How Accurate are Sports Betting Predictions?

You see it all of the time. Everywhere. On sports news sites, blogs, online casinos, your uncle's Facebook story, there are a bunch of these "predictions" about upcoming big games. In fact, some of the professional bookmakers have a crew of experts that share their predictions with the players.

They often contain supposed insights about the potential outcomes of certain matches. Most of all, they link you to a bookmaker with a coupon.

While those predictions aren’t necessarily bad or misleading, they do tend to come in varying numbers. A lot of new players end up getting even more confused than before they started reading.

If you asked a general audience how much you could rely on sports predictions, you’d get mixed responses. That’s because there is a myriad of factors that influence each game. The predictor’s job is to give you the best of their opinions. It’s still up to the player to consider every other element involved.

The Type of Sports

In general, anything having fewer components tends to behave with more linearity. Same with sports – the more players involved, the harder it is to predict the outcome. That said, a tennis match would likely have more accurate predictions than, say, a soccer game.

That’s not to say a soccer prediction is less reliable than a tennis prediction, only that they’re two entirely two different sports.

Predicting the outcome of a tennis match is easier, given that there are only two players to analyse. When betting on soccer, you’d need to scrutinise twenty-two athletes to come up with a number. In either case, you need substantial knowledge about all of the elements involved.

When you’re betting without knowing how effective your prediction service is, go with the sports that are easier to guess. This is important because some of them may specialise in certain categories, such as the NFL or Premier League.

Some sports may be harder to predict, but they also have higher success rates. If, say, soccer had a 33% accuracy, but a 50% success rate among all predictions, then your chances wouldn’t be that bad.

However, you overcoming the chances is not a mission impossible. If you want to have a clearer picture, you can always rely on the statistics in sports betting, which are an essential part of the active players’ life.

The Teams Playing

Betting on Favourites

Some games are easy to bet on as you’d have one dominant team against an obvious underdog. If the spread is reasonable, then you won’t need a calculated prediction to make the decision.

Not all games are like that, though. Once in a while, you’d see either two strong teams in the final, or two bracket-bottoms going head to head. While the odds and potential winnings are super attractive in these situations, you often want to avoid relying on predictions.

There are several reasons for this. First, the spreads in these games are very tight. When both teams have an equal chance of winning, any spread is risky.

Take the Patriot-Falcons 2017 Super Bowl game, for example. Despite Atlanta having possibly the best streak in the team’s history, New England was still favoured by 3 points. In that season, the Falcons were averaging two touchdowns ahead on every win. If you were on the Patriots’ side, how confident would you have been giving away 3 points?

Lots of predictions leaned on Atlanta in the wake of their incredible run and the seemingly ridiculous spread. Safe bettors went for New England in the first half, thinking that they’d switch to Atlanta in the second, assuming they’d win. As a result, every single one of those lost. All of this was the consequence of predictions.

It’s extremely difficult to predict evenly matched games, so if you absolutely have to bet, then it’s best to go with your guts.

The Odds Given

If you thought deciding which team to bet on was hard, picking the right odds would drive you insane. These pesky little numbers dictate almost every betting decision. Understanding odds is an ongoing process for most of us, but a basic knowledge of them can help with predictions. To better understand the situation, we advise you to stay tuned and compare the betting sites when you decide to place a bet on a certain event.

A couple of factors interact intensely with a bookmaker’s odds.

The Spread

For the sake of example, all predictions are set at 99% accuracy.

Let’s say you want to bet on the Arsenal-Manchester City game and your advisor predicts a score of 2-1 Manchester. You hop on to a bookmaker and see that they’ve set the spread at Manchester (-1). You’re now losing by one goal before the game starts. Even if the prediction turns out to be correct, you still won’t make any money.

Now, you look at the odds for a draw, and it says 1/3. This means for every three dollars/euro/pounds wagered, you can only expect to win one. Not a very good deal, is it? And that’s the problem – bookmakers know how to make predictions, too. They also predicted that most players would bet on Manchester, so they’ve created a betting line that gave them an advantage.

Fixed Odds

Playing with fixed odds can be more lenient on your bankroll and sanity. Things are more straightforward in this area, as there are usually no spreads involved. You can still bet on other categories such as total score, first half, etc. and predictions also play a role in them.

Bookmakers can also place discouraging odds on the dominant team. You would see something ridiculous like (-300), meaning to win 100 dollars/euros/pounds you’d have to bet 300. Again, not the deal of a lifetime.

A prediction usually tells you who would win the game and by how much. It hardly ever accounts for what the bookmakers would do.


As you can see, sports betting predictions rely on many factors to come together. When you depend on them, you’re eliminating the entire process for yourself.

Do a little research on your own to make good use of those predictions. Compare what you have with what they claim. Consistency is always a good sign. However, if there’s a big gap, then it’s probably not a good idea to bet on that game.

Kristiyan Kyulyunkov
Kristiyan KyulyunkovKristiyan Kyulyunkov specializes in bookmakers’ analyses. He has years of experience betting online and always keeps an eye on the different operators. His tasks in Nostrabet include writing, editing and publishing expert reviews.