Expected Value In Sports Betting (EV), Explained In Understandable Terms

Editor’s Note: The article below originally appeared in Berryhorse’s (real name Kieran) free newsletter BetItUp, which you can (and should) subscribe to here to learn more about predictive sports modeling, betting, bankroll management and more. The article is published at Sports Handle with his permission.

It’s very easy to lose money betting on sports. Losing wagers may still provide good entertainment for a few hours, but people wanting to actually make money need discipline and at least a basic understanding of math and probability.

Some bettors consider themselves “Positive EV” or +EV bettors, referring to positive expected value. There’s a bunch of articles on the subject that are too complex, especially for those not mathematically inclined. So if you’re encountering EV principles for the first time or need a refresher, we’re pleased to share what’s below by Mr. Berryhorse, which should be digestible by sports bettors of all levels.


Read more Expected Value In Sports Betting (EV), Explained In Understandable Terms on SportsHandle.

‘Cover City’: NFL Week 7 Picks, Preview With Analytics Guru Warren Sharp

The post ‘Cover City’: NFL Week 7 Picks, Preview With Analytics Guru Warren Sharp appeared first on SportsHandle.

Sports Handle is pleased to present Cover City: A Pro Football Betting Podcast, hosted by Eric Rosenthal (@ericcports). Rosenthal is a professional sports bettor who focuses on NFL and college football. He’s wagered more than $25 million in the last nine years, getting banned from many sportsbooks along the way.

For the NFL Week 7 preview and picks pod, Rosenthal is joined by Warren Sharp @SharpFootball, creator of custom and predictive NFL analytics to discuss the most (and least) valuable statistics in the game, as well as some key games for bettors.

Don’t miss Rosenthal’s SuperContest picks (he went 4-1 last week) toward the end of the podcast. Time codes for the episode follow below. Listen and subscribe on Spotify here.

3:20 — Which stat is more valuable: Success rate or total yards? Sharp reviews some of the key stats the average fan may not know, and what that may mean for your wallet.

8:30 — In 2017 the Eagles showed how data can give a team a competitive edge, so why are bad teams and bad coaches not using analytics?

12:47 — How do injuries impact analytically driven teams?

17:10 — Sharp explains the intricacies of the teaser betting philosophy.

20:24 — Sharp weighs in on the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers’ and Mike McCarthy’s roles in shaping what could have been a dynasty.

25:42 — Sharp predicts what we can expect to see from Derek Anderson and the Bills going forward.

29:35 — Executive Producer Sean Pfeiffer joins the show to break down Week 7 in the NFL.

30:58 — Houston Texans +5 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars — Can Sean’s Texans, winners of three straight, beat reeling divisional rival Jacksonville?

33:48 — Carolina Panthers +4.5 vs. Philadelphia Eagles — An attractive matchup for the Super Bowl champs.

35:30 — New England Patriots -3 vs. Chicago Bears — Trap game, be on the side of Vegas if any side at all.

37:33 — Buffalo Bills +7.5 v Indianapolis Colts — Why this game really comes down to Derek Anderson vs. Andrew Luck.

40:01 — Dallas Cowboys +1.5 at Washington Redskins — Will the Cowboys be the same team we saw in the Jaguars blowout last week?

42:16 — LA Rams -9.5 at San Francisco 49ers — One of Rosenthal’s favorite games of the year. Find out how to leverage this game to cash in.

44:10 — Quick rundown of the other Week 7 matchups.

46:55 — This may be a football podcast, but Sean takes advantage of Rosenthal’s LA Dodgers fanhood for some MLB action!

48:55 — Rosenthal makes his his SuperContest picks of Week 7 in the NFL (4-1 last week).

[Located in New Jersey and want to join a quality legal sportsbook with a generous sign up bonus? Read our review of SugarHouse Sportsbook hereSign up using our link and you’ll get a 100% match bonus on up to $250 on your first deposit (with only a 1x wager requirement).  Use code HANDLE when depositing.

[You can download the app for Android phones here and iOS devices here. Prefer the laptop/desktop experience? The web-based platform is accessible here.]

Also check out: Sports Handle’s Week 7 edition of “LoLookahead Lines’: By comparing changes between current lines and the numbers hung days earlier, we can get a sense of where recency bias or overreactions are seeping in.

Listen to more ‘Cover City’: NFL Week 7 Picks, Preview With Analytics Guru Warren Sharp on SportsHandle.

19 Things We Hate About Sports Betting

The post 19 Things We Hate About Sports Betting appeared first on SportsHandle.

Sports betting is awesome. We have literally devoted our work lives here to covering it from all angles, and most of us are sports bettors ourselves, which makes the job a labor of love. But sports wagering as a form of entertainment is not always rainbows and unicorns.

On a good game day when everything is going your way, it feels like you’re on top of the world and you can make no wrong wager. But the house usually wins over the long haul for a reason (vigorish!) as seasons bring winning and losing streaks.

A survey of friends of Sports Handle, plus our own experiences, produced this rundown of the frustrating side of sports betting — from chasing and other questionable decisions, to bad officiating, not getting paid, the “kiss of death” and much more. Mind you some of these items are self-inflicted wounds, but can be difficult to avoid. Have an addition? Hit us up at or send it to info@sportshandle.com if the suggestion was inspired by an experience so traumatizing you want to share it anonymously.

Bad Beats, Bad Coaching, Bad Decisions and Injuries: Sports Betting is Beautiful But Sometimes It Isn’t

(1) Too much of a good thing — Between single game wagers, (multiple) fantasy teams, picks in pools, perhaps a parlay or teasers, sometimes people simply have too much action or too many competing interests. The result is a scenario where you’re essentially rooting for and against everything simultaneously, producing an ambivalent afternoon on the couch, seeking a “magic bullet” or threading of the needle. This may makes you question the purpose of what you’re doing and ultimately life itself.

To see the rest of the list, visit 19 Things We Hate About Sports Betting on SportsHandle.

Live Betting on The NFL: Insights From Kambi’s Head of In-Play Betting

The post Live Betting on The NFL And Football — Insights From Kambi’s Head of In-Play Betting appeared first on SportsHandle.

Previously in an interview with veteran bettor Wes Reynolds, we examined live betting (aka in-game or in-play wagering) from the player’s perspective. In this article, we pull back the curtain on live betting from the operator side — in a conversation with Simon Noy, the head of live betting for Kambi Group, which has partnered with DraftKings as the latter’s sports betting technology/product supplier. 

In this exchange with Noy conducted over e-mail, we focus on NFL betting and football betting. In Europe, where Kambi is based, the popularity of in-game wagering is already enormous and will only continue to grow in the U.S.  What can bettors expect not only at the DraftKings Sportsbook — which launched for New Jersey sports bettors on August 6 — but at most sportsbooks as in-game offerings continue to expand?

Put simply, the availability of betting options will only be limited by imagination, bettor appetite, and the ability of oddsmakers/suppliers to hang sensible numbers.  (Note: This interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.)

Live Betting on NFL and Football In General — Lines, Props, Keeping Blowouts Interesting and What You Can Expect

live betting tips strategy insights

Sports Handle (SH): For football, what types of events or outcomes draw the greatest number of wagers, in terms of total tickets and handle?

Simon Noy (SN): Very much as you’d expect: spreads, money lines, and totals – both in terms of tickets and handle. After that it’s about player props. For some time, the emerging trend has been to follow players, not teams, and we see the effect of this in betting behavior too.

With this in mind our expert trading team is always trying to devise and price up the most interesting markets per player – a quarterback to make at least three touchdown passes, or total passing yards over 300, or even offering in-game options like next touchdown scorer or our total points per player markets in the NBA.

SH: Are the majority of in-play wagers coming in on an adjusted moneyline or spread for the game’s outcome? Or 1Q, 3Q scoring? Team totals? Player props?

SN: Player props are popular among bettors and we only see them becoming even more so. The other important trend over the years from an in-game perspective is wagers on markets with shorter time frames, such as quarter, inning, etc. This is a really exciting way to bet, plus with so many games being played simultaneously, some users dip in and out of games and prefer to wager on the intervals they are watching in-game.

Taking this further, our offer of ‘instant markets’ is also proving very popular, with their super quick pay outs and enabling the player to bet throughout the game even if the game is one-sided. For instance, the outcome of next drive in NFL, will a golfer hit the green, or will the next batter get a base hit in MLB — players can bet on these markets until the final play or pitch even when the game is essentially won.

SH: Your team obviously doesn’t have much time to compute lines and then get the board down in time. Are the lines coming purely from an algorithm or from humans or some combination? What happens when an offense goes into hurry-up mode?

SN: Absolutely, we have a high degree of modeling and automation but we have also invested consistently over the years in building up a highly-skilled group of traders – we’re talking a trading team close to 300 sports fans here – so we definitely believe best results are achieved only with a combination of the two.

There will always be something yet to be modeled or automated, and that’s where the human touch can make a difference. In your example of the hurry-up mode, the human trader who will have in-depth knowledge of the players and teams involved will have an informed opinion on what plays will likely unfold next, enabling them to adjust their inputs and thus odds accordingly, thereby keeping markets open to bet. A sportsbook without this expertise will likely suspend their markets – that’s not the kind of UX which will keep players happy.

live betting nfl lines

SH: Has an influx of available data given bettors more advantage in recent years? Have the books benefited in the same way to nullify any edge?

SN: The increased availability of data has been great for the both the industry and for the players, particularly from a product perspective. We are able to compute more accurate and timely probabilities enabling us to expand our offering to include more relevant and interesting bets. I wouldn’t say the data has given bettors more of an advantage, but it’s certainly closed the knowledge gap between bookmaker and player – bettors are more informed than they’ve ever been.   

[Also See: The Marriage of Sports Betting, Analytics And Novice Bettors]

SH: Do you notice that some players are targeting or exploiting certain events in NFL games? Do some players simply hammer in-game wagers throughout the course of a game?

SN: I wouldn’t say anyone exploits a market – the line or price would move quite quickly if we felt someone had an edge on us. What we do have are players who enjoy particular markets because they find them entertaining, which was reflected in the handle we saw for ‘Outcome of Drive’ props in the Super Bowl.

Similarly, in tennis, players enjoy betting on each point as the match progresses, wagering smaller amounts. In that example it’s similar to someone placing a few dollars on the spin of a roulette wheel each time – it delivers a quick thrill with the next opportunity just seconds away, but also they have an angle based on their opinion of the players in that moment.

SH: Amongst NFL bettors, have you observed much appetite for betting on the outcome of every single play?

SN: For the Super Bowl we rolled out a new market, ‘Outcome of Drive’ where the users were able to wager on what would be the outcome of each drive as it unfolded and there was plenty of appetite for this, so we will be offering it on more events in the new football season. We are always pushing to innovate and add something new, and like a lot of our product this offer was totally unique when compared to other B2B providers.

Overall, the majority of wagers are on the main offers – so another element we focus on is to ensure that these core markets are available and remain attractive for as long as possible during a game. When I say attractive, I mean we ensure the lines and prices offered reflect the current situation of the match. For instance, if the total points line of a basketball match is 200 but we have 180 on the board after the third quarter, simply offering a short price on 200 is no fun. We update the lines offered throughout the game to ensure bettors can still get an even wager on each side. This might sound simple, but if you look around the market you won’t see many updating their lines in-play.  

SH: What’s the typical hold for a sportsbook on in-game wagers?

SN: The hold is typically smaller on in-game than pre-game because the naturally quicker nature of in-game lends itself to less parlays and more singles, while in-game markets can be much harder to price, with traders and algorithms reacting in seconds to the conditions of play. We can’t go into too much detail on our operator’s results as these are not public figures – but our years of experience offering markets on US sports and leagues means we are confident in our pricing even when offering the niche markets and situations we’ve been explaining here.

SH: Do you think in-play betting eventually surpasses pre-game straight wagers or props by overall volume?

SN: Certainly. It has already happened in most regulated markets and there’s no reason the US won’t follow suit very soon. In-game can offer an exciting product that pays out 24/7 and we are sure this will appeal to the US player once they get used to the wider offering and wonderful sports on offer.

For this to happen, quality of the product will be key: not just in terms of the number of relevant and exciting markets, but how those markets are presented and are they always priced up and available to bet on throughout the game. This is something we’ve been working hard on at Kambi – offering maximum availability even at the most crucial and exciting moments in the game.    

SH: What’s some advice for novice bettors when looking at betting menu?

SN: Take your time, start with small stakes, ensure you understand the rules of the markets you bet on.

The post Live Betting on The NFL And Football — Insights From Kambi’s Head of In-Play Betting appeared first on SportsHandle.