Articles

First, two HUGE disclaimers. My domain knowledge as it relates to NCAA basketball is pretty much zero. It’s just not something I’ve ever gotten myself into. College sports just don’t have the same cultural resonance in Canada as pro sports do. I remember attending a school football game as part of my university’s freshman orientation …

By PlusEVAnalytics

March 14, 2022

There are a lot of great resources out for learning how to win at sports betting.  Some of my favorites are this article by Matt Buchalter, and Spanky’s Be Better Bettors podcast. This isn’t one of them. This article is about losing.  Knowing how to lose is more important than knowing how to win.  Why? …

By Harry Crane

March 6, 2022

In “sophisticated” betting circles, the Kelly Criterion is accepted as the single correct way to determine your optimal bet sizing.In plain English, the Kelly criterion says: Bet bigger when your edge is bigger and your chance of winning is higherbut bet less when your edge is smaller and your chance of winning is lower.  At face value, this makes …

By Harry Crane

Feb 16, 2022

Read about how two Analytics.Bet classmates John Benedict (Co-founder of Sharpe Edge ) and Tom Quinn, connected on the class private Slack channel and applied lessons learned in class to exploit an opportunity in the NFL Season wins market. Depending on your bet sizes, this opportunity alone would have paid for the class, the following class …

By John Benedict and Tom Quinn

Feb 11, 2022

Many of U.S. sportsbooks offer a large “risk free” first bet to attract deposits from new customers. The amount of the risk free first bet usually ranges from $500 to $5,000.  If you’re like most people, “risk free” sounds like something that has no risk.  You couldn’t be blamed for thinking that a $5,000 “risk free” bet is a free chance to make $5,000 or $10,000 without any risk.  But you’d be wrong …

By Harry Crane

Jan 19, 2022

There are 3 primary ways to get an edge as a sports bettor. We can have 1) better information, 2) better execution, or 3) better models
than the sports book.  If you’re a bettor and you can’t identify which of 1-3 applies to you, then you probably don’t have an edge. In fact, even if you know where your edge comes from, there’s a good chance your edge is smaller than you think it is. It may not even be an  …

By Harry Crane

Jan 15, 2022

I hope everyone is having a great fall and a successful start to football season! I have been hard at work developing the course content for Bayesian Sports Betting. At this point I have around 75% of the course built. Normally I’m not the type to work 3-4 months ahead, but I have really enjoyed developing this content and have found myself “in the zone” …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Oct 14, 2021

Today I’m going to tackle a topic that is somewhat controversial. Myths, misconceptions and disinformation are everywhere, there is passionate debate from all directions, and there is a lot of complex stuff going on. Let’s talk about the different ways that a centralized* sportsbook can be run; specifically, how they set their odds and how they manage …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Oct 2, 2021

In March of 2020 as the pandemic was shutting everything down and sending everyone home I found myself with a lot more time on my hands. On a recommendation from my brother, I read Joe Peta’s “Trading Bases” his personal story of, and instruction manual for, betting on baseball. I figured I would try to implement what he described to fill up the time.  …

By David Klotz

Sep 7, 2021

Diversity is one of the most important keys to good scientific inquiry. I’m not talking about diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. – those are fine but they’re superficial. I’m talking about intellectual diversity – different ways of thinking about things and different ways of doing things. Gambling Twitter is a great source of …

By PlusEVAnalytics

July 19, 2021

Around the house, I am far from a handyman. I can change a light bulb, but anything more difficult than that and I’m gladly paying someone else to do it. Put me in cyberspace though and I become a regular Al Borland. There are plenty of plug & play software tools for building regression-type models …

By PlusEVAnalytics

July 8, 2021

Well, we’re 14 months into this pandemic and while a return to full-attendance live events is on the horizon in some parts of the world, most of North America is still somewhere between limited attendance and no fans, and here in Toronto I can’t even go to the damn golf course let alone a crowded …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Apr 22, 2021

In Part 4, we took our simple ballast model and re-derived it as a Bayesian model complete with priors, posteriors, hyperparameters, loglikelihoods…the whole shebang. We ended with an interpretation of the prior alpha parameter as a measure of both the signal to noise ratio in the emerging data and the quality of our prior. Of …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Feb 26, 2021

We ended Part 3 with the Shyamalan-eque twist that the simple ballast model we’ve been building has been a Bayesian model all along. Time to take a step back and look at the same model through a Bayesian lens. I mentioned way back in Part 1 that we’d be gradually building this thing up, and …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Feb 26, 2021

In Part 2, we introduced the concept of a “ballast model” and applied it to our NBA defensive shooting percentage data. Just one problem though…we selected our ballast values judgmentally (read: made them up randomly). Now, we’re going to approach the selection with a bit more rigor. There were 1230 games played in the 2018-19 …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Feb 26, 2021

In Part 1, we built a very simple model for NBA shooting percentage defense that didn’t work very well. The underlying hypothesis was that all team-to-team variance in opponent shooting percentages is completely random. While overall we can say that hypothesis is busted, our back-test did suggest that it might be partially true, especially early …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Feb 26, 2021

All of the data and models described in this series of articles can be downloaded here: In this series of articles, I’m going to show you how to build a Bayesian model to solve a “small data” problem. We’re going to start very simple, so simple that you’ll be doing Bayesian analysis without even realizing …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Feb 26, 2021

For Torontonians like myself, Buffalo NY is our adopted US hometown. Our cable TV providers carry the Buffalo affiliates of all the US networks. Pre-pandemic we would regularly make the 90 minute drive past Niagara Falls and over the border to shop at the American stores and eat at the American restaurants that haven’t yet …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Jan 18, 2021

Yes, it’s that time of year where we look back on what we’ve accomplished and look forward to the future. Global pandemic aside, it’s been a pretty cool year for Plus EV Analytics. I started my own blog, and I got to appear on some great podcasts including my friends at the Deep Dive, Captain …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Dec 31, 2020

The 1993 film “Searching For Bobby Fischer” is about, according to Wikipedia, parents who “hire a strict instructor who aims to teach the boy to be as aggressive as chess legend Bobby Fischer. The title of the film is a metaphor about the character’s quest to adopt the ideal of Fischer and his determination to win …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Nov 16, 2020

Close your eyes with me and imagine… Imagine a hypothetical material, call it plusevium. Plusevium is an unwanted byproduct of every industrial and economic process in the world; in fact, of life itself. This byproduct is so undesirable that those who produce it will gladly pay to have it removed and destroyed. Now, imagine that …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Oct 31, 2020

NOTE: I have no affiliation with any of the companies or products mentioned, and I do not endorse any specific provider or service. An Australian bookmaker called PointsBet has been in the news quite often recently. They expanded into Illinois, and they signed marketing deals with NBC Sports and the PGA Tour. Normally this is …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Oct 6, 2020

NOTE: Lines move in real time, so the exact numbers I’m using in this article may be out of date by the time you read it. The general strategies should hold up regardless. I first became interested in NFL season win total betting a year ago when I listened to this podcast with Drew, Andy …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Aug 26, 2020

June 8, 2012 Shakopee, Minnesota It was a regular Friday evening card at Canterbury Park, one of America’s less prestigious racetracks. My syndicate placed a couple hundred dollars in bets. The horse we liked best – ironically named “All Bets Are Off” – came in second, and the horse we liked second best – unironically …

By PlusEVAnalytics

Aug 14, 2020

“If you’re looking for picks you’re in the wrong place, find a tout with a narrative to make a strong case” – “Bet the Process” podcast theme song Yesterday I had the honour of appearing on the “Happy Hour” webcast with legendary advantage player Captain Jack Andrews and Andrew Mack, author of the excellent “Statistical …

By PlusEVAnalytics

July 30, 2020

“To the extreme, I rock a mic like a vandalLight up a stage and wax a chump like a candle” – Vanilla Ice “Any player scores 49+ runs?” “Any player has 77+ hits?” “Any player hits 20+ home runs?” How do we price these “any player” props, adjusting for the fact that this year’s MLB …

By PlusEVAnalytics

July 21, 2020

I was chatting with a friend about a Bayesian Inference model that I had helped him build. I tried to explain to him how it worked – his response was “that’s tough to grasp”. And he was right – the guy was certainly intelligent enough, it’s just that he had never been exposed to this …

By PlusEVAnalytics

July 12, 2020

Today’s topic comes from a reader’s suggestion (yes, I do have readers!) prompted by his observation that a friend of his bet, in his words, “waaaaay too many top 20s” in a golf tournament. Some of my earliest childhood experiences with gambling were when my dad would take me to the track, either the local …

By PlusEVAnalytics

July 8, 2020

While there is absolutely no certainty at this point about any of this, let’s suppose that the NFL regular season begins on schedule but without fans in the seats. What, then, is the value of home field advantage? It could be diminished without the encouragement provided by a screaming crowd, and/or if the crowd reaction …

By PlusEVAnalytics

July 2, 2020

“It’s like the nature channel. You don’t see piranhas eating each other, do you?” – Mike McD, Rounders Last year, I was a part owner of an entry that placed 79th in the Westgate NFL SuperContest. After paying 30% withholding tax for non-US citizens on the GROSS cash amount (WTF, America?), I barely broke even. …

By PlusEVAnalytics

June 18, 2020

Hi everyone! I’m going to use this “blog” to write some articles instead of publishing through a third party. For my inaugural post, I thought I’d revisit the very first sports betting model I’ve ever built. Sports betting has been legal in Canada since the 1990s…well, sort of. You can always count on government bureaucrats …

By PlusEVAnalytics

June 16, 2020

There are 3 primary ways to get an edge as a sports bettor. We can have 1) better information, 2) better execution, or 3) better models
than the sports book.  If you’re a bettor and you can’t identify which of 1-3 applies to you, then you probably don’t have an edge. In fact, even if you know where your edge comes from, there’s a good chance your edge is smaller than you think it is. It may not even be an  …

By Harry Crane

Jan 15, 2022

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