Some stats and trends are almost imperative to study before betting on certain events but others have only become more popular in recent years. Many punters want to take a different look at an event to find the best bets but can studying too hard lead you astray?
Whenever you look at form you are looking at stats. Number of recent wins and where they took place are very important when deciding a bet and it is almost impossible to bet without looking at stats unless you simply want to take a look at the odds and back all the favourites or outsiders.
In horse racing stats can be very important, a horse’s win percentage can tell you how genuine or consistent a horse is a lot of the times whilst progency stats can tell you how likely a horse is to run well on a certain type of going. You can’t really look at too many stats, it just gives you more information about what you are betting on and therefore more of an edge over the bookmakers.
In team or individual sports, stats are also a necessity for all serious punters. The number of recent wins at home or away can tell you where a team is most likely to pick up or drop points.
TheWeem has written a blog about the use of stats in football betting, click here to read TheWeem's analysis of when stats can be useful and when they can be misleading.
Trends are also useful for betting but it should pay to question why certain trends exist. If you can think of a certain reason why a trend exists then it is probably wise to give that trend some extra credence when deciding your bet, if the trend seems a bit random then it might pay to overlook that trend.
Horse Racing Trends
Horse racing trends usually revolve around trainers/jockeys records in a race, the most common weight range or age group that wins a race, what sort of form a horse brings into the race or how long a break a horse has had before running in a race. Certain trainers target certain races and certain jockeys ride some racecourses very well so whilst it may be an advantage to keep those on your side it doesn’t guarantee a horse will run any better in a given race. Certain weight ranges can be favoured in handicaps because a horse has to be of a high enough class to win the race, therefore a very low weight might not be favoured. Meanwhile a very high weight probably means the horses carrying that weight have shown their hand and may no longer be well handicapped. Age is an important factor to consider in racing because of the weight allowance certain age groups get over their elders. Three year olds can be advantaged late in the season against their elders in staying races and this is certainly a trend to take note of but it doesn’t guarantee that an older horse isn’t the best handicapped runner in the race. There is a thread on the OLBG forum that discusses use of trends in horse racing betting and it's worth a look.
Other Sports Trends
In team and individual sports looking at trends might not be so useful, checking a team’s record in a certain cup competition might suggest they are a team to back in that competition in the coming season, however further investigation might tell you they’ve been lucky with the draw in the past few seasons. Sometimes there will be valid reasons for a trend, if a team tends to perform well in the football League Cup it could be because they field their strongest team whilst others rest their stars. In tennis a player may have a good record in certain tournaments and a poor record in others and this could be matched with the surface those tournaments are played on.
Trends certainly have their place in betting but it may pay to simply consider them and question them rather than putting all your eggs into the trends basket. Recent Grand Nationals and Cheltenham Festivals have seen a number of ‘must have’ trends busted proving that they can’t be completely relied upon even if they are useful.
Billy121only added his thoughts to his blog, click here to read Billy121only's take on how stats and trends should be interpreted (blog deleted).