Leveraging Stats and Models to Find Mispriced Bets

The world of sports betting today is extremely competitive. With legalization spreading to more states, sportsbooks are battling for bettors’ money. This creates opportunities for educated Toto Winkel bettors to find mispriced odds and beat the vig. But where do you start in identifying the “best odds” that give you an advantage?

Understanding Betting Lines and Odds

The first step is knowing how to read betting lines and odds. Different sportsbooks will post different spreads, totals, and moneylines for the same games. Oftentimes these differences are small, but not always.

Table 1. Opening Odds for Super Bowl LVII at Various Sportsbooks

FanDuelPHI -2.550.5PHI -134
DraftKingsPHI -1.551PHI -118
BetMGMPHI -251PHI -125

Here the spreads range from PHI -1.5 to -2.5 against Kansas City. The totals go from 50.5 to 51 points. And Philly’s moneyline is anywhere from -118 to -134.

Line Shopping to Find Discrepancies

“Line shopping” means comparing the odds at different sportsbooks for the same game. If you find meaningful differences, you can bet on whichever side is more favorable at a given book. This is exactly why having accounts with multiple sportsbooks is so valuable.

For example, in the table above, the best value is taking Kansas City +2.5 points at FanDuel compared to +1.5 at DraftKings. That one extra point could make a difference in covering the spread. Similarly, you could bet the OVER 51 at DraftKings and BetMGM versus 50.5 at FanDuel.

Using Models to Detect Soft Lines

In addition to shopping for the best lines, advantage players create their own predictive models. Models estimate the likelihood of every outcome, allowing you to compare your projections to the sportsbooks’ odds.

When your numbers differ significantly from the posted lines, those indicate “soft lines” to target. Essentially you’re finding bets where the public perception differs sharply from your models’ expected reality.

Building accurate models requires an analytical approach with lots of historical data. But it enables you to systematically find and exploit lines where the sportsbooks have left an edge.

4 Key Strategies for Beating the Odds

Using the right strategies separates winning sports bettors from the losing majority. Here are four proven approaches:

1. Line Shop at Multiple Sportsbooks

As described above, having access to more lines allows you to cherry-pick the best prices. This directly leads to higher returns.

2. Target Soft Lines and Middling Opportunities

When models detect lines that stray considerably from their projections, those represent profitable bets. Savvy bettors also middle by betting both sides when they fall between the numbers.

3. Follow Line Moves and Reverse Line Movement

Tracking how betting lines move leading up to games offers valuable intelligence. Moves may reflect sharp money flowing one way. But beware of reverse line moves that look like traps.

4. Know When to Bet Big and When to Lay Off

Bankroll management is key. Resist the urge to overbet. But when your models align with your research, identifying prime spots to maximize bets separates winning bettors.

Mastering even one or two of these approaches will instantly boost any bettor’s bottom line. Combine several strategies and your long-term profits can grow exponentially. The math is firmly on your side.


Beating the bookmakers requires work. There are no shortcuts for instantly finding “best odds” or guarantees of easy profits. But by understanding lines, modeling probabilities, tracking market moves, and managing risk, sports bettors put the percentages in their favor over time.

Staying disciplined, avoiding emotional bets, and attacking soft lines with the right strategies makes it perfectly realistic to beat the odds. Do the research, run the numbers, set aside biases, and the wins will come.

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