**For that kind of stuff, read the answer on bookmaker arbitrage that someone will no doubt write, presumably using several thousand fewer words than I have and including several more appealing sounding promises about the guaranteed money you’ll make. I’ve done that too, and it does work, but it’s not quite as easy as some people will have you believe and it’s hard to sustain it. You pays your money and you takes your choice.*

*Let's look at a way oversimplified example to try and figure out the predictive probability of our ole' favorites the Dogaroos versus the Seattle Stinkpots from our earlier examples. Let's say you determine that offense, speed, and coaching are the three criteria that will help you determine who will win. Again, a real formula will have way more criteria than this, but this works for this example. You decide that offense is 50% of the equation, speed is less important at 30% of the equation, and coaching only plays into the equation 20% of the time.*

^{Instead of looking at the game as a single game, imagine that the two teams are going to play 100 times. Decide how many times you think one team will win out of those 100 times. That will be your predictive percentage. If you think they'll probably win 60 times out of 100, your predictive probability is 60%. You can do this with 10 games as well and multiply it by 10. It doesn't really matter which you use. What does matter is that you're able to get your mind thinking differently. }

Technically, the sportsbook tries to set the betting lines at exactly what they think it should be (minus a few percentage points for the house rake so they can make money). They will move this line based on how people are betting to try to encourage or discourage bets onto different sides of a game. This means that the line will frequently move to accommodate the goals of the sportsbook.

^{Let's look at a way oversimplified example to try and figure out the predictive probability of our ole' favorites the Dogaroos versus the Seattle Stinkpots from our earlier examples. Let's say you determine that offense, speed, and coaching are the three criteria that will help you determine who will win. Again, a real formula will have way more criteria than this, but this works for this example. You decide that offense is 50% of the equation, speed is less important at 30% of the equation, and coaching only plays into the equation 20% of the time. }

There is a caveat to all of my modelling work, a small detail that I haven’t yet revealed. It is this. What I haven’t mentioned is that I had a fifth model. It was called “ask my wife”. Lovisa Sumpter is a very talented individual. She is an associate professor of mathematics education in Sweden, where we live, and a qualified yoga instructor. She also has a much better record than her husband in football betting. When she was still a student, Lovisa correctly predicted the outcome of every one of the 13 matches in the Swedish Stryktipset. The chance of getting these right by picking randomly is 1 in 3 to the power of 13 (or 1/1,594,323). Although the pay-out for her winning week was relatively small, she remains proud of being one of the few people in Sweden to “get 13 right”.

*In general, placing bets based entirely on any one factor is a bad idea. That’s certainly true in the NBA, as true as it is for any other sport, but there is one aspect of pro basketball betting that can have an almost singular influence on the outcome of a game – its context, its position in a team’s season, and its position between home and away games as well as difficult or fluff games. Because every team plays 82 games in a relatively short amount of time, the impact of a game’s context can sometimes be the unknown that bettors can see coming.*

*Now that we’ve covered what a sports betting system is, where they come from, and the benefits of developing one, we want to talk about some functional steps that you can take to start developing your own sports betting system. As we’ve mentioned, sports betting systems come in all shapes and sizes, and the data points that you choose to use could be anything and everything.*

#### Developing a strategy is crucial. But researching the value in your strategy is very time-consuming. You should only be betting on games where you see true value in your strategy and not betting in bulk. For example, let’s say that you saw a trend that shows betting on reverse line moves for home teams. This trend has been winning 65% of the time over the past month so you decide you will only bet games that fit this profile. Finding games like this at the right line is no easy task. Even using a system like Sports Insights that alerts reverse line moves, you have to pay attention and find the best line that reflects the reverse line move. You also have to be sure that it is in favor of the home team. If the line has already moved then it likely doesn’t make sense to take the home team in this situation.

*UPDATE: All is not doom and gloom, though. Quite frequently, the Zcode guys will have a 75%-off sale, meaning you can get the whole system for $50/month. This makes it quite easy to build a great bankroll even if you’re starting out with a $1 betting unit size. The only catch is that you have to be on the mailing list to get the e-mail. I think you can also Google “Zcode discount”, but I’m not sure if that works anymore.*