For many people, sports betting is a bit of fun to be had on the side of watching a live game or the scores come in throughout the weekend. As such, many will bet with their gut, have an inkling about what’s to come and bet on it, or perhaps have a fleeting look at the league tables to decide on occasion. Overall, people tend to bet smartly, utilising facts, figures, or some light statistical analysis to get a better idea of what information is available.

Of course, with sports being driven by individuals in each match, anything can happen. However, at the highest level, where teams and players are heavily analysed to continue to play at their peak, past results can help to give an idea of what’s more likely to come. This means going beyond league standing, delving into form in each circumstance, team triumphs with or without players, performances with X days of rest, ability to compete against certain styles of play, and more.

So, let’s look into this more methodical approach to sports betting, looking at where to find key pieces of information for finding your selections and placing the bets. The main examples given throughout will pertain to football, but other sports will be sprinkled in due to their particular relevance in some areas.

Where to find and how to use the information that matters

As discussed, anything can happen in sports, and even outside of sports for some legends of the game, but you can still ensure that you know what’s necessary to make an informed decision as to which teams or players to back.

For player or team betting, the first place to look is the injury list. In US sports, you can turn to the Rotoworld injuries lists, but, for the Premier League, Premier Injuries proves to be the best source. The site compiles reports on player fitness, making it easy for you to find your team, their injury lists, and expected return dates. You can even sign-up for alerts from the site to keep up-to-date with injuries.

Next on the list has to be the form charts. Most US sports, like the NHL and NBA, present last-ten, home, and away records and form statistics within their standard tables. It’s a bit different in football, but shrewd resources do offer quick and easy looks at team form in the key areas. FlashScore is a great place to keep up with live scores, but is just as useful before the start of a game – be it football or any other sport.

By clicking on an upcoming match on FlashScore, you can look to the head-to-head (H2H) records to gauge a team’s overall, home, away, and versus form. Being able to expand further, even just the initial last five games shown for each with their colour-coding swiftly allows you to see where a team is flourishing and where they continue to slip-up.

Finally, while the most popular sports in the world are team sports, it all comes down to each player pulling their weight. Furthermore, some of the more popular betting markets pertain to player performances, such as with cards, goals, and shots. For player stats this season, across all seasons, against each club, and in each competition, Transfermarkt is your best option.

While primarily a hub for transfer valuations, the football database offers you extensive records even as deep as the methods of scoring and formations used per game, making it an essential betting companion. This data, as well as the injury data from Premier Injuries, is further complemented by the statistics and ratings of WhoScored, which can quickly give you key team stats and tell you exactly how important a player is to their team.

Other sports, particularly in the US, are far more forthcoming with these key stats than football, with the official sites often offering in-depth stats tables and rankings to cover all situations of the game. With the stats, you can craft your own statistical analysis to find aspects like win rates or rates of scoring in certain criteria, but should then apply some subjective input, such as how you foresee a team coping without a key player, basing your opinion on the stats provided when the player has been injured for their current team in the past.

Knowing where to bet is just as important as how

Odds are a reflection of likelihood and risk calculation as performed by oddsmakers and their software. They both relay how statistically likely a team is to win, with some slight weighing coming into play via bets from punters and expert opinion at the bookmakers. It’s a complex system that results in almost all online bookies offering different odds and ways to bet. So, to get the edge and maximise your potential wins, you’ll need to seek the platforms with the best odds and enhanced odds.

It’s only smart to capitalise on your research by getting the most for your money. This is where SBO comes in: the platform made up of industry experts has meticulously reviewed the offering of over 200 betting brands that offer their services to the UK. In their subsequent, regularly updated, rankings of the top-rated bookies in the country, you can easily find the bookies that offer enhanced odds, the best odds, and other betting features which allow you to make the most of your research.

Putting in the time to research the raw data that tells the tale of a sports team pre-game is the best way to prepare for a bet. However, the information that you’ve sifted through and analysed can also help you in-game, with your knowledge and feel of the live game bolstering it further. If you can sense a game swinging against your prediction, or even for it to a greater degree, you’ll want access to cash out and in-play features.

Sports betting is heavily influenced by luck, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t place smart, calculated bets that increase the likelihood of you placing a winning bet. It won’t always work out, but by combining key research with a user-friendly betting platform, you can get as much of a head-start as is possible in betting.

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