• Potential Pitfalls When Using Regression Analysis for Sports Betting

    Added - June 2, 2014 Sports

    Regression analysis is one of the most popular ways to craft strategies for betting on sports, and while it can be an extremely useful tool, you have to be careful with how you implement it because there are a number of common ways that you can go wrong. Most of these common mistakes have to do with the mindset that you use when looking at past data and how you relate different trends to each other. We'll look at some of these potential pitfalls and help you to understand what regression analysis can and cannot help you with.

    When it comes to the term itself, regression analysis is actually a math term that has to do with the study of looking at past data to see how things might work out in the future. With sports betting, you're essentially looking at how different variables have affected the outcome of games in the past so that you can try to use those variables to understand how the outcomes of future games might work out. Along these lines, you have to be careful of looking at causation in these variables instead of correlation. You also have to take into consideration variance and circumstance.

    For example, suppose you're looking at baseball games and you have been studying a certain pitcher for a while. This pitcher might tend to do a lot better on average in warmer weather than colder weather historically. This is a piece of information that you could use to help to decide how to bet on future games where this pitcher will be starting. On the other hand, if you figure out that this pitcher was only facing stronger offensive teams in that colder weather, then it's not clear if the weather was really affecting the situation.

    This is an example of what's called competing variables, and that's when you have multiple variables that could account for the same change in performance. To get around this, you have to set some sort of standard like looking at how this pitcher did against strong teams in cold weather as opposed to weak teams in cold weather. The more detailed you get, however, the more games you have to look at. Thankfully, you'll normally be able to get plenty of information about a starting pitcher's performances, so you'll have plenty of data to dig through to try to find an advantage.