How Do I Research Teams to Bet On?

From horse racing to March Madness, most novice sports bettors all have the same question: how do I research teams and players to bet on before I place my wager?


β€œTo steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.”

Different variations and attributions of that quote exist in every corner of the world wide web. It doesn’t matter if you’re a grad student working on a senior thesis or a novice sports bettor trying to gain an edge over the bookmaker, knowledge is power. This is why sports betting research sites, like Gamble Online, are a useful resource when handicapping your next wager.

While sports betting research is an important part of the gambling process, just remember that studying all the data points in the world isn’t a guarantee of success. Take for instance some of the biggest sports betting upsets in history:

Matchup Odds Result $100 Bet to Win
Russia vs USA Hockey (1980) USA +100,000 to win gold USA wins 4-3 $100,000
UMBC vs Virginia (NCAAB) UMBC +2,000 to beat No. 1 Virginia UMBC wins 74–54 $2,000
Leicester City (Soccer) +500,000 to win English Premiere League Leicester league champs $500,000
Appalachian State vs Michigan Appalachian State 33-point spread underdogs App. State wins 34-32 No Moneyline Found

For US bettors, the “Miracle on Ice” is the ultimate underdog story as Team USA’s hockey team lost to Russia 10-3 in an earlier Olympic matchup, only to shock the world with its 4-3 upset in the gold medal game.

With March Madness betting season underway, it’s fitting to look back and celebrate University of Maryland-Baltimore County’s first round upset over No. 1 seed Virginia. The Retrievers remain the only No. 16 seed to upset a No. 1 in NCAA men’s basketball tournament history.

When it comes to how to bet on soccer, typically the most likely scenarios play out time after time with the exception of the 2015 season when Leicester City, at 5,000-to-1 odds trumped futbol powerhouses like Manchester United and Chelsea en route to a Premier League championship.

And who could forget, back in 2007, when FCS little-engine-that-could, Appalachian State, upset the mighty Michigan Wolverines as 33-point college football betting underdogs.

How to Know That a Team has a High Chance to Win?

The short answer is knowing a team’s implied probability of winning. In order to do that, you either need a sports betting odds calculator or an above-average math skill-set to generate the probability using this formula: (-odds / odds +100) * 100 = implied probability.

For example, using a hypothetical Chiefs NFL betting moneyline of -120, the formula would look like this:

(120/220)*100 = 54.5%

You take the 120 odds add 100 to get 220, then divide 120 by 220 to get 0.545, which is then multiplied by 100 to generate 54.5, a.k.a. 54.5% implied probability the Chiefs win.

How do People Get ‘Good’ at Sports Betting?

For a novice sports bettor to become “good” at sports betting is all relative. With the odds typically stacked against the recreational sports bettor, winning 53% of the time is often considered good as you cover the vig/juice and are truly profitable. This is not to disuade you from placing sports bets, but more to encourage you to do your homework and follow these sports betting tips when you learn how to bet on sports online:

  • Study the Best Online Sportsbook Reviews – Gamble Online’s team of experts have independently reviewed each online sportsbook for quality and safety as well as highlighted sportsbooks online offering the most valuable welcome bonuses and real money promotions.
  • Shop for the Best Odds a.k.a. Line Shop – After a few months of learning the ropes, you might wind up signing up for multiple online sportsbooks accounts to take advantage of line shopping. This practice allows every sports bettor the opportunity to snatch up the best odds on the team or player they’re interested in backing come gameday. For example, if you are convinced the Warriors are going to beat the Lakers and Golden State’s odds to win are -125 at one sportsbooks and -105 at another, you’re going to want to hammer the -105 moneyline as you’d save $20 in risk on by submitting that ticket.
  • Discover Which Odds Work for Your Betting Style – If you love football, you’ll want to learn all about the best live betting sites and how to place them, and if you love betting on major events like the Super Bowl or March Madness, you’ll want to become familiar with props and how to parlay bet. Certain bet types are better suited to certain events and sports, so identifying your favorite leagues and ways to build a betting slip.
  • Study the latest Stats and Trends – One of my favorite sports betting research sites of all-time and one that I lean on heavily when producing my weekly NFL playoff betting previews is

This site allows sports bettors to chop up stats and embrace advanced analytics in their pursuit of handicapping upcoming events. From betting trends, to yards per play to red zone efficiency, is just one of several sports betting resource sites used for statistical analysis.

  • Pay Attention to the Injury Report –Β A favorite sports betting anecdote of mine is when an Eagles starting offensive lineman was going to miss Philadelphia’s next game and the trends of Carson Wentz with and without this o-lineman were jarring. The quarterback and offense struggled when the pass blocker was out of the lineup. However, the point spread didn’t really budge because he wasn’t a skill player with his ball in the hands X-time per game. This oversight by the bookmaker afforded me a chance to find great value on the Eagles’ opponent that week and cash the bet. While sports betting research sites all have their positives, the quickest way to find answers to who is active and inactive on gameday is to scan beat reporters’ Twitter accounts as they are typically updated before any give website.

Which Sports Present the Best Betting Opportunities?

This is a loaded question where several layers of the proverbial onion need to be peeled away to determine the right answer.

Are you looking for the best betting odds return on investment? Then you probably want to look at college football moneylines and point spreads. The next-best sports to wager on would be the NFL and college basketball as the risk isn’t as high as other sports.

Due to a handful of variables and way the game is structured, novice sports bettors and those looking for an easier entry point should avoid MLB baseball betting.

Dave Consolazio

Dave Consolazio has been passionate about writing and sports journalism since his high school years. He has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC where he worked with the school's radio and television stations. His work has been featured in SportsbookReview, Sports Illustrated and SB Nation. Dave's experience ranges across multiple fields in the gambling industry. You can find his sports, casino, and poker articles in

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