Creating a Sports Betting Model

Sports Athletes Collage, Moneyline Bet Tickets

Sports betting is one of the few gambling areas where you can actually win money consistently. That’s much easier said than done, though. Only a small fraction of the people who wager regularly are successful. You need a good system to beat the system.

Creating a sports betting model is hard. It requires a deep understanding of a specific sport or league, at least basic math knowledge, patience, and a pinch of imagination. I will do my best to help you get there in this post.

I won’t lie, this article doesn’t reveal some magic formula that will make you a winner overnight. However, it explains how to create a sports betting model from scratch.

Before I dive deeper into the topic, let me try to define the term “sports betting model”. Essentially, you’re looking for a way to determine a set of conditions that deliver profitable bets. All outcomes that meet the set should be followed with a wager.

Sounds simple, but there are plenty of factors involved. Most people fail which begs the question of whether you can actually build a successful betting system.

Is It Possible to Build a Successful Betting Model?

Since you reached this page, you’re obviously eager to find a methodical way of beating the bookies. Good. That’s the attitude you need in sports gambling, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to consistently profit.

The best bookmakers are experts in calculating probabilities and setting odds. They have an army of odds compilers and a bunch of expensive tools to help them process large sets of data. They evaluate sporting events really well, almost flawlessly.

Note:It’s unrealistic to beat the bookies at their own game, especially if you consider the margin they add to make sure they’re making money. Fortunately, you don’t really have to.

All sportsbooks apply another factor to the odds – the projected (before they release the odds) and actual (after they release the odds) money placed. The higher the expected/actual volume is for a certain outcome, the lower is the price.

Simply put, the betting sites start with an almost perfect calculation for every market, but they later move away from it to balance the books and guarantee profit.

That’s where you come in. A sports betting model is essentially a way to exploit any value betting opportunities that might arise. You’re trying to beat the bookies but also the other gamblers!

Now that you know why it’s possible to create a winning sports betting systems, let’s move on to more practical tips on how to achieve that.

Pick an Underlying Principle for Your Model

The first and most important step is to recognize an underlying principle for your model. You simply can’t do that unless you have plenty of experience and knowledge for a specific sport and league.

Here’s a good example of an underlying principle that can be used for the foundation of a sports betting system. Imagine that you’re an NBA fan. You notice that many players underperform offensively in the early Sunday games.

It might be because they are not used to playing so early. It could be a coincidence and you might be wrong, but this is a good starting point. You should test your assumption to see if there’s something in there.

Important:The goal is to notice a trend that most people or even the bookmakers might have missed. It must be mentioned that such tendencies are rarely obvious and groundbreaking.

They have a small impact on the overall numbers, small enough that the vast majority of the bettors won’t notice it. If it’s easy to spot, they will adjust their gambling habits, the bookies will address it in the odds, and there will be no value up for grabs.

It’s not easy to find such an underlying principle for your strategy. You should be prepared to fail with many of your assumptions. When that happens, just remember that one right call would be enough to make you a lot of money.

Add Additional Conditions

Once you have your underlying principle, it’s time to think of all the other conditions that might affect the outcomes you will be targeting.

Let’s continue the example from the previous section, so you understand what I mean.

Based on your assumption that a lot of NBA players underperform in early games on Sundays, you decide to target the totals market, and back the under in such fixtures.

Here are several other factors that could work in favor or against your main premise.

  • Injuries and Suspensions – If a few prolific scorers are out of the game, that works in your favor. At the same time, if an elite lockdown defender is out, that could lead to more points.
  • Recent Form – The NBA can be very streaky, both in terms of specific players and entire teams. Make sure to check if someone’s hot or cold before the game.
  • Tempo – If the two teams love slow tempo, you can expect very few possessions, and that works in your favor.

I’m sure you can add more factors that impact the NBA totals market with ease. The best basketball betting sites will consider them when working on the odds, so you should too. They won’t give you an edge, your underlying principle will, but you need to cover all angles related to your wager.

The same applies to every single sport and market you want to target. You should go through all the conventional steps when you prepare and then add your underlying principle as the difference-maker.

Once you have a full list of the criteria a certain sporting event has to meet, it’s time to test your sports betting model.

Test Your Model

You should try to prove your concept before you invest real money in it and that’s why testing is a good idea. I believe that the optimal testing process includes three stages: backtesting, testing on paper, and real testing with small wagers.

Before I provide more information about them, let me clarify one thing.

It’s pivotal that you stay disciplined and make sure there’s nothing subjective in your selection.

Use your underlying principle and additional factors to create a clear set of conditions that produces betting suggestions. Your selection process should look like that: if the underlying principle is true and the additional conditions are met, then and only then, place a wager.

Don’t make exceptions and don’t bet based on emotions or your hunch. Set clear rules and follow them! That’s the only way to objectively measure the success rate of your system. You can always adjust some of the conditions if you feel that’s limiting you, but that’s different.

With that in mind, let’s talk about the three testing stages.


The process of backstesting is actually popular in investing. I’ve borrowed the term because the principle is the same. The idea here is to gather data from previous events and apply your sports betting model to see what results it would’ve produced in the past.

It’s a good way to test your concept, but there are certain downsides.

Note:Some people obsess over cutting and chopping their system until it produces results during the backtesting stage. That’s a bad idea because you’re adjusting your model to the selected set of data which is different from building one that would work in the future.

That’s why you shouldn’t try to make it work at any cost. Test your model and if it shows promise, move on to the next stage.

Testing on Paper

The next testing step is to try your sports betting model on paper for future events. The idea here is to use real odds from bookmakers you would normally pick. Try to simulate a real environment.

It’s a good way to see if your system can produce winning bets without any investments. On the negative side, the pressure will be off and some people might be tempted to “cheat” by removing some losing wagers and adding winners for whatever reasons.

That might skew the results, so I see testing on paper as an optional step. You can skip it, especially if you can afford a small budget instead. If that’s the case, go straight to the next point.

Real Testing With Small Wagers

Once you have a good reason to believe that you’ve created a sports gambling model that’s profitable, it’s time to test if for real. You don’t want to start big, but betting cash is the most meaningful trial.

It’s critical to collect a solid sample size before you make a judgment.

You usually need at least a few hundred wagers before the real results start showing up. That’s when you can afford to risk more money and embrace your system completely.

More Tips for Creating a Sports Betting Model

Now that you know how to create a sports betting model, I have several tips that can improve your chances. They can add a few percentage points in the long run which could be the difference between losing and winning.

Let’s check them out.

  • Use the Best Betting Sites – You want to stick to the best betting sites online because they offer the most rewarding conditions.
  • Shop for the Best Lines and Odds – If you use only one sportsbook, you’re leaving money on the table. Join at least a few of them, so you can consistently grab higher odds and better lines.
  • Manage Your Bankroll Properly – Make sure to use a sensible bankroll management system that can protect you from bankruptcy.
  • Stay Disciplined – If you found a working betting model, make sure to stick to it. Don’t spill the profits on other wagers.
  • Always Look for Improvements – Even a successful model could be improved with the right tweaks. Make sure to always test, experiment, and look for opportunities to raise the bar.

If you have the knowledge and determination to build a working sports betting model, you can reap the rewards for years. It’s not an easy task, so stay patient and don’t get too discouraged if your first few attempts fail to deliver positive results.

Jim Beviglia
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About Jim Beviglia
Jim Beviglia has been a gambling writer at since 2018. During that time, he’s written just about every type of article related to gambling, including reviews of betting sites, guides to popular casino games, betting tips on both casino and sports betting, sports and casino blog posts, and game picks. In addition to online gambling, one of Jim’s other major interests is music. He has been doing freelance work for various music sites and magazines for two decades. Among his outlets past and present are American Songwriter, VinylMePlease, Treble, and The Bluegrass Situation. Jim has also written five books on music that were published by Rowman & Littlefield.