A few times a year, we release some betting odds from our friends at www.sportsbettingdime.com. This is one of those times. If you like hypothetical gambling research, their site is chock-full of it.
Today’s post features a Q&A from Sascha Paruk, who is the lead odds-makers & editor at SportsBettignDime.com
1) How did you get into this job? How long have you been there? I’ve been doing this for almost seven years. I used to be a grumpy lawyer who spent all his free time (and some work hours, if I’m being honest) watching and reading about sports. Eventually, I decided to take a chance on something I knew I would like better. I started out as an editor, taught myself the probability side on the fly, and slowly grew into the role I have today.
2) What does your typical day or week look like? It really depends on the time of year. But whether it’s January or July, I spend a lot of time in Excel compiling data and running simulations.
3) How do you or people on your team develop betting odds for a given situation (game, stat, whatever)? It’s probably easiest to understand if you think small to begin with. These days, you can live bet on the outcome of Shohei Ohtani’s next plate appearance. To set the odds that he hits a home run, we would start with his plate appearances-per-homer on the year (10.7 PA/HR or 9.34%). We would factor in his previous years, weighting recent history more heavily. Then we would look at whether the pitcher is a righty/lefty and adjust again based on his splits. Then we would factor in the specific pitcher’s batters faced-per-homer. If it was a ground-ball heavy pitcher - say, Daniel Hudson (who’s only surrendered 81 homers to the 3,139 batters he’s faced) - the odds would get considerably longer. Two other big factors that novices might overlook are weather and ballpark. At one extreme, you might have a strong tailwind at Coors Field. At the other extreme, you could have the wind blowing in fiercely at Wrigley, which makes going deep borderline impossible. In some hitter/pitcher matchups, the two players have faced each other enough that their head-to-head data would be a factor, as well.
4) What is something the casual fan would not know about what you do or the work that goes into the work?
How much time I spend looking at weather reports. That’s actually one of the reasons I love college basketball so much. There are very few outdoor games.
5) A conference like the Mountain West doesn’t have the viewership of the SEC or Big Ten, does that follow suit in the betting world or are there more Mountain West-related bets than one would think?
It’s really just a numbers game. For the most part, the teams with the most fans attract the most wagers. However, over the next few years in particular, we are likely to see increased betting action on teams from states where sports betting has been fully legalized. In the coming season, don’t be surprised if the betting handle on Colorado State and Air Force spikes compared to previous years. (Unlike New Jersey, Colorado residents can wager on their local college teams.)
6) For those who may want to know, what are the most common things bet on? What are the most rare? What’s the most random event you’ve seen a bet on? The NFL is king in the United States, in particular betting single games against the spread. When the pandemic hit and every league shutdown, sportsbooks scrambled to find anything for customers to wager on. That led to betting options I never thought I would see, like marble racing.
7) How does your site differ from other betting sites out there? What is unique about it?
SportsBetttingDime.com is not actually a sportsbook. We don’t take real-money wagers. SBD Play is our free-to-play sports-betting platform where people can hone their skills and use their betting prowess to win contests and prizes. The majority of the content on SportsBettingDime.com is betting analysis and information. Our odds trackers monitor everything from the Super Bowl futures to the odds to win the Masters to the 2024 Presidential Election. Our team of expert writers offer picks on almost every major sport in the world. (I say “almost” because we aren’t covering cricket ... yet.)