Sports betting isn’t something that really ever grabbed me. I am usually so busy reading my books that I can barely remember to turn on the TV for the big game. I love sports, but I had never really considered betting on them. NFL is probably my favourite sport to watch because there are so many commercials that I can read during!
Then one day I was watching a Maple Leafs playoffs game with a friend who had a ton of money on the game. I’m talking like his rent and then some, just a crazy amount of money. I asked him who he bet on and he told me the Leafs. I was so confused at the time because even to me, a novice sports fan, it was clear that the Leafs didn’t have the goaltending to compete in the series.
It just seemed like a fool’s bet to me, but I didn’t say anything at the time. Luckily for him, the Leafs ended up getting a miracle goal late which won him the bet, but I couldn’t help but think it was a bad play.
We got to talking about sports betting and he started telling me how hard it was. He told me how many of the very best sports bettors in the world don’t even win 60% of their wins. I was shocked and became really intrigued by it. Meanwhile, he continued to make bets that I did not think were very good. Finally, our argument hit a head and he made a challenge to me to beat him at sports betting. He showed me the online sportsbook he uses which is gem.bet and wow – it was quite overwhelming. So many sports. So many options! It’s honestly incredible what you can bet on.
We’d both start with the same amount of money and make the same amount of bets, and then we’d see who had the better month. The stakes: a home cooked dinner. My competitive juices were flowing and I took the bet. Of course, I knew that he knew more than me about sports betting, but I also had an ace up my sleeve: books!
I love reading and I picked out some of the best books on the topic to read in order to make up for what I didn’t know. I really wanted that dinner! To make a long story short, I won… and it wasn’t even close! Thanks to my newfound knowledge from reading up on the subject I was able to beat him at the end of the month and enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal. (If you’re wondering, it was chicken parmesan and it was amazing.)
The books I read helped me a lot so I figured, why not share them here? I’m sure other people interested in learning more about sports betting are looking for good books to read. I should note I am quite a geek – I love my statistics and my data and all that. So I aimed primarily for books more related to that and tinkered around with Excel. So I was making pure mathematical plays while that sucker was betting purely on feeling!
These are the best books about sports betting that helped me win.
See at AmazonSharp Sports Betting by Stanford Wong: This was one of the most helpful books for when getting started. It shared all of the different types you can make, how to bet them, how the odds work, and things like that. I think a big part of the learning curve with sports betting is all of the terminologies and there is a very helpful glossary in here that I found invaluable. Parlays, teasers, and prop bets were all terms I had never heard before, but by the time I put this book down I could throw down a two-team teaser with the best of them.
There are a number of tables in this book that were easy for me to understand. I felt like reading this book took me from knowing almost nothing about sports betting to being knowledgeable on the subject. At the very least, it made me smarter than my friend!
The book has an emphasis on football which makes sense because that is by far the most popular sport to bet on. After our bet was over I let my friend borrow this book and it even managed to improve his skills.
See at AmazonThe Logic Of Sports Betting by Ed Miller & Matthew Davidow: If Sharp Sports Betting turned me into an intermediate bettor, this one definitely took me to the next level.
What I liked about this book is it takes you into the perspective of the sportsbook and shows you why they make the lines the way that they do. You really have to approach sports betting like you would a sports game. Scout your opponent and know your enemy! There is an outstanding level of detail into how the lines are created which really helped me to understand things on a higher level.
I will say that if you don’t consider yourself mathematically inclined then this book not be for you. That said, if you’re not mathematically inclined then this might not be a hobby for you.
See at AmazonStatistical Sports Models in Excel by Andrew Mack: This was the one where I had to stop and ask myself just how deep I wanted to get into this new hobby. I was nervous that I was getting in over my head when I started this one, but it was written well and the author taught me some things that I previously had no idea about.
Even better, Andrew Mack provided template spreadsheets to work with. They work in Excel (obviously) which is a program I was rather familiar with already. This is truly a crash course on modeling that teaches you without getting too bogged down in technical jargon.
If you’re looking to take your betting to the next level by statistic modeling, this is the book for you.