Sports Betting and Probability: How Can Mathematics Help Bettors?


Anyone who has ever bet on sports at sportsbook knows how important it is to consider various factors when making a betting decision. And there is even a connection between sports betting and mathematics, more specifically probability. One of the most interesting concepts, developed by Blaise Pascal back in the 17th century, is mathematical expectation. The French were also involved in the development of probability theory.

Sports Betting And Calculating The Mathematical Expected Value


With the help of mathematical expectation, average amounts for potential winnings can be calculated not only when betting. However, this concept is unlikely to help players accurately calculate the size of the bet that can be risked. However, as a bettor you must have at least a basic knowledge of mathematical expectation. It can also be used to develop the most effective strategy for betting.

In the context of betting, one can calculate the mathematical expected value of the event. To do this, you have to multiply the probability (percentage) of a win by the amount of potential win minus the possibility of a loss. In short, the formula is as follows:


In this case, G stands for the probability of winning, Q for the odds in decimal format. Mathematical expectation is considered by many experts to be a very important concept that helps in knowing what exactly awaits the bettor in the long run, whether he loses or wins. It is the starting point for planning and creating a strategy. Correct calculation of the mathematical expectation allows you to understand how much money you should use for betting.

In order not to delve into history, formulas, etc., let’s consider the concept of utility using a fairly simple example. Let’s assume that the bettor only has to choose two betting options. The first is with the best chance of success and allows you to win 100 euros. The second is risky and you can win 400 euros or lose everything. No bettor, no bookmaker and neither the teams themselves know how the game will end, but for obvious reasons both will play to win.

Which option should you choose? If you trust the math, both solutions involve almost the same mathematical expectation, except for the additional risks that are better considered in a separate order. In this example it is very easy to calculate everything. If you choose an event with a lower probability of loss, it is likely that 100 euros will still come into the bettor’s account. If you want to grab a bigger win, the player will prefer to take a risk. Here not only everything depends on the qualitative analysis, but luck also plays a role.

Betting systems based on mathematics


Experts recommend using one or two concepts to avoid confusion. Additionally, many strategies when used simultaneously can produce dramatically different results, which is very confusing and causes the bettor to rethink their approach to betting. A betting system that is based on mathematics is, for example, the Martingale betting system. It is the well-known strategy that requires the bettor to increase the prediction amount twice after losing. That is, the first subsequent success makes it possible to cover the losses.

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