How Much Sports Betting Research is Enough?

I'm a big believer in the small edge. When I'm in sports betting mode, I want to find every edge that I possibly can, no matter how small it may be. Winning sports bettors know that the difference between a winning and losing season, or year, is less than one percent.

Knowing this, how do they draw the line between tracking just one more statistic and saying enough is enough?

Balancing Your Research Time

The problem isn't always if you need to do more research or not. The problem often is what research is more important than other research so you can concentrate on what makes you the most money.

For example, during baseball season you are much better off tracking advanced statistics and information on starting pitchers than defensive ratings of left fielders. In a perfect world you would know about both, but when you only have time to concentrate on some things you have to pick the most profitable ones.

Deciding which things are profitable and which ones aren't is one of the big steps in your climb to positive sports betting. Sometimes it isn't even deciding if something isn't profitable. You may need to determine what to use between two profitable options.

You only have a set number of hours available every week to do research for your sports betting activities. Even if you work 80 hours a week at it you can't track everything.

While there are people who spend that kind of time working on becoming a winning sports bettor, most people want to use the profits from the sports betting to do something they enjoy in life that isn't gambling.

It can be a fine line between obsession and not going overboard with your research. Of course if you aren't a winning sports bettor you either need to work harder on your research or find another profession.

If you are already working 60 to 80 hours a week and are still losing you may need to seriously consider a career change. However, if you are only spending 10 or 20 hours a week and you can't quite break into profit; you may not be doing enough work.

Time and Research Alternatives

If you are a casual bettor or bet on a fairly small scale you may not be able to afford to outsource any statistical work. But if you are a full time sports bettor wagering millions of dollars a year you should consider hiring someone, or a group of people, to compile advanced statistics for you.

This can make sense both economically and from a time perspective. Here is an example of how using someone to build statistics and statistical models for you can help you make more money.

If you wager $10,000,000 a year and using a full time person to help you with statistics can increase your winning percentage by 1%, they will help you make an extra $100,000 for the year. Even if you pay them $50,000 you are still ahead by $50,000.

Imagine how much you could track if you added 40 hours of work to your week. Even if you just hired someone to help you with the statistics for 20 hours a week you could greatly increase your overall profit. The best news is that you don't give up any control. You tell them exactly what to track and how to present it to you.

You can imagine scaling this idea up or down depending on how much you wager, but if you ran a syndicate betting a hundred million a year don't you think it would be worth the small percentage to hire a team of people to track everything you could think of?

Another alternative is to computerize everything. Most stats are available somewhere online so you may be able to set up a system that collects everything you need automatically. The problem I have with turning everything over to the computer is I believe that there are things you can see that a computer can't account for.

For example, I can often see a pitcher who looks like he is tiring late in the year or a quarterback that is limping. Their statistics might not show anything is wrong, but my eye and mind tell me to take this into account.

Of course I use computer generated and gathered stats, I am just cautioning you to not depend solely on them. Everyone dreams of a perfect computer model where it just spits out who to bet on and then wait to collect the money, but I haven't seen one that is that good yet.

Some of the world's largest bettors are involved with horse racing. There are places where they can bet millions and millions of dollars on horses. They are betting against the other bettors, not against the house, so they only need to be a certain percentage better than the average bettor to make money. The house takes a small cut and the rest is paid out.

The smartest gamblers in these markets use advanced computer generated statistics and programs to help them pick winning bets. But they still use their eyes and their minds to factor in things the computers can't.

The gamblers I am referring to are at the top of the betting food chain. These guys win millions a year. If a computer isn't good enough for them, what makes you think it can ever be enough for you?


You haven't conducted enough research until you are consistently winning at a rate that you are happy with. For most of us that point never becomes a reality.

I am always looking for an extra edge, even if I am winning consistently. Once you figure out that you can beat the sportsbook and develop systems to do so on a consistent basis, the battle to balance your work (research) and outside life seems to always be present. Only you can decide the correct amount of energy and time to dedicate to each.