Sports bettors can claim new player bonuses, free bets, odds boosts & promotions, and choose from a truly massive range of betting options across sports and leagues from all over the globe. With so many different ways to bet, bettors would do well to get a bit more education before deciding on and making their bets.
This is where betting tools and systems can come into play. From novice sports bettors in Canada to professional bettors in Las Vegas, people use systems and tools to guide their sports betting decisions. While betting systems may not be for everyone, and there are plenty of doubts as to whether they even work at all, the sheer variety and the different ways in which they can be applied is worth exploring.
Note: None of these betting systems is “recommended.” These are merely examples of systems sports bettors can and do use.
Popular sports betting systems
If you get into sports betting in Canada without a plan of action, things can go sideways pretty quickly. It takes some calculated strategy to wind up a successful bettor in the long run.
Some bettors like to use simple sports betting systems because they provide a structure and simplified focus to their betting. Some systems require a huge bankroll to implement successfully while others focus on trying to minimize losses and maximize profits.
While many systems that are touted by so-called professionals require some kind of payment to access, bettors can also employ a variety of options completely free of charge. Many betting systems have been taken from casino gaming and adapted to sports. The list includes but is not limited to the following betting systems for all major sports.
1. Tunnel sports betting system
This system, also referred to as finding a middle, aims to take long-term advantage of sportsbook lines that vary wildly between betting sites. The strategy involves wagering on both sides of the same game with hopes of securing wins on both bets if the final result lands in the tunnel that you have built for yourself.
For example, one sportsbook may have the total of an NBA game at 221 points and another site could have the same game at 224. The system calls for an over bet on the low number (221) and an under bet on the higher number (224). Bettors are guaranteed to win one of the totals wagers but if the oddsmakers are right on the money (as they often are), there’s a chance that the total finds your tunnel and cashes both bets.
If the result of the game falls outside of that middle ground, the bettor is guaranteed to lose 10% (if we assume the price on both sides of the wager is -110). This will be the case more often than not in these situations. But even if the tunnel system only works on occasion, it can wind up being a long-term profit.
2. Schedule system
This is less a mathematical sports betting system and more of a strategy. Another common way for bettors to try and gain an edge is by letting the schedule be their guide. Again, it is probably best applied to NBA betting and the NHL betting due to the nature of the scheduling in those sports.
Winning on consecutive nights is a tough thing to do. Whether it’s travel, lack of motivation, rest for certain players, a backup goalie playing (in hockey), or something else, teams tend to struggle when playing on no rest. The system calls for betting against a team playing a second straight game, especially if there was a plane ride to a new destination after the previous one.
Another schedule-based sports betting strategy is fading teams playing three games in four nights. This is again recommended when teams are away from home but this is a system that can be applied to any team forced to play three games in four days.
By the end of a tough stretch of games, fatigue can settle in and teams tend to not perform as well. This can be exacerbated when away from home, so consider targeting teams at the very end of a five or six-game road trip when players are just looking forward to getting home.
3. Zig-zag system
The Zig Zag theory is something some bettors live by when it comes to sports with a seven-game playoff series. The idea is that every game in a playoff series is impacted by the game that came before it, and believers in this system use the previous game’s results to dictate their wagers for the next one.
The basic idea is that in a series between relatively even teams, you should bet on the losing team to win the next game or at least cover the number. The zig-zag theory is most commonly applied to the NBA and NHL because they have matching 2-2-1-1-1 postseason formats, though the NHL postseason generally features much more parity among teams than the NBA postseason does.
Let’s use the NBA as an example. In nearly all cases, the favourite in an NBA series is the team with a home-court advantage, which is generally pretty important in the postseason. In both the NBA and NHL, a home team winning Game 1 leads to a series win many more times than not.
If the underdog wins Game 1 on the road, the favourite is much more likely to win Game 2 at home and even things up. If the home team wins Game 1, back the underdogs on the road in Game 2. If that fails and the favourite manages to win each of the first two games at home, the trailing underdog going back home for Game 3 is the bet.
Best sports betting tools
Aside from systems and strategies, bettors can also find help related to sports gambling in the form of betting tools. Many systems provide recommended conditions for betting on a certain side or detail how bettors decide on the amounts they wager. But tools can be equally, if not more vital because they can be used in any situation to help bettors make selections.
If you’re not necessarily looking for a specific system but still want some guidance when it comes to making your betting decisions, consider the following sports betting analytics tools.
1. Line movement & public money
Perhaps the best and most reliable tool that is free to use is public money and line movement. Anyone can track how the odds have changed over time, and there are also ways to keep tabs on how much public money is being taken on one side over another.
While those numbers will only represent a portion of the total betting population, they can still be valuable. Comparing public money and any line alterations can help uncover key information such as reverse line movement, which can go a long way toward helping bettors make their decisions.
Reverse line movement occurs when the public is on one side, but the line moves in the opposite direction. It’s usually an indicator that pro bettors (also known as sharps) are part of the minority for that particular wager.
2. Player prop search tool
The player prop search tool optimizes searching for player props and makes the line shopping process as simple as it can be. It also helps the bettor find the most possible value they can in the shortest amount of time.
All the bettor needs to do is type in a player’s name to see the odds for markets involving that person. There’s even a feature that compiles the odds for those props from multiple sportsbooks, saving the bettor from having to manually search through each sportsbook.
Not only are game-by-game props presented when searching, but so are futures markets that the player may be included in. The tool is constantly updating as real sportsbook odds do, making it a one-stop shop for those looking to search for betting options by player.
3. Parlay calculator
Parlays are one of the most popular bet types out there, and being able to quickly calculate the odds for a given combination of lines is a valuable tool. This is especially useful to those wagering at an in-person sportsbook, but those using Canadian online sportsbooks can find a parlay calculator useful as well.
Online sportsbooks and sportsbook apps will calculate parlay odds for you as more sides are added, but this means you’ll be constantly having to shuffle selections in and out of your bet slip. With a parlay calculator that does the math for you, all that going back and forth inside the app isn’t necessary.
Popular betting systems for casino games
1. Martingale system
The Martingale system uses negative progression and is common because it is easy for even the most novice bettor to understand. It does, however, require a significant bankroll to sustain your expected losses. It’s also pretty dangerous because it can lead to heavy losses and promotes chasing your money, which is normally a counterproductive action.
The system calls for essentially doubling down on every lost wager until you win. If your $10 wager loses, put $20 on the next one. If that loses, put $40 on the next one. The thought process is that eventually, the law of averages will result in eventually winning a wager. Following a victorious bet, the stake would then reduce down to the original amount after any profits are put aside.
Those with an unlimited bankroll may be able to employ this strategy to some success, though it could get ugly before that big win comes through and eliminates all of the losses. But for a casual player without an endless amount of money, this may not be the best system.
2. D’Alembert system
This is another well-known negative progression system that is easy to understand and implement. For those without a huge bundle of cash, this could be a strategy to apply. It calls for increased bets after losses just like the Martingale system, but not to the same degree.
First is establishing a baseline to start with, so let’s make $10 equal to one unit to make things simple. If your $10 bet loses, the next bet is for $20. If that loses, the next is for $30. With another loss, it moves to $40. The risk is increased by one unit following each loss until you win a bet. After winning, the stake is decreased by one unit amount.
The biggest difference between the D’Alembert and Martingale systems is that the latter is trying to cover all its losses with one bet, the next one. By using the former, it is more likely that multiple wins are needed to recoup after a string of losses. With that said, it’s slightly less risky than automatically doubling after every miss.