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Analysing Esports Bets

The aim of every punter is to place as many winning bets as possible, while keeping losses to a minimum. As you already know, betting successfully on eSports isn’t a matter of luck, if you’re not doing your homework, you might win a couple of bets, but you won’t have long term success.

Analysing eSports bets is no easy task, but it’s all about setting your priorities and learning what statistics you need in order to perform a valid analysis. Once you get the basics and learn how to analyse, doing the actual analysis would be much easier. The first thing that you will need to do is separate the important from the unimportant, the things will be a lot simpler. Still, that doesn’t mean that doing proper analysis doesn’t take time, you will need to put some effort in it.

Calculating Probability

The odds imply the probability of an event to happen. With the vig the odds are stacked against you, but that doesn’t mean all odds for all selections across all markets. Decimal odds are the simplest to convert into probability. Just divide one by the odds and then multiple the result by 100. For instance, if the odds are 1.70, divide 1 by 1.70, it is 0.588 and then multiply it by hundred – 58.8. So the probability is 58.8%.

By converting the odds into probability you get a clearer picture of how likely is for something to happen. For example, a bet at odds 5.00 might not seem that improbable, but you should know that the odds are just 20%, which means that the chances for the opposite outcome are 80%.

Accumulator Bets Probability

If you are placing an accumulator bet with multiple selections, the process is the same. First multiple the odds for all selections and then do the same.

For instance, if you’re placing a bet on 5 selections at odds 1.60, 1.80, 1.95, 1.50 and 2.00, you should first multiply 1.60 * 1.80 * 1.95 * 1.50 * 2.00. You will get 16.848 and then when you divide 1 by that number you will get a result of 0.059, which means that the probability is 5.9%. Even though all selections look highly likely to happen taken individually, as the highest odds are 2.00, when you stack them together, the probability of not winning the bet is as high as 94.1%.

This is why you should always bear in mind that winning an accumulator bet is no easy task, the more selections you add and the higher their respective odds are, less likely it will be for you to win. Acca bets are often called the Holy Grail of betting, and every punter dreams of winning a massive acca, but you shouldn’t wager a lot of money on an accumulator bet, because the probabilities are usually very slim.

Analysing Odds and Probabilities

Your main focus when you’re analysing bets is whether or not the odds match the actual probability of the event you’d be betting on. How can you know that? Obviously, the odds are not set randomly, bookmakers have complex systems and multiple analysts who work on setting the odds and in most cases the odds fairly represent the probability, plus there’s the vig, which means that the odds should be in the favour of the bookies, in most cases. The last phrase is the key here, in most cases doesn’t mean always.

So, your goal should be to identify those situation where the odds don’t match the probability, i.e. when something is more likely to happen than the odds suggest. This might seem impossible, or too difficult. It is not impossible, but we won’t lie you that it is easy. In order to determine whether an even is more likely to happen than the odds suggest, you must develop your own strategy of determining what are the odds, or the probability for something to happen. How do you do that in the first place?

Spot the Odd One Out

There are multiple ways to do that, and it can’t be said that only one way is the right way. It depends heavily on the game, on the competition, on the particular match, there are so many factors to take into consideration. The more you know about a particular eSports, the easier it would be for you to analyse probabilities.

Here’s where you can start. If you intend on betting on a particular event, or better yet, a tournament or some other competition which features multiple matches, as that way you’ll have more options at your disposal. Start by going through the different odds for different markets and see if any selections strikes you as favourable. That may not seem very scientific, but in most cases it is the best way to identify favourable odds, if you’re not using complex computational systems, that is.

If the odds for any selection seem rather high, take note of it and then go on until you’re done browsing the odds. Bear in mind that if one selections looks unusual to you, all connected selections will be similar. For example, if the odds for one team to win seem unusually high to you, the odds for them to win the first map, will probably also be higher than you’d expect.

Once you’re done, start your research. Check if the team is missing some players, if they went through any changes in the recent period, or if they’re in a bad form. Another thing that you should check is how well they’ve competed against that opponent. Sometimes, even world-class teams don’t play well against a particular opponent, even if the opposing team is generally weaker on paper.

Beware of Popular Teams and the Bias of Casual Punters

Don’t expect to find an obvious bargain too often. However there are certain times that you should always account for, regardless which eSport you’re betting on and what is the tournament in question.

Beware of teams that are too popular and enjoy large commercial success, have great sponsorship deals and generally are considered cool. Not that they won’t win, in many cases they would. The problem is that, in most cases, the offered odds on popular and cool teams aren’t justified. Remember that most punters bet just casually and don’t get into analysis or statistics, they simply back the team that they read about the most, or that they support. As a result of that, the odds drop, especially for match betting markets, which are most common.

When the odds are decreased, that doesn’t have a negative impact on the team per se, they still might win, but at the lower odds, it simply isn’t a risk worth taking. If a team was at 1.60 and the odds dropped to 1.45 merely because a lot of people backed them to win, you should reconsider your option. The odds might be too low in the first place, they don’t have to drop following many wagers. That doesn’t mean that you should never bet on ‘cool’ teams. The odds might still be fair, especially if they are much better than the opponent, it’s just something that you should always have on your mind.

Keep Track of Changes

So, obviously as the odds can change you should always keep track of the odds and how they change over time. While minor changes might reflect the amounts of wagers being placed on a selection or the opposite selection, a significant drop or increase might reflect something a lot more substantial. For example, if it has been announced that a key player won’t be playing, that odds for that team to win will decrease significantly. If you read the information that a player won’t be in the squad and you have a strong reason to believe that his absence will be felt by his team, i.e. they have seriously lower chances of winning, yet the odds haven’t changed yet, it might be wise to bet against the team in question before the bookies respond and lower the odds for the team to win.

So, reacting promptly to market changes is very important. If you’re betting on a less popular tournament, you have an advantage as not too many people bet on these tournaments, therefore the bookmakers don’t pay a lot of attention and might not be as fast to alter the odds if something changes, like if it is announced that a player will be absent.

Less Popular Tournaments Often Offer Value

The bookies hate losing money and that’s why they are very cautious with big tournaments, especially with final matches, as a lot of people bet on such events. With lower-ranked tournaments, bookies know that no matter what the outcome, they will not be losing a lot of money and that’s why they pay less attention to setting the odds. In other words, you might find more value in those bets and you might have better winning chances, than if you stick to just major tournaments.

Generally speaking, favourites are more likely to lose at smaller tournaments, sometimes they are less motivated, sometimes they don’t prepare as much as they do for the major tournaments. Of course, that’s not a rule.

Few Practical Examples

Perhaps the best way to explain bet analysis is to give one hypothetical example. Let’s assume that team X play against team Y. Team X are the obvious favourites, they have recently won a major tournament, they are a lot more popular and the odds for them to win are at 1.40. That puts the probability at 1.71%. However, their opponents play particularly well against them. In the previous 6 matches, team X won only 3 matches, and lost the remaining 3.

If we calculate the value and the probability taking into consideration this statistical category – past matches, it turns out that the probability of team X winning the game is mere 50%, which is a lot less than what the odds suggest.

If the maps on which a game will be played are already published, that is definitely another factor that you should take into consideration. Some teams simply don’t play well on certain maps. On the other hand, sometimes the weaker team may play particularly well on certain maps and if the game is played on those maps, their odds of winning might be higher than the odds suggest.

It doesn’t have to be match betting, you can analyse every aspect of the game. Browse through the statistics and you will always stumble across interesting patterns. For example, a certain team may have lost more second maps/rounds than they have won, despite the fact that they have won more matches than they have lost. In that case, even if they are the favourite to win, you might consider betting on the other team to win the second map.