Sports Betting Explained: What Is an Edge?

Sports Betting Explained: What Is an Edge?

Whether you’re a regular or completely new to the world of sports betting, there’s no doubt that you would have heard the term ‘edge’ used when referring to bets on the board on any given night. At Dimers.com, it’s a huge part of what we do in order to identify where the sportsbooks may be getting things wrong and opening the door in order for us to capitalize.

But what exactly is an edge, and how is it used in sports betting? Let us explain.

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What Is an Edge in Sports Betting?

In sports betting, an edge represents a coveted advantage that bettors seek to gain over the bookmakers or the general betting market. It signifies a disparity between the true probability of an event occurring and the odds or probabilities offered by the bookmaker. Obtaining an edge is the ultimate goal for many bettors, as it can potentially lead to long-term profitability and success.

In sports betting, edges can come in all different shapes and sizes.

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One such edge that may bring up memories of old movies involving the mafia is access to valuable information. Bettors who have access to information that the bookmaker or the general public does not possess can gain an advantage could include insights into team line-ups, injury updates, weather conditions, or any other relevant data that can influence the outcome of a sporting event. By incorporating this exclusive information into their analysis, bettors can make more accurate assessments of the probabilities and identify opportunities where the bookmaker may be slow in adjusting their odds.

A good example of this occurred in the NBA in early 2022 when it was reported by journalists that injured Golden State Warriors big man Draymond Green would appear on the court in a ceremonial fashion to commemorate the return of Klay Thompson from a long-term injury. Bettors acted on this information before the sportsbooks had time to update their odds, resulting in players cleaning up, and causing a betting controversy in the process.

Analysis and expertise also play a significant role in gaining an edge. Experienced bettors who have spent considerable time studying teams, players, and specific sports can develop a deep understanding of the game. They can identify patterns, trends, or statistical advantages that others may overlook. Through meticulous analysis, they can spot favorable betting opportunities that the general market may not have recognized. This expertise can encompass various aspects, such as team tactics, player performance, historical data, and even psychological factors that can impact the outcome of a sporting event.

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Market inefficiencies present another avenue for obtaining an edge. While bookmakers aim to set odds that attract balanced betting on both sides, there are instances when the betting market is inefficient or mis-priced. This can occur due to factors such as public perception, media influence, bias, or sudden changes in circumstances. Bettors who possess a keen eye for these market discrepancies can exploit them to their advantage. By identifying odds that are skewed or undervalued, they can place bets on outcomes that offer favorable risk-reward ratios, thereby gaining an edge over the bookmaker.

MORE: Get NBA Trends for Sports Bettors as well as incredible AI Powered NBA Best Bets

Advanced modeling and algorithms have become increasingly prevalent in the realm of sports betting, like the simulations Dimers.com runs on every pro and college sport in the United States.

In order to find an edge, we employ mathematical models, statistical analysis, and algorithmic approaches to process and interpret vast amounts of data. These models consider thousands of data points, such as, team dynamics, player statistics, external factors - as well as a few in-house secret data points that we’ll take to the grave - to derive probabilities for different outcomes

Once all of these are considered and the simulations are run, we apply a probability to the various betting markets. Probabilities are then converted to implied odds, and that’s where we pounce.

By comparing their calculated probabilities with the bookmaker's odds, we can identify discrepancies and uncover opportunities where the odds provided by the bookmaker do not align with our own assessments. This analytical approach enables us to exploit favorable discrepancies and secure the edge that you see on our Best Bets and Best Props pages.

Okay, so now you know what an edge is, but how do you know which ones to actually bet?

The threshold for a bettable edge can vary from sport to sport, but typically we assign a general rule that any edge above 5% when comparing our prediction model implied odds to that of the sportsbooks is something worth betting, and a sustainable betting strategy that is profitable over the long term. 

When we identify an edge that we think you should bet, we display is on our site with a 🔥 as seen below:

Of course, when accessing Dimers’ predictions, we still recommend doing your own research on lineups and information available, and to make your own educated decision as to what you’re backing. Our tools are here to guide you and to help you become a smarter bettor.

It is essential to recognize that having an edge does not guarantee success in sports betting. While gaining an advantage increases the probability of profitable outcomes, there are still inherent risks involved. Sports events can be unpredictable, and upsets can occur. Moreover, bookmakers continually adjust their odds based on market activity, public sentiment, and new information, which can gradually erode potential edges over time. Therefore, bettors must exercise discipline, employ sound bankroll management strategies, and continue refining their methods to sustain long-term success in the challenging world of sports betting.

Remember, gambling should be entertaining, not a reliable source of revenue. Set limits, both in terms and know when to walk away. Gambling should be a safe and enjoyable experience for all. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER.

Jason Bevilacqua
Head of Content and Communities

Jason Bevilacqua has a deep-rooted passion for sports and has been actively involved in sports betting for many years. Specializing in the MLB, NHL, NBA, MLS, and NFL, Jason delivers engaging game previews across these leagues. His expertise is particularly evident in his best bets for MLB, NHL, and college basketball. Additionally, Jason contributes valuable MLB and NFL props, as well as NBA first basket plays. 

Since joining Dimers in 2020 as the Head of Social and Community, Jason has also made significant contributions to the editorial department, offering daily articles that are not only well-researched but also deeply insightful. His strategic approach and collaboration with DimersBOT ensure his betting advice is top-notch.

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