Scoring the winning points at a basketball game , motion blur

A few weeks back on the Betting 360 Podcast we spoke to Brett, the man behind our new NBA Bets package.

Among other things, Brett spoke of what attracted him to sports modelling and betting in the first place:

“I’ve rarely had a recreational bet in my life. Around 2009, I surveyed the investment landscape and made an assessment that sports betting offered the most bang-for-buck for return of capital. Because if you can find an advantage in the sports betting market, your so-called return bearing period is the duration of one single game, whereas in conventional financial markets that can be weeks, months, even years for long term investments. So I really liked the idea of engaging with sports betting markets, given the frequent cycling of capital with that asset class.”

It’s a very good point.  More traditional forms of investment such as bank deposits, shares or property can take years to produce their return.  Your capital (bankroll) is tied up for a relatively long period before you’ll start to see a return.

With betting (depending on the market and event, and your staking plan), the number of opportunities available to invest your money means you can turn it over and obtain your return a whole lot quicker.

Consider those betting opportunities: browsing any large bookmaker’s website quickly shows the sheer volume available.  On most major sports, a single match will have literally hundreds of markets available, from the core head-to-head and line markets to the multitudes of side markets around total points, single quarters or halves, or individual player performances.

Brett’s approach, which is clearly evident in the NBA Bets package he runs for us, shifts this into overdrive.  It’s unlike anything we’ve ever done before, and a very foreign concept for most punters.

In preparation for the NBA Bets package, Brett ran another private package for a small group of select Champion Bets members.  The hard figures for this package are as follows:

  • 8,000+ bets
  • 5,500+ units staked in total
  • 500+ units profit at 8.8% PoT.

That seems like a very good proposition.  And with over 8,000 bets, a very long and reliable sample period.

What many people can’t get their head around is the timeframe: that entire sample took place in less than four months (110 days, to be precise).

Whilst a testing period of less than four months seems short, the fact that it’s over a sample of over 8,000 bets makes it far more valuable than what many punters would be used to.

Consider this: in current format, there’s 206 matches in an AFL season.  So if you were to test a head-to-head match model for 8,000 bets, your testing period would run for nearly forty years.  And that’s betting on every single match.

You’d hope most people would consider forty years a long enough test period to prove the reliability or otherwise of an approach!

An extreme example, but an illustration of the difference in approaches.

The lesson?

Pay attention to the detail of what you’re looking at.  Just like strike-rate (without considering PoT) isn’t a reliable indicator of profitability, timeframe isn’t a reliable indicator of success or volatility.

Much more important is the number of bets: it’s less relevant whether they take place over a week or a decade.  High volumes in short timeframes can mean you’re able to turn your bankroll over quicker, and thus achieve your returns quicker.