Analytics?

Have you ever wondered how oddsmakers determine lines for games, props, futures and more? The long answer is complicated, but the short answer isn’t: They use lots of data on teams, players, weather, location, trends, history and so much more.

Of course, you could hunt down all that information yourself and scour over it to find all the details you need to create a full profile on the games, teams and players you’re looking to place a bet on. Or you could use the tools created through advanced computer systems and algorithms that process all the same data the oddsmakers have and make predictive models available to you.

The mathematical equations used to create the algorithms and analytical data focus on three major categories:

  • Player and Team Stats: Any sports bettor who has been in the industry long knows the value of statistics while implementing their betting strategies. The artificial intelligence and neural networks used to make game predictions also use them. The modeling requires metrics that include points for and points again, efficiency, possession and much more. All the heaps of data combined give the programs the ability to make some of the most accurate sports insights and predictions possible.
  • Historical Results: Could you imagine trying to dig through every bit of statistical data about a particular team, league or player? It would take ages to dig through it all and find what you want. With the help of advanced computing, you don’t have to do any of that. Instead, these predictive programs do the heavy lifting, track historical results and identify trends and how well teams and players do against the spread or about their over/under predictions.
  • Betting Data: The information sportsbooks use to create and adjust the lines for contests with public money, betting trends and incoming reports are the same information fed into computer modeling to create analytical tools. The AI and machine learning systems use the same information to make better determinations and accurate predictions.

Those are the main points that most sports betting analytics tools use to create their products for sports bettors, but it is hardly the only information used. As a sports fan, you’re well aware of how overwhelming statistics and sports data can be. Still, neural networks can consider all that information when creating computer-predictive models.

The result is tools sports bettors can use to improve their strategies and hopefully give them an edge against the sportsbooks.

What is a Sports Betting Data Tool?

You might be feeling a bit like you’re trying to understand some Star Trek plotline at this point, but that’s OK. It can be confusing. So how about we break down what the tools are themselves. The tools created by the algorithms and neural networks are designed, so even if you’re not the biggest techie in Iowa, you’re still quite able to use the products that are available for sports bettors. They are typically easy to understand and user-friendly.

These tools can be various things: Analysis, deep statistical dives, predictions, trends and even sports betting lines review.

You can find these tools at various sites throughout the internet, some of which are focused primarily on a single sport and others that offer a bevy of tools. Iowa sports bettors can apply them toward a number of uses, which include:

  • Grading matchups and “best bets”
  • Performance predictions for teams with injuries, news and reports factored in
  • Betting favorable lines
  • Shifting odds due to public betting
  • Trends, line tracking, futures bets and parlay optimization
  • Professional bettors’ activity
  • Daily Fantasy Sports optimum lineups
  • Maximizing ROI (Return on Investment)
  • Value in sportsbooks and sports markets

There are multitudes of uses for analytic tools throughout your betting strategy and handicapping. The research will help you find the best ones for your needs.

How Do Analytics Tools Work?

Without doing a deep dive into the technical aspects of algorithms, neural networks and artificial intelligence, the simplest answer is computers. Powerful computing units and sometimes networks use algorithms to examine data points and mathematical formulas to organize, evaluate and predict various aspects of the sports and sports betting industries.

Commonly, these tools are created via “smart” programs that are capable of “learning” as they make predictions. These programs, which use a form of artificial intelligence, use the statistics and data provided from outside sources while creating predictive modeling and also learn from their experience. When the “machine learning” network does well in its predictions or doesn’t do well at all, it uses those outcomes as an analysis point to better understand why it was successful or unsuccessful and how to improve on those results.

These networks will only continue to improve as programming becomes more sophisticated, sports betting continues to grow and additional information is made available throughout the industry.

Can I Use a Free Analytics Tool?

Sure, you can use free analytics tools. But the real question is if you want to.

Free is nice, of course, but the adage of you getting what you pay for is real. You can find free programs that will provide predictive analytics in sports betting. The good news is that the more these tools become available to Iowa sports bettors, the more common they will be.

You can use those free resources as part of your research and betting strategies and you can track down any additional data you need from absolutely cost-free resources all across the internet. It will be a bit of a time suck, but you can most definitely accomplish it on your own and keep some money in your pocketbook.

The truth, however, is the highest-quality tools are going to be of higher quality. The programs will be more sophisticated, the data more varied and the results expected to be at a higher standard than their free counterparts. You’ll save a lot of time, but it’s also going to cost you money to receive those services. So you have to ask yourself what your time is worth.

Do you have the time to do all the research on your own and does that outweigh the costs for premium sports betting analytics?

Or do you find that your investment in such a service is worth the funds and the time you would save?

Are There Stats Tools for Betting On Specific Sports?

There are both sport-specific sites and those that offer a variety of sports analytics tools. But if it is a major sport that gets plenty of betting action, you can pretty much be certain you’ll be able to find sports betting analytics tools for your use and your betting strategies. The truth of the matter is some sports get more attention than others — such as NFL betting and betting on the NBA — but that doesn’t mean the analytics are any more valuable to bettors.

Here are a few of our most frequently asked questions from our readers:

What sport do analytics work best?

There is no doubt that the NFL is the king of the hill regarding sports betting in the United States. Because of that, it has the most focus from experts, betting tools and focus throughout the industry. Because of that popularity and focus, the tools you’ll have available to you will be more in-depth and capable than the majority of other sports. However, the sports analytics tools for others are all dynamic and full of quality content. You won’t find the sheer volume you will with the most popular sports.

Will the tools adjust for the playoffs compared to the regular season?

In most sports, the arrival of playoffs means the field of competition narrows. That makes the schedule a little manageable and makes way for a deeper dive into the analysis. With fewer games and teams to focus on, the sports betting analytics tools will have more of an opportunity to compare deeper data points and other factors. There is always a better chance of more accurate predictive models when there are fewer teams to analyze.

Can I actually get an advantage using analytics tools?

That comes down to how you view an “advantage” when it comes to your betting. You’ll get more information that is not only in-depth but also complete and trusted. In that case, you’ll have an advantage over bettors who don’t use such tools.

However, it is imperative to remember that while these tools are helpful, the honest-to-goodness truth about sports is there is never a way to truly predict the outcome.

So, yes, you will have benefits from using data, but you still have to do your research, stick to your strategies and realize you’ll still find losses amongst the wins.

Using Analytics for Props, Live Betting and Futures

While the main focus of sports betting remains on three bet types — moneylines, point spreads and totals (also known as over/under bets) — but analytics can be used for more.

If you like prop bets, live betting (commonly called in-game betting) and futures, then you can take advantage of the tools as a part of your overall betting research. The data-driven algorithms used to create these tools use much of the same statistics and information you use when doing your homework for your planned betting.

Take a futures bet on which team will win their conference championship. Maybe some teams are tearing it up in the first half of the season and the sportsbooks are getting nailed with bets on them.

Analytical tools can look at the historical data, current trends and performance statistics and determine that the team has consistently declined in efficiency throughout the season. These injuries potentially hamper future progress and the team traditionally struggles in the postseason.

At the same time, those analytics identify a team playing from behind but showing signs of improvement each week, has returning injured players and a coach who traditionally does well with his teams in the playoffs. That potential dark horse could potentially be identified by the neural networks using mathematical algorithms and data and trends.

When it comes to live betting, analytics might not help out with the fast-paced changing odds you will typically see, but you will have access to a wealth of information to help you make your decisions.

Research is key to every bet type and using sports betting analytical tools can only benefit that process. Analytics can assist nearly every sports bettor from the most popular bets to wagers outside of those.

Can you use analytic tools for fantasy sports?

A large portion of the sports fan population has at least tried their hand at playing some fantasy sports and with the rise of daily fantasy sports, the likelihood of that continued to climb. If you were one of those folks, then you’ve probably heard about sites that provided sit-and-start advice, lineup suggestions and deep looks, points projections and more.

It might not have even crossed your mind at the time, but those are all sports analytics tools. Because of the growth of DFS and fantasy sports, those tools continued to develop and become more sophisticated.

Those tools are all still available today, and they’ve become even more capable thanks to the advancement in neural networks and machine learning. Be careful where you get your analytics from, though; even some places that charge for their services aren’t offering a quality product. Research any site you’re potentially going to pay and make sure they have a good reputation among fantasy players.

Tips on How to Use Analytics Data in Sports Betting

While sports betting analytics tools are not the end-all of research and strategy, there is little doubt they provide benefits to those who choose to use them. However, there is no guarantee that they will help you win any bets — that still comes down to several factors.

Our first tip is always to remember that sports are unpredictable. Analytics is probably the most accurate predictor of events that we’ve seen in the sports betting industry, but there will always be injuries, unfortunate moments and underdog victories. Analytics isn’t a crystal ball and no sport can ever be completely predictable.

Our favorite tip, we suggest that sports analytics tools should be a part of your larger strategy, which will provide you with the most value. You’ll make better decisions thanks to more information, recognize trends, see what public money and professional bettors are doing and more. That’s how you get the best edge.

History of Sports Predictive Analytics

As we mentioned above, the more information fed into these neural networks and the more advanced AI and machine learning become, then the more impressive the future for the tools is going to be. But the history of sports betting analytics is a story of impressive growth, which is truly due to a combination of the leaps and bounds of computing technology and the popularity of sports betting across the country.

Computers have gotten smaller and more powerful. We carry phones in our pockets that are more capable than home computers only a couple of decades ago. As those have advanced, so have the programming, the computing power and the knowledge of how to develop intelligent machines, neural networks and artificial intelligence.

Since the early days of the rise of internet popularity, you could find sports statistics, historical data and even fantasy sports advice. From there, it has become an everyday part of our lives and the sheer amount of pure information available to us has become staggering. Advancements in the “intelligence” of programs and networks have boomed and it’s sports bettors who are beginning to benefit.

Most likely, these growths of sports betting analytics will continue as more states in the U.S. legalize gambling and sports betting, as well as the consistent development of cutting-edge technology and products.

The future is unknowable, but there is little doubt that these tools that are proving beneficial to sports bettors across the United States and here in Iowa will only keep getting better and more impressive.