Getting an Edge in Sports Betting: Contrarian Sports Investing

Many people enjoy sports, and sports fans often enjoy placing wagers on the outcomes of sporting events. Most casual sports bettors lose money over time, creating a bad name for the sports betting industry. But what if we could “even the playing field?”

If we transform sports betting into a more business-like and professional endeavor, there is a higher likelihood that we can make the case for sports betting as an investment.

The Sports Marketplace as an Asset Class

How can we make the jump from gambling to investing? Working with a team of analysts, economists, and Wall Street professionals – we often toss the phrase “sports investing” around. But what makes something an “asset class?”

An asset class is often described as an investment with a marketplace – that has an inherent return. The sports betting world clearly has a marketplace – but what about a source of returns?

For instance, investors earn interest on bonds in exchange for lending money. Stockholders earn long-term returns by owning a portion of a company. Some economists say that “sports investors” have a built-in inherent return in the form of “risk transfer.” That is, sports investors can earn returns by helping provide liquidity and transferring risk amongst other sports marketplace participants (such as the betting public and sportsbooks).

Sports Investing Indicators

We can take this investing analogy a step further by studying the sports betting “marketplace.” Just like more traditional assets such as stocks and bonds are based on price, dividend yield, and interest rates – the sports marketplace “price” is based on point spreads or money line odds. These lines and odds change over time, just like stock prices rise and fall.

To further our goal of making sports gambling a more business-like endeavor, and to study the sports marketplace further, we collect several additional indicators. In particular, we collect public “betting percentages” to study “money flows” and sports marketplace activity. In addition, just as the financial headlines shout, “Stocks rally on heavy volume,” we also track the volume of betting activity in the sports gambling market.

Sports Marketplace Participants

Earlier, we discussed “risk transfer” and the sports marketplace participants. In the sports betting world, the sportsbooks serve a similar purpose as the investing world’s brokers and market-makers. They also sometimes act in manner similar to institutional investors.

In the investing world, the general public is known as the “small investor.” Similarly, the general public often makes small bets in the sports marketplace. The small bettor often bets with their heart, roots for their favorite teams, and has certain tendencies that can be exploited by other market participants.

“Sports investors” are participants who take on a similar role as a market-maker or institutional investor. Sports investors use a business-like approach to profit from sports betting. In effect, they take on a risk transfer role and are able to capture the inherent returns of the sports betting industry.

Contrarian Methods

How can we capture the inherent returns of the sports market? One method is to use a contrarian approach and bet against the public to capture value. This is one reason why we collect and study “betting percentages” from several major online sports books. Studying this data allows us to feel the pulse of the market action – and carve out the performance of the “general public.”

This, combined with point spread movement, and the “volume” of betting activity can give us an idea of what various participants are doing. Our research shows that the public, or “small bettors” – typically underperform in the sports betting industry. This, in turn, allows us to systematically capture value by using sports investing methods. Our goal is to apply a systematic and academic approach to the sports betting industry.

Choosing a Free Bet From an Online Betting Company

Online betting has been an enormous growth industry over the last few years, and today there are more companies than ever trying to attract customers to bet with them. In such a competitive industry, the online betting companies have to offer significant incentives to be able to attract these potential new customers, and the standard way in which this is done is through a free bet.

Although the basic concept is the same, the free bets on offer to vary from one company to the next. Due to this it is important that when signing up for a new account, the customer takes some time to weigh up the options and ensure the best deal is obtained.

How should you go about choosing a free bet?

The sheer number of these online betting firms can be quite overwhelming at first, so in this article I hope to provide some sensible advice on how you should go about choosing one.

Firstly, ensure that you choose a reputable online betting firm. There are a huge number of companies out there and the absolute vast majority are fully regulated and safe to use. However, this is not to say there are not some out there that would be better avoided. A simple general rule of thumb is that the online equivalent of your local high street bookmaker will be fine. Equally if you see adverts on prime time TV, then this will also be the case. But if you stumble across an unknown Internet bookmaker you have to ask yourself if you fully trust them with your money? In which case, a quick way to check is to ensure that the appropriate gaming license has been obtained via the relevant authority. In the case of the UK, online betting is regulated by the Gambling Commission, and they would grant this license. Note though that there are other authorities regulating offshore bookmakers, examples being the gaming commissions of Gibraltar and the Isle of Man. You will be able to find this information at the online bookmakers website.

Once you have decided upon a reputable online betting company, the next step is to choose a free bet offer. As mentioned above, due to the competitive nature of this industry the free bet offers are changed on a regular basis. Therefore you should ensure you shop around before settling on one.

The offers tend to vary quite significantly, and it is not always the case that the biggest is best. It is important to check out the terms and conditions that apply to the free bet you choose. While one free bet may be significantly larger than another, you might find there are very specific requirements for the events you can use it on, or the period of time in which it can be claimed.

You may find that a lot of identical value free bets appeal, in which case take some time to have a look around the online betting website. Some sites are better laid out than others and some are easier to use. This is often a matter of personal preference, so take a bit of time to use the site first. Remember that you will be able to do this before you sign up, but that you will still qualify for the free bet offer when you do go ahead.